Wednesday, 22 August 2012

To sleep, perchance to dream

All ready for bed - complete with stolen pillow!
At 3.45am this morning, I woke up to the sound of muffled barking. It was louder than I would have expected from a Greyhound curled up in her bed, dreaming contentedly, in her other room. As I slowly regained some semblance of consciousness, I realised that the noise was not coming from the other room, but from somewhere very close to me. I peered out from under the covers, to see Mila lying prone on the floor beside the bed – using a coat that had fallen (been pulled??) off its hook as a mattress and the coat’s fluffy hood as a pillow. While she can’t have been comfortable (that ground is hard and we have a dog bed for a reason!), she was dead to the world, twitching and yapping away as she dreamed, I like to think, of racing around the track.

And this one involves a makeshift pillow of blankets...
If you have seen a Greyhound (or in fact, any dog) in this kind of dream state, you will know that it is a sight to behold. There is much flickering of eyes, twitching of legs, and quite a bit of noise. My family used to have a German Shepherd who, despite being completely horizontal, would “run” in her sleep, brushing her legs along the carpet – and ultimately, getting nowhere. I would love to know what they dream of. I have visions of Mila running along the beach with her hound friends with Chariots of Fire playing in the background. It would actually be exactly like that Mr Bean sketch during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics, right down to Mila eventually winning the race by dubious means.

Of course, it is never a good idea to try to wake Mila (or any dog) by touching her. To do so, is to earn yourself a stern growl and a snap (if she were human and was shaken awake in bed she would respond by sitting bolt upright and punching you square in the jaw…she gets that from Mike. So, I got up, flicked on the light and called her over to her own bed next door, where she slept happily for the rest of the night morning.

Dead to the world in full roach-mode.
Mila loves being around people and, like it or not, that includes when it comes time to go to bed. We have tried having her sleep on her couch in the lounge – persisting with it for the first couple of weeks that we had her, but that doesn’t really fly. There is pacing and rustling and nudging and not a lot of sleep being had by anyone. She is not allowed to sleep in our room (and certainly not on our bed - there is barely enough room for us humans…) so the compromise is that she can sleep in the hallway outside. For the most part, that set up works well – but on the odd occasion (it’s raining! it’s cold! I need to go to the toilet and forgot to go when we went outside before bed last night! Grrr…) we wake up to find that Mila has opened the door and there is a greyhound shaped lump on the floor, or better yet, a wet snout on the pillow nudging us awake.

Funny, you don’t see me growling and snapping when I get woken up like that! Not usually anyway.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

GAP Cookbook Fundraiser!!!

I can't believe that my last blog post was nearly a month ago!! It’s been a busy time out here in Wellington for our young Mila Grey...
In the last few weeks, we’ve been on our first GAP beach run over in the Wairarapa, out and about meeting other hounds from our own neighbourhood, on a visit to Waikanae beach for adventures with seagulls and fish skeleton, and we even had a sleep over with our friend Rupert the Cavalier King-Charles x Maltese. We’ve learnt some new tricks (shake hands and dance), managed to destroy several unsuspecting squeaky toys (often within the first few minutes of having them), and we’ve watched some Olympics – if by “watched some Olympics” you mean blocked the TV while other people are trying to watch the Olympics, impatiently bounced round the room when our usual morning walk time clashed with Val Adams’ shot put final, or leapt off the couch in a tizz when Rach screamed at the TV when Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan won NZ its first gold medal.

One of the things that has been keeping us entertained in our quieter moments has been researching recipes for a new GAP fundraiser - a cookbook full of delicious doggy recipes contributed by greyhound/dog lovers around NZ – which will hopefully be available for sale in time for Christmas!

I am in charge of collecting up the recipes that come through and to help me out, I have engaged the services of Mila as Chief Taste Tester. She is very much looking forward to sampling all the yummy recipes that come through our inbox.
Mila is really excited about her new role as Chief Taste Tester
We are currently on the lookout for great canine recipes to fill the cookbook - and are keen on anything from a favourite dog biscuit recipe, a unique use of leftovers, a good way to settle a queasy greyhound stomach...whatever! So, if you have any homemade dishes/culinary tips that your canine friends just can’t get enough of, please send the following info through to me at by 1 September 2012 with ‘GAP Cookbook’ in the subject line:
1. Your name and the name of your dog/s
2. The name of your recipe (if it doesn’t already have a name, come up with something  fun!)
3. A list of ingredients
4. Step by step preparation method
5. The type of recipe you are submitting – to help us categorise the recipes that come in (Is it a meal by itself or as a treat on special occasions? Is it best served in the winter as a nice warm meal? Or is it a cold treat for the summertime?)
6. A photo of your dish (if you have one)

Send in as many recipes as you like! The more interesting, the better! We will do our absolute best to get as many different recipes, from as many different submitters in there as we can.

P.S. We are also looking for businesses/sponsors who might be interested in advertising in the cookbook to assist us with printing costs. If you know of anyone who might be keen, please also let me know.