Sunday, September 21, 2008

Memorial tribute

The last day of Beach Bound Hounds included a sunrise memorial service for all the greyhounds that were living and those that had passed on. It was really moving to see so many people write the name of their beloved pet in the sand as the sun rose.

There were prayers for those greyhounds that were with us still and hopes that we could all join together again next year with our dogs. At the end, we each received a memorial charm for the loss of a loved companion. I haven't lost a greyhound since Hoffa is my first one. But this memorial service made me think about all the Labradors that have died over the years. I thought about Cain, Doc, Daisy, Haley, Clondike, Annabelle, Porter, Tombee, Gabby and others that have met untimely deaths or passed on with old age. Too many little puppies that never made it past one or two days of life or were still born. All were in my thoughts. I don't think any of us left the beach that morning without tears in our eyes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

First day of Beach Bound Hounds

Today was the first full day of the Beach Bound Hounds get together. Every year for the past eight, members of Greyhound Crossroads adoption group put together a big meet and greet for greyhounds and their owners. This was my first year attending.

I didn't know any of the people but soon met them through a common love of our adopted friends. There were seminars on first aid for dogs, greyhound cancer research, agility with your greyhound, and a canine good citizens test.

I think that the thing that Hoffa enjoyed most was going for long walks on the beach with the other greyhounds. Hoffa is the black and white girl taking up the rear on the photo above. She really enjoyed the other dogs and wanted to do her bouncing for joy routine to show off for the other dogs. I had to laugh at the comment that she was full of herself. Obviously, these folks haven't lived with Labradors! Now they are totally full of themselves and are so much stronger than greyhounds. Having had bouncing Labradors on the leash for so many years, it feels like next to nothing to have a greyhound on the end of the leash.

Our first day at the BBH get together was fun.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Off to Beach Bound Hounds

I'm heading up to Myrtle Beach for the annual Beach Bound Hounds event. It is a gathering of rescued greyhounds and their owners. This will be the first year that I am attending since it's the first year that I have owned a greyhound.

Hoffa is going with several different "outfits"--new martingale collars with one being a zebra striped number and the other a tropical fish collar. There will be lots of opportunities for her to meet other greyhounds and for me to listen to seminars on first aid, cancer in greyhounds, and to participate in beach walks and the greyhound memorial gathering.

I think that the Labradors are a bit jealous. I know that Tilly misses Hoffa when she is away. Well, I'm off to pack for Beach Bound Hounds.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hoffa's collar is lost and then....found!

(Here's the collar beginning to slip over her ears)
(And here it is coming off her head!)

Hoffa was running at the beach and during her bounding through the waves, her martingale collar managed to come off. The photos tell the story as you see it sliding over her ears and then off her pointed nose. It was lost in the surf with the tide coming in. Attached to the collar was her rabies tag, her Sullivan's Island dog tag, and an ID tag with a phone number.

After combing the beach during low tide, we concluded that the collar was lost for good. However, the next day, I got a call that the collar had been found! It was intact and other than being water logged, all was okay. Thanks to the nice lady who found the collar and for giving a call about it.

It's good to always have an ID tag on the collar for your dog, in case the dog is lost or the collar flies off.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Storm damage

With the number of storms that have been coming into the Gulf and near the southeastern US, it's hard not to think about the animals that suffer. I remember seeing the video of dead animals after Hurricane Katrina. And I remember the stories of dogs washed up on nearby islands after Hurricane Hugo.

One of the saddest things is that dogs were left inside houses or on chains to drown during recent hurricanes. Rescue workers found many dead dogs at the end of chains and trapped inside pens after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. These dogs had no chance to save themselves.

We have 10 Labradors and a greyhound. We have enough crates for all the dogs and we have enough room in our 15 passenger van and pickup truck to evacuate with the dogs if needed. Most people have 1-2 animals. I am hoping that they consider not only evacuating their family but also any animals that they have during the next hurricane.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Labradors may eat anything

I heard about this a number of years ago from a breeder friend who had Weimaraners. She said that her Weims would eat just about anything. Rocks were a favorite. Most times, the rocks would pass without a problem but occasionally there would be a blockage and serious surgery would result. Then, she had the crisis from her dog eating a pair of panty hose. That surgery ended in a tragedy in which the dog died from the hose having become entangled in the intestines.

I've always thought that Labradors were a bit more discriminating in their taste for foreign objects. Other than the disgusting habit of eating feces, I haven't had any problems with them eating mushrooms, toads, frogs, or manmade objects. Maybe it's because I heard about the Weims and have always been really careful about leaving things that are chewable or ingestible around the dogs. Even with toys, I've been careful that the stuffing doesn't get swallowed.

Most recently, I heard from Gracie's mom, Karoline, who wrote that Gracie had to have surgery to remove panty hose that she had swallowed. Only one internal incision was required in the stomach even though the hose had moved into the intestines. The surgeon was able to slowly remove the hose in order to keep from making a second incision.

I found some interesting information on the web about the most common items that have been surgically removed from the GI tract of pets:
1. socks
2. underwear
3. panty hose
4. rocks
5. balls
6. chew toys
7. corn cobs????
8. bones
9. hair ties and ribbons
10. sticks

According to a pet insurance company, dogs seem to eat almost everything including nails, needles,pagers, hearing aids, pieces of drywall, snail bait, batteries, rubber bands, toy cars, and sand with bacon grease poured on it.

Dogs that have ingested a foreign object usually show signs of gastrointestinal upset. If your dog refuses to eat, begins vomiting, drooling or has abnormal bowel movements, contact your veterinarian. It's important to contact the vet immediately that you suspect a foreign body has been swallowed.

The vet will take a radiograph to determine what has been swallowed and where the object is. Sometimes a dye must be ingested in order to determine the location of the foreign object.

The key to avoiding expensive surgery and danger to your dog is to prevention. Make sure objects that could be ingested are put away. If necessary restrict the free roaming of your dog in the house. It is also wise to never allow your dog to play with string or clothing.

It's great that Gracie is doing well. She nabbed the panty hose from the laundry basket. Just another curious Labrador but a really lucky one too!