Edgewater Greyts WebLog

Thursday, August 26, 2004

heart and soul 

Last saturday Tom and I with Terri and the two oldest boys did the Downer's Grove PetsMart Meet and Greet for Greyhounds Only. It was a beautiful day for the ride and for being outside. This was the first time that we've had any of them to a meet and greet, and all of them were perfect greeters. They all enjoyed meeting people and getting petted. I believe the Meet and Greet did well that day.

Sue, who was in charge of this one commented at how good Champ was looking, and how social he was. Sue was involved with Champ's situation when Frankie was dealing with bloody toenails from his Pemphigus.

Jack's first family came out to see him too, since Downers Grove is only a few miles from where they live. It was heartwarming to see. He remembered in a quiet way as each in their own way embraced him, their "Royce." Joanna had Royce's memory book with her, filled with a life of happy moments. It made me feel good to know he had had a happy life before coming into our world as the totally unique "Jack the Brat." Curt kept slipping Royce little hugs and having quiet conversations with him. Some bonds really are forever...

The last two wednesdays we scheduled dentals for SurfRider and Kimba. SurfRider's dental was first and he had one tooth extracted - a tooth way in the back that always smelled rancid when I brushed it. He was funny as he woke up from the anesthesia, limp tongue flopped out of the side of his mouth, and yet very touching. He was confused, having a hard time orienting, flailing his head around trying to get his bearings. I got on the floor with him and almost immediately he calmed down when my face was in his line of sight, glazed as his eyes still were. Then he fought to stop it all spinning. He kept on stretching towards me, pushing his nose into my face and the side of my neck to make sure I was really there, and it reassured him that yes, I was with him and he could touch me and yes I was real. He revived really fast, managing to get most of his tongue back in his mouth. He got on his feet way too soon but he felt a lot better being upright, even though I had to keep two steadying hands under him (the floors were too slippery for him). He was able to walk better outside where the ground wasn't like ice, and he rode home calmly in the car, and was able to eat when he got home. And his teeth are just beautiful.

Kimba's dental was scheduled the next wednesday, yesterday, and the vet went over her thoroughly because I commented I always thought Kimba's breathing was not like the other dogs. She's been with us for three years and just was a little different. I could not say I felt there was anything wrong or that was just the way she was, but I wanted the vet to know of my concern. Well, things looked and sounded okay, but just to be safe we went ahead and ran an EKG on her. Kimba's heart was abnormal. She had PVC's (pre-ventricular contractions). Kimba's heart was doing one normal beat followed by a mistimed beat. We cancelled the surgery and went home early. I'm relieved that we didn't do dental surgery on her. I'm sure that she doesn't have any oral pain at present and I think I can keep her teeth pretty clean at home.

My sweet Kimba! I love her so much.

We'll be taking her to a cardiologist soon to see what we can do for her heart condition.

Let's see, what else. Some friends of Terri's former mom emailed me and expressed an interest in seeing Terri. They used to dogsit Terri, and their greyhound Maddie was playmates with Terri. That sounds like fun, though when that can occur has yet to be arranged. Still it's fun that I have more people looking in on the hounds on the webcam these days.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

routines and stuff 

Before, I hated to brush the dog's teeth. I knew it had to be done but what I would do is find each one wherever they were laying, get down on the floor with them and brush their teeth. Then get up, get the next toothbrush readied, and on. Real pain for a guy my size with so many dogs. Up and down, up and down... Now I've got them coming to me one right after the other, one at a time. Liver treats do the trick. Tonight, everyone came as they were called, even the two newest. Last night I had to bring Terri and Champ into the bathroom. Fast learners! Sure is a lot easier and faster sitting next to the bathroom sink with a willing dog who generally leaves once they've gotten the treats, (some are pigs and see if they can get seconds), and the next willingly comes. I'm proud of myself for this one.

Those evenings that we stay on separate floors the dogs will split up between floors with no real discernible preference, though Tom will get a little miffed if noone comes up with him. That only happens if they've gotten too comfortable wherever they were on the first floor - have I ever mentioned that they can be lazy? But when we both settle in upstairs for tv everyone piles in the floproom. Always one on each of the two couches, cockroached, generally Kimba and Jack. Three more on the assorted dogbeds on the floor. And now Champ who has claimed the space behind the recliner, which was one of Missy's old favorite spots. He's laying there now, and Tom says he's snoring. Snoring? I don't hear him snoring?

Oh yeah, there he goes but that's not snoring - he's moaning heavy duty. It might be because there are no pillows back there. Tom made him move to his dog bed, the one that Frankie gave him. That's a heck of a lot softer for a lanky boy senior greyhound.

I remember that Kimba used to moan anytime she went to lay down. She did that for the first year or so that she's been here but doesn't do that anymore at all. She does still let out a little series of whines to announce the flip upside-down into cockroach position.

All the dogs are on Syn-flex, a liquid glucosamine supplement. I've seen it do good things for all of them, and I'm sure in a few weeks Champ will feel whatever good he's going to derive from it. Though he moans I'm not sure it's a discomfort thing because he's so active and pretty agile overall.

Kimba and Jack have their own routine at bedtime. The other four go out to the yard for a potty just before bedtime. These two will not - guess they feel that they are already set for the night which is fine with us because they're not having any problems waiting until the first out in the morning.

Is there a pattern here? The two oldest get the couches most of the time. The two oldest skip the potty before bed. And maybe, the two of them require just a little extra motivation to get up off a dog bed when asked - different styles but the same reluctance...

I love my old dawgs.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Got'cha got'cha got'cha got'cha! 

Wednesday was Kimba's third got'cha day. The original three greyhounds have all been with us for three years now. It feels like they have always been here.

Now there are three others, all new this year. Jack makes me laugh every day. Tomorrow is his five month got'cha day. What is amazing about him is that his personality continues to blossom. He is noisier and more persistant than ever - a most vocal greyhound. The word "brat" describes him. Jack the "Brat." And scarily, his confidence on stairs has continued to grow. I know that he's not really seeing those steps as well as he'd like coming down yet this 13 year old oaf is throwing himself at them with more and more abandon. Devil may care kinda dog. Gotta love that he's always in such good spirits.

Terri reminds me of Missy - both red dogs, both like things to be on the manic side. She is affectionate, and a little demanding for her affection. She competes for your attention. The other side of her is that she listens well and can hold herself incredibly quiet for you.

Champ reminds me of Lucy. He's a sweetheart and a gentle soul, with a twinkle in his eye and just a touch of sass. And Champ holds his own against Terri when the two of them start to compete for scritches. Then they can be a real handful. I can't believe that Champ's only here five days. Yeah I know that is not a long time but we all have adjusted so well in such a short space in time.

God I can hardly wait for when these guys really feel settled in.

Friday, August 06, 2004

two new adoptions and life goes on 

Some decisions were made in the last few days.

First, there was a prospective home for Terri. At first it sounded ideal - big yard which Terri would love and someone home all of the time. Then I realized that maybe it wasn't really a suitable situation for her. I always thought she needed a MULTI-dog home. Well Terri would be the second dog as the family wanted a companion for their 12 year old senior (not a greyhound). Then I realized that these people expected that their first dog would pass soon. "None of our dogs live to 13." Can you hear me thinking "where would Terri be then - an only dog again?" Even though the people said they were always home it was having dog companionship that seemed to be crucial for this girl. No. Terri is doing very well with us, and was clearly happy with her situation. We were happy with her. Time to stop fooling ourselves. It's not that we never wanted Terri, it's that we didn't want to fail fostering. What a dumb reason! We've started the process for formally adopting Terri.

Second, Tom and I went and met Champ, a boy whose story I've been following for at least a couple of months. I had to do some arm twisting to set up that meeting but I felt it was necessary that we should consider adopting him. Champ is a 10 year old who needs regular attention to make sure that he eats well, and needs regular attention to keep his Pemphigus under control. This would not be hard for us to stay on top of. When we met him there was no doubt that this is an awesome dog. Tomorrow we go and get him.

Six dogs again. Three girls and three boys. Four of them have double-digit ages. I know that you can only take each day as it comes, no guarantees, but that doesn't mean that I don't pray every day that today will not be a day of loss. And a prayer right now that may I not have to bear a loss for a long time...

I picked up Missy's ashes on wednesday. I transferred her ashes to her urn, and also took care of Lucy's and Frenchie's ashes too - something I've avoided doing until now. There were some extra ashes that we are hoping to bury by Sam's body and the Potter family dogs.

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