Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Making music

Our home land line has a ridiculous ringtone - a very loud, very high-pitched version of 'London Bridge' that goes on...and on...and on. 

Every time the phone rings, that tone is heard wherever you are in the house and because the phone's instruction booklet has miraculously disappeared, I cannot for the life of me work out how to change the tone to something that even remotely resembles normal. 

It would be a special kind of torture to be stuck in a room with no escape, listening to this particular rendition of London Bridge on a continuous loop. However, there is ONE advantage: the hounds love it!! 

Below is a video of young Mila Grey relaxing on the couch, singing her favourite tune. She has heard the phone ring so many times now that she's got the timing down pat and she even knows where the pauses are. Sometimes she manages to get Chris to sing along with her (although I'm sure he has no idea why he is howling)...but usually he is content just to listen.

For the longest time, I couldn't work out whether Mila loved the phone - or wanted to smash it to pieces as much as I did. However, she roos along so calmly before dropping her head down and going back to sleep, that I can't help but think that she is enjoying the whole thing. There's no panting or panicking or racing around the house - just the sweet, sweet strains of a 4-yr old greyhound - and that freakin' phone!!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Poor Old Chris

Our Chris has been in the wars lately – some of which has been his own fault and some of which can be put down to pure bad luck. Either way, he has been getting some extra special attention, a few extra treats and has been allowed to sleep in our bedroom (don’t tell Mila) while he recovers.

It started about a month ago when I found Chris chewing on very red, very swollen patch on his front leg. Being ridiculously patient when it comes to being poked and prodded (…I wish Mila would learn a thing or two from him in this department), I managed to get him to stop with the chewing and inspected his wound. A visual examination and one trip to the vet later and we were diagnosed as having an infected wart, which required antibiotics and a regular clean. Sorted? Not quite. 
Relaxing after our visit to the vet

A couple of days later, Chris and I were sitting on the couch watching telly when I discovered what can only be described as a hole in his back. Excuse the description, but this was a perfectly round and very clean hole (about the size of a 10 cent piece) through his skin that went quite deep between his shoulder blades and into his back. Another trip to the vet and we discovered that Chris had had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic injection he had received when we were there to check out the wart.
Chris very patiently waited as the vet prodded around, cut away his fur and then shaved a patch of his back to allow the wound to heal. The vet filled out a heap of paperwork to report back to the medical company and we returned home with a dog that looked like he had been shot, a new round of antibiotics, a huge pile of swabs and instructions to keep the wound clean and uncovered until it healed. We were told that if the wound didn’t heal on its own, Chris would need stitches which meant more injections…not something that we were really too keen on putting him through in the twilight of his life!

TV time with Chris
For the next few days, Chris felt a wee bit sorry for himself. The antibiotics made him a little bit nauseous and I’m sure the sight of me coming towards him twice a day with a bowl of warm salt water caused him to scream internally. He managed to scratch the top of his scab on more than one occasion (who knew that a 10-yr old greyhound could get his back leg high enough to scratch between his shoulder blades??) and several times he made a point of ensuring that he lay with his back right up against something clean and white!!  But he always came up for his regular appointment watching telly with me on the couch each night – which let me know he was okay. A few (free!!) follow-up vet appointments later and Chris’ wound is healing nicely and it looks as though we are not going to be needing stitches this time around.

As a side note, one very positive spin-off from this whole thing is that Chris has, quite unexpectedly, made a new best friend…the Vet! Generally speaking, new experiences scare Chris half to death but he LOVES going to see the vet. He jumps out of the car very enthusiastically and pulls his way down the driveway to the clinic (the only time he ever pulls toward anything!). Once we are inside he is very animated – tail wagging, stamping, play bowing - and can’t wait to get into the exam room. Then the vet arrives and it is as if all of his Christmases have come at once. More play bows and lots of sidling up for pats and treats. If the vet needs to leave the room for supplies, Chris tries to follow her out back and then wonders why he can’t - he even endures the thermometer in the backside without any trouble!! I’m sure he wishes we could go to the vet more often…even just for fun…in his mind it sure beats that big scary park!

Then yesterday, just when we were beginning to think that Chris’ troubles were behind him, he managed to lose the tip of his ear in a scuffle with Mila.

Chris tells his new friend Nonu all about the drama
There I was, tidying up the dog food cupboard (much to the excitement of both hounds), when Chris rather clumsily got a little too wound up and bumped into Mila, causing her to whip around and pull him into line. Unfortunately, as she did so, she caught his ear and sliced off a decent piece of his lobe. 

There was a great whimper and a trail of dripping blood as Chris ran away to hide in the corner. Of course, his ear hurt and the best way to deal with that when you are a greyhound is to shake your head furiously. Blood sprayed everywhere and my lounge looked like a scene out of Dexter. I eventually managed to calm Chris down and fashion a bandage out of a pair of stockings and some swabs (although admittedly it took us a few attempts and several more blood spatters to make something remotely effective). Several hours later (and just as I was starting to research home-made Elizabethan collars), the bleeding stopped, the floors and walls were clean, Mila had satisfactorily apologised to Chris and he was sound asleep on the couch with his zig-zag ear sticking up for the world to see. 

Poor guy can’t seem to catch a break at the moment – but it doesn’t seem to have affected his otherwise cheery disposition. He is still the same goofy old Chris…scared of rubbish bins and the park but with a new-found love for a good temperate check at the vet!
Checking if anyone has noticed he's on the couch