Monday, April 27, 2009

New Pups at SEGA

Saturday, 8 new beautiful retired racers arrived in Acworth at our adoption kennel to begin their lives as family pets. What a stellar group of greyt looking pups! Visit our adoption page at to read their full profiles when they are posted!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Sugar - Autism Benefit Meet & Greet

Brando and Miss Kit Kat with a Balloon Bunny

Handy & Ms Eda

Brando and an adoring Pony at the Day's Chevy Autism Benefit
"I'll Race Ya!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quiet Moments

Monday, April 20, 2009

They are finally ours...

Jon and I received 3 Gold certificates today from NGA indicating that Drew, Handy and Garth now were registered to us! It only took 7 business days to have them return the new registration certificates to us. And best of all, part of the transfer fee will be donated back to SEGA. The Pups are ours!

I Thought I Smelled a Bunny Wabbit...

Alas, it was only a Barred Owl during the day. He called to the hounds from a tree in the back 2 acres. It was a beautiful afternoon - finally, with no wind for a few minutes!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Fondness

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Incredible Athletes

As greyhound owners, we are acutely aware of what incredible athletes our dogs are. They are the 2nd fastest animal on the planet. They have a grace and elegance when they run and play. Some seem to float across the ground. They smile big toothy smiles as they whiz past us in a blur.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to view another incredible athlete at work - Cross Country Jumping competitors. I helped judge several jumps where the cross country course was between 1 - 2.5 miles in length with 17 - 27 jumps depending on the competitors level (intermediate, training, or novice).

Carl Bouckaert owns 8400 acres in south Fulton County called Chattahoochee Hills. He is an accomplished show jumping champion, and offers his land for Lure Coursing events and eventing horse competitions. It is a phenomenal piece of property with grassy rolling hills and valleys, some pines and hardwood trees on the hilltops and many small lakes peppered through out. When you drive down the gravel road onto the property, it reminds me of taking a drive on a forest service road in a national park.

Carl, the owner of Chattahoochee Hills, is pictured above on Raphael in the Intermediate Division running as team #5 clearing jump 11. He is highly ranked by the USEA - United States Eventing Association with Raphael.

He is also pictured below on Cyrano clearing jump #7 in the Training Division. He was the 107th rider to run the course at this point. He rode 3 different horses during the event, Raphael, Cyrano and Big Skye.

Below are just a few of the photos that I snapped while judging the jumps as the horses paraded through. There were 181 horses on the Order of Go listing, but several did withdraw. Every 2 - 3 minutes another horse would come by and strut their stuff over the jumps. I was in a unique part of the venue - the water feature. The old saying, 'You can take a horse to water, but you can't make him drink...' - they sure can splash though when their jumping in the water!

Jump 7 in the intermediate course above - coming down a 100 yard hill from previous jump. Featured is # 12 Tops ridden by Danielle Dichting.

Jump 8 below is 2 strides from jump 7 with a 4' drop into water.

Jumps 9 & 10 were rolltop jumps in about 12" of water. There was only 1 water refusal all day in the novice category where the horse ran around this small body of water.

Jump 11 - a wide stone table which as you can see is well over 6' wide on the top, but only about 3.5' tall.

Another incredible photo below - look at the tuck on those front legs. This was another Training Level rider, # 116 Kristen Gallo riding Sonny Side Up. The next jump took them back into the water, and he did terrific.

The following two photos of team #66, On The Rocks ridden by Kayla Diehl, are probably the best I took all day. The look of determination and focus on Kayla's face made for a clear ride through the entire 17 jumps on this Training Level event. On The Rocks didn't seem to exert any effort going over these jumps at all.

Jump # 6 in the Training Level

Jump #7 in the Training Level.

A few other notables, just because they just looked so darn GOOD at going over the jumps and splashing through the water feature are below:

Team #45, Fleet Makani ridden by Katherine Sulzbach

Team #26: Desperado ridden by Andrea Leatherman

Team #22: Tomada ridden by Amy Barrington

Team #27: Lorenzo III ridden by Leahona Rowland

Team #30: Prince Noah ridden by David Adamo

And the last one has me wondering - the horse's eyes are closed as it clears this jump. "Please let me clear this jump perfect, please don't let there be water on the other side, please...."
Team #40: Henry ridden by Scott Keach

There is another jumping event scheduled for Chattahoochee Hills on May 16-17. If you're interested in volunteering to be a jump judge, you won't be disappointed! It's also free if you just want to be a spectator, bring your dog on a leash and walk the grounds to observe the events. They also feature dressage and show jumping classes. Little girls and horses, a deadly combination!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Garth's 11 today! Happy Birthday G-Man!

Garth is 11 today! This is quite a milestone for him given the background we know about him. He broke his right hock in 2002 on the track in his 71st race (he won the 70th as A grade). He broke it again at his last owner's house in 2007. There is a scar on his tummy - obviously ingested something that didn't agree with him.

I looked up his age in peep years on the Dogs Rule website. He's 82 in peep years! He's doing quite well for a gent of that age. We haven't decided what we have in store for him tomorrow, but it will be a small affair at home with some frozen yogurt and a peanut butter stuffed KONG. He's quite OUR distinguished gentleman. We love you Garfie!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Change of Scenery... North to Alaska!

I'm often asked if I'm from Alaska. No. My mom is though, and her mom, and my Great Grandfather Pete Kavanaugh ventured to Nome in 1897 in search of gold. That is where my mom's family landed and stayed. We make it point to get up and visit at least every other year.

Our last visit in 2007 took us to Cache Creek for a few days of panning for nuggets (I seem to think it looks more like dust, but whatever makes mom happy). Ken Lee, owner of the claim we stayed on, ventured off the 'hill' to retrieve us and our gear for a 4 day adventure. The adventure was the 2 hour ride to the gold camp in a 4x4 that covered only 11 miles. We didn't stop for breaks on the way in. It was quite a rough ride on a one-lane dirt road with many holes and 'mudlakes' that could swallow the truck if you didn't stay in just the right track.

In 2006, we ventured to the Kenai for some fishing at my cousin's fish camp. She has a nice set up and runs a guide service on the Russian River during King season. She is just minutes by water from where all the combat fishing occurs. Unfortunately, we were in between the Kings and Silvers so there wasn't much luck fishing. We were skunked on clam digging at Clam Gulch as well. The only bright spot on that trip was our gold digging expedition on Bertha and 6 Mile Creeks. The area is very remote. It's easy just to park your rig, set up camp, and feel like there isn't a soul around. It does get a little creepy when you're next to a creek, in 10' willow and you can't hear anyone sneak up on you - and it's fall when the bears are looking for the last few berries before hibernation again.

I think the camping part was most fun. Mom hadn't roasted marshmallows and wienies on a campfire since I was a little squirt - about 35 years ago. She torched the first wienie - flaming good I might add. It was BLACK. The marshmallows fared only marginally better - at least Mr. Stick was green, and didn't catch on fire. We all had a great time, dodging the smoke and the skeeters until late in the evening. You can't beat the crisp fall air in Alaska to recharge your batteries. Pictured above are my husband Jon holding Mr. Stick and mom with the wienie that didn't get charred black.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Garth aka 'Guard Dog' aka Garfie or Guardie

Who'd thunk it - a Greyhound Guard Dog. We tell everyone if you want a guard dog, the greyhound probably isn't for you. Yes, they are big. Yes, they have lots of teeth and usually greet you with an open mouth (hoping for treats). Yes, they can run after someone fast (but they want to play).

I think we have one that is a Guard Greyhound folks! We've had Garth for 4 months now. His is 2 weeks shy of his 11th birthday, a super senior. He's had his share of hard luck - a broken hock on the track, a bounce early in his retired career in Florida, and a bounce last year after 6 years with his family and another break in the same hock under their care. During his last adoption situation, he developed severe separation anxiety from being locked in the basement while his peeps worked (children left for college, so no one to love on Garth anymore).

We knew his story and took on the challenge. He's doing much better, but he bonds very strongly to his peeps. That bonding has turned into protectiveness the last several weeks. Last week, Jon worked from home one day. Garth started a 'barking fit' while looking out the front door. The UPS man was delivering packages across the street to the neighbor. We knew he didn't like doorbells - maybe he could hear theirs. He continued to bark until the UPS man drove away.

The next night, the pizza man came bearing dinner. The problem was he arrived 20 minutes earlier than we were told, so he RANG the doorbell (we usually prepare 5 minutes before delivery time to avoid the doorbell issue). Garth ran down the stairs with his pack of 2 following and BARKED at the pizza man, even as I was paying him and taking the pizza. We try to make the pizza event a highlight to their day when it happens. Garth was not amused - his hackles were still up 10 minutes after the pizza man left, and he continued to prowl the window on the lookout for any other invaders.

This week, I was home sick several days. The FedEx man brought a boat object for Jon - you guessed it, left the package, a note on the door, and RANG the doorbell. The excitement played out again. Now Drew is starting to bark along. Thursday night, a girlfriend came by to pick something up. Since I knew she was coming, I turned on the outdoor lights, opened the door (not the storm door), and waited for her arrival. She is terrified of dogs...

As soon as she arrived, Garth was at the glass door waiting with me. He was fine, until she came in the house. He growled at her, his hackles came up, and then he started barking. Jon had to watch him while we took care of business in the office.

He does not do well with changes to his routine. I have nearly weaned him off the clomicalm that he needed when we got him. He doesn't have any destructive habits as long as he is not crated or confined to a space, but he is still very cautious around new situations, and worries when we leave. We can hear him pacing the house looking for us when we go to the basement. It's very sad to think in his mind, he's going to be left as he was at his previous adopters home.

I guess we need to set up situations to desensitize him and practice these things he obviously fears, and praise him when he corrects a bad behavior (like growling at people or barking at the doorbell). He's such a loving hound - always stopping by for reassurance that we are still here. He doesn't follow us around the house as he used to. He's now content to lay in the crate, door open, and rest away from us and Drew and Handy.

Friday, April 3, 2009 - What a Greyt Website

A fellow SEGA member listed about this 'artsy' website for us non-artistic types. What a result!
Visit to start your piece of artwork. This one took literally 15 seconds!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Handy's Meme from A-Z

Brother Drew - I'll best you on this throw down! Since everything is all about ME, this will be EZ!

A: Affectionate
B: Brilliant
C: Cuddly
D: Diva
E: Extravagant
F: Feisty
G: Gorgeous
H: Handy, of course
I: Incredible
J: Joyous
K: Kind, One of a
L: Love love love
N: Needed
O: Over the Top because I'm not over the hill at 10 years old!
P: Princess - my mom's name was Beautiful Queen, so I'm a Princess by birthright
Q: Queen - I'll meet you at Rainbow Ridge mums, but I'm a Queen for the moment
R: Rambunctious
S: Special
T: Tinky Winky - the peeps call me this all the time - it must be endearing :-D
U: U know it's all about ME
V: Vivacious
W: Weeee, We get to ride in the ROO
X: Xtra Special
Y: Y - Because I said so!
Z: Zoomie - I was the '01 Derby Champ at JCKC

Garth, it's your turn next... Bet you can't top my list 'Guard Dog'

Meme from A-Z: Drew Style

Most of you know, Food Rulez my World! So here's my attempt at my A-Z list:

A: Apples - Pink Lady is my favorite, but Honey Crisp will do too
B: Banana's - every good racers recovery fruit
C: Chocolate - peeps say it's poisonous according to the vet bills from my previous adopter
D: Ding Dongs - never had 'em, but they sure look good on commercials
E: Eclairs - more chocolate!
F: French Fries - waffle fries from Chick-fil-A to be specific
G: Green beans - mom's diet food for me :-(
H: Hot Dogs - like me!
I: Ink Pens - they have a good crunch to them
J: Jerky: Beef, Turkey, Goat, Elk, Moose, Caribou, bunny-jerky
K: Kong - all things that fill my Kong every day
L: Liver treats - freeze dried
M: Mooshies - Marshmallows, roo hoo
N: Noodles - whole wheat healthy ones
O: Old Mother Hubbard treats
P: Peanut Butter, Popcorn, Potato Chips, Pig's Ears - my favorite letter of the alpha-bet
Q: Quaker Oats - Quiche just isn't my style
R: Rice - brown and crunchy
S: Steak - medium rare to be exact
T: Tomatoes - picked right from mom and pops plants in the garden! Hee hee
U: U-name it, I'll try it
V: Venison all natural jerky treats
X: X-tra helping of everything, please
Y: Yogurt - the 'fresh aire' solution
Z: Zucchini - raw, not slimy sauteed

The peeps told me I'm supposed to play tag when I finish this. Problem is, Handy and Garth don't like to play tag with me. Are there any other greys out there that want to play tag with Me?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday