Saturday, December 31, 2011


We were recently featured on The Morning Blend, a local Tucson morning TV show, as the photo of the day. It was my favorite photo of 2011, Breeze in all her crazy dog sprinting glory. You can see the clip here (at least for a few weeks before it is taken down).

Friday, December 30, 2011


Peaceful stroll interrupted in 3, 2, 1...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


"Please, by all that is holy, I promise to never steal Dru's snackie again, or mouth Breeze when we run, or whine when I don't want to be standing around, if you will just get her to take this hat off."

Monday, December 26, 2011


Ooooooo! We were named in the Tucson Citizen as one (of 6) of the "Best of happy, funny dog blogs - 2011" Woot! Thanks to Karyn Zoldan for the mention and the lovely compliment "the photos are lush capturing every greyt nuanced detail about the breed I love."

I'll be honest, I had to check that the link actually went to my blog when I read that to be sure she was talking about us. It did, and she was. What a damned skippy way to end the year.


A couple of outtakes of Breeze from the Santa hat shoot. She's not a huge fan of wearing the hat, but she's adorable in it.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


"Ho, ho, ho. Now take this damned thing off."

Happy Holidays from my family to you and yours.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


If you haven’t read the other The Breeze Saga segments, 1, 2, 3, and 4, I would recommend doing so first. This one will make more sense if you do.


The morning after our marathon reading session, Breeze came over when I praised Willow for getting dressed to go on our walk, and allowed me to put on not only the martingale but the harness as well without too much of a fuss. It was much easier to work her down the driveway on the return trip with the halter on.

Pause. Gentle tug sideways. Pause. Tug. No filling in of drag marks needed. Sweet!

It was off to work for the day, but not before she came within petting distance when I was exuberantly saying goodbye to Willow. I was quite please with the significant progress in only 4 days.

Over the next week there was continued slow, but steady, progress. I noticed the time she spent in the kennel was less and less. During the day, she would claim the dog bed furthest in the house from me and remain indoors for a few hours at a time before retreating outside.

Towards the end of the first week she actually slept in the bedroom for part of the night. For the first few days she wouldn’t come in the bedroom when I was in the house. My guess is because there was only one entrance and exit and it was down a long hallway. It was far too easy to be trapped.

I would head to bed at night and Willow would follow, leaving Breeze down at the other end of the house. One night she whined and whined to let us know she was not happy about the sleeping arrangements. I could hear her pacing from the family room to the hall and back, nails clicking on tile, coming closer and closer with each pass. I lay frozen in bed, not even daring to yawn. It took well over an hour for the nails clicking on tile to stop when she entered the bedroom and her steps were muffled by the carpet. I heard her settle in to the dog bed I had put adjacent to the door for her before I nodded off. She wasn’t there when I looked the next morning, but it was a good start. It became the routine over the following week. She would sleep in the bedroom at night, following us in after the light went out and scamper out when she heard me rustle awake. I’ll take it.

Since I worked from home for much of the time, I was able to focus on figuring out what was the next most pressing issue to work on. It was pretty clear. She ran every time I moved. The scuttling kind of run – tail tucked, ears back, head low, back end hunched and seeming to out-run the front end. If I shifted in my chair. She ran outside. Turn a page to finish typing. Outside. Lean over to get a paper off the printer. Already outside, since the noise of the printer had freaked her out.

We had an uneasy truce, she would come in the house and lay down on a bed, but always in the family room and always watching me, never relaxed and only if I was in the office and not moving around. That allowed for 2 couches and a table between us.

Time to break the truce.

I started by shifting in my chair. She would run. I would wait until she came back inside to see where I had moved to. When she realized I hadn’t gotten up, she would settle back into her bed. I would give her some time and shift again. Over the course of a day, we progressed nicely. I would shift and she would run only to the door, but not outside. Shift. Halfway to the door. Then she would stand but not move off the bed. Finally, she would lift a head, but not get up. Woot! Progress. I felt as though I had climbed Mt Everest, graduated from college, and figured out world peace all at once. Such accomplishment.

So it was on to the next step. I stood up. That was it. Just out of the chair then sat back down.

Terror! Panic! You would think she was being chased by a long legged clown that had just popped out from under the bed. (Thank you Poltergeist for my unreasonable dislike of clowns.)

When I could finally stand without her getting up, I added a few steps into the equation. The first ones in the opposite direction from her. Never overtly looking at her before, during or after. It had to be all about her without it being about her. When I could take a couple of steps without her getting up, I started taking a couple of steps in her direction. Once that worked, it was into the kitchen and back. Always keeping the couch or wall between us. She eventually got to the point where she wouldn’t lift her head, but would follow my every movement with her eyes.

So it was time to really push her comfort zone. I walked from the kitchen through the dining room to the laundry, which was right next to her cave. This crossed her escape path. She solved that quite nicely by circling behind me around the dividing wall and heading outside.

Over and over we did this with breaks between to let her relax. This whole process took about 3 days, but we eventually conquered one of the major fears. She was OK with me walking around the house as long as I didn’t walk directly towards her while making eye contact. Sweet! We can work on the eye contact and approaching next.

She also started playing with Willow. She was far more comfortable with Willow than with me. I would be out of sight in the den and the two of them would do laps around the house and into the back yard. When they would run outside, I would sneak over to peek out the kitchen window to see how Breeze was doing. I almost passed out the day when I heard the squeaky toy, looked out to the two playing in the back yard and realized it was Breeze squeaking it and not Willow. I was so proud of Willow sharing her knowledge and Breeze being secure enough to play.

My favorite memory of the first few weeks was when Breeze finally felt comfortable enough to explore the bedroom during the day even though I was standing in the kitchen, the gateway to the scary one way hallway of death. She and Willow went racing down the hall. I could hear significant rustling, then quick nail clicks on the tile floor as they made the return trip. Breeze was in the lead. She had ‘killed’ the fuzzy slipper in the closet, the kind with the fluffy sheep skin inside. She pranced around with it overhead, held high like the Olympic torch, so proud of her successful hunt. I didn’t want to make any sudden moves or discipline her when she was finally playing, so I figured I would have to sacrifice the slipper for the cause. It was well worth it. To finally see her being joyful and carefree was well worth cold toes.

Sneaking pictures of the girls playing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


The latest in winter wear; squeaky shawls.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Another Big Dog Day and Breeze Improvements

We had a big dog day yesterday. Both Dru and Breeze had a trip to the vet. Dru is letting out yelps when she is laying down or shifting her position when down. Not always, only sometimes. After a very thorough exam and x-rays, the diagnosis is a sprained back and some time off with massage. She hates being grounded. But she loves massages.

Breeze has a little smaller than dime-sized wound on her rear haunch that won’t completely heal, it’s been over 2 months. The vet took one look at it and said it needs to come off and be tested for malignant cells. I agreed whole heartily. So, since she is going to be out, we are also going to do a dental. Whew boy, does she need it. I didn’t realize the importance of brushing every day until I read the post and watched the video Jennifer put together over at Never Say Never Greyhounds.

I also asked him to look at the corns on her feet again since they are really bothering her. He said he would hull them out, but would really prefer to exhaust every other possibility first. He is pretty firm on not surgically removing them, due to the high probability of them coming back and the alterations to the pads. Especially since she loves to run so much. So we are trying a few things first before attacking them surgically. If any of you have suggestions for treating corns on greyhounds, I would love to hear them. Thanks in advance.

But, that is not the reason for this post. The reason is to share how well Breeze did at the vet office. Both the Doc and the vet tech have a wonderful way and energy about them. They know Breeze and all her issues, so they move slow, get down low and talk quietly. He would work with Breeze for just a few minutes, then go to Dru, giving Breeze a bit of time to relax and recoup (well as much as possible) before continuing the exam.

After we had been in the room for a while, he was examining Dru’s back again, the vet tech was holding on to Dru’s head/collar and I was towards her rear end, Breeze sauntered past me, sidled around Dru and sniffed at the vet tech, asking to be pet. We all paused.

No, that’s not quite right.

The whole room froze.

The tech reached out and pet Breeze then Breeze looked at the vet like “what are you waiting for?”. He reached over Dru to pet Breeze also. Celebration! I couldn’t believe it. She accepted it for about a minute then retreated to her corner. Holy crap, talk about progress! I did have her patched and sprayed (a new rug-free medical technology, that is working quite well with stress reduction for her, I will talk about it at some point in the future) and we have been talking with an animal communicator (something else we will be talking about in the future). I figure it all helps.

By the time we got home (after a stop at a friend’s house where she met, and did very well with, a man) she was exhausted and let me wrap her foot without so much as twitching. She spent the whole day today sleeping, without the normal prodding for me to take her to the park. It was obviously a lot for her last night, but she did swimmingly!

All of that got me to thinking about how far she has come since I got her 3 years ago (her gotcha’ day was the 14th!) and that I haven’t posted a segment in the Breeze saga in quite some time. I believe one is in order. Check back in the next few days for the continuation of Teh Breeze Saga.


Handlebar moustache.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I've been a just little sad (understatement) this weekend when I log into blogger and am reminded of what happened with the Houston Pittie Pack. (If you haven't been over yet, please stop by and leave a few words and the chip-in account links can be found in yesterday's post) At the same time I am ridiculously proud of how quickly the blogging community shared the word, chipped in to help and that I am a small part of that community. I had fanciful thoughts on how Bloggville would be a great place to live and briefly wondered how could I buy a house there....

Anyway. I decided today that I needed to smile. And nothing gets me grinning more than watching greyhounds play. For you non-greyhound folks it may be common place to see your dogs play. Greyhounds are a bit different. First, most don't play for extended periods of time. A 5 minute romp with a toy is quite long. Second, most weren't taught to play with toys or they forgot how. When they come to live with you, watching them learn they can play with that squeaks is one of the greatest joys. At least, that is my experience.

Willow was my first greyhound and gothca' day was a wonderful day that changed my life. It was also unexpected. I had been up to the kennel and rather than just choosing a dog, going home and waiting for the paperwork and permissions to go through as I had expected, they sent her home with me. Woot! Greyhound in my car!

Oh, but wait. No dog beds, bowls, food, toys in the house! Yikes!

I stopped at the store on the way home, leaving my niece in the car with my new girl and explicit instructions to come up with a name for her. BBs Sassy, her racing name (abbreviated to Sassy for her kennel name), was just not going to work. 15 minutes later I was back in the car with everything a dog could ever want or need and my niece had come up with a name .

"I have a name." Proudly said.
"Oooo, what is it? Because I couldn't think of anything." Not so proudly said.
"Buffy." I was (still am) a huge Buffy fan and got my niece hooked as well. Heh heh heh.
"Mmmmm. I love it, it's on the right track, but I just can't call her Buffy."
"It's OK, I have a second choice." More proudly said. Always with a backup plan, that one. She paused. "Willow."
"Perfect!" I looked at Willow stretched out in the back of the car, at her very lean frame (she was at racing weight) and thought it couldn't be better.

When we had settled in at the house I couldn't wait for her to do all the dog things dogs do. Especially play with toys and fetch. (I know, I know, I was a bit green.) She was laying in the living room when I tossed the first squeaks at her. She barely raised an eyebrow as it sailed over her head to land unaccosted behind her.

Hmmmmm. She must not like that toy. (See 'green', just a few sentences above.)

I got up, grabbed a different toy, headed back to my spot, showed it to her and threw again. This time she raised her head enough to look from me to the toy and back to me like I was nuts.

Must not like that one either.

This time, I waved it in front of her face, furiously made it squeak and tossed it high in the air.

She didn't even blink.

OKaayyyy. Next toy, present, toss, fetch. Repeat. Nothing.

2 days later, through no lack of trying on my part, she would still have nothing to do with them.

Realization dawned. My girl didn't like playing with toys and she certainly wasn't going to fetch.

Annnndddd.... crushing disappointment.

I gave all the dog toys to my sister.

A few weeks later Willow went to my sister's house for an overnight. The shredded remains of her dog toys were a bafflement to her; until my sister's dog, Bailey, picked one up and ran around the house with it. The light slowly dawned. That's what those things are for! Not for the humans to play with. She came home with a carcass and a whole new appreciation for squeaks.

I went back to the store.

Playing with squeaks is now one of her favorite things to do, aside from eating snackies. When I get home she greets me at the door, then runs to the toy box, grabs a squeaks and promptly begins to play. She doesn't de-stuff them like some dogs, so I still have those very first squeaks in the toy box and she burrows down to pull them out every once in a while. Though it is infrequent, she likes the screaming monkeys best.

When Breeze and Dru came to live with us, Willow taught them to play with squeaks as well. It is fairly rare when Breeze plays. She has to be really comfortable to let down her guard and have fun. Today at playdate she picked up a toy and played for about 20 seconds. All humans stopped conversation and just watched, grins splitting faces.

Dru, on the other hand, loves to grab a squeaks and kill it. Her recent favorite is a Santa with a water bottle as the body. She is still having a bit of a hard time running with the pack, though it has been a year since the collisions. She is glued to my side most of the time we are at play date. So we stay until everyone else goes home so she can have an open field. I load Willow and Breeze in the car and get out the Santa toy. Dru spends the next 5 - 10 minutes playing and running circles by herself.

Here's a Dru toy playing montage from a few weeks ago. Hopefully, it will make you smile as it did me.

The end.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


The folks over at The Houston Pittie Pack (Kissa-bull) had a house fire Thursday night and lost not only their home, but 5 of their 7 dogs. A chip-in account has been set up to help them in their time of need. Please donate, it doesn’t matter the amount, big or small, it all will help. I'm not technically savvy enough to get the chip-in widget on my blog, so here's a link to Mayzie's Dog Blog who is savvy enough to have the widget.

Both Pip and Coco the Princes and her sisters will be hosting comment-a-thons today; they will donate .50 for every comment posted.

I personally can’t imagine the pain this family is going through. I would be absolutely devastated. Even if you don’t follow the Kissa-Bull blog, please stop by and leave a message.

The pet blogging community never ceases to amaze me with how supportive it is. I would say now is definitely the time to show it more than ever.



Friday, December 16, 2011


Skip, skip, skip to my Lou. Skip, skip, skip to my Lou. Skip, skip, skip to my Lou. Skip to my Lou, my darlin'.

Got that stuck in your head now don't 'ya? Sorry.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I have always wanted to know what they say to each other. I wonder if it is anything like the s*** girls say.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Willow is a digger.


I gave up long ago trying to fill in the holes in the back yard. It is accepted that there is simply one section that looks like the craters of the moon.

When you watch her slinging the dirt you can see just how much she enjoys it. My theory is that they had such crappy, limited lives before they should get as much pleasure as possible now. If it is as simple as me having to fill in a hole at the dog park every morning, so be it.

And that is what I do every morning. I fill in a hole. At least twice. The first time, I reset the game. The second she gets a gentle "no" when she starts the excavation again, and we leave the park as we found it before heading out on our walk.

Last week she was a little more exuberant than normal. The hole got big. Now when I say "big" I mean it like I would say a greyhound is "fast". No questions about it. See exhibit A below...

Did I mention Dru is also hiding in there?

Just kidding. But you looked again didn't you? :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Pure joy. That's what I get from this photo. Well that and the fact my girl has a big butt.

Monday, December 12, 2011


T.R.O.U.B.L.E. x 2


After being on hiatus due to technical difficulties resulting in two different moves, Duck Bob Duck is back in action. Please stop on by and check out the new site.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011


A clandestine meeting, codeword - Purple Monkey.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Someone was having an awful lot of fun with the new squeaks.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Willow chose not to follow the rules of the game and sat down before the music stopped.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Not too sure what beat it is Dillon is dancing to by himself in the back, but it is definitely that of a different drummer.