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.
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.
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.
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.
Image taken by the author and manipulated in Apple iOS Clips.app. Photos of the Bovver Boys courtesy of their social media minions.
Rocky has made great strides in his house manners. We continue to work on treat taking, table manors are largely down when I’m at the island counter, and he is getting the hang of moving about the house. He’s caught on that Missy won’t be bullied to change beds.
He’ still a shouty git. He still wants brekkie at 0400 but waits to mug me after a loo visit. He still wants his tea around 1530 but can be distracted into waiting until 1630 or so. He’s still working on meeting trades and has yet to catch on to the notion that trades are not Blighters of Zombies. Maybe Zombie Squad HQ has a training for that.
So why is he Mister Fancy Pants?
His ticking makes him look like he is wearing yoga pants! This is an iOS 13 Apple Clips manipulated image that exaggerates his markings and coat texture. In boring reality his bum looks like this.
So that it?
No, he did something stupid so Missy give him the nickname for a Twitter post. Her social media assistant has forgotten the specific incident.
Apple iOS Clips App is a lot of fun
Clips App can process new camera images or video clips to apply various transformations to them. I’ve done a couple of things where I’ve grabbed a promising photo off of Twitter, filtered it, and posted it back as a comment on the original post. I modded an image of @NormTheCairn. Later that day both #BovverBoys were posting photos for me to render for them. I like the “Comic” filter.
The Bovver Boys posted this image on the occasion of friends day. I suspect it is a paste up but it is one of their better efforts at getting both of them into the same image. So I saved it to my iPad and had a go at it.
This image is the result of cropping and applying the color version of the Comic transformation. There are monochrome, pen and ink, and various color transformation filters. I keep coming back to the color Comic filter.
This may be a good technique to try for #ZZST storyboard collages. The ZZST artists make these up using Zombie cartoons as a base layer and clipped images of the brave Zombie Squad war fighters participating in that Saturday’s event.
Hookworm image courtesy of the NIH Public Health Image Library #5205 and in the public domain. Used by permission.
Recently, I wrote about treatment of medication resistant hookworms in former racing greyhounds. Since that article was published, new research has been published and American Animal Hospital Association recommends a new treatment protocol. I’ll describe the new protocol after the break.
Rocky has spent the first four years of his life on the farm, in training, and at the Jacksonville track racing kennels. Rocky arrived “rough as a cob and full of piss and vinegar.” He was a big fellow willing to test limits. And the only useful companion skill he had was good lead and door manners. So Rocky was starting from a pretty low training baseline but with sound temperament, intelligence, and desire to fit in. He had so much to learn, where to begin. You sort of figure that out as you go along. The adopter’s guides present things in an order pleasing to book editors. Your hound may have other ideas about what should be learned first. This article recounts how Rocky adjusted his eating habits to Camp Dismal norms.
Hookworms are pandemic in the US racing greyhound environment from farm to track and most racing kennels. Aggressive use of hookworm medications has resulted in the worms developing resistance to the more commonly used medications. Most greyhounds retiring from racing or displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic and Florida wagering ban closures will have an active hookworm infestation.
After the break I’ll describe what our local adoption agency is doing for new retirees, describe the treatment protocol, and the hookworm characteristics that led to the development of this protocol. The references include Greyhound Health Initiative papers (a bit scholarly), and and articles at Greyhound Friends and Ohio Greyhound Gathering and Adoption, two regional adoption charities. The Jennifer NG, DVM, article contributed to the OGGA website is a good lay introduction to contemporary hookworm management in greyhounds.
I don’t think I’m ever going to live down this roach. It was epic apparently. Oh, and there is video. Just not here. Moocher has threatened to work on that.
I’ve had a promotion from Rocky the Gormless to Rocky the Restless. Apparently, I’m no longer dumb as a rock. I’ve learned my name, I have a bit of a recall, I’m kenneling, I’m getting my table manners down, and getting along with big sister, mostly. And I’ve mastered Missy’s wet Willie technique of rousing the Moocher to use the loo while he is asleep. Missy says this is really important!
The restless bit comes from my fascination with the blighter behind all the shinny surfaces at eye level. I keep barking at the blighter and asking to go out to run him off. Moocher is going crazy.
I’ll be 4 on May 27 so Moocher has another year of adolescent behavior to endure. Most of us grow up in year 5. Moocher would like to keep me playful. He takes advantage of my curiosity and playfulness to redirect me with a squeaky toy when I am making mischief.
There be photos after the break. And the link for the adoption charity nearest Bill.
Twitter nicknames are somewhat important as user names can be reused for multiple critters in succession. I inherited my Twitter user name from Lord Nick which explains the @nickgreyhound1 bit. But although I look somewhat like Nick and I’m young like Nick was in the beginning, I’m definitely not Nick. I deserve my own Twitter nickname. Sadly, I don’t get to pick it, head Moocher does.