It was a “greyt” time today at Pet Fest sponsored by Busch Pet Products in Cape Girardeau, Mo. There were lots of exhibits, pet related services and adoptable dogs of (all breeds).
The greyhounds made a good showing today as there were probably 9 or 10 there soaking up hugs.
To see photos of some “happening hounds” click on this link… Busch Pet Products – Pet Fest 2013
Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.
As anyone with a dog knows, their nails need to be trimmed regularly, just as ours do. Some groomers and veterinarians recommend trimming at least once a month to avoid getting long nails that can cause your dog to have problems walking or lead to toe injuries during play in the yard. Long nails can get caught in carpet and injure a dog when he pulls to free himself. The dog’s nails should just clear the floor when standing on a solid surface floor such as tile or linoleum. A good test is that you can slide a piece of paper under the nails when the dog is standing on a hard floor. If the nails block the paper slipping under them, they should probably be shortened.
There are special clippers designed to cut our dog’s nails. Please do not try to do this with human clippers. Many stores carry guillotine clippers, claw or scissor action clippers, and Dremel style rotating nail files (sanders or grinders). Which you choose depends on personal preference. I like the Dremel because I can work down slowly, and it is much harder to trim too short, as can easily be done with cutting type appliances…but the sound can be disturbing to some dogs, so it may be best to just let it run so the dog can hear it and get adjusted to the sound before actually trying to do any trimming with it.
Hopefully you have been handling your dogs feet from the “get go”. This will help remove concern about you holding her paws. Stoke the toes and feel between the pads gently. Clean between the pads to remove mud or other debris that may have accumulated; this makes the foot more comfortable. As you and your dog become more comfortable with you handling his feet, and as I said above, try “pretend clipping” the nails so that the dog becomes accustomed to the clippers or dremel and to the sound made.
Have someone instruct you in the process if you have not done nails before. Your veterinarian, a groomer, another dog owner who cares for her own dogs’ nails are all good resources for help in learning the procedure. Once you are comfortable with the process, you are ready to try it on your dog. Stay calm. Your dog will pick up on your anxieties if you do not remain tranquil.
Like our nails, dog nails will soften with soaking. Some groomers recommend that dogs have a bath first so nails are soaked and softened before trimming. This may also cause the clippers to snip more quietly.
Start by removing excess hair from the toe and pad areas of the foot so that the hair does not become entangled in the dremel or clippers. Trim the hair from between the pads on the bottoms of the feet. Besides making nail trimming easier, this will help keep the dogs feet clean and more healthy. In the winter, trimming this hair out will also help prevent ice balls from building up in your dogs’ feet. In the rainy spring or fall, trimming this assists in mud control besides comfort for the dog.
If you have someone who can help you by talking quietly to the dog and rubbing his ears while you work, it is an excellent distraction that keeps you and the dog calm. Rubbing the ears gently seems to sooth dogs and distract them from their feet. Feeding small bits of treats also helps make this a positive event for the dog.
Work from the underside of the nail. Work slowly and do not jerk. Sand or clip the nail down until you see a slight color change or small circle on dark nails. You should stop now. On white or light nails, you should be able to see where the pink area starts; stop before you get there. This is the quick or live section of the nail which contains blood vessels. If you should accidentally go too far and the nail bleeds, apply a styptic pencil or a bit of flour or baking soda to the wound. Hold it firmly in place for a minute or two. The bleeding should stop. If the bleeding continues for more than three or four minutes, we suggest you call your veterinarian.
You may follow up with a nice paw rub much like we use lotion on our hands. It helps moisturize the pads and keep them from cracking. Many different types of paw conditioner rubs are available, but be sure to remember dogs lick their paws so it must be safe if “consumed” by your friend.
Just as a side note, some dogs wear their nails down naturally and do not require much trimming, if any. Dogs who walk on concrete or gravel may not need nails trimmed as often as dogs that are kept mostly in the house on carpeted floors.
Does your dog scratch at the door to get in? Consider putting up small strips of light sand paper in the areas where the dog scratches. The dog’s front nails then become self filed and remain short.
Nail trimming is very important in greyhounds as with their sudden bursts of extreme acceleration and lightning changes in direction, having nails too long can present serious issues if they are caught in something.
It’s easy…just do it!
Sorry it’s been so long since the last post, but with my mom being sick and my travels back and forth to Louisiana, I’ve had other things on my mind.
Today was a beautiful day so I took the opportunity to take Vladimir and Vitali, our two rescued greyhound brothers, up the road a few miles to the Murphysboro dog park. We were the only ones there for about an hour, then a couple showed up with their 2 dogs and a short time later more people started to take advantage of the nice weather and get their dogs out for some exercise and socialization. We stayed approximately four hours and the boys were totally exhausted when we arrived home. Four hours of running and playing for a sprinter like a greyhound is a lot!!
The boys met a few old friends and made some new ones, of the 2 and 4 leg variety. As usual, I took some photos and video of the days activities, which I have posted a few below this post and the others will be posted in a day or so to the photo or video links in the menu above.
I will part with these words…please remember greyhounds are unique among dogs, they are bred in huge numbers for only one purpose, to be the fastest greyhound and when that does not happen they are as expendable to their owners as yesterdays newspaper. A racing greyhound is NOT a pet and is not treated like a pet, it is a commodity that if it does not turn a profit, it will be done away with in one way or another. Some of the lucky ones, like Vladimir and Vitali, make it to a rescue group and become available for adoption, others…numbering in the 10’s of thousands meet fates that can range anywhere from “humane” euthanization to hanging and practically anything in between that could be done to cause death and I mean anything, there are documented cases of drownings, electrocutions, being shot (pistols, rifles, bolt guns), beaten…you name it, it’s been done to these gentle creatures.
Greyhound exploitation is still prevalent in a few states and it’s time to pull the plug on those few remaining states that allow this travesty to continue.
You’ve probably heard me say this time and time again if you’re a regular to this blog, but, the next time you are in a position to help out a dog or are ready to add a new member to your household…PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE consider a greyhound, you will be amazed at the wonderful pet you get and you will almost certainly be saving one from a fate much less kind.
Today marks one year we have had Vladimir & Vitali as members of our family. They are wonderful boys and have brought so much joy into our lives and so much attention. Walking down the street with a greyhound is like walking with a celebrity, I’m serious, ask other greyhound owners, people are naturally drawn to them and most have never actually seen one close up. They are some truly amazing creatures, as gentle and loving as they are fast. They have made such a huge impact on our lives and helped further open our eyes to all of the greed and callousness of the industry they were born into.
We also became aware of the differences involving the groups who act as lifelines for these gentle creatures after they are no longer of use to the racing industry. Many of these groups say the are “neutral” when in fact, that’s just a word thrown out there to try to pacify both sides, most “neutral” groups are funded in part by the racing industry. In fact, if you’re looking at the big picture, what good is it to be “neutral”, what are you accomplishing, except helping to prolong the inevitable demise of this cruel, barbaric spectacle. How can you be “in the middle”, you either are for something or against it. The main focus of any greyhound rescue organization should be to put themselves out of business by getting racing banned in every state (and worldwide). If you’re not working toward that end, you are part of the problem (not the solution) as you are prolonging the killing and injuries and suffering of these magnificent animals. Even if your rescue adopts out more dogs than most, you are helping to keep the industry alive if you are going along with the program and keeping your mouth shut, thereby perpetuating the further breeding and culling of pups and other dogs deemed unfit for racing and putting countless others in harms way.
A couple of weeks ago while out on our morning walk through our back yard, we happened upon….. a snake. The boys had stopped all of a sudden to smell the ground and it was then that I noticed, about 4 feet in front of us, a black snake about 2 1/2 to 3 ft long. As I stood there watching it, the snake raised it’s head few inches off the ground and turned around to look at us. It was this movement that got the dogs attention, first Vlad, then Vitali.
Vlad appeared to be curious and showed no sign of distress, but Vitali went completely bonkers, as soon as he locked eyes on it he started to rear up like a wild horse being broken in those cowboy movies. He bucked and twisted and was hopping all over the place on his hind legs and making the most awful screams, yelps and other vocalizations I have ever heard come out of the mouth of any living creature. During the entire time, the snake did nothing except flick his tongue and follow us with his head, otherwise he did not move.
I took both of the boys away from there and brought them back into the house, where Vitali was still visibly shaking, bottom jaw quivering, so I stayed with him and comforted him awhile. A little later I went back out to the same spot and the snake was still there, (maybe had moved a few feet) so I, with the help of a branch prodded it back into the woody area bordering the property where I assume it came from. I did, however, sprinkle some snake repellent pellets along the border a day or so later hoping it would choose another path from now on and so far have not seen it again.
Sometimes when out for a walk, the boys will see a stick on the ground and approach it very cautiously, ready to react if it should move.
I have a little movie posted in the video section about their encounter with a turtle. I guess, for them, it’s a reptile thing.
Greyhounds are absolutely gorgeous dogs that are well known for their ability to race. As the second fastest land animal on the planet, they are revered… as long as they can run. When they cannot, they are simply disposed of in whatever way the trainer sees fit. This means that many are abandoned or put down. As a result, greyhound dog rescue is incredibly important and something that more people should be educated about.
Greyhound dog rescue is a niche area because there are a number of groups that are dedicated to rescuing greyhounds. A few dogs are treated well whilst in racing service, but the vast majority are not. They are forced to almost continuously wear muzzles, are pulled and jerked around and are often claustrophobic after finding themselves in small cages for hours on end on a daily basis. The owners and trainers that do treat them well tend to find good homes for them when they are retired, unfortunately the vast majority do not.
Greyhounds are often abandoned or put down as soon as they are injured or cannot race. This means that they may be abandoned and actually wander around a strange environment until found, if they are lucky. However, there are a number of greyhound specific dog rescue groups that cater to greyhounds exclusively and do their best to find them new homes that they can settle into. The more people that adopt them, the more openings there are so other greyhounds can be rescued and rehomed.
Greyhounds are wondrous creatures and make excellent family pets, which makes dog rescue all the more important for them. They are really placid, loving and very low maintenance because they enjoy their own space. If anyone is looking to dog rescue for his or her next pet, look for a greyhound! It is very rewarding and satisfying to know that someone cares for them and gives them the attention and love they deserved but went without for the first few years of their lives.
Greyhounds are as fast as they are smart, as wise as they are loving. Outdoors, it is a thrill to watch this dog run at full stretch. In short bursts, the greyhound can accelerate to over 60 ft per second within 4 or 5 strides or around 45 mph. The only other land animal that can accelerate faster over a short distance is the Cheetah
Indoors, he becomes a quiet and dignified family member, expecting hugs and petting from his family. Greyhounds are very affectionate, but will not overly dote on you. The Greyhound’s gentle nature makes him a good children’s dog.
The Greyhound is an extremely powerful and muscular dog. The breed has a long, slim tail and legs. The chest is narrow and deep, while the waist is extremely slender. The breed also has a long and narrow head, neck and muzzle giving the Greyhound an extremely aerodynamic body. They have large hearts, lungs and muscles required for its famous double suspension gallop and incredible bursts of speed. The ears of a greyhound fold flat against its neck when running, similar to the wings on a departing bird or plane.
Tall and lean, the Greyhound is the worlds fastest breed of dog. As a sight hound, the breed pursues game using its vision and speed. Today, however, the Greyhound primarily serves as a sweet and personable companion. The breed can be any color, including black, fawn and red, often combined with white or brindle markings. The Greyhound has been owned by many prominent figures in history, including President Rutherford B. Hayes and General George A. Custer.
The greyhound has his eyes well positioned at the sides of his head giving him a far wider field of view than other dogs (270 degrees versus 180 degrees.) They can actually see things that are behind them. They are sight hounds and can spot movement up to half a mile away.
Greyhound racing became popular in the 1920’s as the aerodynamic build and size of the breed allows them to be the fastest dogs in the world. The Greyhound can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour in less than 3 seconds! Greyhounds are undoubtedly the best sprinters, not only in the dog world, but in any world, having the fastest acceleration of any land animal on earth, topped only by the Cheetah.
A Look Back
One of the most ancient breeds known to man, evidence of the Greyhound was first discovered in tomb carvings in Egypt dating back to 2900 B.C. Aristocracy and culture has always surrounded the Greyhound, and in early times, only royalty bred them. As hunters in England, they were used on practically all kinds of game from deer, stags and foxes, but the hare is the Greyhound’s natural quarry. In America, Greyhounds arrived with the Spanish explorers in the 1500s and were among the first dogs recorded at American dog shows.
Although the breed is extremely athletic and fast, they are surprisingly mellow. They are not as hyperactive as is commonly believed, nor do they require constant exercise. They are often referred to as 45 mile per hour couch potatoes. Greyhounds are one of the most common rescue breeds in the world, due to the fact that racetracks have in the past euthanized (killed) them in huge numbers after they are too old or slow to race any longer, or have been injured and are no longer profitable. This still happens, however thanks to the determination of many rescue organizations, the tracks and breeders are watched more closely and it has become increasingly tougher for them to get away with such wanton acts of violence toward this gentle breed.
Is A Greyhound Right For You?
Although a loving companion, the Greyhound possesses the typical independent spirit of the hound, so patient training is necessary. They enjoy the company of their families as well as other dogs. The breed’s short, smooth coat is easy to maintain. Due to the Greyhound’s athleticism, they need daily exercise, although a short walk a couple times a day will suffice. They should be kept on leash or in a fenced area due to their tendency to run and with their acceleration they would be a football field away before you could get a word out of your mouth. Many greyhounds have a definite prey instinct and some will chase anything that moves quickly. Due to this, some are not suitable to live with cats or other small animals. The breed, however, is a pack animal and is happiest when there are people or other large animals around for companionship. Greyhounds can vary in degrees of their ability to get along with smaller pets. Our two boys, Vladimir & Vitali have no problem at all with any of our cats, either the inside ones or the outside ones, nor have they ever caused an issue with our little parrot (sun conure) when it is out exploring in the house.
When thinking about adopting one of these magnificent creatures, you can pretty much put your order in for one that suits your lifestyle. Want an older one, you got it, want one that’s cat friendly, you got it, want a certain color, you can get it. There are so many that need loving homes, you can just about “special order” your grey just the way you want him/her.
Contact your local greyhound rescue organization and find out what they can do for you!
Below are a few pics taken at the “Show Me Center” in the Greyhound Pets of America “Meet & Greet” area. This event was in conjunction with the “Home & Garden Show” held in Cape Girardeau, Mo. the weekend of March 16 – 18
As usual, the dogs were a big hit and several people picked up applications and brochures.
Ok, on to the photos!!
The Greyhound is arguably the purest breed on Earth, appearing to have changed little from dogs depicted on the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs.
Bred and prized for their keen eye sight, greyhound dogs are classified as sight hounds, and their build solidly indicates the intentions of the breeders for speed in this breed. They are the fastest dogs on earth, reaching top speeds of over 45 miles per hour in little under three seconds, but don’t let that impressive fact fool you. Greyhound dogs are vastly considered by their owners to be gentle, 45 mile per hour couch potatoes. They thoroughly enjoy slacking and loafing and are never high strung or hyper, and they rarely allow any other animals to “get their goat”. Cool as cucumbers, these sprinters are happy with a 20 minute walk each day as the proper amount of exercise. They are graceful dogs that are frequently compared to cats due to their calm and reserved behavior. They are not aggressive, which make them perfect companions for children and the elderly.
Greyhound dogs were the target of a horrible respiratory disease epidemic which found hoards of them dead and 1200 more of them quarantined during the year 2006. This greyhound flu also occurred in other breeds, however, it was so much more ferocious because of the spread of it around the tracks and kennels due to the close living proximity of greyhound dogs. The most prominent causes of death in greyhound dogs are track injuries and respiratory illnesses, but they tend to live long lives when enjoyed as pets or rescued from the racing industry. Unfortunately, in years past, there were huge numbers of these gorgeous creatures killed by track personnel just because they were too slow, had lost too many races, were injured beyond their capability to any longer race or any other reason they decided the dogs were no longer needed. The huge number of the dogs that were killed dwarfed in comparison the number that died from any type of natural death. Thankfully, with the rise of many rescue groups this number has dropped dramatically, however the issue still exists.
If you are interested in adopting or acquiring a greyhound as a pet, you will find that there are a great many fans of the breed who have done an outstanding amount of work to save, nurture, and readjust these beautiful dogs for family home life. They are great with kids and they need very little extracurricular games or projects to keep them busy. They are not big chewers, and they will most likely doze peacefully on the sofa while you go about your day, greeting you drowsily when you return. Your male will be tall, at about 30 inches at the wither, and weigh from 70 – 85 pounds. Females, a bit smaller, will measure around 28 inches and from 60 – 75 pounds.
If you just happen to be in the Southeast Missouri or Southern Illinois area, there is a banner link for Greyhound Pets of America (GPA) at the bottom of the page you can click on to get an application to start the process.
Caution – greyhounds can be highly addictive. In most instances, once a greyhound owner, always a greyhound owner. Many times one greyhound pet expands to several at the same time!