Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fur Baby Post #3 and obedience update

After days of saying I was going to post another fur baby story I am finally getting around to it!!  Thank you all for your patience with me. 

Andy and Kai's 'mom' is the generous lady who sent Sweetheart her 'Beach Bum' outfit.

I have borrowed heavily from Andy and Kai's mom's own words.  I hope you all enjoy!  Without further ado, I give you Fur Babies Andy and Kai!

Andy, his mom's first greyhound, has been in his forever home for  7 years.  He is now 10.  When she first adopted Andy he had been racing for about 6 months and had gotten hepatitis and was then trampled during a race.  His foster mom called him Ruckus and here is why.  There was no trash can, door, or bin that could not be opened.  In addition to being a trash/door/bin crasher, he seemed to have an affinity for wood.  He ate part of a banister and part of a 300 year old chair. I am sure everyone out there is cringing a little.  Andy's exploits have also earned him a free, well not free for his mom, trip to the doggy ER.  During one of his counter surfing missions, Any stole and proceeded to inhale a stick and a half of butter, 4 squares of unsweetened baking chocolate and 2 cups of kibble, including wrappers (what meal is complete without packaging).  After the contents came back up (not what Andy expected when he was eating them I am sure) the vet techs were rather surprised when he then proceeded to go after their trash while in the exam room.   :)

For most of his life Andy was a very quiet boy who only got the "bouncies" (anyone with greys know what the bouncies are all about) when the leash would make an appearance.  Some people thought he didn't have much personality; didn't wag his tail much, wasn't interested in toys, didn't come up for scritches, but his mom knew that he was a sweetheart.

Three years ago Andy got a GH puppy from rescue. :)  Well, maybe I should say his mom got a puppy because Andy has never really forgiven her for foisting this terror on him (more on Kai the terror below). The amusing thing is that even though Andy avoids Kai like the plague, Andy has started to come out of his shell.  He has also started going to daycare with Kai.  Andy is now smiling more and he loves to play with a few toys.  As Andy's  mom said to me in her email "There is nothing better than seeing an 86 pound hound flinging himself bodily on a toy with such gusto and a twinkle in his eye".  At first when he went to daycare he just sniffed everything and hung out with the handlers.  One day he started to play with other dogs a bit.  He would only play with brindles (snobbish?).   Andy then found his inner zoomy.  Nowadays they have to bring him in by his collar and hold him for awhile until he settles down. Otherwise he comes in "on fire" and gets everyone else whipped up into a running frenzy.  The staff love to tell his mom about his daily exploits: how much he is enjoying himself, who Andy's girlfriends were that day, and just how many times he got the "zoomies" (yep, those of you with greys are nodding your head because you know what zoomies are)!  

Kai, a.k.a Andy's nightmare, was adopted by his mom as a puppy  from GALT- TX.  As many of you who are familiar with greyhound rescue know, greyhound puppies do not come up for adoption very often as most greyhounds are not normally adoptable until AFTER they flunk out of racing or retire from racing (usually between 1.5 to 5 years of age)   Kai's mom said in her email "Kai was just the cutest thing at 8 weeks old; all legs, tail and teeth".  Puppy Kai was in constant motion.  Poor Andy put up with lots of pestering for a while.  Kai has now grown up to be a sweet, gentle hound who always squeaks when he wakes up EARLY at 5 a.m.  He is a regal looking fawn boy with Egyptian eye liner (my Cleo has the same eyeliner, hence the name Cleo, short for Cleopatra).  Kai loves his hugs and full body scritches at the end of the day, and one harsh word will send him into "tears".  He's not totally an angel though (don't all hounds have a little 'bad' in there somewhere)?!  He loves paper, especially toilet paper".  You can only imagine the messes he makes with that!

Below are pictures of Andy and Kai.  Both are gorgeous hounds, don't you agree?

Kai looking quite handsome!

AWWW!  What more needs to be said about
Andy in this pic.

Perhaps I should ask Andy's Mom to send
me that bed, looks comfy.

I hope everyone enjoyed Kai and Andy's story.  I know I did.  Bavarian is my trash hound and if we leave the kitchen trash within his range we will come home to utter destruction so I can definitely sympathize with Andy's mom!

Sweetheart did great in class Monday.  Well, great for her at least.  She wasn't super focused on the other dogs and she actually listened to us when we were working with her!  WOOHOO!  I didn't work with her a lot last week but I think the little I did do with her helped.  I was so jazzed that Sweetheart did well.  

This week we are supposed to work on her walking beside us, waiting at an open door and 'leave it'.  Wish us luck!

A big thank you to Andy and Kai's mom for the fabulous gift.  Les and I just love it.  I hope that you approve of your fur babies blog post!!

Jess and Sweetheart!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Beach Bum!

Sweetheart got a package in the mail from one of her fans in California yesterday!

Below is a picture of the package.  Notice that Sweetheart gets her very own mail and I am just the 'in care of' person.  I have been relegated to Sweetheart's secretary now, in addition to her fan club president.  :)  Les and I laughed when we saw how the package was addressed.  Too funny.

Below is what came in that package!

Sweetheart wasn't too thrilled wearing this at first (it couldn't be because I kept yanking the hood up over her head for pictures) but after a few minutes she was cool with her new beach attire!!

Thank you SOOO much to the Sweetheart fan in California who sent this to us.  I just love it, too cute for words.

Tomorrow I will do fur baby post #3 and it will be about the dog's of the fan who sent this to Sweetheart!

I hope everyone is having a good weekend.  I worked in the back of my property clearing brush for about six hours today and I am tired.  I haven't worked with Sweetheart on obedience this week like I should have.  I feel guilty.  Am I a bad mom?

Jess and Sweetheart

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


So my friend and fellow greyhound fanatic posted on her Facebook page that her female greyhound Cami had dug a huge trench in their backyard.  We started commenting on this back and forth and I told her that my yard was worse their her yard.  She seems to think that her yard has been 'excavated' more than mine.  HAHAHA!  She obviously has NO idea who she is dealing with.

Below are some examples of the current landscaping projects my greyhounds have undertaken recently.

Cleo has dug this hole so deep it is almost as deep as she is tall!

We have moles in the back yard and Cleo and Sweetheart dig
random little holes trying to 'unearth' them.

Cleo, Sweetheart and Journey have dug these and will lay in
them and bask in the sun.

One day I am going to break my leg in one of these I just know it!
I am proposing a backyard picture contest.  Post your best greyhound landscaping picture on your comment(s) to this post or email them to me.  The person with the 'best' greyhound landscaping will win a prize from Sweetheart.  Contest is actually open to ALL landscaping artists out there, regardless of if they are greyhounds!

Please send me your pictures by Friday, February 25th!

Jess and Sweetheart

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Walk, Click, Treat, Walk, Click, Treat, Walk, Click, Treat....

So I decided to do a little training with Sweetheart tonight.  It was dark but I have a nice lighted back porch so it worked well.  We played 'find it' and she did fabulous chasing those cheerios (honey nut cheerios) down and looking back at me almost immediately.  Then on to walking on a loose leash at my side.  She actually did fairly good at it once I got my walk, click, treat motion down.  I think teaching me to click and treat at the rights times is half the dang battle!  She is so much better focused at home.  She even did well when dogs around the neighborhood barked (although she did bark a bit during 'find it' but focused on me fairly quickly).

I am going to take my friend's advice (her grey Ady has done beautifully with obedience and freestyle training) and am going to call it a day with my two short training sessions since it is 8:15.  I will get home earlier tomorrow and will try to work with her 3 separate times on three separate behaviors.  My trainer said to do a '20 treat' session and that works out pretty well I have found.  Sweetheart doesn't get bored with them and she keeps her focus fairly well.

We are having some gorgeous weather in Oklahoma.  60's and 70's.  Yes, this is the same state that just had blizzard like conditions twice in the last two weeks.  Our weather is a little schizophrenic around here.  However, it is supposed to stay gorgeous out for a while.  I think I will take Sweetheart to the park near my house so she can be exposed to a new environment.  I am going to make a concerted effort to expose her to new things all that I can!  It should be lots of fun for both of us.

This picture may be on the blog already but I love it.  Her eyes look so sweet and kind (even though she is devious deep down):

Jess and Sweetheart

Monday, February 14, 2011

Obedience *sigh*

Well, tonight was Sweetheart's first obedience class.  As my sigh indicates, it went less than stellar.  She was so totally focused on the other dogs that she pretty much ignored Les and I the whole time.  I was rather disappointed at first but then I thought "for the last nine months she was either tied to a tree and dying, at the vet's office trying to stay alive or recovering at my house with little outside interaction".  The mall event this month and last month and tonight's obedience class make it three times she has been out in public (the vet's office doesn't count because that wasn't fun).   I was proud of her for the fact she didn't bark or whine, she didn't try to wiggle out of her collar to get to the other dogs and she didn't growl or raise her hackles.  I liken training her to trying to train a cat.  :)  No loyalty and fiercely independent.  :)

I know I need higher value treats (hot dogs, cheese, chicken), patience and I need to work with her EVERY day!!!

Sweetheart did do lovely at the mall this Saturday.  She didn't get annoyed with the other foster and adoptive dogs who were there and that is great.  She growled once when they were checking her out at first and then after that she was fine.  She LOVES the people who come up to pet her.  She will wag her tail and lean into them.  People are always surprised at how sweet and loving she is after I tell them about her horrific past.

Hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day!  Having Sweetheart with me was the best Valentine's Day gift I could have given myself.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mall Pictures

Sweetheart at the mall.  A Sweetheart fan gave us this
collar.  Isn't it fabulous!

Sweetheart with two of our available fosters at the mall!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fur Baby Post #2

Ahh, nothing like trying to do some clicker training outside with Sweetheart when Bavarian (who is inside the house) starts incessantly barking at Monte while they are both standing at the food bowl.  Really easy to keep Sweetheart's focus let me tell you.  Ugh.  All in all she did pretty well for the little bit we worked with her while Bavarian the Annoying was being a fool.

The weather is going to warm up so I will be able to pitch the other dogs outside while I work with Sweetheart inside.  We did the name game tonight.  I would say her name and when she would look me in the eyes I would click the clicker and treat her.  I need to work on my clicker trigger finger but all in all we did ok for our first go round.  Les did a few rounds of the name game too.  I hope Sweetheart can get the hang of this.  She is so food motivated (a nice phrase for GREEDY) that I think she will do fine.  I will just have to make sure I work with her each day, several times a day.

This fur baby post is short and sweet but the fur baby is awfully cute.  I hope you agree.  

Meet Punky.  Punky is a three year old, five pound (can you imagine, I think Sweetheart's head weighs that!) adorable white chihuahua.  Punky is very timid. His recent accomplishment is learning how to bark!  His timid streak does not stop him from wanting affection from his family and he loves to play.  My guess: Punky will be spunky in no time, especially since he has found his voice!  We all know that chihuahuas are big dogs in small packages!

The picture below is of Punky in his Christmas hat.  

This Saturday will be Sweetheart's second visit to the Shawnee Mall to help us promote greyhound adoption.  I am hoping she does just as good this time around as she did last time.

Jess and Sweetheart!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fur Baby Post #1

Why yes, you did read the title line correctly.  I am FINALLY getting around to posting about one of Sweetheart's fan's fur baby's!!!  I decided to do one post per fan and to tell a little bit of the story of each dog.  I will not give out any owner's names, locations or email addresses (unless you want me to).  Everyone sent me such good stories about their babies I REALLY wanted to share them.  You all have been so wonderful in following my little Peanut's story I wanted to let you share your babies stories with the world!  So, without further ado, here we go!!!

Meet Vinny, a.k.a Vinny Goombah, My Cousin Vinny, Vineyard, Skinny Vinny, VinVin and Mr. T.  Vinny was being fostered at the time the owner's second adopted greyhound, MaryLou passed away.  Vinny actually thought his foster mom was his so she kept him (why disappoint him!).  You know some of us just can't let certain fosters go!  

Vinny is 10 and a half and his owner describes him as a dog and a half.  She is terribly lucky to be able  to take him to work with her (I am quite jealous of this).  Vinny has become sort of a star in his small town.  When Vinny's mom takes him for walks around town, Vinny will walk into any open doorway trying to cadge a few pets.  Vinny has taken it upon himself to be sort of the town greeter.  He will make sure that anyone he passes on the street stops to pet him and if Vinny feels he is being ignored by someone he will often step across their path and 'force' them to pay attention to him.  And yes, all those out there who have greys know that they can 'force' someone to pet them, even folks who don't really like dogs will pet one that 'accosts' them in the street.  I have seen it time and again with my own greys and my foster greys.

Vinny has become quite popular in the small town where he lives.  Several residents carry dog cookies and give these to Vinny when he is out and about on his strolls.  Vinny now thinks that everyone he meets might carry dog cookies and he has taken to rooting into stranger's pockets looking for them.  :)  So not only does he accost people for pets, he also pick pockets them for treats! Gotta love greys.  Vinny's mom had one 'accosted' resident comment that Vinny was "really pimping his stuff"!  HEHE, I love this because I know it to be so true with my own greys, especially Bavarian.

I loved reading this email from Vinny's mom.  I absolutely adore the thought of Vinny being such a local attraction.  It makes me smile to think he is such a greyt ambassador for the breed.  I would love it if a local paper where he lives would do a story about him, wouldn't you all?

Below are two pictures of Vinny.  My greys love kiddie pools and I am glad to see Vinny does too.

Kudos go out to Vinny's mom for sharing his delightful story.    I hope you enjoyed reading about Vinny as much as I did!  

Sweetheart starts obedience class on Valentine's Day.  Quite fitting for a dog named Sweetheart huh?  I went to the first class yesterday evening.  The trainer showed us how we are going to be training and how to go about getting results.  We did not take dogs yesterday's class

Now I have homework to do.  Well, Sweetheart and I have homework to do.  I purchased treats to train with today.  Now I need to make a treat apron.  I could buy one but I have tons of dog themed fabric (who can resist fabric with tons of paw prints?) so maybe I will make a couple for Les and I.  

We are supposed to get another blizzard tonight so I hope I have another snow day tomorrow.  

Let me know if you liked Vinny's story!

Jess and Sweetheart

Sunday, February 6, 2011

More pictures.

Sleepy Sweetheart.  Notice the evidence of a de-stuffed toy
all around the sleepy girl?  And yes, she is the one who
de-stuffed it!!!  

Yes her front leg is still there.  She looks so
awkward eating this way with her leg tucked
underneath her.

Yes I am comfortable.  Please do not disturb me.

Awww, cute girl!  Pretty eyes and lots of spots!

GRRR!  Playful girl!  Sweetheart's favorite thing
is to wolf bite us or the other dogs.
Contemplating whether or not to get off of the couch.
Hope everyone enjoys the pictures.  She is photogenic when she is sleeping or lying on the couch.  :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cold outside but snuggly warm inside!

The deep freeze continues for Oklahoma this week.  The high finally crept above freezing.  I decided not go to work the rest of the week.  I didn't want to chance being out on the roads and having an accident.  I am lucky that my job is lenient with leave at times like these.  I have enjoyed spending time at home watching the birds, playing with the dogs and cross stitching.

Sweetheart enjoys the snow for short periods of time.  However, when she comes back inside, she likes to curl up on the couch in a ball.  I have started covering her up with a pink Snuggie and after I do that she stretches out.  When I first brought her home in September, we had the air conditioning on because it was summertime and hot.  I would sleep with her and when I would wake up in the middle of the night she would sometimes be shivering because she was so thin and had little hair.  I would always cover her with a blanket in the middle of the night and she would stop shivering and fall back to sleep.  I guess she got used to that and likes her blankets.  :)

Below are some pics of her on the couch the last few days.  As you can tell she loves to cuddle up on the comforter and with her pink Snuggie.

Pretty in pink!

Warm and snuggly!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


A blizzard has struck our state.  It is 8 degrees and the wind is blowing around 30 miles per hour.  It has snowed about 8 inches or so with about an inch of two of sleet before that.  The temps tomorrow will be around 10 degrees for a high.

Sweetheart is not a big fan of this cold weather.  She, Monte and Journey went outside together and were back at the door in about 5 minutes.  Since coming back inside Sweetheart has been curled up on the couch and hasn't moved much in the last few hours.  I wonder if she is having PTSD flashbacks of her torture being tied up to the tree in the horrible heat.  I doubt it but I know one thing, she is not a cold weather baby!

I hate the thought of that dog from last night and all of the other strays stuck out in this horrible weather.

Below are a few pictures of Sweetheart passed out on the couch this morning after her foray into the blizzard.

We have been feeding the birds to make sure they have enough energy to sustain them through this bitter weather.

The little mohawks on the cardinals heads have been blowing all
around in the wind.  I am amazed how tough these little birds are.

I had a snow day from work today and if the office isn't closed tomorrow I am just going to call in because it is not worth me getting out in this weather!