Car talk Greyhounds

VW ID.4 life with dogs

I thought I’d report my experiences taking the greyhounds on outings in the ID.4. Additional room for Rocky was a significant motivation in retiring the Mk 7 GTI DSG. Almost no reviewers show their dogs in the vehicles they review or comment on suitability of a vehicle to haul big dogs so I thought I’d do that with the VW ID.4

Greyhounds Healthcare Holiday Letter Home Remodeling

2021, The year of the snake

Year of the snake? Treatment of Dave’s bladder cancer has been the big news of the year. So far, it remains confined to the bladder lining where it is very treatable and is more a nuisance than an existential threat but its treatment has set the rhythm for the year.


Things I Know

In the 20 or so months I’ve been a resident of Dismal Manor, I’ve learned quite a bit. I haven’t a clue about sit, down, and stay but I know how to conduct myself for many activities of daily living. This post is written primarily as a guide for pet sitters and boarders.

Most of what’s here is standard Dismal Manor greyhound knowledge. Missy knows all the same words but also knows sit, down, and stay, and earned a CGC certificate while she was in foster care.

This post is mostly about me because I’m bigger and greener and Alice Cooper’s I’m Eighteen is my song. Sometimes I’m a boy and sometimes I’m a man.


Rocky’s 2021 Reunion

Saturday October 2, Rocky, Missy, and Dismal Wizard clambered aboard Das Auto to make the 2+ hour trip to Mechanicsville Virginia where James River Greyhounds, was having its first reunion of the COVID-19 era. In 2020, public health travel restrictions canceled that year’s reunion. In 2021, relaxation of gathering rules allowed JRG to hold the reunion.


Rocky’s First Beach Visit

Dismal Wizard took Missy and Me to the “puppy beach” at First Landing State Park. Oh, my, that worked. WordPress let my editor upload a live photo! I just can’t put it on the masthead. So we had to put a regular one there.

First Landing State Park

Saturday was a busy day. We got like the last parking place in the car park and had to walk, and walk, and walk to the beach trail head.

First Landing State Park boardwalk to the beach

Walking Down

As we were walking the planks, we met a lady with 2 Portuguese Water Dogs in tow. They looked funny in their curly coats. One was a tux-puppy and the other was a cow-puppy. She told us that the Portuguese Water Dog national specialty meet was in town for the week. Nice calm dogs. They were in sporting cuts looking trim. Suspect they were on stage later in the week. Nice field dog.

Looking Confused at the boardwalk junction. Steps or ramp. Ramp, please.

The Break

We walked the ramp down to the beach. Nice doggies were starting up the ramp as we were coming down. This access is wheel chair accessible with belting leading down to the firm sand below the high tide line. The tide was part way so the beach looked like this.

The Shore Break

Now you know why this is the “puppy beach”. The surf is not to big and not too small. Offshore is a sand bar that uncovers at low tide.

This is close enough, thank you

Meeting Children

We walked the other way for about 10 minutes and then back. Today, I met some children, my first in a while as the pox has limited children’s activities in the heighborhood. Most were good but one was a bit worrisome. Parents listened when DW told them child was asking for a chomping.

Dogs make the rules!

The first thing kids need to learn is that, when meeting a dog, the dog makes the rules. Many of us don’t have a lot of experience with kids so first greetings must go at our pace negotiating what comes next. The kid that runs up and throws arms around us will likely be bit! Listen when we object.

Some kids just can’t wait. They don’t get it that we make the rules and take a dim view of aggressive children. I like the calm ones who let me have the opening greeting. But once I decide to greet you, I’m likely to give you a big sloppy kiss.

Time to go

We walked back, taking the beach photos used in this post. We had the sun at our back so these were nicely exposed. All iPhone 11 point and pray shots. Finder washes out. All one-handed as I probably would have gone looking for the car. Not completely sure of this place.

iPhone11 is the first one that is dunk proof. We did not test that feature. But, DW was pretty wobbly standing in the break.


They’re Back, Daddy

After three clean stool samples in a row, our vet discontinued Drontal+ medication back in the spring. The 3 month check came back hook worm positive. So we’re back to square one with a new baseline fecal egg count and resumption of Advantage Multi plus Drontal+ parasite treatment. And did I mention, fecal egg count stool sample every 2 weeks.


“I came for good”

It’s been over a year! Dismal Wizard and I decided to keep each other. I have a wing-lass, Missy. Although we don’t appear close, I’m her wing man and protector. We perform all of our ZombieSquadHQ duties together. And we chase the rascally rabbit together. Said rabbit always has a plan so we have yet to score.

Audio Greyhounds Holiday Letter

Adios, 2020

Ahoy, all. Its been a crazy year. So far, I’ve missed the plague but my list of pre-existing conditions is getting longer. I hope the year finds you healthy and looking forward to a better 2021.

Tleilaxu Eyes

The year started off with cataract surgery. I now have Tleilaxu eyes and Warby Parker readers. It is nice having good distant vision and not needing glasses for most tasks. I have aspheric prosthetic lenses that correct my astigmatism. So fancy lenses and laser surgery Medicare wouldn’t pay for. The interesting bit is that laser incisions heal more quickly and have lower complication rates. Should be the standard of care CMS.


Meal Plan 2.0

Former racing greyhounds come with adult size if not with adult brains. They come knowing what they need to make it through work day life. Freedom is a new thing for them. After the initial few days that it takes to realize that this is not Florida and that there is a whole lot of opportunity and a slew of stuff to learn, you can begin teaching them what they need to know.

The first lesson is to look to you for guidance. As they absorb that one, you can begin to teach them the other things they need to know. Like when it is meal time, that your meal is not theirs, that they remain calm while meals are prepared and served, that other dog’s meal is not theirs, to take treats calmly and that other dog’s treats are not to be intercepted. We don’t quite have meal time down but, the remaining meal time and treat time house manners are coming nicely.

Rocky is continuing to mellow and settle in. As he becomes secure in the Dismal Manor Way, he is becoming gentler and more patient but he remains an early riser and won’t settle until his belly has been filled.

The first thing I tried was to divide his meals to feed him more frequently, and to give him a bedtime snack. That didn’t work. He got shouty more often rather than less often. So we went back to the recommended 2 meals per day, morning and evening.

I’ve never raised a puppy before but in some ways Rocky is a big overgrown puppy. I have to teach him things he would have learned gradually while growing up in a home environment. Things he did not need to learn to live in a racing kennel.


New Meal Plan

Rocky gets powerful hungry over night. When Rocky wants fed, Rocky gets shouty. Painfully shouty if he’s within a foot or two of your ear. So what can we do to get Mr. Fancy Pants to sleep through the night?

Greyhounds for Dummies has plenty about proper feeding but not what to do about a colicky baby wanting fed in the middle of the night at age 4. At least he doesn’t want nursed!

So, brilliant idea, divid his ration in 3 and give 1/3 right before bed. The bedtime feeding prompts a bedtime loo visit. This works pretty well as I have to wait for sinuses to settle after brushing teeth. So I brush up, then feed Rocky. Missy was offered food but it ended up in Rocky so Rocky gets three squares and Missy gets two.

So far, so good. Mixed wakeup times. He’ll ambush me returning from the loo some mornings. Today, he slept in until first light and then some. So we’re calling this change in husbandry a partial success.