Thursday, December 31, 2009

All Raw

Tomorrow, the raw adventure begins.  For the last 2 weeks, we have been doing kibble breakfast, raw dinner.  Tomorrow, they will get all raw to start off the new year.

I bought chicken livers today.  Most disgusting thing I've ever dealt with.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

After Raw

Well, it's been a couple weeks on raw now.  We've been having great success transitioning to half/half raw/kibble.  The girls get raw (chicken wings, thighs, turkey necks) for dinner and kibble (chicken soup/NB venison & sweet potato) for breakfast.  This is the result...


You can clearly see the scraped off tartar & plaque, especially in her receded gums, and I do believe her gingivitis redness/swelling has gone down.


Here's the link to see their before photos blog:

Now at the time of this photo, Kibeth was lying on the couch.  Her highness is not to be disturbed in such times, so this is the OTHER side of her mouth, which is her worst side because it's not her dominant side for chewing.  So before/after not quite as useful, but you can see where her teeth are turning white, and that all of her gingivitis is gone.  This should be Kibeth's FIRST routine dental since coming off the track.

Both girls will have what I truly hope to be their last dental January 5th.  JoJo's mouth was in such bad shape last time, her first dental cost $510 (with discounts!).  Hopefully this one won't be so bad.  While she's under, JoJo's hips/knees will be X-rayed to clear her for agility training, which will commence this Spring.  She trembles when she sits, so I'm really hoping all is OK back there.

Her royal highness, Kibeth, wants nothing to do with circus tricks such as jumping and tunnels.  However, she finds performing commands to demonstrate her prestigious knowledge of the English language most satisfying.  She'll be my obedience queen. ;-)


My pack (from left to right):  Kibeth, JoJo, and Ellie.  Enjoying the sun together.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We got:
Lotsa stuffies of an assortment of animals/fowl.
Twizzlers for dogs
Konga Wubba fox
Cute dog tags

Pictures coming soon...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

ReGAP Advocacy News

I am speechless, horrified, terrified, and uber worried.  I hope I can at least foster if/when this happens...

United Pathfinder Project. ( UP Committee)

Nine greyhound tracks will no longer race greyhounds in 2010. This
constitutes 1/3 reduction of the current number of greyhound tracks in the
US. In 2010 only 23 greyhound tracks nationwide will still remain in
operation. Florida, with its 13 tracks, will have more active racetracks
than the rest of the states combined.

In 2009 legislation was introduced to allow Florida tracks to
discontinue live racing and still maintain their simulcast operations and
Poker room activities. That bill failed to get out of committee but it
became apparent to the House and Senate that it was one of the "wants" of
several of the Florida tracks.

There are many who feel that similar legislation will come up again, in
2010, and may pass as a consolation to the tracks for other pro-Pari-mutuel
bills that failed, like allowing tracks to have the full use of slot

We are not saying that it WILL happen in 2010 but IF it does happen
there could be as many as 5 or 6 Florida tracks that would discontinue live
racing. If not in 2010 it could be in 2011.

Unlike the track closings in Arizona, Massachusetts and New
Hampshire, the tracks in Florida that would close would be the lower-end
tracks that every other track in the country uses to send their poorly
competitive greyhounds. This will be unlike the Dairyland track closing,
where more than 2/3rds of their hounds went to race at other tracks. At the
low end tracks in Florida, It will be more likely that VERY FEW greyhounds
can go on to race at other tracks, as MOST tracks would be a step or two UP
from their current competition level.

How many non-competitive greyhounds would be looking for homes
should Florida pass legislation allowing tracks to discontinue live racing??
Each track has between 500 to 1,000 greyhounds in their kennels and with 5
or 6 tracks taking the option to end racing the numbers COULD be well over
3,000 ALL AT ONCE. 

I refer to the above as a greyhound Tsunami, and there is a SECOND
wave that may even precede the first. Since the greyhounds come to the
track at 15 to 18 months of age there are well over 20,000 greyhounds that
are currently on farms waiting to race. With the track closings of 2009
there will already be 1/3rd less tracks for these hounds to go to start
racing and owners are already experiencing problems placing their greyhounds
at tracks.
There will, no doubt, be owners that will stop paying boarding fees and
create problems for farmers and greyhounds on those farms.

We may be able to convince the NGA to establish a HOT LINE for owners
and farmers to avoid problems that will involve pups that are not yet
racing! Knowing the full scope of the problem can only help prepare for

What can all the adoption groups in the US and Canada do to prepare
for such an event?

Inform their membership of the "POSSIBILITY" of such an event and
rally them to get as many people to commit to fostering one greyhound for
this one time event.

Contact Local vets, inform them of the likelihood of this mass
layoff of greyhounds and ask their support to spay and neuter, as that will
cut the time for greyhounds to exit Florida.

Plan fundraising events to swing into place WHEN this event
becomes imminent. This will help local groups pay for veterinary work and
may even pay some to the transport costs incurred with this mass exodus. 

I am sure that we all thought that greyhound racing would not be
closing down as quickly as it is at present but it would be sad if we did
not see what is coming and take action early. Although some would say it
will never happen just think of all those greyhounds needing help IF it

I feel if we fail to plan ........ We plan to fail! Although this is
a Herculean task, IF we all rally together. ........ United....WE CAN MAKE A

Dennis Tyler
GPA Central Florida Chapter


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kibeth at 3 Years Old


Christmas!  I <3 leopard fuzzy bones.  Thanks, Mom!

And now...

Look at all the gray... It's only been 4 years.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Health Check

We went to the vet today for our annual appointment.  The girls got their updated shots, I renewed JoJo's Wellness Plan, talked to Hutch (Dr. Hutchinson) about raw, the and I got to ask a couple questions about JoJo's shaky back legs when sitting.

Kibeth & JoJo are in excellent health (except for their teeth, but more on that later) and at 60 pounds each.  They were 59 off the track, but they've lost some muscle mass, so that's OK.  Usually we'd expect them to be at 64 pounds.  Their teeth (even though I've stopped brushing) are BETTER than when he saw them about 5 months ago... YES!  2 weeks of raw RMBs for dinner reversed a higher exponential deterioration!

JoJo's scar may well be from barbed wire.  The other theory is that it's from being hit by a car, and that's also why her back end is trembling when she sits, and why she bows before going into a down.  There's also the possibility that she was injured on the track (though records only indicate 2 less than successful races) or something to do with being bred (her nipples are larger than Kibeth's).  I'll probably have X-Rays done of her hips while she's under for the dental coming up January 5th for both girls. Hopefully, with raw diet, this will be the last.

I have pictures from when Kibeth was 3.  I'm going to post them so you can see how black her face was back then.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Had a clicker training session tonight!

JoJo:  come, sit, down, stay (whatever position), which hand has the treat?, bow reviewed.  Heel left & right, up (stand), & shake started/learned!  We'll continue to practice, but I actually think she speaks a little English?  She's NEVER done shake or heel before, and shake she did as though she's always known, and heel she did with just a little bit of luring.  I guess I have a genius dog?

Kibeth:  come, sit, down, sit stay, down stay, stand stay, heel left, shake, other paw reviewed.  Needs work on heel.

Thank God they both already walk well on a leash after about 10 minutes of freedom to pee/poo/sniff first.  It's nice to have that checked off my list beforehand.  They also both have an automatic recall when I say their name.  I did JoJo first, and locked Kibeth in my bedroom.  That went well, until we switched.  JoJo whined a few times, and sort of cried once or twice.  Kibeth actually seemed rather concerned when JoJo would make noise, it was very sweet to see!  I felt a few pangs of guilt, but I know it's good for them to have time alone with me.  JoJo thought that the treats just emerged from the clicker by the end of the session, so I let her give it a good inspection when we finished.  She was very thorough, but found no villainous treats within. =P

Now I have to get them to understand that every stranger dog/person is not their new bff and they are not exempted from a stay for such occasions.

I think I'll teach JoJo to lick my face and lay by my side when I'm having a panic attack.  She already nuzzles my hand if I reach down for some comfort/presence.  Eventually I want a trigger for her behavior to be any of my PA symptoms.

Overall, I'm very proud of my girls, and they're both geniuses!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Activities + Clicking

I found this website from my Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies book.  It's awesome!

I'm totally motivated to be really thorough with my clicker training now.  Except Kibeth's a bit too tired today.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Test

AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program

Training/Testing: CGC Test Items

Before taking the Canine Good Citizen test, owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge. We believe that responsible dog ownership is a key part of the CGC concept and by signing the pledge, owners agree to take care of their dog's health needs, safety, exercise, training and quality of life. Owners also agree to show responsibility by doing things such as cleaning up after their dogs in public places and never letting dogs infringe on the rights of others.
After signing the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge, owners and their dogs are ready to take the CGC Test. Items on the Canine Good Citizen Test include:
Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.
Test 2: Sitting politely for petting
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler's side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.
Test 3: Appearance and grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner's care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.
Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog's position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler's movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.
Test 5: Walking through a crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.
Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler's commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog's leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler's commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.
Test 7: Coming when called
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.
Test 8: Reaction to another dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.
Test 9: Reaction to distraction
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.
Test 10: Supervised separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of the dog's leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, "there, there, it's alright").
All tests must be performed on leash. Dogs should wear well-fitting buckle or slip collars made of leather, fabric, or chain. Special training collars such as pinch collars, head halters, etc. are not permitted in the CGC test. We recognize that special training collars may be very useful tools for beginning dog trainers, however, we feel that dogs are ready to take the CGC test at the point at which they are transitioned to regular collars.
The evaluator supplies a 20-foot lead for the test. The owner/handler should bring the dog's brush or comb to the test.
Owners/handlers may use praise and encouragement throughout the test. The owner may pet the dog between exercises. Food and treats are not permitted during testing, nor is the use of toys, squeaky toys, etc. to get the dog to do something. We recognize that food and toys may provide valuable reinforcement or encouragement during the training process but these items should not be used during the test.
Failures – Dismissals
Any dog that eliminates during testing must be marked failed. The only exception to this rule is that elimination is allowable in test Item 10, but only when test Item 10 is held outdoors.
Any dog that growls, snaps, bites, attacks, or attempts to attack a person or another dog is not a good citizen and must be dismissed from the test.


Psychiatric Service Dog Society's Public Access Tests (Copyrighted PSDS)

1. Car travel: Dog should be tested in unloading from handler’s vehicle. Dog should not exit the vehicle until given the appropriate command, or until lifted from the car if the dog is too tiny to exit safely on its own. Once outside the vehicle, the dog must remain within 4 feet of the vehicle (instead of wandering away) and out of any obvious danger. As soon as the service dog has exited the vehicle, a second team should walk by within 6 feet of the first team. The service dog on the first team should not approach or in any way lunge towards the second team as it strolls past. 
2. Approaching a building: In the absence of any physical disability in the handler, the dog should walk alongside its handler on a loose leash. Said dog should not pull on its leash, stop to sniff objects, greet other people, or eliminate while in transit, unless specifically cued to do so by its handler. Tiny breed dogs may be carried, though they should demonstrate the ability to walk on a loose leash in a safe area, as described above. To assist with mobility or visual impairments, a rigid-handled or other mobility harness may be used instead of a leash, in which case a ‘loose leash’ requirement is moot. In some cases, handlers with mobility issues use a leash and have trained their dog to pull them forward. Obviously, a ‘loose leash’ requirement in this instance is also unnecessary.
3. Entering a building: In the absence of any physical disability in the handler, the dog should enter the building via a door that its handler must open manually. This should be repeated using a door that opens automatically. While entering the building, the dog should continue to be on a loose lead without pulling. The dog should not rush ahead of the handler as the team enters the building, nor should the dog startle when entry is through an automatic door. Tiny dogs may be carried if this is their usual working position. When a handler is mobility impaired, s/he may choose to forgo entry into the building using a manual door and instead use a designated accessible entrance and an electronic button for opening the door automatically.
4. Moving through a store with distractions: The team should enter a busy store. The dog should be on loose lead in the heel position (save for those situations described above whereby handler is physically disabled and requires an alternate format, or for tiny dogs that are carried as their normal working position). As the team moves through the store, the dog should turn corners synchronously with the handler. Dog should stop when handler stops. Dog should not brush against merchandise or topple items. Dog should not startle or appear frightened by shopping
carts, baby strollers, and small children. Dog should not attempt to greet other people. Rather, the dog should be aware of its surroundings, while at the same time remaining focused on its handler. Tiny dogs that are carried should sit quietly and calmly without attempting to get out of their designated place.
5. Grocery Store: Team should enter a grocery store, and the handler should push a shopping cart, while the dog keeps pace alongside its handler on a loose lead. For handlers with physical disabilities, a shopping cart may be replaced by a scooter or wheelchair, and the individual may require use of a harness or taught leash. Tiny dogs carried in their normal working position should sit calmly and quietly without attempting to get down from their designated place. As the team moves through the store, the dog should not sniff any food products or people while moving through the aisles. Handlers should be especially attentive when the team is near meat and cheese sections of the grocery store, as these represent greatest olfactory temptation for a dog! While in the grocery store, the handler may wish to challenge the dog’s training by placing it in a sit or down-stay (tiny dogs may remain in their normal working position) in an area where shopping carts and people are whizzing by. The dog should not break the stay, nor be fearful of the shopping carts and people, as they move about. The dog should remain focused on its handler until cued otherwise.
6. High-distraction behaviors:
1) Handler puts dog in a down-stay in a busy public space. An assistant will step over the dog, and observe the dog’s reaction. The dog should not react other than to note the individual’s behavior. Dog should not startle, vocalize, or break the down-stay. If small dogs have been trained to move closer to their handler in these situations, or do another behavior for their safety, that trained response should not be counted negatively. For tiny dogs in carriers, the carrier in its normal position should be jostled unexpectedly instead of stepping over the dog.
2) Handler puts dog in a sit or down-stay in a busy public space (tiny dogs may remain in their normal working position). An assistant will recruit a child to come and pet the dog. The dog should not startle, vocalize, or appear threatened by contact from the child. The dog should remain impassive, tolerate the petting from the child, but not engage with the child further. Indeed, the dog may be trained (reinforced) that under these circumstances, it should remain focused on its handler, rather than the child. Finally, the dog should persist in its position until cued by its handler to do otherwise.
3) Handler puts dog in a sit-stay or a down-stay. If the dog’s tail is not already tucked, then an assistant should lightly press the dog’s tail with her shoe. The dog should not startle or display aggression towards the assistant. The dog should be trained to tuck its tail in response to such a light touch. This item may be omitted if the dog has an extremely short tail, or if the dog is carried in its normal working position.
7. Mass transit: If public transportation is available in the handler’s geographic area, then the team should practice boarding and riding as many forms of public transportation that are available to them. Examples may include a subway, bus, trolley, para-transit vehicle, taxicab, or airplane. The dog should remain calm throughout the trip and disinterested in other persons present. The handler may choose to put the dog in a sit-stay or down-stay, as conditions permit. Generally speaking, a Service Dog should ride on the floorboards of a subway, bus, trolley, para- transit vehicle, taxicab or airplane, rather than the seat. On rare occasions, a service dog may be placed on a seat, when doing so is absolutely necessary, in order for the dog to provide its handler a disability-related service, or when instructed by airline personnel on board a small aircraft where the dog may not otherwise be stowed safely. Tiny Service Dogs may need to be protected from other passengers’ feet by riding in a front carrier, shoulder bag, scooter basket, or in the lap of its handler.
8. Restaurants: The team should enter a restaurant and take a table, or wait to be seated. While transiting the restaurant, the dog should not lunge at any food or crumbs that may be on the floor. The dog should be placed into a down-stay under the table, if possible, and remain there silently for the duration of the meal. If the setting will not allow the dog to remain under the table, then it may be placed in a down-stay next to, or under, the handler’s chair and out of the way of other patrons and staff. Tiny dogs should remain calmly and quietly in their normal working position during the meal. At no time is a service dog of any size acceptable on a table. The dog may only be in a chair if it is in a carrier. Peeking-out from under the table or the carrier, sniffing around, or begging for food is not permitted.  Mid-way through the meal, an assistant may challenge the dog’s training by dropping a small piece of food near the dog. A well-trained Service Dog will not break its position, nor will it attempt to sniff or otherwise consume the dropped food item. When a dog behaves appropriately under these circumstances, be sure to offer it positive reinforcement for good behavior.
9. Bathrooms: The team should enter a public restroom. The dog should follow its handler into the bathroom stall, if physically possible. The dog should not squirm or attempt to escape the bathroom stall, nor should it peek into adjacent stalls or whine to get out. When the handler exits the bathroom stall, the dog should move synchronously and effortlessly with its handler. When the handler washes his/her hands and/or is unable hold the leash, the dog may be placed out of the way, either in a sit-stay or a down-stay, until cued by the handler to exit the bathroom. In cases where there is no accessible bathroom stall, or where stalls are too small to fit dog and handler, the handler should place the dog in a down-stay, out of the way, while the handler uses the toilet. Carriers with tiny Service Dogs inside may be hung on the hook on the back of the bathroom door or held as appropriate.
10. Elevators: The team should enter and exit a building elevator in a controlled fashion. The dog should ride both up and down on the elevator. The dog should not startle or cower out of fear. The dog should be at ease, confidant, and attentive to its handler throughout the ride. The dog may, or may not, be trained to operate elevator buttons, depending upon the handler’s disability-related needs.
11. Escalators (NOTE: This part of the test is optional): The team should practice using an escalator (ascending and descending), only if it is physically possible for the handler to do so safely. In other words, escalator work is optional, because if not done correctly, your dog’s feet could be seriously injured. When preparing to embark on the escalator one should do so in a full and confidant stride. In order to step off the escalator safely, you will need to be walking at full stride. This is why you should allow at least six empty steps between you and the person in front of you when you first get on. Some dogs prefer to pace themselves more quickly than the handler when getting off the escalator. So long as the handler is always in control of the dog, and the dog is not getting in the way of others who are stepping off the escalator at the same time, this is OK. Smaller Service Dogs may be carried when using the escalator.
12. Stairs: If physically possible, the handler and dog should master stairways (ascending and descending). The dog should not run up the stairs, nor should it be fearful of them. A team should be climbing stairs together in a controlled manner. Service Dogs may be trained to take a certain number of steps and then wait for their handler according to the handler’s disability- related needs or the dog’s size. Tiny dogs may remain in their normal working position.
13. Off lead recall with distraction: Dog should ‘come’ when called by the handler at a distance no less than 30 feet and in the presence of high distraction. Relevant distractions may include a group of people moving or standing around, and/or children playing, and/or the presence of another dog or multiple dogs. Dog’s recall should be rapid, deliberate, and focused. Dog should not amble along, sniff, or otherwise become distracted by extraneous stimuli. All Service Dogs, regardless of normal working position, need to demonstrate this ability.
14. Surfaces: Your Service Dog will likely encounter a variety of surfaces in the course of its travels. It could be asphalt, gravel, linoleum, cobblestones, or a metal grating of some kind. It may be glass blocks over an urban commercial kitchen, a propped-open manhole cover, or a piece of iron sheeting in a construction zone. All Service Dogs, regardless of normal working
position, need to demonstrate this ability.
15. Basic commands:
16. Team relationship:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Raw Shopping

I bought $23.44 worth of chicken wings and backs + turkey necks just now.  Altogether, they make 16.5 meals, averaging $1.42 a meal at 2/3rds of a pound per meal.  That's just over $2.84 per day.

Show Names?

So I know my hounds had race names.  They're awful.

Little Bit Lively AKA Kibeth
Phoney Jonie AKA JoJo

I want their names to have something to do with wishes (hence the title of this blog) but I'm not sure what to do.  I'm considering:

  • Wish Granted
  • Granting Wishes
  • Greatest Wish
  • Wishful Pursuit
  • Last Wish
  • Final Wish
  • Vivace's Wish (for Kibeth, since vivace in Italian means lively)
  • Make A Wish
  • Wish Again (always)
  • Always Wishing
  • Wish For Love (yes, I do)
  • Wish For Joy (for JoJo) or Joyful Wishing
  • Wish For Freedom (3rd wish from a Genie, idk)
  • Wishful Thinking (also for JoJo, haha =P )
  • Wishing On A Star
  • Wishes Do Come True or
  • Wish Come True
  • Secret Wish
  • Dreams & Wishes
  • Hopes & Wishes
  • My Wish
  • Dying Wish
Maybe vote?  Just comment, plz.

Edit:  JoJo's show name is decided! Wishful Thinking TM

Game Plan

Well, first I need to graduate and have a life.  Then I can put this plan completely into action.

  1. CGC certification
  2. TDI therapy dog certification
  3. Obedience classes
  4. Obedience competitions
  1. CGC certification
  2. TDI therapy dog certification
  3. Psychiatric Service Dog certification
  4. Obedience classes, Agility classes
  5. Obedience competitions
  6. Agility competitions
  7. Rally-Obedience competitions
  • Who do I train with?  Where?
  • How do I train them separately?
  • Is there enough time left when they're 6 and 7 years old?
  • Do they have the right temperament?
  • How ambitious do I want to be?
  • How will I fit shows into my teaching schedule?


Thanks for the idea, Jen!

JoJo before

Kibeth before


Kibeth and JoJo and I have tried just about every high-quality kibble on the market, I think.  At least sampled it, if not used it at one time or another.  The results varied, but as I mentioned before, I like:
  • Wellness
  • Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul - Large Breed
  • Natural Balance
However, the vet bills with regard to their dental health are too staggering to be ignored, and neither of them enjoys putting up with daily toothbrushing and mouth rinsing.  The brushing has not been successful in delaying the inevitable gazillion $$ dental cleaning by much.  After hearing/reading all the benefits of raw, the possibility is now too good to ignore.

Understand, I don't even cook for myself.  I HATE cooking.  I'm also a huge animal rights activist, and I can't stand seeing a dead deer on the side of the road.  Handing my dogs dead poultry parts and someday organ meats is absolutely REVOLTING.  But, alas, I love my hounds and will do anything to keep them healthy and save myself a buck here and there (and hopefully, lotsa bucks on dentals!!!).

Their first excursion into raw involved a turkey neck for dessert last Thursday night.  Nomnom, Mom!  They were both a little hesitant at first, and figuring out exactly where to eat was a bit of an adventure of itself.  Shortly thereafter, everyone chose a spot and had something under them to, ughm, catch the droppings.  Both girls chowed down like champions.

I had peeked at their gums prior to giving the turkey necks.  As expected, Kibeth's tartar/plaque was a brownish color all over, and her gums were slightly enflamed.  JoJo doesn't get too much discoloration on her teeth, but her gums were red and puffy with gingivitis, and her problem-molars that have receded gum lines had a build up of gunk (that doesn't come off with brushing).  The effect post-neck was immediate.  Kibeth's teeth were less brown in several places, and JoJo's build up was worn smooth.  They have since had chicken wings with pumpkin and/or ground turkey with parsley.  Neither of them now have bad breath, when before, my Mom nicnamed the scent, "Dragon breath."

Problems:  Kibeth developed diarrhea and JoJo threw up some bones and got mucousy poop, then mild constipation.  Solution:  transition gradually.  For now, we'll do kibble for breakfast, RMB for dinner.  The only reason I'm dissatisfied with kibble is because of their dental health and constant dry, flaky skin.  Eventually, though, I would like to go all raw.  Machines needed:  processor, juicer, freezer.

By the way, training for JoJo to be my psychiatric service dog has begun, but that's another post for later.  I can still get another hour of sleep this morning...

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I've begun to notice how helpful blogs have the potential to be.  In the dog world, such things can be crucial bits of evidence into what works and what doesn't, what's good and bad, and what's true and what's false.  Gaining in experience, I feel like I have my own point of view and ideas to contribute; so in this blog, I will endeavor to convey these tid-bits as they arise.

First of all, greyhounds are trainable.  Second of all, nutrition IS important.  Third, greyhounds need jobs at home.  Fourth, owners must make a commitment to the health of their dogs:  psychological + physical.

Greyhounds like training.  You have to find their currency, but they enjoy it.  I've never met one who caught on to what training was all about via positive reward based training, and had them sulk for the rest of the time.  It always perks them up.  Their limitations, I believe, are strictly based on our creativity.

I've heard such horror stories about track life for greyhounds.  Greyhounds get thrown chunks of 4D meat at the track, or else a low-quality, bargain/bulk kibble that gives them lots of energy for racing.  No wonder they tend to come home with crappy mouths and skin problems.  Nutrition can help!  I've read and heard so much about raw and its benefits.  I'm starting to try it.  We're switching gradually.  However, I didn't have the stomach for it until recently.  I don't even cook for myself!  For those who feel similarly, remember to brush their teeth daily, have annual dentals, and feed food that doesn't aggravate the problem!  Foods, canned and kibble, that have fillers such as soy, corn, and excessive grains are NOT healthy, no matter how the company advertises!  By-products aren't something you'd ever consider eating, so why threaten to poison your dog with them?  To save a few bucks?  Well, all those bucks you save will end up in the vet's hands when your heart is aching for your pup's tragic condition years down the road.

I recommend:
  • Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul (CSDLS) Large Breed
  • Natural Balance
  • Wellness
  • The Honest Kitchen (various types of dehydrated raw)
  • BARF raw & prey model