Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Callie in acrylic

Despite having some artistic skill, I cannot paint!  I came across an artist on Etsy that does custom dog portraits and the first thing that caught my attention were the textures and the amount of detail she puts into her paintings.  I love the fact that you can see every brush stroke as well as the canvas texture and how she uses that to add to the details and color.  I immediately contacted her to do a painting of Callie.  I sent over one of my favorite photos of her and the results are just amazing!

Original photo:

And now Callie is famous!  You can purchase prints of my beautiful Callie-girl or commission a portrait of your own by visiting L.A. Shephard's Etsy shop: 'The Dog Lover'.  =)  I can hardly wait to get the next one started!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


First, I have to start with the fact that I am a bad dog-mom.  :(  Tiny's 'Gotcha Day' was on Feb. 3 and she's been with us for three years!  I neglected to mention it or celebrate, so I will be making it up to her this weekend...Promise!

Greyt Black Dog talked about 'Going Gray' in a recent blog post.  This is something I too am noticing with my girls. The brindle around Callie's eyes has turned white.  Also, I noticed this summer that there is still a rim of the brindle around her black 'eyeliner'; however, her eyelashes have turned white!  Tiny is just starting to get some gray on her eyebrows, but still looks young because she hasn't grayed out all over.

Tiny (who is 9 by the way and doesn't act it at all), was running towards me in the backyard when I caught this picture of her.  I swear she looks like she's in one of those "Muscle Man" competitions!  Arnold Schwarzenegger, watch comes Tiny!!  She really is a funny looking dog.  I love her dearly, but she has a little bitty head, her ears are always pinned back, and she looks perpetually freaked out.  :P  Probably because she IS freaked out.  She's the most neurotic dog I've ever met, but she's MY neurotic dog!  We love you Tiny and hope to have many more 'gotcha days' that we won't forget to celebrate.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Callie - a Photo Study

Callie was our first greyhound and has been with us for 3.5 years, so she is no stranger to being photographed.  Here are some photos of my sweet Callie-girl. 

And my favorite...her "what the heck was that?!" look.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow in the Southland

Let me start by asking that those north of me NOT laugh at our piddly 4" of snow. :-P  Honestly, this is the most I've seen in these parts in 20 years and I was elated that it was the fluffy kind and not the sloppy, wet stuff we normally get!  Of course Cody absolutely LOVED it.  He constantly had it on his nose from sniffing the ground.  Tiny really enjoyed romping around as well.  Callie was the only one that wasn't too sure about it and was ready to go inside within minutes.  She did finally realize that running in the snow was a lot of fun and I caught her mid-stride with her tail straight up in the air!  Here are some photos of everyone enjoying the accumulation.

Cody's first romp:

Results of sniffing the snow:

Tiny enjoys a romp:

Callie finally tests it out:

For other 'artsy' snow pictures that do not include the hounds, please check out my Flickr page

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sitting pretty

Over the past few months, I have tried everything I could think of to get Cody to sit.  During clicker training last Saturday, I watched as dog after dog "got it"... you could almost see the little light bulbs go off over their heads as they rocked back on their haunches and their butts hit the floor.  Not MY dog!  Jen gave us some advice about using a steep hill to help him learn, so on Sunday, I took Cody into the backyard and after a several awkward minutes of straining his neck back to get the treats, his butt hit the ground.  I was ecstatic! We tried this a few more times and he seemed to get it, so I put him up on the level grass.  Once again, he got into a sit position.  I just couldn't believe it!  Upon trying it in the house though, he kept laying down, so I was a bit discouraged.  Last night I took him back outside to try to 'reconnect the dots' for him.  He immediately sat, so I brought him in the house and tried in various rooms, on various surfaces...he didn't disappoint!  =) 

In case you're wondering why he's practicing in his PJs, there was a bit I left out about his vet visit in my earlier post.  When he came out from under the sedative they gave him for the x-rays, he immediately came too and thrashed and wriggled out of the vet tech's arms while being scooped off the table. He banged his left back-knee and scrapped it pretty bad.  He won't leave it alone and I don't want him sleeping in a 'cone of shame', so I put on his PJs...out of sight, out of mind!  It seems to be working.

Callie scores a point for silliness.  While cooking dinner on Sunday, I heard Lyle laughing.  I turned around to see what was going on and saw Callie in this position.  I guess she decided she needed a rest before making the final leap onto the couch because she was laying like this with no attempt to get all the way up on the couch.  :P  After a couple minutes, she finally brought her other leg up and settled into her little ball.  They do keep us laughing.  =)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Photo time!

It's been a few weeks since I picked up my camera...far too long for me.  I figured I could practice Cody's clicker traning while getting some shots of him.  I put him in a down position and snapped away (both the camera and the clicker).  The following are my two favorite shots.  He looks so darn sweet and angelic in the second photo...obviously, he has us all fooled.  ;)

On a side note... Those of you who frequent meet and greets have no doubt heard someone say, "I'd love to adopt a greyhound, but I have a cat."  Of course we all know this is a misconception.  I'm not saying there aren't greyhounds with high prey drives that can't live with cats, but most of the hounds I've met are living life with cats, kids, small dogs, even turtles. =)  For this reason, I created the 'Greyt Friends' design.  You can order it here:  ALL proceeds benefit greyhound adoption.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Just call me 'Quasimodo'

On Tuesday I had quite a scare.  Cody begin throwing up at 11:00am and didn't stop until around 4:00pm.  He was not able to hold down any water or food.  The vet got me in that afternoon and all signs pointed to an obstruction.  Unfortunately, it was late in the day and they couldn't do x-rays until the next morning.  He was given an anti-nauseau shot and they pumped him full of fluids.  I've never experienced animals receiving fluids other than through iv's. 

Evidently, animals are able to absorb fluids that are injected just underneath the skin (unlike humans that need them directly in their veins).  The process takes awhile depending on how dehydrated the animal is and the result is a large hump where the fluid is injected.  Poor Cody definitely looked like Quasimodo. :(  The x-rays showed no signs of obstruction...thank goodness!  However, it did show a build up of minerals and rocks in his belly.  Over the past two weeks, Cody has been dining on the bird seed that falls from the feeder onto the rocks and dirt.  No doubt he picked up some extras along the way.  This is evidently quite common for young dogs and it should pass on it's own.  The only bad news we received is that his spleen is rather enlarged.  At this point, there is no telling why that is and it could be any number of things.  We have a follow-up in two weeks.  He seems to be back to his normal self and is currently 'roaching' on the couch.

On a side note, the past couple times I have walked into the guest room, I have found Callie & Tiny 'spooning'.  It's very sweet!  They sure do love each other.  :)