Always a friend

Blender and Skirvee

It was New Years Day, 2002. We made the two hour drive to the adoption kennel so that we could adopt our first greyhound. I was nervous and excited and I really no idea   how that day would change the rest of my life.

We met 5 or 6 greyhounds that day, each one as beautiful as the next. The whole family was there. We walked this greyhound and that greyhound, how would we ever pick one? While we loved on each dog, my youngest daughter Holly had nearly crawled into the kennel of a petite little girl that was frightened of her own shadow. The little girl, Blender huddled to the back of kennel, hoping beyond hope that no one would notice her, but Holly only had eyes for her.

Blender didn’t go home with us that day and Holly was crushed. A few weeks later I got a call from adoption group president. She was so impressed with Holly, that she asked if we would be willing to foster Blender. She hoped that Blender would come out of her shell a little and gain a some confidence if she were placed in a home environment.

I didn’t have to ask Holly twice, she was almost 16, and she was more than happy to help Blender meet the big world.

Blender joined our family as a foster, she left our world nearly 12 years later as a beloved family member.

It took her a few months, but Blender learned to trust her new family. In the beginning, Holly left the door open on her security kennel and every night Holly would sit beside her kennel and read her homework to Blender. Blender knew more about history and algebra and composition than any other greyhound in North America. She also quickly learned that kennel doors didn’t belong closed. I don’t think I can count the number of doors that Blender destroyed until we finally figured out that she deserved the run of the house.

I’ll never forget the night when Holly left Blender’s side to come watch TV with us. Within minutes, her beautiful face peered around the entry into the living room. She gave one shrill bark and ran for the comforts of the bedroom. It wasn’t long after that and Blender decided she had better find a cushion in the living room.

Blender, Edie, Murphy and Phoebe

A few months later I met Karen and the dogs and I would pile into the car to go over to the acre for a play date. Blender was impossible to catch, so she would stay home. She was not happy, not happy at all.

So, I reasoned with her. I told her that if she wanted to play with the other dogs, when it was time to come home, she had to let me catch her and put the leash on her.

Ya know what? It worked. She never ran from me again.

And then, on the 4th of July that year, my ex-husband had left the gate open. Blender got loose. I feared the worse as I rallied the troops in hopes of finding Blender.

We had no idea which way she had gone, she was still shy and it was the flippin’ 4th of July.

By car, by foot, we took off in every direction. An hour and half into the search, there was no sign of Blender, but we kept looking. I was still relatively new to greyhound adoption and I had no idea what to do but keep looking.

We rounded a corner and saw her crossing a street. I was still wearing my Birkenstocks, but I raced through a field diagonally hoping to cut her off, she ran faster. I flagged a car down and hopped into a perfect stranger’s car asking him to get me to the next intersection. She ran into a field and my only hope was to beat her to the busy street that was on the other side of the field.

I got to the other side of the stream and walked into field, Blender was nowhere in site. The busy street was only a few feet away and I called her name. Her head popped up out of the weeds and she almost looked relieved to see me. So scared she would run toward the street, I talked to her through my tears and she headed down into the stream.

I slid down the embankment and followed her in. It was a murky, muddy gross stream. My Birkenstocks got stuck in the mud and came off, but I wasn’t about to give up. She let me catch her and it was up to me to carry her to safety. Barefooted, I carried her up the embankment and started walking down the sidewalk. At this point, we were probably two miles from home and a few hours since she escaped. I don’t think I carried a cell phone then.

Fortunately for us, Megan was driving Holly and Karen around when they saw us. Blender and I rode in style the rest of the way home.

From that day forward, I was always on the extreme side of paranoia when it came to keeping the dogs safe.

Blender and Emma

Blender was every dogs friend. Over the years, Karen and I adopted many greyhounds and we fostered even more. I could always count on Blender to teach them the ropes and assure that everything would be OK.

Blender loved the acre and the freedom it gave her. She treasured her time her and learned to trust us.

She made us laugh and we loved her with all of our hearts. She was a true testament to all of the right reasons for adopting a shy dog.

Blender

Blender was just a few months shy of 15 years old. She was tired and her body was beginning to hurt her from arthritis.

She was weak and tired and we knew it was time to say good-bye.

Honey girl, you were such a good dog. It has taken me far to long to say good-bye to you, but it hasn’t been easy. We miss you so much.

Fabled Blender — June 25, 1999 to January 29, 2014

Aging gracefully

Blender   

Our little lady is starting to show her age. She’s slowing down.

She woke me up at 2 am this morning with diarrhea. Poor baby.

She still has a good appetite some days and other days it sucks. I do worry about about her.

Anytime we get a greyhound past 14 years old, I worry more.

Hang in there honey girl. Summer is coming.

Blender, then and now

Blender circa about 2004

On New Year’s day, 2002 we drove out to Waldport, OR to adopt our first greyhound from Homes for Hounds. There were seven dogs there to greet us, each one putting their best paw forward. Three of them were jet black and oh so beautiful. My youngest daughter disappeared into the kennel of a little girl that was so shy. She spent the entire time hovering at the back of her kennel not wanting to be noticed, but Holly only had eyes for her.

My hand held the leash of a strapping young man we re-named Fonzi and Holly ever so tearfully said good bye to the sweet, shy greyhound.

Rayetta was so impressed by Holly’s tenderness to the shy girl that I got a call from her just a few weeks later asking if we would be willing to foster the shy little girl. It would only be for a month or so until Blender gained her confidence.

Blender was my first real introduction to fostering, to having an extremely shy dog, and to foster failing.

Blender came as a foster in March. She became a member of the family in June.

Blender circa 2013

And now, Blender is nearly as white as snow. Our little girlfriend will be 15 in June.

Blender dahling, you wear your snowy white well.

A blast from the past

Have digital camera, will photograph dogs. The digital Canon Rebel hadn’t even been released. Digital cameras were still in their infancy. I was so proud of my Canon 10d. Loved that camera to pieces and I was always out in the backyard with the camera and the doggies.

I originally wrote this post on May 9, 2009. The photos are all from 2003 to 2004. Blender is the only greyhound we have left from the original pack. Wow, so many things have changed.

I love looking back at some of my old photos, they remind of all of the joy our dogs bring us every day.

Celebrity Sightings at the Garden Bistro

Lucee

Lucee Fields from The Flying Nun

Phoebe, Edie, Blender and Murphy

Phoebe Quaid, Murphy Harris, Blender Glenn and Edie Shepard, cast of The Right Stuff

Village puppy

And last but not least, Puppy Nicholas from The Shining.

Just for the girls

Blender

It seems like, as if overnight, our pack has gone from 45 mile-per-hour couch potatoes to golden age ladies and gentlemen. I don’t really know how that happened because just yesterday, they were racing across the acre.

With an older crowd comes a whole new series of worries and our wall-to-wall hardwood floors are one of them. We are always in search of floor rugs. They have to have rubber backs and they have to fit in the washing machine.

Once again, Costco came through with flying colors today. They had an outside vendor in the store today selling “Miracle Door Mats.” They are awesome, expensive, but I feel so much safer for the dogs.

In theory, they should go through the washer and dryer and they have a five year warranty. So far they are holding to the floor even when the younger dogs race through the house.

Stay tuned, I’m sure I’ll have more to say after the first round of vacuuming and washing.

Hunger strike

Blender

We have three girls that go on occasional hunger strikes. Blender is one of them. She’ll be 13 in June and i worry about her a lot.

They drive me crazy.

It all has to do with the toppers. For years, no matter how hungry they might be, kibble just wasn’t good enough. And, if it isn’t a topper they are in the mood for, forget about it. They ain’t eating that either.

Blender used to like chicken, but this week she wanted pork. She likes her pork cooked in the crock pot and then mashed in the Cuisinart.

Are all dogs like this? Are ours spoiled beyond reason?

I have earned every one of the gray hairs on my head that only my hairdresser knows about.

Where has the time gone

Blender

Some days I look around at our pack and wonder what has happened to the time. Blender came to us as a foster dog 11 years ago. She was frightened of her own shadow but quickly warmed to my daughters attentiveness. She’ll be 14 in June.

I hate that they are growing into their middle-double-digit years. I want them to be young forever.

Is that such an unreasonable request?

Not today

Blender

Somedays, no matter what I do, no matter how big of a fool I make out of myself, no matter how great the skies.

I just don’t get cooperation.

Sheesh, another teenager in the house

Blender

Little Miss Blender, you look simply marvelous darling for 13 years old. Salt and pepper suits you very well. It’s pretty hard to believe you were once our shy, shy little girl.

Happy birthday Blender.