Monday 29 November 2010

Stamping around is a sneezy business

Bless me
What is this odd expression all about, you may well ask?

It's not me giving you a cheeky wink, actually.

It's me caught as I was about to sneeze.

All because I was being helpful.

I volunteered to 'help' the Lady Of The House pack up a HUGE box full of used postage stamps - to help raise money for the Retired Greyhound Trust - into a couple of BIG envelopes

We've very kindly been given a lot of stamps recently and we thought it was time to get them away in the post. But we'll keep collecting them off the Christmas envelopes - and if you'd like to donate your stamps to a good cause, here's the info on the Retired Greyhounds website.

But I think a bit of dust had gathered in the box along with the stamps. But one good Atisshooooo!!! later and all was well.

There's some more in here L O T H!

Sunday 28 November 2010

Wild wildlife

This is my friend Frankie.

This is my friend Frankie looking unusually calm.

Frankie is lovely but she is very, very energetic and excitable. The first time the Lady Of The House went to meet her she ended up 'wearing' her as a hat and scarf as Frankie scranbled on top of her head and shoulders like an acrobat in the circus.

Frankie came to live with her forever family just before last Christmas when she was just a puppy.

Anyway, Frankie loves to find interesting things on her walks. She will often roll in them if they are brown and squidgy and found in fields where cows have been. This means Frankie often has to have a good wash when she gets home.

Recently Frankie found a flat frog in the road that had been run over. Frankie thought this was a great new toy and she kept flipping it around like a frisbee.

Maybe Frankie and I should market that as a new dog toy for Christmas - the flat frog frisbee. What do you think?

Saturday 27 November 2010

Snowy day

Setting out for first walk in the snow
In eight years of life I have encountered snow before, but today was my first day of striding about in the white stuff with my new family.

I wasn't going to let it put me off my walks, and I had a good gambol about in the garden kicking my heels and behaving like a big kid generally.

Well, you have to do, don't you? It's compulsory when snow falls.

The Lady Of The House has been out and about a lot today doing various worthy but dull (in my opinion) things, and the Boy Of The House is still recovering from flu. He's obviously not right yet as he turned down a trip to watch the new Harry Potter film this afternoon followed by tea at Frankie and Benny's.

But I've had a nice day and I'm going to settle down for a snooze now while they watch Derby County playing football on the television.

Friday 26 November 2010

The first card of Christmas

Although we were missing out on the Thanksgiving fun that some of my doggy friends were enjoying in America this week, yesterday there was a frisson of excitement (or maybe that was just the cold?) when the first Christmas card of the year dropped through our letterbox.

It was this beautiful scene, below, of Serena galloping over snowy ground on a card sent by John and Judith at my old temporary home - the Retired Greyhound Trust's Crossing Cottage Greyhound Sanctuary.

The reason it was so early was there were some raffle tickets inside which we'll be selling to raise funds for the great work they do.

They also told us about a couple of events coming up in December - an annual Christmas gift fayre on December 4 and 5 at the sanctuary (which is just outside Newark in Nottinghamshire) and the annual Boxing Day walk!

They are also encouraging people to give a Christmas gift with a difference and sponsor one of their long term resident greyhounds who for various reasons have not found a forever home with a family but will stay at Crossing Cottage for as long as they need to.

Sponsoring a greyhound costs £24 a year, or £2 a month. You can also sponsor a kennel for £60 a year or £5 a month, Visit the website to find our more. It sounds a great idea to me. I'm so thankful I found a forever home at the third attempt and I'd love it if people could gift a greyhound sponsorship for some of my old friends.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Pawsing for attention

The Boy Of The House has flu this week. Proper flu. Not man/boy flu that's a glorified cold. Proper "couldn't-get-out-of-bed-to pick-a-£50-pound-note-off-the-floor" flu.

Now, between you and me I'm doing all right out of this. Because the Lady Of The House is bustling around the house and every time she passes by we have a little fuss. And yesterday she brought the B O T H downstairs and bedded him down on the sofa so we could all watch some films together. And I'm still getting my three walks a day across the nature reserve....but, a girl's got to take any opportunity for extra attention. Right?

So last night when the Man Of The House came home and sat down in the living room, I kept waving my paw in the air - looking extra-pathetic - until he held it.

He gave me lots of fuss and attention (I think he thought I'd not had lots of fuss during the day - which wasn't true - tee hee!!), but every time he put my paw down gently, I gave a little sad "woooo-hooo" noise and waved said paw in the air again until he held it.

I thought it was really funny. But the Lady Of The House took these photos and 'busted me' by telling the M O T H that I'd not missed out on strokes and hugs all day.

Some people! Honestly.

Busted! L O T H! Why did you have to tell him the truth?

Tuesday 23 November 2010

I am a rogue

It's official. I can now call myself a rogue because I have made it to the Rogues Gallery on the Retired Greyhound website.

I am in there, on the November page...."Another hard day at the office" relaxing on my bed in the dining room while the Lady Of The House worked at the table.
In fact, as you peruse the albums on the RGT website you do seem to see a lot of greyhounds relaxing. But I reckon we have earned it.

You do get a few nice shots of greyhounds frolicking at the beach, or playing in woods and gardens - but we all know that come the end of the day they'd be curled up enjoying a snooze as well.

Monday 22 November 2010

A prickly pickle for my pals

It's been a quiet week in our house with the Lady and the Boy Of The House busy showing off in Titanic - The Musical. So I thought I'd tell you about some fun and games two of my pals got up to last week.

Sophie - being good on her lead
The Lady Of The House's friend Jane (she played Ida Straus beautifully in Titanic) has two greyhounds who also came from Crossing Cottage - like me.

They are called Jack and Sophie. Sophie found her new forever home with Jack and Jane this summer at the same time as I came here. They are all very happy together but I have to say that Jack's a very good boy, and Sophie's full of mischief and fun. She loves to dig up Jane's plants, and steal food and some times she leads Jack astray too.

Well at the end of last week, Sophie spotted a hedgehog in the garden - I don't think she'd seen one before. She thought it would be a really good idea to grab it, and when she did Jack ran over to join in too.

Jane didn't want them to hurt the hedgehog so she went over to rescue it, but when she got hold of Sophie's grab collar, her feet went from under her and she clattered to the ground.

Sophie now thought that Jane lying on the ground was a much more fun game than playing with the prickly ball that the hedgehog had become - so she left the hedgehog alone and turned her attention to bouncing excitedly on Jane. Jack of course joined in too.

Anyway, while they were doing this the hedgehog managed to escape unscathed into the bushes and away.

Luckily, apart from Sophie having a bit of a sore face where one of the hedgehog quills had spiked her - everyone was unhurt and OK. Sophie got her face bathed and soothed and wasn't a bit put out by her experience.

But I think I'll stick to chasing squirrels.

Friday 19 November 2010

Going going gone in the garden

I thought it would be a great idea to go tazzing round the back garden lawn this afternoon having one of my mad five minutes.

Then, for no good reason, the ground decided to fly from beneath my nimble feet and I found myself lying on the muddy grass.

I was fine and trotted over to be cleaned up by the Man Of The House.

The Lady Of The House decided to take this pic of me looking a bit smug, and blurry, afterwards.

She thinks it looks 'arty' I just think she's not so good at taking photos.

The L O T H also went to meet the nice people at the RSPCA centre in our village this afternoon to tell them a bit about what she's doing (and she says I got a mention too). They do some great work finding new forever homes for pets and giving advice on how to keep us happy and healthy.

If you are on Facebook, they have their own page which you can 'like' to keep up to date on all their news and events.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Who put that there?

It's funny how you can live with something for months and then suddenly see it through new eyes.

This morning I made the family laugh by suddenly pricking up my ears and staring intently at this strange, fake cat-thing lying motionless on the hearth next to my 'day bed' in the living room.

I stretched out a tentative paw to give him/her a nudge and got a warning from the Lady Of The House that he/she was not one of my toys and I should leave him/her alone.

The 'model' Mrs Chippy
This cat-thing has been there ever since I arrived here at my new forever home in August and I've never paid it any attention before. Well, it doesn't SMELL like a cat - so it can't be a cat, can it?

The L O T H explained to me that it's supposed to be a model of Mrs Chippy who was the cat that travelled with Ernest Shackleton and his crew on board the Endurance on their expedition to the Antarctic expedition early in the 20th century.

Apparently, Mrs Chippy came to a sticky end - but as 'she' was really a 'he' with a silly name (and a cat to boot) I'm not going to get too upset.

Monday 15 November 2010

Jumping out of an airplane - to help greyhounds

It's good to know that there are Greyhound lovers around the world doing their bit to help us.

The Southport Visiter newspaper website is reporting on a local woman now living and working in Spain who has jumped out of a plane above Seville to help greyhounds in that country.

Lisa Ingram works in her mum's restaurant but also rescues greyhounds - she has four of her own - and she aims to open an educational centre to help people understand more about us as a breed and prevent many dogs being abandoned or killed.

I think the Lady Of The House should give that sort of thing a go....but she says she's scared of heights.

Friday 12 November 2010

Dogs with an inner-kitty? Really?

Thanks to another blog I often cast my eye over - Life with Dogs - the Lady Of The House and I saw this video.

The L O T H thinks it's lovely.....I'm not so sure. I don't think I have an inner-kitty. Not after the way I reacted to that little black cat the other weekend....but then again......

The Dog Who Was A Cat Inside from trunk animation on Vimeo.

Thursday 11 November 2010

Get well soon, girls

Today's posting is about wishing two lovely greyhounds lots of 'get well soon' wishes, sniffs and licks - one in the UK and one in the US.

The first greyhound in my thoughts is Misty, who was walking on a lead with her owner in Oxfordshire when two Staffordshire Bull terriers attacked. After a night at the vets she seems to be on the mend but she's clearly very shaken and traumatised by the experience which also involved her owner getting bitten as he tried to protect her.

Staffies are lovely dogs when they are properly trained and looked after by responsible loving owners - and I am sad about the bad press they get - but when they are left to roam free and owned by people who encourage their aggression it's asking for trouble.

Lots of love to Blueberry
The other greyhound in my thoughts is the lovely Blueberry - one of the dogs whose daily adventures in America are chronicled in a wonderful blog called Tales and Tails.

Blueberry's family found a suspicious lump on her head which was removed by the vet yesterday and sent off for investigation. Everyone in the dog blog community is ending best wishes to Blueberry - and if you wanted to pop over to the blog and add your good wishes I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Sponsor a greyhound if you can't have your own

Just a quick blog today as it's a busy, busy day.

I was thinking, after posting that lovely picture of some greyhound friends yesterda,y that there may be some poor unfortunate souls who would LOVE to offer a home to a greyhound, but their family circumstances don't allow it.

Maybe they are out of the house for hours and hours my family used to be.

Did you know that in that case you can SPONSOR a greyhound that is still in kennels? Maybe a Christmas present idea for a dog lover you know?

One of the RGT kennels that offer this is Sheffield - but I'm sure lots of greyhound rescue centres in this country and abroad would do the same.

You can find other RGT kennels in the UK through their national website - and there are also lots of greyhound charities represented on Facebook if you search for the word "Greyhound". Hey! And I'm on Facebook now too! Have you popped by and "liked" me yet?

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Rogues Gallery

OK, I may be biased, but I do think we greyhounds are very photogenic. (No offence intended to my non-Greyhound virtual friends Tucker, Benny, Lily, Frankie, Revell, Fender and Biscuit - you are all beautiful too)

I always enjoy having a browse through the Rogues Gallery on the Retired Greyhound Trust website to see my fellow former racers who are now loving life in retirement.

This photo caught my eye today. There are some really funny pictures in the galleries of dogs clowning around but this one for me sums up why every home should have a greyhound (or two!). And these gorgeous dogs are also from RGT Midlands which is where I used to live.

What's not to love?

Two of RGT Midland's finest on the RGT national website

Monday 8 November 2010

Raining cats and dogs

I didn't have my usual spring in my step this morning.

At least, not once I saw the weather outside.

Out there? In this? Really?
When the Man Of The House came downstairs first thing - and after I'd done my usual greeting of standing on my hind legs and putting my front paws on his chest - we trotted to the back door together and he opened it for me.......and then I just stopped.

You can't really see it on this picture, but trust me, it was raining cats and dogs. (Silly phrase that. If it HAD literally been raining CATS and dogs I would have been out there in a flash.)

But as it was - I couldn't be encouraged outside.

I padded back to my bed in the kitchen and said "I'll cross my legs for a bit longer, thanks all the same".

So, the M O T H went off to work and the Lady and the Boy appeared and there was another attempt to offer me the opportunity to trot out into the back garden to relieve myself.

"Non, merci" I would have said, if I could speak French (I have picked up a few words - a soupcon, if you will - from the Boy's homework.)

But, it couldn't be put off forever. After breakfast, and when the B O T H had gone to school, my big red raincoat came over my head, clipped under my tummy, and out we trudged. It was miserable with the wind and the rain. The L O T H found a route where the wind was at least behind us so it didn't keep blowing her hood off her head.
No, I'm not auditoning for the nativity play.

I kept shaking myself - like I always do when I have my raincoat on. I stop in my tracks and shake my heads and ears first and then the shake travels all down my body like a Mexican wave that finishes with my tail doing a big circular spin.

The L O T H said: "The sooner you do what you've got to do, Winnie, we can go home where it's dry and warm".

So I did. And we did.

Then it just remained for the L O T H to get out my towel and dry my heads and ears.

As you can see - I did my best Drama Queen face.

I miss the summer.

Sunday 7 November 2010

Are you coming down yet?

This could be me at about lunchtime tomorrow, lying in the hall waiting for the Lady Of The House to come downstairs.

Are you coming downstairs now?

I don't 'do' stairs as previously mentioned.

Being a couch potato I am very happy to doze for a few hours at a time and usually choose either my bed in the kitchen or my bed in the living room. But sometimes I do wait at the bottom of the stairs, like this.

Don't feel sorry for me. It's nice that the L O T H works from home and so she gets to spend time with me and always walks me twice in the day (whether I need it or not).

But as we're always saying it's wrong to think that greyhounds need lots of exercise just because they used to sprint round a racetrack. Think how short those races are! My daily mad minute or two churning up the back lawn lasts about the same time. Apart from that I just love to chill.

Saturday 6 November 2010

If you are going to Discover Dogs at Earl's Court in London next weekend - be sure to look out for my old friends from the Retired Greyhound Trust on stand 142.

Discover Dogs is a massive event on all day 13 and 14 November. I won't be going as dogs aren't allowed as visitors (although some dogs are allowed to attend if they are part of the displays or are invited to be the dogs that meet and greet visitors to teach them more about different breeds).

It's a great event which really shows what great things dogs can do in the world of search and rescue, pets as therapy dogs and working with organisations like the police.

There's also a chance for rescue societies, like the Retired Greyhound Trust, to encourage people to think about re-homing an adult dog who might in some cases be a better match for their family than a new puppy.

My family certainly thought I was a good match for them - I think it was my relaxed approach from day one. We greyhound know how to take life easy.

Have a good weekend whatever you are up to. See you again soon.
This was me minutes after I arrived in my new home in August.

Friday 5 November 2010

Boy's picture as promised

As promised here is the promotional picture of the Boy Of The House recreating the famous picture of a newspaperboy in London after the Titanic disaster.

I think you can see, if you compare it to yesterday's blog posting by me, that I taught him everything he knows about pulling sad faces.

In fact, I think he's getting rather too good at it.

If the B O T H and I get together and pull sad faces together there's NOTHING we can't get I reckon.

It's been lovely having the Man Of The House around this week (he's been on holiday from work) and I shall miss him when he goes back on Monday.

But he's off again the week after which is also the week of the Titanic - The Musical show.

I shan't get to see it of course, but I have heard plenty of the songs with the B O T H and the Lady Of The House practising in recent weeks.

But I think top honours go to Geoff who took the pictures of the B O T H, and worked on this and other promotional montage pictures into the early hours to help our publicity drive.

Thursday 4 November 2010

One wet Winnie

It wasn't stopping to rain this morning on my walk with the Man Of The House.

We got soaked. I had my big weatherproof coat on so only my head got wet, but as you can see here I was still looking pretty dramatically damp even after the M O T H had dried my head with my towel.

Don't be fooled by the face folks!
I do like looking dramatic when the Lady Of The House gets her camera out (but between you and me DON'T BE FOOLED!).

As soon as I'd done 'my business' the M O T H thought he'd cut the walk short and head home, but I had other ideas. When he tried to take a short cut I pulled in the opposite direction and made sure I got a full walk in.  He gave in so I wouldn't be disappointed. Bless him. But then he was a bit huffy when I turned by big sad Bambi eyes on for the camera (Tee-hee!!).

In other water-related news, the M O T H and the L O T H got back from the Girl Of The House's Coventry University theatre show involving baths - but they couldn't tell me much about it...nothing that made much sense. They said it was something that sounded like 'Fizzycal' Theatre. Is that when you put fizzy bath bombs in the baths?

There's also a lot of excitement in the house about Little Theatre Company's forthcoming show "Titanic - The Musical". The L O T H and the M O T H have been making a mock-up of a newspaper bill that appears on a famous shot of a newspaper boy selling papers after the ship sank in the Atlantic and they're trying to recreate it for a promotional shot at tonight's rehearsal. I'll post it on here if it's any good.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Bathday with a difference

Remember the bath that lived in our garden for a while, before it went to Coventry University where the Girl Of The House needed it for a theatrical performance?

Well, tonight is opening night of the four-day run of that production by the third year theatre students.

I can't quite imagine how it's all going to turn out, and I'll curl up on my comfy bed and have a sleep for a couple of hours this evening while the Man Of The House and the Lady Of The House go off to watch. No doubt they will tell me all about it later.

But in keeping with the bathday theme, the M O T H decided to give me a sort of bath today (after our morning walk) with some special doggy bathing wipes.

It was quite interesting - we hadn't tried them before - and the wipes certainly got quite a bit of dirt out of my coat - and it was just like being stroked really.
Enjoying getting clean with the doggy bathing wipes

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Small world - where just one person can make a difference

Since I started blogging, when I arrived here at my new forever home in August, it's been lovely to find out how the Internet brings new friends into your life that you would never have met otherwise.

I love getting comments on my blogs from Bunny and my other new dog friends in America. And it's lovely to hear about the wonderful people in America who work just as hard as the Retired Greyhound Trust does in the UK to find new families and homes that are a perfect match for retired racers.

I spotted today the lovely story and pictures about a great-looking greyhound called Slammer who's now got a family - and a couch - to call his own thanks to Greyhound Adoptions of Florida.

But there was sadder news from Florida were more than 30 greyhounds were found dead in kennels at Ebro Greyhound Park. The tragedy came to light after someone took some seriously underweight dogs to the Greyhound Pets of America re-homing organisation. They raised concerns that led to investigations that revealed the neglect and cruelty.

When I hear sad stories like that it just makes me glad that there's more good people than bad out there and that individual families, like mine, and Bunny's and Slammer's are doing what they can across the world to make a difference by loving their dogs and sharing that love around.

Monday 1 November 2010

Me and my new friend Winnie

Happy November!!

We had a lovely day yesterday. The Boy Of The House and his big sister went to Westfield shopping centre in Derby to spend his birthday money - and they came back with a present for me!

The Girl Of The House has always felt I should have a Winnie the Pooh toy (as we share the same name) and now she's bought me one.

I am very gentle with him (honestly) and I carried him around the house with me, so please don't think I'm being rough with him in this picture because I'm not.
I love Winnie
Anway, it gave me something to play with while everyone else watched the American football which was live on television from Wembley Stadium. Everyone in our house was cheering for the San Francisco 49ers - so they were happy that they won.

To get in the mood they were eating hot dogs and salted popcorn and cheesy nachos and Key Lime Pie (and getting up and down to give little bags of sweets to the Trick or Treaters calling at the front door).

I loved trotting down the hall (with someone's hand on my grab collar just in case I saw a witch's cat outside) to have a look at the little ones in their super costumes.

But the family kept me well away from the hot dog onions and any chocolate as those are SOOOOOOO dangerous for us dogs.