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Wednesday 25 June 2014

Cool Coats: Keeping Hounds (and their Owners) Sane

Hello everyone, if you've seen our blog before you might notice that our Mum likes to buy us all kinds of fancy things, like harnesses for the car, orthopaedic beds and a halter that reminds us how to walk down the street politely instead of dragging our humans through the park. Our newest addition is a "cool coat" to help us during the warmer days.

A couple of weeks ago we had some extremely hot days in Scotland - far too hot for us hounds and we were feeling rather uncomfortable during walks and even at home when we were trying to relax. We were very grateful for our cool coats because they helped to make us more comfortable and bring us down to a more comfortable temperature.

Before we put them on Mum pours some cold water over our coats and it gets absorbed into the layers, meaning that we get a nice refreshing relief from the sun without becoming soggy doggies. They were put through the ultimate test when Mac came home from a long walk and stopped panting after just 5 minutes. The day before he'd struggled to calm down for almost an hour so we were all thankful our big grump wasn't going to miss out on any more sleep!

The dog coats were expensive compared to normal coats (about £50 each) but Mum says it was definitely worth it to see us feel happier. Kate's only complaint is the weather is no longer nice enough to need them!

So if your human is looking for ways to help you during the summer heat, maybe point their direction towards this blog and they might just take the hint! Our coats came from K9 Active but similar designs are also available in other places online.

We hope you're all enjoying summer without too many consequences,


Monday 19 May 2014

Fife Dog Show

Hello everyone, Maisie here today! I had a lot of fun at Fife Dog Show and I made a lot of new friends. Mum also bought me a new muzzle to show off to all my new friends.

I think I must have said hello to every dog at least 3 times over! Kate said I was shopping for a new home but I remembered where my loyalties lie when Mum bought some treats called Ducky Stripes.

Mac was too preoccupied to eat any but I loved them so much I ate his too and got 5 altogether!! He missed out.

Mac also missed out on making friends because he was a little more on edge with meeting lots of new dogs. He didn't mind the hounds but there were other dogs that were stressing him out a bit. He still enjoyed being there and seeing everyone but he tried to stay away from the dogs he didn't like and as he got more tired he got more grumpy (NEVER deprive a hound of sleep, we're not as easygoing as we make out to be).

In the car we usually like to look out all of the windows and see everything that's going on but on the way home we were so exhausted;

It's hard work socialising! But we had a fantastic time and even though I didn't win Most Loveable Face I still had a great time.
Maisie x

Sunday 11 May 2014

Hedgehogs: An insult to Dogkind

Hello folks, Mac here today.
Maisie and I were in big trouble this morning,  so much so we were almost submitted into the Homeless Hound parade at the dog show today (Kate said she was joking but she had a manic look in her eyes that I don't quite trust).
Before I begin,  I need to explain a couple of things. When I first came home I was rather fond of wrapping myself in a curtain and lying down as if it were a blanket.

Unfortunately I didn't appreciate the fact that I was slowly tearing down the curtains piece by piece until one day they almost came down on my head. We're getting blinds soon apparently but they won't be the same. Until then our windows don't have anything to cover them.
Secondly, Maisie is a rather fragile soul who gets scared quite easily and remembers the places she was scared of for a very long time. Last week she had an unfortunate encounter in our back garden with a hedgehog and she's been extra careful to check the garden for them regularly.
This morning at about 4.30am Maisie woke me up to tell me there was an intruder in the garden. As the resident macho man dog I was sent to the window to scare it away. The thing about hedgehogs though is they're very stubborn when they're hungry so they ignored my barks in favour of some slugs. Kate heard them though and so did Mum, who went into the garden to try and chase them away for us.
Maisie still wasn't happy though. She couldn't sleep and every time she returned to the window, she woke me up again to bark at an intruder. I was really just trying to make Maisie feel better because I know that humans have a magic spell called "building a solid brick wall" that keeps hogs from joining dogs in the house. Maisie still thought it would be better to bark though.
Apparently there's an old human saying called "desperate times call for desperate measures" and Kate says this applies to what she did next. Before I knew what was happening,  our preferred window of choice was covered with a bin bag! The next window soon got covered with an old dog food bag and the rest with a spare newspaper. It's not a normal thing to do at 5am (or any time of day) but Kate realised it was her only hope of getting some sleep.

Maisie was not impressed! She sulked for the rest of the night but I was secretly happy to return to my bed. The next morning the humans were still rather annoyed with us and Maisie looked rather sheepish when Mum came to feed us breakfast.

We were still allowed to go to the dog show though as long as we promised to behave, but "that's another story for another day" as Kate would say.

The moral of the story? Always keep a good supply of parcel tape nearby for use in the event of a hedgehog raid. You might just need it.


Thursday 8 May 2014

Pick Maisie for Most Loveable Face

Hello everyone, the annual Greyhound Dog Show is coming up this weekend and I'm very excited. I can show all my friends from the kennels my new family!
The dog show is raising money for my old kennels so naturally I have to go along and show my support. I'm not one for prancing in a show ring but Mum thinks I have a very loveable face so I'm going to show it to the judge. I'm just trying to decide what pose to pull when she sees me.
The obvious choice would be to show her my big brown eyes and all my teeth but that's the move every hound pulls!

 I want suave, sophistication, maybe a bit of smoulder.

And all this is before I've even decided what to wear, oh my! It's a big event in my social calendar, I can't mess it up.
Come and say hello if you see me on Sunday, it will help to calm my nerves before my big stage debut.
P.S : Mac is a bit more laid back about the weekend.

Friday 21 March 2014

Put That Muzzle On - A Cautionary Tail

Hello everyone, Maisie here today with a cautionary tale that I recommend all hounds and their humans read. I had a bad day earlier this week and I've now recovered enough to get online and tell the story.

As Mac has reported recently, we've had some trouble training our humans to take us for a walk as soon as we bark in the morning. The other day Mac tried the suggestion to whine as though he was about to poo on the carpet. It worked extremely well, one gullible human ran down the stairs and put our leads on right away!

When we got outside though, things started to go wrong. Our gullible human had ran so fast to let us out that he'd forgot to put on any shoes or our muzzles. The grass was muddy and we wanted to go further onto the lawn than he could stretch so he decided we would be okay to have a toilet break off the lead.

But off the lead in the garden means playtime! So we started running around at 40mph and chasing each other. Unfortunately our play got a bit intense and Mac bit me on the side. He wouldn't usually do this but during playtime it seemed the right thing to do. Kate got called down to assess the damage (whenever there's any kind of medical issue going on, she's the one people call for in the house. Apparently it's been that way since they had rabbits. Mmmmmm, rabbits).

I wasn't very sore at first so I kept wagging my tail and smiling at Kate but when she cleaned it I began to feel it a bit more and I was also a little shocked that Mac attacked me when we were playing a game. I was giving little squeals of pain and looking at my family with big sad brown eyes which Kate said broke her heart.

I made some new friends in the vets though! Usually I'm not friendly with other dogs (unless they're greyhounds) but I was very well behaved in the vets. Mum and Kate thought it might be some kind of canine truce to leave our differences at the door since we all don't enjoy going to the vets. Kate took some pictures as proof since she knew our family would not believe I'd made friends with a collie.

When the vet saw me he said I would need stitches and I went into surgery. The wait was awful for my family because they know how dangerous it can be to put greyhounds under anaesthetic. We're sensitive little souls but luckily my vet knows his stuff and he did a great job.

When Mum and Kate came to collect me I gave an almighty howl as I was turfed out of my kennel. I was still groggy from the surgery and the whole thing felt like a bit of a nightmare. I didn't want to walk and I reluctantly got into the car.

There is one thing that cheers up a sick hound.....chicken! And luckily the vet had told Mum that's exactly what I needed to take my medicine with. I woke up long enough to eat the titbits and Mac watched in disbelief as he got offered nothing (he was still in big trouble for biting me).

Once I'd had my chicken I went back to sleep standing up on the kitchen floor (I was very very sleepy). It took Kate a whole 5 minutes to get me to walk over to my bed and another 5 minutes to convince me that sleeping on my bed would be comfier than staring at it blankly in a post-op daze. Eventually I got there though.

(I didn't move from that position all night).

In the morning I was feeling a lot better. Mac went out for his early morning walk as usual but the vet had told me I couldn't exercise so I stood watching the front door and howled until Kate woke up and came to cuddle me. Mac knew I was hurt so I was scared he'd left me to find a new pack. I didn't return to my normal self until he got back.

Mac missed me too though, when I was in for surgery he was confused and a little upset. Not so upset that he howled but that's only because he isn't a good  singer like me. Nonetheless, he was very happy to see me back to my usual self the next day.

I have another check up next week to check that my wound is healing properly but I'm feeling okay just now. I was lucky though, this whole incident could have been prevented if we'd had our muzzles on when we went outside. Even if you think everything is going to be okay please take a couple of minutes to muzzle your hound because we're very speedy creatures and anything can happen in the blink of an eye.

A friend of mine didn't have such a happy ending when they got bitten. Their vet didn't know greyhounds in the same way that mine does and unfortunately the anaesthetic didn't agree with him. His owners now wonder what could have been done differently and struggle with the way that things changed so suddenly.

From one hound to another, please tell your humans to put your muzzle on before you go out and play. It can save a lot of stress, a lot of money and maybe even your life.

Thanks for reading everyone


Wednesday 5 March 2014

5 Things to Do With Your Hound When There Builders In The House

Right now the kitchen in our house is being rebuilt. We thought it looked okay but apparently the humans thought we needed a new one so there are a lot of builders working in our house. We were a little upset to discover that the builders just wanted to work and didn't want to play with us but here are some things that humans can do to make us feel happier.

1. Hang out with us

Our humans are pretty good at doing this anyway but we appreciate it more when there are weird noises and people walking around who don't live here. If we see a human is okay with all the strange things that are going on, it makes us  feel a little better.

2. Take us on more walks

We try our best to be cool and confident but sometimes we get a bit anxious - what if our new kitchen doesn't have any treats in it? What if our humans decide they don't need the garden either and we have nowhere to play? It can sometimes lead to accidents if we get very excited or uneasy so a quick 5 minute walk helps to settle our nerves and empty our bladder.

3. Reward us when we're good

This is another thing that our humans are good at but a nice treat is always appreciated. A nice meaty chew can also take our mind away from everything, stimulate our brains, clean our teeth and burn off our excess energy! What's not to love?

4. Don't be too hard on us when we're naughty

Having builders in the house is stressful for us pets too and although we do our best to be good, sometimes we slip up or get confused. We might be pushing our luck sometimes and it's not okay if we're causing trouble on purpose, but we'll probably feel a lot better after we've went for a walk.

5. Humour us

We'll admit it, having the builders in isn't THAT traumatising for us but we do like a bit of extra cuddle time and appreciation. Every hound reacts differently to these changes so although we just like to catch up on our sleep when the builders are around, your hound might need more love and attention.

Mac and Maisie

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Training Humans is Hard Work

Hello again everyone, Mac here again to update you all on how we're getting on with our training. It's not just dogs that need training, humans also need a considerable amount of training from their hound and unfortunately our humans are just not picking up on it!

We're still trying to teach them the basics. The first thing they should do when they wake up is leap out of bed, put on their clothes and take us for a walk. There's no time to go to the toilet or eat breakfast! We don't care if we've just came back from a walk! We might not always want to go out again but they should be able to respond to my command.

We've lived here 7 months now and they're still not getting it so I've started whining and barking when I hear someone wandering around the house. It concerned dad at first, who thought I might desperately need a poo. Kate wasn't so easy too fool though and she told him that I was only howling when I heard someone get out of bed. She was clever enough to figure out my trigger but she still hasn't taken the hint that I want her to stop what she's doing and come over immediately!

*sigh* do any other hounds have any tips? Are my humans really stupid or are they all this stubborn?


(As you can see I'm completely exhausted now)