Monday, May 9, 2011


Here's a picture of Nicky standing in the back yard.  He thinks he looks very handsome and regal, and maybe he does, but to me he's just a very tall little brother.  Nicky finished his obedience class last Wednesday night.  Mom thought it was a fairly stupid class, but the money she paid for it went to REGAP, so that made it sort of worthwhile.  Also Nicky is getting a little better about coming in the house when he's called instead of staying out in the yard gawking at the squirrels.

And Mom started using the little squirt bottle she got in class to spray Barry and Mel when they bark while she is fixing our dinner, so now they don't bark anymore.  Before this, she had tried just stopping the fixing of the food whenever any barking happened, but this method did not work very well because maybe Mom was not patient enough and consistent enough when she used it.  But the squirt bottle worked really well.  And the other night, Mom squirted Chloe when she was climbing into the trash basket, and Chloe hasn't tried to do that since then.

Okay, well, here's another photo, and it's of Barry in the yard.  Mom sort of missed him when she took the picture, but she likes it anyway, so she said I should put it in my blog.  I guess what this picture shows is that Barry was trotting pretty fast on his way into the house.  And I think it also shows that Mom needs to practice her aim.

Barry and Mel are still having diarrhea, so they are getting some medicine and stuff.  Mel is getting Panacur, which is supposed to cure you if you have worms.  Also he is taking metronidazole, and he is getting some extra prednisone for a few days.  Barry is going to start eating a new, different food.  But the clinic had to order the food, and it didn't come yet.

Nicky also has diarrhea some of the time, but Mom is only dealing with Mel and Barry right now.  Mom says she is really tired of picking up big piles of gooey poop in the yard because it's messy and hard to pick up, and she usually ends up getting it on her hands.  Which she doesn't like, for some reason.

Last week, Mom finally got around to burying Gabe's ashes, which was sad for all of us.  She buried them at the base of our big, tall oak tree, kind of between the roots.  Trixie's ashes are buried nearby, also at the base of the oak tree.  Mom was afraid that Nicky might try to dig a hole in the spot where Gabe's ashes got buried, so she put some rocks there.  When it started raining the other day, I asked Mom if Gabe's ashes would sprout and grow lots of little baby Gabes, but she said that only phoenixes grow out of ashes, not dogs.

And speaking of holes, Nicky is in trouble with Mom because he has dug several of them in the yard.  Mom filled the biggest ones with bricks, and she filled one that was kind of in the middle of the yard with dirt.  Then she dug up some grass from another place in the yard and planted it where the hole was. She is just hoping that Nicky won't dig there again.

Mom planted some pansies in some pots outside, and the pansies are blooming.  They like cool weather, but they will look yucky later on, when it gets hot.  Then Mom can throw them out and plant something else.  Mom's clematis is also blooming, which makes her happy.

Yesterday Mom turned off the furnace because the weather is finally getting warm.  And in fact, Mom might even turn on the air-conditioner today because the temperature is supposed to go all the way up to 90 degrees.  Nicky really doesn't like hot weather.  I know this because he told me so.  Also, he pants really big and loud when he is hot. Yesterday when Mom took him for a walk, it was about 75 degrees, which Nicky thinks is pretty hot.  So he started walking slowly in all the shady spots and hurrying through the sunny spots to get to the next shady spot.  I think Nicky will be very happy when Mom turns the air-conditioner on!


  1. Wow - I think Nicky is a very handsome and regal looking dog. That certainly DOESN'T mean he is better looking than you, but for his breed, he is the best looking greyhound I've ever seen! I'm so glad you mentioned the "squirt bottle" because I need to purchase another one. I got one several months ago, it was actually one of those plastic squirt guns, but its been lost since the day I brought it home...hmmmm. When I get the cat food container out to feed Dodi/Di...Dodi gets so excited he jumps into the container covering himself w/cat food. Most people would find that funny, but it does get tiresome - although I will admit to laughing to myself "at times." One last comment, I think Gabe's burial spot is very nice and the stones just add to Gabe's memorial. Guess it's time for me to get productive, although sitting on the couch is quite relaxing.
    Love, AP

  2. Well, I think Nicky is a very handsome greyhound!


  3. Nicky says thanks to everybody for thinking he is so handsome. And thanks especially to Aunt Patty for saying that Nicky isn't as good-looking as I am!

    I think it's funny that Dodi jumps into the food container. That is a very clever thing to do. Mom keeps our food container up high on the counter, so dogs can't jump up there. Sometimes Chloe gets on the counter while Mom is fixing the cats' food, but Mom makes her get down again right away.

    Love, Piper

  4. Good luck with your mom trying to teach Nicky not to dig. When I had Porsche (my Greyhound), she was trained by a professional dog psychologist/dog trainer before we got her....and she still dug up our yard! We had giant holes and had to re-sod our yard when we moved!

    Greyhounds are programed to dig because their prey is underground. Some have a bigger digging drive than others. So, uh, good luck with the entire training Nicky to go against his/her instincts. She's asking for a LOT of stress. She's better off getting Nicky a sandbox and teaching Nicky to dig in there (which, by the way, is what we taught Porsche when we moved and before she got cancer. It was a GODSEND.)


    P.S. Tell her I think spraying your brothers and sister with a spray bottle is mean. There are better ways to train a dog to not bark or go into a trash bin than spraying them with a spray bottle. It diminishes the bond between dog and owner instead of empowering it (i.e. it makes the dog scared of its owner so it does something out of fear).

    P.P.S. I'm sorry if I seem to be putting my beliefs onto your mom. I very much dislike traditional methods of training like spray bottles. I very much believe in Victoria Stilwell's training methods. The traditional methods made Zena very scared of me which made me sad; Stilwell's methods have made Zena super happy and she trusts me more than ever. I'm also autistic and my friends are dogs, not humans.

  5. Dear Aunt Katie,
    I didn't know about greyhounds being programed to dig. I thought that was terriers, and that greyhounds just chased things because they are sighthounds! LOL Mom does not really want to build a sandbox in our yard, but there are some places where she doesn't care so much if Nicky digs, so maybe she can get him to dig in those places.

    Also Mom said to tell you that she knows the spray bottle is not a good training method, and she likes Victoria Stilwell's methods a lot, too. Mom was trying and trying to get Barry and Mel to not bark while she was fixing our food, using positive training methods, but she thinks she was not patient and consistent enough, so that's why she finally used the spray bottle.

    I am sorry to admit that I have such a bad mom, but I'm stuck with her, and at least she feeds me, so I guess that is good.

    Your friend, Piper

  6. Dear Piper,

    Sighthounds are like terriers in some ways. Most dig and destroy squeaky toys! Well, at least, that's my experience with greyhounds anyway. Porsche destroyed anything red (yes, red. I am not kidding. I didn't wear red for a looooooong time) and could beat a Dachshund in the digging department.

    We chose to use a sandbox because doggies see the yard as one big digging spot. The sandbox looks very different. We repurposed my old turtle sandbox from when I was little; she was happy with just that amount of sand.

    Zena, my Decker Rat Terrier (she's looks like you, but she has a stumpy tail and is a different breed all together! Her breed has a bit of Basenji in them! You can see her picture in my bio!), is very bizarre. She has a digging hole and only digs there...until the rabbit/mole/rodent visits his home under the porch in summer. Then she digs around the porch. We have to watch her in summer so she doesn't dig up the porch!