Saturday, June 28, 2008


It was a sad day today because Cayenne, who is a greyhound and wonderful girl, had to be put down by her owner Robin. Cayenne had been diagnosed with bone cancer (osteosarcoma) about a month ago.

I first met Cayenne in 2006 and found that through her, I wanted to adopt a racing greyhound. Cayenne was always a good girl, calmly minding, and enjoying her walks on the beach. She had the softest coat, like velvet. And her eyes were so soulful--she would look right into yours and make you want to hug her.

I'm going to miss Cayenne. I know that her greyhound companion, Mr. Cooper, will miss her as well. But I also know that it's through Cayenne that I came to adopt Hoffa. I'm grateful for developing a love of greyhounds because of Cayenne and now Hoffa. Rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I like getting emails about the dogs that we have bred. This one is from Linda Davis about Zelda. Zelda developed quite an affection for Cosmo, one of the Davis's guinea pigs.

"I just wanted to give you an update on our baby girl Zelda. At her latest vet visit, they indicated that she was in perfect health. As soon as we entered the lady at the desk said that you could tell that she was a Surry dog.

I know I’m a proud mommy but Zelda is absolutely breath-taking. She is perfect in every way. She is extremely friendly with everyone and loves to be around other four-legged friends. She has always been so well behaved in the house. She never gets into anything! She still expects her twice daily walks. With this heat she has been going around six in the morning and ten at night. In between time, she really enjoys the couch and spending time laying by the front window. She is still best friends with the piggies especially Cosmo. She is in the middle of taking more training and is doing well in the class.

I think one key to her being so well adjusted besides her exceptional breeding and her being so smart is the fact that in the last 16 months since she came home, she has not spent more than four hours by herself which has not too many times. Someone is usually home with her so she never really has a opportunity to get into trouble or feel lonely. My younger son and I are leaving on July 3 to go to France for July to visit family. My mom is French and all my family lives in France. This will be our first time away from Zelda. I am really not looking forward to leaving her. My husband only works Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. He has already put in for half-day vacation the entire time we will be gone so Zelda is not left too long by herself plus my older son will be around to watch her too. I am excited for my son but I am also looking forward to our return. I know she will be fine. You truly don’t know how much she has blessed our lives. She is really special. We are grateful for her every day. She is definitely not “a dog” but a true member of our family. I think we are all in-love with her! "

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sweet old dogs

I received this email from Alison Harshbarger:

"We got Chandler from you at Surry Labradors a long long time ago. He's now 12 years old. I included a picture I took of him about a month or two ago. He's been a great dog. We should have know though, when we visited and he was crawling all over the other puppies that we would have our hands full. But he's now old and has arthritis. He still manages to follow my mother from room to room, since my brother and I left for college. I've since then graduated and gone in the working world. I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know how much we love Chandler."

I have a special place in my heart for the old ones. And it is especially poignant to hear from someone who got a puppy from us so many years ago. It's hard to believe that 12 years have passed since Chandler was born at Surry.

I have a couple of oldies at Surry now. Tilly is 14 and doing well. She enjoys lying around in air conditioning. Timmi, who was imported from Sweden, is still a happy boy and shows little sign of aging much. I remember when these and so many others that we had were young. I guess that old age catches up with all of us eventually.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Meeting Sky Rose

A friend of mine just adopted a greyhound off the track. Her racing name was Scythe but Bee has renamed her Sky Rose. She raced about nine times and won four races. After winning those early races in her career, she always lagged or was last. That ended her career and thankfully she was put up for adoption.

Sky Rose is a fawn brindle. She has tiger stripes on a soft fawn coat. She is a bit anxious yet. Bee said that when she picked up her walking stick, Sky Rose ran to her blanket and cowered. That suggests that she was whipped or mistreated. But I told Bee that after a few months of love, her anxiety will diminish. She will know that she is loved and that no one will ever mistreat her again.

I liked Sky Rose from the moment I met her. She has the kindest eyes and the softest coat. As soon as she gets acclimated, I'll take Hoffa and one of the Labradors over to meet her. It was Hoffa's eyes that clinched the decision by Bee to get a greyhound. She said that she took one look in those soft eyes and decided that she had to adopt one.

Don't worry Sky Rose--you've found a good home and lots of people who care about you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Deacon is home

Surry's Deacon Blue is now home for a few months. He has been out with Rusty and Jenn Howard since Feb. But he's now out of coat.

He seemed glad to be back, knew right where his kennel was and has been enjoying playing with his buddies. It's amazing how the dogs don't forget the routine or their old playmates.

Whenever Stella comes back to visit, she runs right to the doggy room door and wags her tail to be let in. She enjoys coming back to visit with her dam, Tilly and her new friend, Hoffa, the greyhound.

I don't know why I would think that they would ever forget. They have a better sense of smell and other sensory receptors that are a lot better than outs. And we don't forget places where we lived before either.

Welcome back Deacon! We missed you.

Friday, June 06, 2008


My husband's last day of work was May 31. It has been hard for me to adjust to his not being at work since we've always worked in close proximity to each other. We are both marine scientists and were lucky enough to get positions at a marine laboratory in Charleston, SC. His office has been 3 doors down from mine and now it's empty of all his books. I can't just walk down the hall and ask him a question on some scientific matter.

Charles has had a great career and done some excellent work. I think that neither of us thought about retiring but the last few years, it has come to seem more appealing. For one thing, we enjoy our hobbies. He enjoys fishing, gardening, wood working and cooking. He wants to spend more time doing those things. After you've worked at something for 30 years, it is also nice to know that every day is a Saturday!

This morning Charles told me that he feels busier now than ever. He has been working on moving books and files from his work office to the new library at Surry. He is planning to spend some time writing papers on his research. It appears that there is more than enough to keep him busy. And also more time to play with the dogs and give them cookies!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Beach time

It's getting to be that time of year when the dogs are out en masse at the beach. Of course, there are the leash laws but early mornings seem to be the time when people and their dogs are out walking.

Caroline sent me the great photo of Mia walking along the beach near her home in Florida. There are only a handful of places that I know of where dogs can go on the beach at any time. One of those is Morris Island which is only reached by boat. If you go there, be prepared for a free for all atmosphere of dogs and people. Saturday's are the wildest with about 30 boats at anchor and a sea of humans drinking beer and playing frisbee. On Sunday, the crowd is more family oriented. On either day, there are dogs running and playing in the water.

If you go to the beach, observe and obey the leash laws. Pick up after your dog and try not to take your dog near any bird rookeries. Also be on the look out for areas that have turtle nests.
Being on the beach is great but in order to keep being able to go there, pet owners have to be responsible.