Thursday, January 31, 2013

Therapy Dogs!

Seems like a lot of bad news recently with Pinky and Sara. I do have some good news, Miles and Moose took their Therapy Dog Tests on Saturday. They passed!

My last two greyhounds JD and Streak were Therapy Dogs with Therapy Dogs Inc and Pinky was too. I had meant to test both of the boys a year or more ago but there aren't a lot of tests in the area and whenever one came up it was always on a weekend when I had other dog events. I am so glad we finally got it done.

My biggest concern was that Miles would get too excited and go up to one of the dogs during the test and pop it with a paw trying to get it to play instead of staying 2 feet away like he was supposed to. I was especially worried when I saw that one of the other dogs used in the test was another greyhound and one that he had played with before. He was a good boy and minded his manners. It helped that he had done a meet and greet already at PetSmart that morning then walked a mile or so right before the test. He was already pretty tired.

They aren't officially therapy dogs yet. They still have to complete 3 supervised visits with tester observers before they are official but with all the work they do at the Renaissance Festivals with people already these should be easy.

A new Angel.

We lost Pinky my Italian Greyhound on January 17th. What had started out as just drinking a little too much and peeing a lot at the beginning of December quickly got much worse. We ran lots of tests on him trying to find a cause checking for kidney problems, diabetes and finally Cushings. Then repeated them several times. Sometimes numbers were concerning sometimes normal.

We were sent to a specialist who believed it was either a brain tumor on his pituitary or a tumor on his adrenals and scheduled us for an ultrasound of his abdomen to check for that first since the brain scan was $1500. Before we got that done he started having trouble with staggering sometimes one week, to having pain in his head preventing him from being able to shake it the next. He would barely shake when he got up just barely moving his head then would act like he was in pain right after. He started dropping food out of his mouth when he ate one day and chewing weird. The following day he couldn't eat at all because of the pain when chewing. I made liquid food that he could lap up but could only do that for about another day before the pain was too bad to even do that. So within about a month we lost him to what most likely was a fast growing brain tumor.

Always so cute when he slept
Pinky was such a special little guy his official name was Logo's Pearly Gates. He was a Therapy Dog, Earned his Rally Obedience Novice title and had two legs towards his Advanced title and was a Canine Good Citizen. He was a performer with the Hounds of East Fairhaven promoting sighthound adoption at the GA and Carolina Renaissance Festivals. He was the Greyhound Crossroads small dog tester and helped fosters learn respect for small white dogs that looked like bunnies. He also raised a litter of greyhound puppies and was a great doorbell and best buddy. Pretty amazing for a little deaf dog. 

He was the 2007 Laurelwood Plate Italian Greyhound. Only one  dog of each breed is chosen per year.

He loved to chase the lure but not too far. He would come running back to mom if he got too far away.

He loved to ride in his carrier on the motorcycle with Roy. He was safely hooked in his carrier so he couldn't jump out. They rode from Greenville to Myrtle Beach together one year.

A media photo of Pinky and I used to advertise the Carolina Renaissance Festival

Not many little dogs have Kings and Queens come to visit him

Kiss from a Queen at the Carolina Renaissance Festival

At the Georgia Renaissance Festival Pinky usurped the throne from the King and took part of his court.
We sure miss him a lot and plan to adopt another deaf Italian Greyhound in his honor. If you hear of one please let me know.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy Birthday Miles, Otto and Kohle!

Today is the boys 3rd birthday. They are officially grown up now even though they don't always act like it. Miles has slowed down some finally. He runs some in the yard but not every day. Still pretty high energy in comparison to most of my fosters, although many are younger than he is now.

On Miles birthday I found out that he finished in the NOTRA's (National Oval Track Racing Association) Top 10 for 2012! He was tied for 8th place! It was a huge surprise that he ended up in the top 10 at all after not being able to run much because of an injury. He also finished in the top 20 in LGRA (Large Gazehound Racing Association)These are not professional track racing. They are "for fun" racing organizations for all sighthound breeds. They get to have the fun of chasing the lure and do what they were bred to do and pick up a few trophies or ribbons while they are at it. It is great exercise and the dogs love it! A lot of the greyhounds that compete in it are retired track dogs that still love to run and aren't ready to be couch potatoes yet. NOTRA is oval racing and LGRA is straight track racing.

Miles seems to have recovered and doesn't seem to have soreness left in his back. It was never an injury that I would even notice if he was only a pet, running in the backyard. It is something that prevents him from fully extending in a full run and slows him down when really running hard. It only seemed to be painful when he was really pushing to run fast like when he was trying to keep up with or pass another dog or when really trying hard to catch a lure. All things he loves to do.

It initially happened in February. He healed up after being off for a couple of months and was competing and running great. He pulled it again in October at the Nationals, pulled up and was out of competition the rest of the year.

We leash walked him for a long time and didn't let him run around. That was worse on us than him. He has been bouncing around wanting to run and play and really doesn't understand why he isn't allowed to. We started letting him run around in the yard, where he couldn't really get up to full speed, a few weeks ago. I waited until to take him out to a larger area to run by himself and let him really kick it in. No sign of any trouble though in December so we started letting him run with other greyhounds. We are starting him on the lure again and straight sprints to get him in shape for competitions in February.


We lost Miles mother Sara (racing name Sarandon) just before Christmas. My thoughts and prayers are with her family. She was their only greyhound and their best friend.

She went very fast. She went down on a short walk and was not able to be revived 10 minutes later when she got to the vet. Waiting on the necropsy results. She was so young and in such great shape. She ran at a dog park nearly every day and was one of the most active greyhounds for her age I have ever seen. Not many greyhound moms can play all day with their pups. She seemed to be in such good health.

We were planning to get the family together again this fall but couldn't find a time that was good for her and all her pups. So sad that weren't able to do that one last time.

Here are some photos of her that I took during the 5 months she lived at my house with her pups. She was a fantastic mom as you can see from her pictures. She loved playing with her pups and never forgot them. We will all miss you beautiful girl!