Mardi Dog is a real party animal.
Show me your treats!
Mardi Dog is a real party animal.
Show me your treats!
B’s Mom and Kilroy’s Grandma Dee passed away peacefully and surrounded by her beloved family on Sunday, January 28, 2018.
She loved Kilroy the same way she loved everyone in our pack: immediately, fiercely, and unconditionally.
Rest in peace, Treat Lady. We love you and miss you already.
It’s a common misconception that animals are immune to cold.
Although they are descended from wolves, dogs can still get hypothermia and frost-bite (especially of their ears and tails). Cold can aggravate arthritis and other medical conditions. Chemicals that go along with snow like ice melt and anti-freeze can irritate or even poison dogs. Snow and ice can cause pain when lodged between their toes.
The best method of protecting a dog from the cold is to limit exposure: keep him inside, warm, and dry.
Kilroy would be perfectly content to never leave his cuddle couch, especially when temperatures are in the single digits. But there’s still that issue of having to pee and poop. He’s been taking quickie pees on our fenced-in back patio, but he still needs walkies around the block to work out a poop–and that needs to happen at least twice a day.
Kilroy is the best-dressed dog in the neighborhood. If his humans require layers for walkies, so does the very sensitive greyhound, who has little fur or fat to counter the cold. People stare at and comment on his attire (“he sure looks warm”) but we’ve become somewhat unfazed by the attention. Caring for our dog is more important to us than seeming ridiculous. Fortunately, Kilroy is a total clothes horse who thinks dressing is normal.
I didn’t think it was possible to become even more of a spectacle. But now, there’s a fully-dressed dog in purple booties prancing around the block.
Kilroy recently developed some seasonal paw issues. After a snow and thick treatment of ice melt on paved surfaces, he would limp during walkies and hold up a paw. Rubbing the paw pads and between his toes would help, but it became apparent than Kilroy’s tootsies needed some protection from the cold, ice, and chemicals.
Merry Christmas from Kilroy, B, and me!
B and I are always touched by how the love of our friends and family has a tendency to trickle down to our trusty hound. He certainly was a good boy this year and has earned all of the treats and toys that came his way today.
Our greyhound is the gift who keeps on giving. We love him so doggone much!
…must come down?
The humans of the household are watching a war movie tonight (Dunkirk) while the ‘hound calmly sleeps beside us. This would not have been the case two years ago–or even last year; the sensitive greyhound would have disappeared as soon as suspenseful music and sounds of gunfire, missiles, and screaming began.
I’m reminded of how many daily doggy struggles Kilroy, B, and I have overcome since Kilroy retired and came to live with us.
Unfortunately, there’s still one daily struggle: descending the stairs.
It’s an ordeal every time.
Kilroy’s reaction to going down the the stairs ranges from reluctance to fear to horror. Most every descent requires encouragement or prodding; not even the promise of treats overrides his fear. He whines and he paces and we have to escort him every time.
But why? It hasn’t been an issue since he mastered the stairs a few months after he retired. What’s changed over the past 6 months?
Is he afraid of falling down the stairs (as he’s unfortunately done a few times)? Is it painful (does he have arthritis?). Is it just some unreasonable greyhound phobia he can’t overcome? Does he just enjoy the attention he gets when we whines and paces?
We brought it up at Kilroy’s annual checkup and his favorite vet offered a different theory:
he can’t see the stairs.
As she said, many aging dogs have aging eyes and become reluctant to descend stairs because their doggy eyes can’t decipher individual steps. Going upstairs isn’t as hard because the stairs are at eye level. But it probably looks like a fuzzy tunnel looking down. How can a dog maneuver his 4 feet if he can’t see where one stair ends and the other begins?
She checked Kilroy’s eyes and confirmed that our sighthound’s sight is not as good as it used to be due to some thickening of essential eyeball components.
As such, B and I have decided that our next house will have the living area and pack den (master bedroom) on the same level for both our dog’s safety and our own sanity.
If a greyhound wants attention, he’ll get it.
It often starts with a deliberately disrupting nose poke, followed by a wide-eyed, unbreakable gaze, preferably as close to a human’s face as possible.
Kilroy usually does this when we are sitting on the couch (perfect greyhound level). He walks up and literally puts his nose in our business, which makes it impossible to knit, use the computer, or sometimes even see the TV. Cartoonist Richard Skipworth calls this greypnosis.
It’s obvious from the intensity of those chestnut eyes that he’s trying to tell us something. His look varies from expectant to demanding to pleading to bored to content. Sometimes his bowl is food empty and sometimes he needs an emergency backporch. Sometimes his bed is messed up.
But usually, he just wants attention. His eyes say “me me me now now now” and he won’t give up until all hands on dog!
When he’s had his fill, his disappears just as stealthily as he arrived.