LET THE DOG PICK THE DOG

by Glenda on May 10, 2013

When I adopted Mr. Beamer in October 2007, I already had three dogs: (Ice an American Eskimo, Daisie Mae, a Chow/Golden mix and Ice’s playmate, and Astro, an older dog that I took in, a superb example of the Heinz 57 breed). Ice, the alpha male, trained Beamer as to his position in the pack. Beamer was fourth in line to the throne!

                   

Ice                                                                          Daisie Mae

What was I thinking? I worked downtown five days a week, sometimes six. Four dogs running loose in my home from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.. Did I have “Stupid” tattooed across my forehead? That’s debatable! What sort of damage did I anticipate? Another topic for debate. All I can say is, thank God for doggie doors. Ice, Daisie Mae and Astro were house trained and well behaved. Beamer still had a touch of puppy but, mostly, he toed the line, except the time I caught him dragging my comforter through the doggie door. What a guy! Grounded: No ‘Animal Planet’ for a week! [click to continue…]

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No doubt I’m preaching to the choir, but in case a new foster or adopter has to give medication to their fur kid, and they’re running into fur obstacles, here’s a way that works when a fur kid outsmarts its human companions.

I’m used to greyhounds that swallow whatever treat is handed to them, hidden within, of course, is medication. So, what happens when your greyhound is smart enough to nose the pill around the food dish, eat everything else, but leave the pill? Or, sniff and chew the treat, discover the pill, and spit it out. Yes, my latest fur kid is smart, but I figured, although of average intelligence, surely I’m smarter than a greyhound, right?

My foster kid, Jill, recently spayed, is on antibiotics. She prompted this posting because she’s an expert at avoiding medication, until today! I had a flash of inspiration. [click to continue…]

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The Reincarnation of Scrooge

by Glenda on May 9, 2013

As an immigrant of forty years from Great Britain, my understanding was that Thanksgiving was a holiday where families got together to celebrate their combined gratitude of life’s blessings throughout the year. For instance, Uncle Charlie was not laid off when his company downsized. Brother Jose scored high on his SAT’s, so he has a good opportunity for placement in an excellent college. Mary Sue, unmarried, got pregnant, but as she and the boyfriend were head-over-heels in love, marriage was the best option. [click to continue…]

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Time to Say Goodbye!

by Glenda on May 8, 2013

IMG_00612-300x225The day I’ve been dreading since early spring arrived this morning. It was time for Ice to cross over the rainbow bridge. He started having seizures in late March 2012, and they continued, usually about five weeks apart. In late August, however, they began to occur every three weeks. Late on Sunday afternoon, 10/21, the day that Gypsy went to her new home, Ice had a severe seizure and wandered around the kitchen for three hours trying to recover. I knew it was time. This morning, I made the appointment withTwin PeaksVeterinaryCenterfor 9:30 a.m. [click to continue…]

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Crating Retired Racing Greyhounds

by Glenda on May 7, 2013

A few years ago, the majority of racing greyhounds released to adoption groups were three years or older. More recently, dogs retrieved from a racetrack are young, usually between eighteen months and two years, which mean they still have that puppy bounce and sass. Initially, these youngsters may need a little more time and attention than an older dog during their training to acclimate to home living, after a life of racing.

Crating should never be a form of punishment, but is appropriate as a training tool or for security purposes. Greyhounds range in size from around 50 lbs. to 90 lbs, and are approximately 30” tall. It is important to get a crate that is sturdy and big enough for the greyhound to stand up in and move around. As greyhounds have little fat on their bodies, they need the protection of a thick doggie bed in the bottom of the crate to lie on. [click to continue…]

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Signs and Symptoms of Valley Fever

by Glenda on May 6, 2013

You have just adopted a magnificent, gentle greyhound. Everyone in the family, from kids to grandparents, will be in love with this dog the moment its paws hit the kitchen – a greyhound’s favorite hangout! That special connection between the adopter and the new fur kid will happen quickly and you can feel proud that your greyhound feels safe, knowing that it’s found its forever home.As we live in the desert in Southern Arizona, greyhound adopters need to be aware of a disease called Valley Fever. It is prevalent in our community and dogs are extremely susceptible to this disease, especially greyhounds because, during their racing days, they lived in dirt kennels and ran on dirt tracks. So what is Valley Fever and how do you know that your dog may have contracted this disease? [click to continue…]

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Remembering Anson

by Glenda on May 5, 2013

A long-term foster kid of mine named Anson recently passed over the rainbow bridge. This dog grabbed a piece of my heart and took it with him when he left to live with an adopter, a wonderful woman who adored him. This is Anson’s story of escape from his cage at the kennel. [click to continue…]

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Read the Fine Print!

by Glenda on May 4, 2013

Following is a word of caution for everyone who has pet health insurance.

Copy-of-IMG_0434My two greyhounds, Beamer and Anabel, had health insurance through ASPCA. I enrolled Beamer three years ago and Anabel, after I adopted her in March 2010. Their annual premium was $240 each, or $480.

Some time, I believe in early June, I received word from the ASPCA Pet Insurance Company that their rates would increase for the next year. I had to search through numerous pages, close to twenty, filled with justifications on why the increase was necessary, before I found the page that gave me the new annual insurance premium. $386.00 for one dog, meaning my annual premium for both dogs would be $772.00, an increase of $292.

After receiving less than an 80% reimbursement when I filed a claim for Beamer’s impacted anal glands, based on the insurance company’s determination that the charges were more than ‘reasonable and customary,’ I decided that I would not continue pet insurance with this company. As I pay my bills on line and my last payment to this company was October 2011, I concluded that when the company did not receive a payment by June 15 for Anabel, they would know that I was not going to continue coverage. How wrong was I?

Toward the end of June, I checked my Visa account on line. I discovered that the ASPCA health insurance company had charged $386 on my Visa card to continue Anabel’s insurance coverage. To my knowledge, I had not given this company permission to charge my Visa card. I reexamined the information ASPCA had sent me regarding the increase in premiums and finally found, in small print, a section that stated if I did not contact the company, they would charge my credit card automatically. I was not happy.

I emailed the company on June 30 and canceled Anabel’s insurance. I also stated that I expected a full refund, as I had not given them permission for an automatic charge to my Visa card, citing that I paid my bills on line and my records showed that my last payment to ASPCA was in October 2011. The company reimbursed me the full amount.

If you are notified by an insurance company that it intends to increase the annual premium for your pet(s) health insurance coverage, look carefully for any clause in the documentation that states your credit card will be charged if they don’t hear from you. If you decide not to re-enroll your pet(s) with that company, send them an email immediately and print out a copy for your records.

While ASPCA gave me a full refund, for which I thank them, it was a hassle I didn’t need. Life is too short and too precious for such minutia.

(Originally published July 18, 2012)

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Toy Wars

by Glenda on May 3, 2013

Several years ago, I had a foster kid that loved to play with toys. Unfortunately, shortly after Nash moved in, he selected Beamer’s favorite toy – a purple bear – and carried it around in his mouth. Beams was not happy about that so he grabbed one end of the toy and I could tell a conversation was underway. This is what I think I heard:

Beams: That’s mine.

Nash: Hey, it was on the floor and she told me whatever is on the floor is fair game.

Beams: Yes, but she didn’t mean my purple bear.

Nash: How ‘bout we share?

Beams: How ‘bout you pick another toy or I’ll kick your butt right outta here.

Nash: Got ya – the yellow bear it is.

Beams: Round one to me!

One Saturday, I took Nash to Petsmart for tabling and Beams came along for the ride and a little shopping. I found two long, furry sausage looking squeaky toys – perfect – one for Beamer and one for Nash. With Beams approval, both were purchased and we returned home. Once home, Beams had a ball with these toys on the patio. For an 82 lb. dog, he’s certainly agile when he twirls, leaps, and then grabs that poor sausage toy and squeaks the hell out of it. At l0:00 p.m, I picked up Nash from Petsmart, brought him home, and introduced him to the sausage squeaky toys. The boy went wild. One at a time, the toys were transported back and forth through the doggie door, Nash chomping all the while to make them squeak. At this point, Beamer was content to watch his buddy enjoy the new toys, but after a while he wanted to join in. Nash was having none of that. This is what I think I heard:

Nash: Back off buster, these are my toys.

Beams: Hey, wait a minute; she bought one for you and one for me. I don’t mind which one you pick, but one of them is mine

Nash: Oh yeh, try and take one, I dare you. In fact I double dare you. Grrrrr

Beams: Oh yeh, smart ass, just remember you’re a foster kid, she can dump your butt back at the kennel any time

Nash: Grrrr – dream on big boy, that ain’t gonna happen. She just bought me a new collar to match my fabulous fur coat.

Beams: Well, how ‘bout we share?

Nash: How ‘bout you play with your precious purple bear and leave me alone to play with BOTH of my toys. Round two to Nash.

How can anyone live without a greyhound?

(Originally published June 24, 2012)

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Toy Basket

by Glenda on May 2, 2013

Copy-of-IMG_0434Our home is a halfway house for foster kids. One of Beamer’s foster buddies became confused when I bought them a toy basket.

Nash: Where are my toys?

Beamer: Your toys, don’t you mean our toys?

Nash: Whatever – what’s this thing?

Beamer: Not a clue.

Nash: Why are our toys off the floor and in this thing?

Beamer: Not a clue.

Nash: Beams – you need to get a clue. Didn’t she tell us that anything on the floor was ours to play with and anything not on the floor was off limits?

Beamer: Well, yes she did.

Nash: So our toys are off the floor in this thing. What’s that about? [click to continue…]

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