Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A dose of the winter blues

Our household has been struck down with a good dose of not feeling very well lately, which has meant that we have been hibernating a wee bit and have a distinct lack of interesting stories.

Firstly, as an update on Tommy, he is currently back at the GAP kennels with the lovely ladies there – in what I like to call ‘rehab’ – spending some time with dogs of all shapes and sizes (including some Greyhound friends) and hopefully helping him to get over some of the issues with on-lead aggression that he developed in his time with us. He has been back there for a couple of weeks now and I’m hoping to hear how he is getting on soon – and particularly, whether or not he is able to come back to live with us in Wellington or is better placed in a different environment.

Tommy, the couch sneaker, hoping we won't notice if he joins us for a coffee in the lounge
I am told that the little dog that Tommy hurt is recovering well from its injuries. Stitches are being removed next week and it is gradually returning to its usual, chirpy self. The owner of the other dog has been very good with keeping us up to date with the recovery process which has been really nice.
Mila has spent her time getting used to being “lone wolf” once again. She got to come along in the car on the journey to Sanson with Tommy where she got to catch up with Sonja and Irene, got her nails done, and was told that she was looking beautiful and glossy, but a little on the slim side. You can imagine what kind of ego boost that all gave her…and being told that you have to eat more, when you are a Greyhound who loves food, is never a bad thing! She was a little bit mopey to start off with when she got home without her buddy – but a new squeaky toy quickly put paid to that! She is currently enjoying having access to ALL the beds and being allowed to sneak into our bedroom and snuggle up on the floor on the nights that it is particularly cold. She also gets to wear TWO sets of pyjamas on those nights – and wanders around the house like the Michelin Man, rugged up nice and warm and able to sit herself down wherever she pleases with an instant bed wrapped around her.

Last week, she celebrated her one-year retirement anniversary in style with some roaching on her favourite couch, a special long walk to the park and a mid-day treat of a Kong filled with peanut butter and possum meat. What a way to spend an anniversary, huh?!

Mila enjoying life on her "retirement anniversary"
I also discovered that Mila is also a very good nurse after she spent the best part of two days rugged up beside me on the floor to keep me company as I lay in bed recovering from the worst of a cold. She would get up every couple of hours and poke her snout onto my pillow to check I was doing okay, before wandering back to her post and going back to sleep herself. I’m sure that the opportunity to sit right next to the heater to keep super warm had absolutely nothing to do with her decision to hang out with me!

Unfortunately, poor Milly has been a bit sick herself these last few days, with an onset of vomiting, diarrhoea and crying making for an interesting time. She is eating and drinking normally at the moment (I suspect it would take something more than a silly tummy bug for our girl to lose her appetite!!) but is certainly not her usual self, so we will need to keep an eye on things over the next few days. We are looking forward to an adventure over the hill to Castlepoint in the Wairarapa on Sunday for a beach run and a spot of lunch with some of the other GAP hounds in the area and their human housemates, so we don’t want a boring old tummy bug getting in the way of us being able to do that!  

Well, that's all to report for now. Looking forward to having a few photos of the hounds at their beach run to post next week! 

Monday, 2 July 2012

And now for something to lighten the mood...

After the tough week we had last week, we have spent a bit of time over the last few days trying to cheer up the hounds.

Tommy takes comfort from his big purple tennis ball. 
Poor Tommy can’t seem to catch a break. In addition to his wounds/nerves healing from his run-in with the little dog – he has had to contend with Mila being in a particularly impatient mood. He has been doing his best to give her some space (bless him), but our house is only so big and it is quite amazing how much space two hounds take up when they are trying to avoid each other.

A special delivery of Sam’s Cookies – Homemade Dog Treats on Saturday seemed to perk us up a bit going into the weekend, with the hounds devouring their carob-flavoured treats before the two days were through.  They are well worth an order, if you are considering it: see With the “Mila & Tommy Seal of Approval”, you really can’t go wrong!

On Saturday, we took the dogs out to Kapiti for a bit of sunshine and relaxation (and to celebrate Mike’s birthday). It was there that we discovered that Tommy likes to be close to people who are dancing and jumping about the place like lunatics.

Of course, it is not as odd as it sounds. We had a couple of friends come round to watch the rugby (Go the Hurricanes!!) and have some drinks for the aforementioned birthday. One friend brought his Xbox Kinect (which works on sensors and body movement, instead of controllers or remotes) and after the rugby we set it up in the lounge with a big space cleared so people could dance, bowl, kick, block – and do whatever else they need to – without fear of smashing glasses, falling over tables (hello ACC!) or otherwise causing damage.

Mila watched from afar, intrigued by what was going on, but not quite brave enough to get close to the action. But Tommy surprised us all. He stood over by Mila for a moment and then, rugged up in his new PJs, wandered right through the “dance floor” and plonked himself down on the floor, a matter of centimetres away from the closest dancer, promptly falling asleep.

There was stomping and star jumps and a lot of very dramatic kicking going on in reasonably close proximity to Tommy’s head (although obviously not posing any real threat to him) – but he didn’t seem to mind at all. In fact, at one stage, as we tried to reposition the TV to give Tom a bit of extra space, he shuffled himself forward to be closer to us again. He got so involved in the action that the Xbox actually registered him as a second player in the game!! Up pops a little blonde haired female character (interesting choice) on the screen ready to be commanded by Tommy’s body movements. 

Unfortunately, he wasn’t all that interested in actually playing the game…so the most the girl got to do was turn her head from side to side as Tommy tried to find the most comfy position to fall back asleep in. If she could have ‘played dead’, she probably would have done that too.

Mike's going to kill me - but here he is playing Kinect. If you look closely, between Mike's legs is Tommy, enjoying the show, up close and personal.
No amount of coaxing could convince Tom that he was living in a war zone. He was perfectly content being close to the shouting and singing and vibrations from all the dancing about that was going on. It was actually very interesting because Tommy is usually very reserved when it comes to his interactions with people. He will come over for a pat for a couple of minutes and then happily wander back to his bed, allowing Mila to hog the rest of the attention...obviously not the case when there is noise, and movement and general frivolity to be had. I would say he's a bit of a party animal - but I'm not so sure that falling asleep in the middle of the festivities is quite what is meant by the term. 

Perhaps next time I can convince him to play Guitar Hero with me??