Our sweet, LAZY boy Drew is finally a Reading Education Assistance Dog. His tag came in the mail on Friday. We are still working at getting into the local library 2 miles from our house for their special reading program.
We have one more shadow visit left where Drew will be the listener and then he'll be able to go out on his own to find children challenged with reading aloud to classmates. I sat in on the first shadow visit where I just observed. It's very uplifting to see the children read while keeping a hand on the dog for reassurance. After the session, the trainer relayed to me that one of the readers (who is 10 and reads at a 1st grade level) had improved tremendously. He couldn't sit for even 2 minutes in the first session, but was now sitting and reading for 15 minutes, and hoping to get more time to read a little longer!
Drew is a knucklehead at times - forever foraging to eat something that might kill him. He is just like a little child, always pushing the boundaries and needing reminding of what the rules are. I think that trait will make him a great reading partner. He's not perfect; their reading skills won't be perfect, so there will be an instant bond between child and dog!
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Each Saturday May - June and in September, SEGA has a M&G booth at the Marietta Farmer's Market. We are 'limited' to 3 hounds each visit, but that doesn't keep us from providing a little additional color variety for potential adopters to observe. Today we had 8 hounds in all today, and were very mindful not to block any other vendors from potential sales. Personally, I think the dogs draw people to the area we are in.
We've started using gorgeous Donation Jackets from Christel Ausman at Cottage Hound Designs. What a difference in fun'raising that has made for our SEGA organization this spring! Christel gets her silk fabrics from Alisha at 2Hounds Design, so you can get a matching coat and collar set if you really want to show you're hound as a fashion statement. In just the special M&G events this spring, we've collected over $750 in donations (that we normally only put a jar out that collects at best $20).
Seriously take a look at the quality workmanship and creativity that Christel has to offer. We always collect more than the cost of 1 jacket in one outing. Today we collected $163 in 4 hours! You could say that Nikki and Handy in their purple jackets are 'strippers' - they lure dollars from the small children and get them stuffed them in their jackets.
Handy is pictured above in her Donation Dog Jacket in purple with Teal Dragonflies. She is being admired by Jenna K of Mr. K's Cookies at the market. Jenna is a weekly regular, and was promoted to hound holder this weekend. Mr. K is being bit by the GH bug - he started asking questions today - maybe we'll have an application from him by the end of the summer!
Posted by GreytGold at 3:03 PM
Handy's not the most photogenic subject. She always manages to look away, yawn, turn sideways, have her tongue hanging out, and so on. She usually looks like a grumpy old lady! Well, her personality is exactly the opposite. She's wound up like a top when she gets her 'special' collar and necklace on - the lady of the house must dress for off-site adventures to meet her adoring public.
I finally captured her true spirit in this photo - she'll be 11 in September, but her spirit is that of a loving hound just off the track looking for that new forever home. Honey Handy - we're glad you picked us to provide a pillow to lay your head upon in your senior years. You are a beauty!
Posted by GreytGold at 2:53 PM
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Posted by GreytGold at 9:44 PM
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Ms. Nikki is adapting very well to our home. She is our first attempt at rehoming a racer straight from the track. Our 3 previous adoptions were all bounces. After two days, Nikki has mastered 3 different sets of stairs, managed to wade up to her neck in the lake, and she alerts us every time we come down the stairs. "Yes Nikki, we are coming down stairs again."
Yesterday was her first day off leash walking from her spay. She decided that chasing Drew was just her speed. She chased Drew around the yard on the 'inside track' until he was wore out. He usually plays keep away from us, but he can't seem to outrun Ms. Nikki and she wanted to play with him. He has always seemed to want Handy or Garth to play with him, but both were older and showed no interest. Now a tiny 5 year old comes along, and he can't keep up!
She slept well on a dogbed in our room last night, but did spend part of the night looking out the window. We're not sure what she was looking at, but she seemed relaxed. Drew seems a little paranoid that she will step on him and occasionally make a little whine to warn her away.
Handy seems to be taking to Nikki just fine too. Nikki is all wiggles, kisses and wags right now. She seems quite comfortable in our home, and we're sure glad to have this WONDER WOMAN living with us!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
We adopted Gambling Nikki tonight. She's the sweetest little lady. She's going to win any kissing contest we enter her in. We found out she was the trainer's favorite hound in his kennel at JCKC. Waggly tail, smiling face, and kissing, kissing, kissing all the time. She's one very happy hound!
This is our first experience with a hound from the track. Our 3 previous adoptions were all bounced hounds. Nikki's as fresh as new fallen snow. Did I mention she tried to do the 10 front steps on her front legs only. It was the funniest sight! She did manage to put one rear foot down for just an instance on the way down.
Her littermate, Husker Hercules, was adopted 2 weeks ago by another SEGA member. We'll have to see if they have any familial feelings for each other at the Meeting at the Farm next week!
Posted by GreytGold at 11:38 PM
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
This weekend was a very busy Meet & Greet weekend for SEGA. We were at the Pets & More USA Expo in Norcross, the May-retta Daze Arts & Crafts Festival in Marietta, the Hiram PetsMart, and at least 7 different Belk department stores for their charity day event. The hounds were in and about town all weekend.
I had to share a whole new meaning of Meet & Greet. While at the May-retta Daze festival on Sunday afternoon, we were greeted by a costumed FOX. Hmm, fox and hounds - there couldn't be a better team. Well, Ms. Carbella had to meet Reynard, The Red Fox, up close and personal. She started with the head.... and ended with his tail end.
Everyone at our booth just cracked up guessing that she would move to sniff his tail. He got down on all 4's and lifted his tail for her to smell.
Scotty came along and started sniffing too. However, when Scotty started to sniff at his front leg, Reynard must have had just about enough humiliation, and he high-tailed it down the street to the Canine Assistance Companions for a visit.
Meet & Greet - Scratch & Sniff....
Posted by GreytGold at 10:08 PM
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Our Garth went to the bridge on Wednesday. He was diagnosed with Osteo the day before his 11th birthday on April 10th. We had been treating him for a soft tissue injury to his knee on the recommendation of our vet for 6 weeks. When his limp was to the point he was afraid to do the stairs to go outside (6 small step), and we had to carry him, I asked for a referral.
Dr. Matt Corse of Northlake Veterinarian Specialists did a quick exam with Garth laying on the floor and determined it was not his knee but an intermittent issue with his hip. Some pain but not consistent with each manipulation. He ordered x-rays, and the Osteo presented at the top of his femur, up in the hip socket.
There were 4 treatment protocols that were presented to us, but given Garth's age, the location of the Osteo, and Garth's terror of the vet office, keeping him comfortable at home was Garth's only real option. I asked for a chest x-ray to determine if the Osteo had metastasized, and it had not. "Thank goodness, we may have a few more months with our guy", I thought.
He was already on Rimadyl for inflammation; Tramadol was added for the pain management. We moved from Rimadyl to Meloxicam the following week without any issues. His limp improved for about a week, but started to get worse again. On Sunday, blood appeared in his urine. Not just a little blood, it appeared he was only peeing blood - dark & thick. Our vet ran a test and it was a bacterial infection, so we added Baytril to Garth's cocktail of meds.
Monday evening, Garth's previous foster mom, Maria came for a house visit to see her 'ol guy, Garfie one last time. She could see the same thing we did, he wasn't his usual happy, lively self. He did shower her with a few of his clumsy kisses, and hugged on her some, so there was a little glimmer, but it was fading fast.
On Tuesday evening, Garth stopped eating and taking any treats from us. He had figured out that they were probably laced with medicine. If any of you have a hound that makes food fly while they are eating, you know this is not a good sign. He sniffed everything and walked away, or he would take the treat and drop it on the ground.
Wednesday am, his pee was pale yellow again - Yeah, over a hurdle, but he still wasn't eating or taking meds. His limp became very pronounced. There was no where for the swelling to go inside of his hip socket, and we knew it was his time. His eyes told the story as he lay in his bed.
We tried to make his last day as full as we could for him. We both stayed home and loved on him. He took several small walks in the backyard with us. We took a few very nice pictures of him, like the very last one of him that is posted above. We let the FedEx man come onto the porch to leave a package, and 'Ring the Doorbell'. He jumped up, ran to the door, and barked like he usually did. Jon bought a rotisserie chicken for him at lunch, and he actually ate the chicken - didn't share even a nibble with Drew or Handy. But he looked very tired.
Our vet and her tech, Amanda, came to the house in the evening. We set Garth up in his dog bed under a tree in the shade for his last moments with us. Right on cue, in usual Garth fashion, he jumped up and barked and growled at our vet as she came into the backyard - our Guard Hound Garth! Amanda was in tears as we were. Garth was very special to her. Jon and I were relieved that he no longer had pain, and that he could now join many others at the Bridge to wait for us to join him.
I have to thank Mr. Author for posting on Facebook about Garth's trip to the bridge, and the many people who sent messages and wishes for our comfort and reassurances that he is now whole and pain free, and playing with the many who went before him. Although the messages brought many tears to our eyes, they also brought hope and smiles when we imagine him as he used to be.
Little Bud Bud, we miss you, but loved you enough to know it was your time to go. Handy misses you terribly. The one hound we thought would never get to attached to another hound. She searches the house for you each day, lays in your dog bed, has a hard time getting out of bed herself, and is very melancholy, refusing to eat on 'our' schedule. Please let her know that you are OK now. You were really loved by all here in our home for the 5 short months we were allowed to care for you!
Lisa and Jon
Drew and Handy - the pooches.
Posted by GreytGold at 5:40 AM