This breed has never been asked to do anything for itself, make any decisions or answer any questions. It has been waited on, paw and tail. The only prohibition in a racing Greyhound's life is not to get into a fight -- or eat certain stuff in the turnout pen.
Let us review a little. From weaning until you go away for schooling, at probably a year and a half, you eat, grow and run around with your siblings. When you go away to begin your racing career, you get your own "apartment," in a large housing development. No one is allowed in your bed but you, and when you are in there, no one can touch you, without plenty of warning.
Someone hears a vehicle drive up, or the kennel door being unlocked. The light switches are flipped on. The loud mouths in residence, and there always are some, begin to bark or howl. You are wide awake by the time the human opens your door to turn you out. A Greyhound has never been touched while he was asleep.
You eat when you are fed, usually on a strict schedule. No one asks if you are hungry or what you want to eat. You are never told not to eat any food within your reach. No one ever touches your bowl while you are eating. You are not to be disturbed because it is important you clean your plate.
You are not asked if you have to "go outside." You are placed in a turn out pen and it isn't long before you get the idea of what you are supposed to do while you are out there. Unless you really get out of hand, you may chase, rough house and put your feet on everyone and everything else. The only humans you know are the "waiters" who feed you, and the "restroom attendants" who turn you out to go to the bathroom. Respect people? Surely you jest.
No one comes into or goes out of your kennel without your knowledge. You are all-seeing and all-knowing. There are no surprises, day in and day out. The only thing it is ever hoped you will do is win, place or show, and that you don't have much control over. It is in your blood, it is in your heart, it is in your fate-- or it is not.
And when it is not, then suddenly you are expected to be a civilized person in a fur coat. But people don't realize you may not even speak English. Some of you don't even know your names, because you didn't need to. You were not asked or told to do anything as an individual; you were always part of the "condo association"; the sorority or fraternity and everyone did everything together, as a group or pack. The only time you did anything as an individual is when you schooled or raced, and even then, You Were Not Alone.
Suddenly, he is expected to behave himself in places he's never been taught how to act. He is expected to take responsibility for saying when he needs to go outside, to come when he is called, not to get on some or all of the furniture, and to not eat food off counters and tables. He is dropped into a world that is not his, and totally without warning, at that.
Almost everything he does is wrong. Suddenly he is a minority. Now he is just a pet. He is unemployed, in a place where people expect him to know the rules and the schedule, even when there aren't any. (How many times have you heard someone say, "He won't tell me when he has to go out." What kind of schedule is that?) Have you heard the joke about the dog who says, "My name is No-No Bad Dog. What's yours?" To me that is not even funny. All the protective barriers are gone.
There is no more warning before something happens. There is no more strength in numbers. He wakes up with a monster human face two inches from his. (With some people's breath, this could scare Godzilla.) Why should he not, believe that this "someone," who has crept up on him, isn't going to eat him for lunch? (I really do have to ask you ladies to consider how you would react if someone you barely knew crawled up on you while you were asleep?) No, I will not ask for any male input.)
Now he is left alone, for the first time in his life, in a strange place, with no idea of what will happen or how long it will be before someone comes to him again. If he is not crated, he may go though walls, windows or over fences, desperately seeking something familiar, something with which to reconnect his life. If he does get free, he will find the familiarity, within himself: the adrenaline high, the wind in his ears, the blood pulsing and racing though his heart once again--until he crashes into a car.
Often, the first contact with his new family is punishment, something he's never had before, something he doesn't understand now, especially in the middle of the rest of the chaos. And worst of all, what are the most common human reactions to misbehavior? We live in a violent society, where the answer to any irritation is a slap, punch, kick, whip, or rub your nose in it. Under these circumstances, sometimes I think any successful adoption is a miracle.
He is, in effect, expected to have all the manners of at least a six-year old child. But, how many of you would leave an unfamiliar six-year old human alone and loose in your home for hours at a time and not expect to find who knows what when you got back? Consider that if you did, you could be brought up on charges of child abuse, neglect and endangerment. Yet, people do this to Greyhounds and this is often the reason for so many returns.
How many dogs have been returned because they did not know how to tell the adopter when they had to go out? How many for jumping on people, getting on furniture, counter surfing, separation anxiety, or defensive actions due to being startled or hurt (aka growling or biting)? So, let's understand: Sometimes it isn't the dog's "fault" he cannot fit in. He is not equipped with the social skills of a six- year old human but you can teach him. With love."
~From Kathleen Gilley~
I have read this before and wanted to share this. It is so true.
The first greyhound I had, Gemini, was straight off the track. He was also the first dog I ever had. It was a joy and a challenge to train him. I have since had 4 greyhound and have fostered many more. Greyhounds are quick to learn and want to please.
Now that I know things, the joy of watching a greyhound learn that carpet is comfortable is so much fun. Teaching one how to navigate stairs is worthwhile, but frustrating. Watching one learn what a mirror is, well that is just hilarious. Watching them develop their personalities outside of the kennel is one of the greatest pleasures I've had.
Unfortunately, I am not in a position to foster greyhounds right now. But as soon as I can, I will be fostering again! The joy from fostering is so worth everything and the things the dogs taught me were priceless.
Tonight, I am getting ready for my community's Annual Home Owner's Association meeting. I am currently President of the Board.
Our community does not have the great of participation in the HOA. Mostly, people only get involved when they are cited for a violation of the covenants, then they complain, we (the board) explain, and hopefully work it out, then they go about their lives again.
I hear of communities that have great participation, and I am jealous. I have been on the board for 4 years now. Mainly because we can't get a quorum (10% of the eligible voters) to attend an annual meeting, so the current board remains.
What I am telling you is that if you live in a community that has an HOA, please get involved. Go to meetings, see what your board is doing, ask questions. You are paying dues, know what your money is being used for.
The board's primary responsibility is to enforce the covenants. The covenants are there to protect the homes and property values. The board must act in a fiduciary manner with HOA's money.
Being on the board is a thankless job. I've been verbally accosted, yelled at, told to go to hell, had lawsuits threaten against me personally, and may be a hero to some in the neighborhood and the most hated in the neighborhood at the same time. But, it is important to me, because this is where I live, my home, and I want to be involved. If not as a board member, I will still be involved in the HOA. If I move to a different place, I will do the same.
Please, be involved in where you live, your home, your community.
So, I mentioned that I am not passive aggressive. I am a fairly direct person. Well, my dog Mally may be passive aggressive. He like to make me figure out what he wants.
He likes to howl. He will lay on his bed in the middle of the living room and howl.
He may need to go outside for a potty break. He won't go to the back door when he wants out, he just howls, while staying on his bed in the middle of the living room floor.
He may be hungry. He won't go to his food bowl, he just howls, while staying on his bed in the middle of the living room floor. Even though there may be food left in his bowl.
He may be thirsty. He won't go to his water bowl, he just howls, while staying on his bed in the middle of the living room floor.
He may want to go for a walk. He won't go to the front door, he just stays on howls while staying on his bed in the middle of the living room floor.
He may just want attention. He won't come to me unless I call him over, he just - well, you get the idea...
His howl is ear piercing, head splitting, sounds like someone is being killed, loud! It is hard to ignore. He will howl for about 5 minutes straight if I do ignore it. And most of the time I do.
Sometimes, the howling just gets louder and louder. And I worry that the neighbors will call the police thinking that I am performing animal sacrifices in my home! So, sometimes I do cave and give in to his howl. I know, it is rewarding the bad behavior. But, I do have to think of others.
I was told that the howling was a sign of intelligence. He is communicating with me. I wish that he would find another, quieter, way to communicate!
So, I mentioned I had a rough day. Here's what happened. I had my 90 day evaluation at work. They decided to not continue my employment. I am okay with that decision. I was leaning in that direction myself.
I learned some things from working there. I can't anything specific without risking libel. But what I will say is this:
I re-learned the type of bosses that I work well for and the ones I don't.
I need to remember that when being interviewed for a job, that I am also interviewing the employer.
I learned that if I don't make a connection with someone, I should just stop trying and not force the connection.
The questions I have for myself is:
What is my dream job?
Do I stay in my field or try something different?
I don't have answers yet, but I hopefully will soon.
Now - I need to dust off the resume, again, and start thinking about my future.
I must confess - I have a shoe fetish. I love shoes. For work - I mostly wear heels. I love wearing high heels!
For Christmas, my friend Jodi and I decided to take each other shopping instead of buying each other presents. Well, I still need to take her shopping. But, I picked out a pair of shoes. She ordered them online. And two weeks later, she received a notice that the shoes were no longer in stock! So, today, she re-ordered them in the next size up. Fingers crossed. Hopefully we don't have to wait 2 more weeks to find out I'm not getting my shoes!
I first saw these shoes back in the spring when shopping for a pair to go with the dress I was wearing for Angie's wedding. I saw them online and then I looked all over Atlanta for them and couldn't find them. I wanted silver then. Now, we are trying to order black. It'll match more outfits. I love these shoes!
And yes - Angie's daughter - my love child - has developed my shoe fetish also! I'm so proud!
Here is a pic of our shoes at the wedding:
Sadly, my love child wasn't available for this picture. And - yes, this picture by the photographer (Thanks Lisa) was taken as a special request from me!
When (not if - WHEN!) my new shoes come it - I will most definitely be posting about them! My shoe fetish is bad enough that I could make this whole blog about shoes - but I promise I won't!
I'm not letting my blog slip again - I've just been busy!
Not much new is happening that I can post about. When I started posting again, I changed the theme a bit - away from the greyhounds to more of a general theme - funny stories, what's going on with me, etc. Another thing I won't do is call people out in this blog, unless it is in a joking manner.
Well, I am not a passive aggressive person. The stories I have would be too close for comfort and since I can't use names and it would be passive aggressive.
Well, I earned Daughter of the Day again! I booked plane tickets for Dad to come visit next month. He will be here over my birthday. I will be turning the big 4-0. Ouch!
As a CPA, in the middle of "busy season" (I can't stand that term - it is still tax season to me), it won't be a long visit. He is just coming down for a long weekend. I guess it is a milestone birthday.
I had trouble dealing when I turned 25. I think I have accepted turning 40.
I already have the grey hairs - although the bottle still says I am a natural blond.
My eyesight is changing - I realize I may need bifocals, but will wait till after my birthday to actually go to the eye doctor for the prescription.
My knees have been shot for years, and my orthopedic doctor told my I am 5 to 10 years away from total knee replacement on both knees. But there is NO WAY I am giving up wearing heels!
A co-worker today said I didn't look 40. She would put me at 34 to 35. I didn't know what to think. Just 5 years younger? Hmmm?
Anyways - I'm ready to be a cougar! Bring it on 40! (I have to start psyching myself up now for it)
My father and I have a great relationship. We joke a lot and laugh a lot and sometimes it is not even at each other.
Growing up, I would often joke that I was his one and only favorite daughter. He would be quick to reply that he knew I was the one and only, but wasn't sure about the favorite. Then he mentioned the imaginary daughters. Damn them!
Just a few years ago, he made some remark about me earning "Daughter of the Day". I made some comment back about having some stiff competition. And then the imaginary daughters reared their ugly heads again.
And so began the "Daughter of the Day" jokes, and rules.
If I do something good, I earn Daughter of the Day.
If I don't piss him off, I earn Daughter of the Day.
If I earn Daughter of the Day for a majority of the week, I earn Daughter of the Week.
If I earn Daughter of the Week for 3 weeks of the month, I earn Daughter of the Month.
And so on....
Then he tells me that the rules can change at any time. And he just makes them up as he goes along.
It took me till August of 2011 to earn Daughter of the year. Did I mention that I am an only child?
I did discover that if I don't talk with my dad for a day, I automatically earn Daughter of the Day. Hmmmm, maybe I should screen more phone calls......
Often, we joke when we talk, "did I just earn Daughter of the Day" and he will say "yup".
I can earn it for little things, like remembering to have whipped cream for the dessert, or pointing out a hot girl for him to check out. (hey, if it's retroactive - I earned Daughter of the Decade for the 2000's for buying him the Girls Gone Wild series in 2005)
Anyways, this Christmas, as a present, Dad gave me a set of Trophies.
The labels are hard to read so:
Daughter of the Moment
Daughter of the Second
Daughter of the Minute
Daughter of the Hour
Daughter of the Day
Daughter of the Week
Daughter of the Month
Daughter of the Year
Daughter of the Decade
Daughter of the Century
2012 started off well - I earned Daughter of the week on the first Sunday night! And so far I've earned Daughter of the Day all 15 days.
For those that know me, you know I hate Valentine's Day. I have hated it for years. I call it Evil Day. I wear all black on February 14th. The only good thing about that day is the candy. Most candies are just repeats in red, white and pink. But there are a few that only come out this time of year. All the stores have their Valentine Candy out now, so I decided to look for my favorite.
Specifically, Gobstopper Hearts. Those are one of my favorites. Every year I buy some. (Ok, I may buy quite a bit and hoard them - they are hard to find) Now, the Gobstopper Hearts are different from the regular Gobstoppers. They are thinner and have different flavors. Not every store carries them. I can only find them at Target and sometimes at Walgreens or CVS.
Today, I stopped at Target on my way home from work. No Gobstopper Hearts. So, after searching and searching the Target Valentine candy aisle for them. I left the store, disappointed. I stopped at CVS also, and nothing.
So, I drove the rest of the way home, heartbroken by Gobstopper hearts.
I'm not a very superstitious person, but I have a friend who is. And this is a story about her.
I obtained her express permission this morning to post the story on my blog, so I am not violating any codes of friendship.
Anyways, a few years back, Angie was in Germany dealing with some stressful things. I called her and she was venting and at the end of the vent she said "and to top it off tomorrow is Friday the 13th!"
Unlike me, I thought quickly and told her that in Europe, they don't believe in the superstition of Friday the 13th, it's just a USA thing. She believed me, calmed down and all was good. At this point, I am feeling relieved because she is calm, but guilty because I have lied to her and she believes me because she trusts me that much that she doesn't even question me.
Fast forward a few days and she lands back in the states. She calls me to let me know that she has arrived safely. Well, I can barely contain my laughter.
I proceed to tell her that Friday the 13th is a superstition all over, not just a USA belief. If I remember right, she may have cussed at me a bit. But, if she did, I didn't hear it over my laughing.
So, now every Friday the 13th, I call her or text her and ask her if she is leaving the country for the day.
So, Angie - did you go to Canada today? Or are you just in a Canada-state-of-mind?
My friend sent me a link to a picture of a beautiful owl. I couldn't get that picture to post, so I found another picture. Both of these reminded me of my mother. She loved her owls. I just thought I would share.
Some of you have heard an owl after she died, feeling her spirit visiting you. I have yet to have an owl visit me. You are incredibly lucky that way as I haven't had a visit, yet.
Luckily, I am NOT easily offended and can spot pervy old men.
So, here's some background:
When I go to work, I dress professionally, and I don't show skin or cleavage. That being said, there are times that I may have on a new shirt or sweater that may hang differently when I move and I don't realize it until after I wear it.
So, here's the scene:
I'm working in a client's office. I step into the boss's office to review something with him. There is an elderly gentleman in there. The boss says to come on in and he and I discuss the issue. The elderly gentleman joins in with some casual conversation. I take some notes on what the client is telling me. I notice the elderly man hasn't bothered to comb his hair, but I pay little attention to him.
Anyways, the elderly man starts to move in his chair and says he needs to leave and asks me if I can do him a favor. I am thinking he is going to ask me to help him get out of the chair, as he doesn't look very mobile.
I was wrong. He sticks one foot forward and asks me to tie his shoe, stating that if he ties it he will throw out his back. I noticed that the shoe was tied, but it was tied very poorly.
Let me pause here and explain a few things. I know a few perverts (Neil) , I won't call anyone out by name..........
But, I have also seen their tricks. I won't admit to falling for any, but I have seen this trick before. (Bob)
Back to the story, since I am in a client's office, I can't be rude. And it's also not in my nature to be really rude. And, I also can't stand shoes laces tied incorrectly!!!!
Also - I am not quick with the witty comebacks.
So, I knelt down, keeping my back completely straight and brought my knees up against my chest, so there would be NO VIEW WHATSOEVER!
Yeah - the pervy old man was trying to look down my shirt. I knew it, and by the time I was done tying his shoe, he knew that I knew it.
I then went back into the conference room we were working in and shut the door and told the partner what happened. We laughed a bit. I did find it kinda funny. Like I said, I'm not easily offended.
But, I also leaned over the table we were working at to test just how loose the sweater is that I was wearing. And, dangit, I now have to take that new sweater out of rotation for work.
Looks like I need to add a "leaning test" before I leave the house in the morning.
I knew I forgot to mention something in the last post. It was nagging me all night long.
I forgot to mention the Wedding of the Century! No, it wasn't Will and Kate. It was my best friend Angie and Mike!
Angie's selection of Maid of Honor was stellar! And the Wedding Coordinator couldn't be beat. Well, I am a little biased. The wedding was this past July and I had so much fun planning it, oh I mean helping her plan it. And it was an honor standing by her side as her and her husband took their vows.
The reception wasn't without a little drama, but like a true lady, I handled it all with grace and charm, and everyone had a great time. The wedding was the highlight of the year!
Isn't she a beautiful bride? And her dress is gorgeous! And the wedding cake was AWESOME!
Since my last post, I've been told that I need to keep this blog up to date.
I didn't realize I actually had an audience out there! Well, can't be that many of you, but I do like to hear from you, so please leave me comments so I know you are out there.
Anyways, I will catch you up from the last post (pre-mally) till now.
Before I lost Gemini, I had another Greyhound, Mr. Deeds. Fostered him and then adopted him. I only had him 8 short months before cancer took him.
Before that, In December 2009,I lost my mother to lung cancer. Luckily it was a short battle for her. That's a picture of her last trip to Atlanta. Yes, if you read the blog, it's the trip where I treated her as my maid! UGGGHHH! We both look so bad in that pic! She is going to haunt me for posting it!
Exactly one week after, Heater suffered a stroke and died. I lost many more friends and family in 2010.
But, 2011 was a much better year. I changed jobs. Now I am working for a CPA firm. Back to a "busy season". WOW did I forget just how busy things can get!
So, that brings us to 2012. I am hoping things will be much better this year.
I will do my best to keep this blog up to date. That is one of my resolutions this year. But then again it was one of my resolutions a few years ago, and we see how well I did with that one....
Anyways, again, I love your comments, so please leave them for me.
So - I have neglected this blog for a long, long time. So much has happened, and I don't want to bore you with the details, yet. If I actually start blogging again, I may bore you with the stories, but for now I just wanted to post about Mally!
Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of this "Gotcha Day" I adopted him one year ago.
He is different for the other 3 greys I have had. First - Mally howls, and howls and howls!!!
He is the most vocal greyhound I have ever come across. He is also more "velcro" than any other the others. He doesn't have Separation Anxiety like Heater or Mr. Deeds did. (Oh yeah, never posted about Deeds - I'll get back to that if I start posting again). But, Mally won't let me leave a room without following me.
Also - this is the only greyhound I have had that has actually raced with any success at all! he raced 88 times.
But, Mally is so friendly, just like every greyhound I've met.
So, Happy Gotcha Day Mally - a.k.a. Malikins, Mal, my goof ball, Howly McMalerson.