Sunday, January 31, 2010

Down for the count...

Clicker training is going very well!  Despite Cody falling asleep during class, he's really enjoying it!  =)  I was so proud of him yesterday, because he was doing SO good with his down-stay.  I was able to walk across a room full of dogs and their owners and he stayed down.  Towards the end of class, I was even able to tug on his leash and he STILL stayed down!  Here's a photo of him practicing earlier this week in the kitchen...he was down for a full 8 minutes before I released him.  He got a little comfortable with this one, but at least he couldn't spring up easily from this position.  ;)  I just love the expression... "Mom, I'm laying down.  Where's my treat?!"

Last night, this new technique came in VERY handy.  I was making dinner, and as usual, my 'food-hound' (Cody) was right up underneath my feet.  After yelling "OUT!" numerous times, I decided to try the down-stay.  I put him in the down position just outside of the kitchen.  I then proceeded with making dinner, putting things back in the fridge, walking into the laundry room to throw things away, etc. all the while giving him a click and treat every couple minutes. Amazingly, IT WORKED!  He's generally right there the minute I open the fridge, but he actually STAYED PUT!  This was great practice for him and I was incredibly pleased.  We will continue to work on this as well as the release command so he knows that I control when he gets up and not him.

The rest of the family is doing well.  My husband's on the mend and will be able to start putting a little pressure on his foot mid-next week.  Callie and Tiny are just doing their thing.  I can't resist including this photo because it just cracks me up.  Callie fell asleep with her tongue sticking out, but she had it cute!

Friday, January 22, 2010

"I'm ready for my close-up"

We are very excited that Second Chance Greyhounds is featured as one of the pet-prison programs in the March issue of Dog Fancy magazine!  The article is entitled "Dogs Behind Bars".  Unfortunately, greyhounds were not photographically represented in the magazine itself; however, they included a link to their website for a slide show of additional images at the end of the article.

I was so ecstatic when I saw that of the 5 or so photos I had sent of various Second Chance Greyhounds, my Cody's photo was the one selected for inclusion!  View the slide show here.

On a side note, Cody is doing wonderfully with his clicker training practice this week.  He's already got the "touch an object with his nose" down pat, so I moved onto the "make a funny noise so he'll look at me" exercise.  I'm looking forward to the class tomorrow to see what comes next!  =)  Unfortunately, he has also discovered squirrells and his love for chasing them.  I now have to go on squirrell patrol before letting him out because he tried to jump our 6ft fence to get to one that was taunting him from a tree. :-/

My husband is on the mend and is needing pain meds less often, so I'm very happy about that.  He got a walking boot (but can't walk on it yet) earlier this week and another x-ray that said everything looks good and is back in place.  The xray is wicked looking with all that hardware and you can even see the staples for the ended up being 9 screws total plus a plate.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Since Cody is still a bit of a puppy, we thought it'd be great to get him trained early on.  He is SERIOUSLY food motivated and learned "lay down" VERY quickly.  Saturday was his first clicker training session with Jennifer Bachelor and 8 other greyhounds.  He was such a good boy! While many of the other hounds were whining and nervous, Cody was laying on the floor next to me trying to get me to focus on him for a belly scratch by pawing at me. :-P

When the first exercise came (i.e. getting him to tap an object with his nose in order to get a click and a treat), he was so quick to pick up on it that I even had to step away from the object so he'd turn back to me to get his reward rather than forcing it at him.  We came home to display our new skills to my husband and his parents and Cody was so funny with his tap-click-treat, tap-click-treat, over and over with no hesitation.  We continued working on it a bit today and I even stepped out of the room so he'd have to cross the room in order to tap the object.  Either he's learned how to get fed, or he's starting to understand that 'click' = reward.  His ears perk up everytime he hears it. =)

Unfortunately, my husband took a fall last Sunday, dislocating his ankle and breaking both of the bones in 3 places.  He had surgery on Tuesday and came out of the hospital with 8 screws and a plate.  It's been a busy week working and taking care of him.  Thank goodness his mother came to help was nice having someone else there in case I wasn't immediately available when he needed something.  The dogs are happy we're working from home, but can't understand why they're not getting all the extra attention now.  Soon, sweethearts, soon...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Day!!

I'm sure some of you will giggle when you see what I'm calling "snow".  It's only an inch (if that), but the fact remains, we just don't GET snow very often in these parts.  It was still enough to cause havoc on the roadways as everyone scrambled out to purchase their rations of milk and bread.  To be honest, I've never understood that Southern phenomenon.  Even the slightest threat of a single snow flake sends hoards of people to the grocery store for those items. =)

I don't think Cody has ever seen snow before.  He was certainly inquisitive as he sniffed the ground to determine what was sticking to his paws and making them so COLD!  It didn't stop this courageous boy from making some yellow snow though. ;)

Tiny, on the other hand, was not too keen on braving the elements.  I finally bundled her up in PJs and forced her out the door.  I'm not sure if this look is because I sent her out in the cold, or if it's because I'm taking her picture while she's wearing her Tinkerbell jammies. lol  Either way, she's a cutie-pie, but stubborn as a mule!

Finally, I'd like to close with something that really pulled at my heart strings and made me glad that I volunteer my time for an amazing cause.  As you may, or may not know, I volunteer with a greyhound adoption group called Second Chance Greyhounds.  As part of this group, we have a prison partnership program where inmates foster and train the hounds for several months prior to their finding a new home.  The following letter came from one of the inmates about the dog she recently had to say good-bye too:
"Wish for Tessa
Tess is a thief. She steals hats, gloves, treats, and toys. She also stole my heart and won’t give it back. My wish is for Tessa to fill that heart with love, life, laughter, and joy. I wish her new family to love her, cherish her, let her run hard, let her run long – then let her run home."

Everyone stay safe and warm!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Cody's First Christmas

Well, we're finally home and settled in after basically spending Christmas in the car!  We started out with a trek from Georgia to South Carolina to spend Christmas with our parents. My mother-in-law had purchased a squeaky toy for each of the dogs (my 3 and her 2). Only Cody really seemed interested in the toys, so he quickly gathered them ALL up and began playing. Unable to decide which he liked the best, he quickly switched back and forth, from one to another, looking a little more like a tasmanian devil than a greyhound as he spun, leaped, and pounced.

If you've never seen Cody, the toy hoarder, this pic will give you a good idea of how he operates around toys.

The day after Christmas, we loaded up the car and headed to Florida to visit my Grandparents. As my mother and I walked everyone, we were stopped by a nice lady that had owned greyhounds before. She was on her way out, but asked if we would take the dogs by to visit her husband and their whippet. We headed that way and met Cody the whippet! Tiny was VERY taken with him (probably because he was close to her size) and he was a handsome little devil. :)

Callie finally got her revenge and managed to sit on Tiny this time. 

There was very little seating at grandma's house, but the greyhounds finally succeeded in vacating the humans and promptly took over the couch!  :)  All in all, it was a very nice Christmas.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!!