Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kibble for Breakfast!

Drive is the only dog I've ever seen who savors his food like this.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mmmmm, creamy!

I thought Drive was being adorable, toting his little peanut butter jar around. It's one of his favorites things on this planet, being allowed to clean out the peanut butter jars. The other two just aren't willing to put in the effort, but Drive savours his food. With a "u," that's how serious he is about it.

So here he is being cute:

And here he is pleading with me to stop taking pictures and realize that the jar is actually stuck.

He sank one of his lower canines through the plastic and couldn't get it off. Don't worry, it was there a matter of minutes, at the most. Because Drive isn't left alone with anything fun, if we can avoid it.

He is a beautiful animal, isn't he? Inside and out. But this is a dog who almost killed himself yesterday with his own fleece jacket. We try to keep an eye on him.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Couch Surfing

It's a good day to take it easy, don't you think? Don't overwork on Hump Day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Post from Drive

It is me, Drive!

Mumma has allowed that once a week I can write a post of my own as long as she is allowed to correct my spelling. I am not sure what she is trying to say.

So once a week I am going to tell you why you should get a greyhound! Probably she will give me a regular day, once she figures out herself.

Now, we have kids in this house. There are two. One is tallish and loud, and the other is smallish and also loud. One goes away all day to a place called "school"but the little one stays here all day and bothers us. These kids are a lot of work for Mumma, and a greyhound is a ginormous help. Trust me. I can tell you later how I help with the little one who always smells like he is marking himself, but let me tell you how I help the tall one that smells like angst:

That's right!

I am so wicked smart I help with homework. Here I am giving her some answers. This is just one amazing service a greyhound can provide. Now this tallish kid knows her multiplying. I have told her that me times food equals happy me and I think she wrote it down.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Like Royalty

I think every "pure" breed of dog has some associated weakness or disease. Greyhounds have a few that I can think of. Since I am not in the mood to grieve the prospect of osteosarcoma, I will instead talk about another fate that may befall a greyhound near you:


That's right. Escaped Tongue Syndrome. This is what happens, people, when you breed your dogs to have long pointy snoots and long flappy tongues. Since this particular breed is often found in a reclined position, it's only a matter of time before a yawn happens, gravity acts, and, well...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Drive loves snow.

He doesn't know he's a senior canine citizen, at age 9 and a half. He doesn't know that some dogs don't have to wear coats to take their winter walks. He just knows that the spinning and leaping and snuffling and prancing are extra fun when the snow is up to his belly.

It's terribly difficult to get a picture of a leaping, spinning dervish while holding his leash.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oh, ouch.

About 8 years ago, I did some serious damage to my lumbar muscles, purely through moronic actions and the ability to ignore my body's agonized warnings, and the whole of my back has never really forgiven me.

I've been pretty fortunate, though, because in these intervening years I've never re-injured myself to the point of bed rest. Or.. I hadn't until last week. A warning twinge as I got out of a chair was ignored. No more than five minutes later, a toddler smashed into my knees and my half-backwards reverse bent-over grab was a truly epic fail. I hit the floor.

Now, I am a mom and suddenly I had a 20-month-old trying to crawl onto me like a pony and a 12-year-old readying her powerful hysterics engines, so of course I had to play it cool, but I think they got the message as they were shuffled off to relatives when necessary and remanded to the care of their father when he wasn't at work for the next several days. I've been in the dreamworld I visit when I have to ingest synthetic opiates and muscle relaxants -- not often, of course.

Don't worry, though! I'm back on my feet for the most part, and I have a most excellent nurse.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Please take a moment to look, if you're unaware of July and her family's situation.

From the "Retire July" blog:

Herman Burnett is a police officer at Lambert – St. Louis International Airport. He is assigned to the Canine Unit and has a bomb dog partner, July. July lives with and is part of the Burnett family.

Herman is retiring in January 2010 after 36 years with the City of St. Louis, the last 31 with the Lambert Airport PD, the last 15 years assigned to the Canine Division as a bomb dog handler.

Canine July belongs to the Federal Government, specifically the TSA. Herman would like July to be retired with him. Instead of retiring July, personnel at Lackland AFB want to have July shipped back to the kennels there, to eventually be paired with another handler located in another city.

We are hoping to reach someone who can help Officer Burnett keep his canine partner. If you know something, anything, anyone (maybe a friend in Washington D.C. ;) we would be forever grateful for your assistance!

When They Were Young(er)

Dog Racing

As the caretaker of three greyhounds, all of whom came to us through the racing industry, I am going to say something here about greyhound racing and then I'm going to drop it forever, because that is not what this blog is about. I've just gotten a couple of questions about it lately.

I think animals have rights. I think that human beings have an obligation to be kind and humane stewards of the animal kingdom, most especially to dogs. We made them, formed them to our needs and wants.

So my stand on greyhound racing is this: It's just not that simple.

I know some trainers and breeders and owners are complete... well, I did plan to control my potty-mouth on Drive's blog. But like any given group, there are good and bad people all throughout the industry.

I have communicated, at times in depth, with greyhound breeders and trainers that love these animals like children. They raise them with care, they train them humanely, they place them in loving homes when careers are finished. They breed selectively with the the dam's health and welfare in mind.

There are breeders and trainers that are nothing like that.

Whether or not a racing dog is abused or mistreated has nothing to do with "the industry" and everything to do with the people in it.

The only point here I will argue passionately is that greyhounds do love to run. (For about two minutes, and then they start looking for kibble and a bed.)

And now I'm never going to talk about racing again on this blog. Back to the cute pictures!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

April 9, 2005

This is the first picture I ever took of Drive, on his first day in his "forever home." He was so uncertain. He kept looking at me with an anxious little wag in his tail. "This is okay? I'm alright here? I can do this?"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How It Started

The first time I ever met a real live greyhound, we were in no position to have a dog. It was probably in 2001 or 2, and we had wandered in a Petco in Salem, NH. I think we were considering a ferret or some other prey animal to live in a cage in our soul-killing little apartment.

She was darkly colored, I remember that much. I was surprised at how soft she was. I'd had dogs before but this lovely girly leaned against my legs while I patted her and looked up at me with incredibly deep brown eyes. There was a soul there, huge and obvious and loving. My heart, tiny and chilly though it is, thumped. "This one. Is this one up for adoption?"

Not that we could have a dog in that prison camp we lived in. Anyway, she belonged to the woman there representing GPA-NH. We took some literature and I am certain one of us forgot all about having a dog. (One of us was raised a cat person, through no fault of his own. ;) )

Years passed, and other cliches. By 2005 I found myself living in a house, but this house had no dog in it. How can this be?

I'm going to spare you the details of the "I need a dog!" campaign, but in March 2005 I went to the Seabrook, NH, greyhound track to look at available dogs. Ostensibly a gift for my approaching birthday, the final decision on which of the three availables we chose was left up to me.

I don't remember the other two at all, I'm sorry. I remember Drive. He looked at me, lowered his head, and gave two very shy wags of his long tail. I put my hand on the back of his neck, buried my fingers in red fawn fur. I whispered in his velvety ear, "It's you. I know it's you."

I called the next day to put in my official application and in a week he was mine.

Greyhounds are not like "regular" dogs in a few interesting ways.

At nearly five years old, Drive had never been in a car. He spent the 30-minute ride home panting and whining in my ear. He drooled anxiously down my shoulder until my shirt was see-through. He kept pressing his nose against my cheek, shaking.

He had never seen stairs. There are two -- only two! -- tiny little steps into our house, and I spent more than 30 minutes trying to push 75 pounds of confused canine up the necessary eight inches to get him through the door. To this day, he approaches stairs at full speed with his eyes closed, determined to get them over with. In the end, I lifted and carried him.

He had never been in a house. The hallway in our home was some terrifying ordeal for him, because he lacked the ability to turn around. You go ahead. You go backwards if you must. What is this "turning" nonsense?!

We had a few hours to ourselves, Drive and I, before the other pieces of our family puzzle arrived home to meet him. It was quiet and I'm not embarrassed by how long I spent staring into his eyes and telling him I would love him forever. I stroked him until he wasn't so scared, showed him every possible thing I could think of that might confuse him, walked him around to distract him, and kept letting him hear my voice. I could not stop talking to him.

I still talk to him all day, because he's never stopped listening.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Who's Driving

This is a blog for my greyhound, Drive.

Formerly "Who's Driving?" of the Seabrook Greyhound Park, he came to me in late March of 2005.

He is not my first dog and he will not be my last.

He is the dog that owns my heart and heals my wounds. He is the dog I will smile to think of for the rest of my days. He is my best friend.

His hobbies are whining loudly for no apparent reason, eating, farting and sleeping. He is dumber than a sack of hammers, I'm afraid, and habitually slams into doors and cabinets because he gets excited and starts running even when there's nowhere to go. He steps on feet and licks ears, wields his helicopter tail like a joyous club, and barks in his sleep.

I'll love him forever. He makes me laugh.