Friday 30 September 2011

Crazy owners - Please make it stop

Sometimes, when I'm relaxing in one of my little cosy corners, minding my own business, the Lady Of The House feels obliged to come and sing to me.

I don't really know what I've done to deserve it - but it must have been something VERY BAD!

Sometimes she's does a strange little sitting down dance.

It's usually inspired by a song she likes on the radio.

On this occasion it was Crazy Horses by The Osmonds.

Please, someone, tell me how to make it stop?

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Good times and good friends through blogging

How very kind of Chancy the Gardener to honour my blog with the Noteworthy Archive Blog Award. Thank you SO much!!!

This means a lot to me, and the Lady Of The House, because when she helped me start this blog (it was MOSTLY me, of course) after I came to live here last year we thought that probably only our close friends and family would look at it (if that!).

And in the early weeks (quite a lot of weeks, actually), that was how it was.

But I really wanted to tell people all about what great pets greyhounds make...and correct some of the myths that stop people considering us as pets, so I kept going in the hope that a few more people might find me. Just a few though. I never dreamed that just over a year later I'd have 160 people following my blog!!

The turning point came when my blog was found by some really kind and supportive bloggers who now feel like really close friends. One of the first was 'Houndstooth' from the wonderful Tales and Tails blog. She is still so generous with her time and her thoughtful comments and helpful advice. If there's anyone out there who doesn't read the great posts she writes .... please DO have a good browse through her archives. The LOTH has learned SO much from her and the wonderful Bunny, Lilac, Blueberry and Morgan. I am sure you will too. Their posts will make you laugh, cry and think.

If you have not yet received this award, Houndstooth, I'd be honoured to pass it along to you as the holder of one of the most noteworthy archives I know.

For any of you who are new to keep going if you have the time as there's such joy to be had in meeting good friends like I have done - Peggy, Mr Pip, Benny and Lily Grumpy Bobby and Sue and Song to name just a few.

Perhaps your own blog may help another pet find a forever home - or maybe you'll just make someone smile in their busy day.

I think it's good for us all to look back over our blog archives every now and then and reflect on the good times, the not-so-good times and the good friends we have made - and be grateful for every day we are lucky enough to spend with our families (regardless of HOW many feet they have).

Sunday 25 September 2011

Sunday strolling

I was very excited this morning when everyone started getting ready to go out. I knew it would be something good. Then the Boy Of The House said I could wear his bandana and we jumped into the car.

After a short drive we arrived at Barton Marina at Barton Under Needwood where there were lots of greyhounds and their families gathering in the car park.

I felt very cool in my bandana.

I barked at this girl (who was wearing my coat)- well it's a bit embarrassing when you go somewhere new and someone's wearing the same thing. AND she was a lot younger than me.

By the time this picture was taken - we weren't speaking at all, as you can see. She was also showing off how well she can sit. Huh!

But I soon forgot about that as we all lined up for a picture before we started the walk.

It was a bit chaotic at first.

But then we managed to get ourselves organised. We all said "RABBITS!" as the photo was taken.

The walk had been organised by some of our friends from the RGT Midlands and we had a great time walking round the lakes. Here's some more pictures of our walk which were all taken by the BOTH.

Here's another dog wearing a bandana. But it was a different colour from mine so I didn't bark this time.

A couple of greyhounds were wearing these harnesses. The Lady Of The House says we might get one for me. Anyone else got one? She's worried about me hurting my neck when I see a cat on our walks and I get over excited and pirouette about, and thinks this might be safer and more comfortable for me.

Are you a greyhound? Never mind. You are still welcome.

The final stretch

It was a lovely walk and I was very tired when we got home.

Hope you had a great weekend too. 

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Who put that fence there?

My friends Biscuit, Revell and Fender have had some work done on their garden. They ran outside and were a bit surprised to see something there that wasn't there before.

Sunday 18 September 2011

Action-packed Saturday

Yesterday was such a busy day.

You KNOW how excited I was about going to the annual Great Greyhound Gathering in Nottingham? Well, first I had to wait for the Boy Of The House to do his football training, then we loaded into the car.

But SHOCK! HORROR!! We stopped and got out at the vets in the village!! I shook like you wouldn't believe because I HATE going there. But a very nice lady vet just looked into my left eye which  has got a bit of a red, swollen lump under the lid at the bottom. (We think I might have stuck something into it when I snuffle in the hedgerows on my walks). She prescribed some eye drops and anti-inflammatory tablets and I have to go back Tuesday morning to see if it's improving.

Anyway, after that unpleasant surprise we really DID head off the to Great Greyhound Gathering at Colwick racecourse. There was sunshine and showers on and off all day and it took longer to get there than we thought because we got caught up in football traffic because Derby County were playing Nottingham Forest at the City Ground which is very close to Colwick racecourse.

There was lots of food, and interesting stalls and interesting dogs. I was much more sociable than I was last year and said hello to lots of dogs.

I got stroked a lot - and recognised quite a bit from this blog and my Facebook page which was really cool. I felt like quite the celebrity.

When we had just arrived I met my 'cousin' Alice who found me on Facebook. She was with her people Mandy and John and it was lovely to meet them in the flesh. Sadly, the Lady Of The House hasn't got herself organised and didn't think to get a picture of us all until they had moved on. She was too busy talking. I've had a word. Tsk tsk.

Anyway, here's a few pix to give you a flavour of the day:

I didn't enter any classes, but here are some of the contenders for rescue greyhound of the year. They had to be judged in the big paddocks where racehorses usually stand.

I was happy to just meet everyone and walk around with my people. We also met Janet, who we know from Facebook, who organises the Great British Greyhound Walk.

We met the lovely Donna who runs the Huggy Houndz business and makes the cutest toy greyhounds and greyhound-related gifts.

The LOTH couldn't resist bringing home this little fella who is just too cute to save until Christmas.

I thought he MUST be for me..... but apparently not! Huh!!

"Not every toy brought into this house is yours, Winnie," said the LOTH and the BOTH. "Just MOST of them."

I was also very proud of the BOTH who wanted to buy this tshirt from the GGG. 

Although we know it is natural that greyhounds WANT to run, over the last year we have heard a lot about the abuses that go on in the sport and we think that on the whole we subscribe to the idea that we should race cars not greyhounds. That's our personal view.

Anyway, I was worn out after all that. But the LOTH and three of her girlfriends had a night out at a genuine 1950s American diner that was shipped over here some years ago and now lives just outside the town of Swadlincote. 

Here's a picture of her main course which she thought she'd share with you food lovers out there. It's called a Humphrey Bogart (her joint favourite actor along with Alan Rickman, she says).

Am off to hang about in the kitchen now while she cooks Sunday dinner.

Have a lovely week everyone.

Friday 16 September 2011

The lone mouse-keteer

I love playing with my toys in the garden.

I especially like throwing them up in the air and catching them again. I am very good at it.
Sometimes my toys get to camp outside overnight.

They don't seem to mind.

This morning the Man Of The House let me out quite early - because he had got up to finish some work.
Imagine my delight when I found a new little furry toy outside! 
I pounced on it, and threw it up in the air and was having a nice, quiet little game with it when the MOTH came outside to look at what I was doing. 
He had looked out of the window and thought I might be preparing to dig a new hole under the pear tree.

He took my toy off me. 
He said it wasn't a toy - it was a field mouse.
By this point it was a dead field mouse.

I am QUITE A BIT sorry, because I didn't really mean it.
I thought it was a toy, really I did.

The Lady Of The House said cats are supposed to be 'mousers', not greyhounds.

I did not like being compared to a cat.

But I did shout at one I saw on my walk later - to let him know that I'd made a good catch.

The LOTH said she didn't think I was fast and nimble enough to catch a little tiny mouse.


Tuesday 13 September 2011

Dieting With My Dog - Winnie's first book review

Drum roll please!

May I welcome you to my first ever book review.

You may know the lovely Peggy Frezon from her blog Peggy’s Pet Place. But she’s also an author, columnist and freelance writer.

Well, she’s written a book that’s just been published in the UK called Dieting With My Dog and I was very honoured to be among those offered the chance to review it. (If you are in America I think you have to wait a TINY bit longer before it’s available to buy).

The Lady Of the House and I read it together this weekend.

I think a quote on the back page sums it up quite nicely: “This book is for anyone who has ever loved an animal – through thick and thin”.

But, the idea is that I’m supposed to say what I think about the book, isn’t it?

Well, I’d say, “It’s a book about love”.

Love leaps off every page at you: Peggy's love for her husband Mike and their children Kate and Andy; the family’s love for each other and their adorable spaniel Kelly – and, yes, Peggy and Kelly’s love of food.

Being a freelance writer working from home, Peggy admits she’s always just a tempting few steps away from the fridge. But that wasn’t the only reason that her diet (and Kelly’s) wasn’t always as healthy as it could have been.

In this warm, and frequently funny book Peggy charts her journey of discovery. We learn how she came to realise why she was over eating – and what she did to bring about a drastic change. She lost a staggering three stones. Kelly also lost 15% of her bodyweight too as she took up the vital role of Peggy’s furry fitness coach.

Peggy tells us some lovely anecdotes along the way. Many folks will identify with the fears she had to overcome of loose dogs and unfriendly dog owners as she tried to step up her exercise levels too.

Peggy’s book is inspirational as well as being an enjoyable and entertaining read.

There’s some lovely pictures of Peggy and her family – including Kelly, of course. And I think it’s a book that my fellow bloggers and their people would enjoy.

Not to be outdone by her mum, Kelly has also teamed up with Kol to run a K9 camp from September 8 until October 13. Together Kol’s Notes and Peggy’s Pet Place will be sharing diet and exercise tips and setting a weekly challenge….to prove that getting fitter and eating more healthily CAN be fun and is definitely worthwhile.

Dieting with my Dog, by Peggy Frezon, is published by Hubble & Hattie and costs £9.99 in the UK. You can order it in bookshops or buy it on Amazon.

Dieting With My Dog - one busy life, two full figures and unconditional love

Monday 12 September 2011

Gorgeous Gilbert and Lovely Lucy

When I first started to visit other pet blogs I was amazed to find what SOME greyhound get up to.

Take the energetic pack over at Never Say Never Greyhounds! They make me tired just looking at their pictures. I mean, running round in a big circle is one thing, but all that pole weaving and jumping. Wow!

But this weekend the Lady Of The House came across two lovely dogs (with a lot of greyhound blood in them) doing equally energetic and special things.

Let me proudly introduce to you, Gilbert.....

............and Lucy...

The LOTH was at a Heelwork to Music weekend in Leicestershire (just watching you understand - not competing. I was safely back home taking it easy and dreaming of camels....).

She met Lucy first of all on the Saturday - and thought she was a greyhound at first, but her owner Jenny told her that Lucy was a mixture of Greyhound, Whippet, Deerhound and Bedlington Terrier - although Jenny said she did not know the quantities.

Jenny got Lucy when she was about 10-months-old from someone who lived on a small holding and her job up to then had been to chase and catch rabbits. Lucy didn't even know how to walk on a lead...but now, at the age of six she can do complicated Canine Freestyle 'dance' routines with Jenny.  As well as entering competitions she does demonstrations for charity days. The LOTH told me her routine was really good and there was lots of fun with props like picnic blankets and buckets and spades, because it was all about the Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer.

Lucy - who competes under the name Lucy Lollipop - came 6th in that class. Jenny said Lucy didn't 'work' much last year because she lost a toe. But she's fine now.

When she'd finished her routine, Lucy adopted this familiar pose which makes me think there must be a HIGH percentage of greyhound in her genes.

Bright and early on Sunday morning, Lucy Lollipop was competing again in Heelwork to Music - and this time she was 3rd! Here's an action shot of her.

But the dog who won the same class was Gilbert - or to give him his performing name Beachbum Bertie. Gilbert is five-years-old, and was billed in the programme as a crossbreed and the LOTH (who knows less than she thinks she does most of the time) thought he must have Irish Wolfhound blood in him. But his owner, Gail, told the LOTH that his DNA had been tested and he was more than 80% greyhound - and the rest was American Wire-Haired Pointer.

His Heelwork To Music routine was fabulous, the LOTH said.

She seems to have had a great time without me. If you are interested, you can read her report and all the results here on her Lost and Fond website (she seems a teeny bit obsessed with what music everyone was performing to, if you ask me).

I'll just finish with a couple more of the LOTH's pictures of Border Collies - who of course always do so well in these competitions.

But, I think this first chap needs to open up his eyes as he seems to be VERY close to a large cat.

Lucy's owner Jenny was trying to encourage the LOTH to start training me. She said nine wasn't too old to start a Heelwork to Music career and she had once trained up a 12-year-old Lurcher.

I think I'll just gaze blankly at her, as if she's speaking a foreign language, if she mentions it to me. That's my usual ploy when I don't want to do something. It's worked a charm so far.