Beautiful sights

Beautiful sights
Horses at blue water Lake state park

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Clicker training...WHO gets trained?

I ordered two clickers, and when they arrived, I opened the Neversaynevergreyhounds blog and watched the video on clicker training again.  I have decided to set aside 15 minutes each day to work on the clicker training.  I really respect the training that Jennifer has given her greyhounds.  I want to be a good trainer, as well, and feel that I can copy her methods.

I also have a lot of faith in Power's basic temperament.  He's got a lot of calm and gentleness that will be a benefit to him and I as we progress.

Bicycle Power

Power seemed to feel much better yesterday afternoon, and was beginning to get some of his puppy energy back.  I knew from experience that a dog can be very bored and destructive if he doesn't have a constructive outlet for his energy.

I'd been taking him for walks and at first that's about all he felt like doing on his sore foot.  Now however it is a different story.

I hooked his leash to my recumbent tricycle and we did a slow circle around the RV camping area on the BLM.  He was in heaven to go just a bit faster and farther!

This is such an extraordinary dog.  He is an agreeable personality, and doesn't try to pull on the leash like all my previous dogs have done.  He's sleeping all night now and has been doing all his business outside.  He eats well and in general is so well behaved.

He has figured out that if I pick up his leash it means FUN!  He runs to me to get his leash hooked up.  He no longer hesitates in entering and exiting the motorhome.  His method of entering is very different from Fleur.  She walks one step at a time.  Power jumps the full distance from ground to inside motorhome( 5 steps).  I tried to get him to put his feet on the steps, but he said "what for, Mom?  I don't need steps.  I can fly!"

Let's fly more, Mom!

Stitches Stitches

Yesterday I had the suspicion that Power's operated foot still has stitches in place.  Last week I drove 100 miles to the vet who did the surgery to get the stitches out.  Now I find at least two more stitches.  I was not going to drive back to Flagstaff to get them out.  So I got out tiny scissors and tweezers and started the procedure.  One stitch came out easily but Power figured out what I was doing and wouldn't cooperate for the next ones.  So I still have at least one stitch to remove.  I thought it would be done but maybe tomorrow.  

I didn't want to get Power so upset that he would feel compelled to bite in order to defend himself from the pain.  He's got a gentle soul.  I think the stitches can wait a day..

One day later... Power had a very restless night, kept waking, and wanting out, went out, played with squeaky toy outside, finally put leash on and walked him around in the desert till he pee'd and pooped.  Then when we went back inside the RV I moved his bed to the kitchen in hopes that if he was restless he at least wouldn't be irritating his new "sister" Fleur.  Fleur is a grouch when bothered at night.  She's 9 1/2 yrs old but that's not why,  she's been touchy all her life.

Power didn't want to walk on the operated foot during the night and cried with pain when he bumped it on the way in or out of the RV.  

Today I need to get that stitch out and be done with it.  
Finally all the stitches are out (I think) and the foot is looking less pink and swollen.  He walks on it well unless he bumps it.  If he bumps it he cries for a minute, but he stops soon and keeps going.  The knuckles on the operated foot are still looking pink and a little swollen, Power is not licking it nonstop anymore.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fundraiser in Quartzsite

Quartzsite, AZ is a town of many faces.  One face is that of people who need help to feed themselves.  Some semi homeless individuals come to the desert each year because they can camp in the desert and get by with little or no shelter.  Other folks with very limited financial means come in their vans, trailers, etc and camp in the desert.  They have shelter but very little money for food, etc.  The people of Quartzsite (both permanent and transient) have organized a food bank, a feeding cafeteria, and other types of programs to care for those needing help.  Funds are raised  by means of spaghetti suppers.  It's amazing to see hundreds of folks coming to a spaghetti supper, and each person donates $5.00 to the food fund.  While folks eat, a live band plays in the background and tables are waited on by volunteers and scouts.  These waiters do a great job of taking orders, distributing plates, drinks, salads, and deserts for their assigned tables.  

Dry Camping logistics for bathing greyhounds

My new greyhound, Power, was not given a bath when he came off the racetrack due to his injuries and his surgery.  I wasn't overly worried about it but now that I found tapeworms, I want to give him and his bed a good bath. 

I am camped on BLM land in the Arizona Desert, have only a tank of fresh water, and am trying to decide if I am going to use a commercial grooming service, or go to a faucet and bathe him in cold water, or use the water in my RV tank, which I can heat.  The RV has an outside shower with hot and cold water so I will probably use that.  One thing I have learned from 40 years of owning dogs is that many of them are terrified of bath tubs and nearly faint from fear while in a tub.  I might use the outside shower during the hot part of the day, and then the bath is done.  No more wondering what to do.

Keeping a dog out of the sand and soil till dry is not too difficult.  I put a yard mat inside my large x pen next to my motorhome, so I believe I could keep him clean.  

Next I want to clip his toenails.  The operated foot has really long toenails , Probably due to his foot being bandaged and painful.  I need to take care of this issue.  Power is walking pretty well on the operated foot, but if I leave the sock off it, he wants to lick it continuously.  So for now I have a sock on the foot and take it off several times a day to check over the foot.  The foot looks sore and weird due to the missing portion.  The knuckles that are left in the foot are red and hairless, and seem to be swollen.  I feel that time will help.  When he cannot lick the hair off, I hope the hair will regrow.

I did clip the nails on his operated foot.  He was well behaved but acted like he didn't understand why Mom was holding his foot off the ground.  I nipped just the tiniest portion of each nail so he would realize that nothing bad was going to happen.  The nails on those toes are very crooked (probably due to his injury to this foot) I'm hoping that with time they will straighten.

On one front leg is a red sore about 1/2 inch in diameter. The adoption agency said they had been trying to get it to heal before I got her.  I think I will put triple antibiotic ointment on it and then cover it with a sock.  Perhaps it will heal when Power cannot lick it.  The sock should let air get to it but keep Power's powerful tongue off it.

I did accomplish the bath yesterday about noon.  I waited for the warmest part of the day, and used the outside shower with the water warm.  I put a towel down on the soil.  He wasn't sure what was going on, wondered why I wanted him to stand  on the towel.  The water and shampoo worked together to get him lathered.  With Power's short hair and no fur undercoat the rinsing went rapidly.  Then I threw a large towel over  him to soak up some of the water. After all was cleaned up we went for a short walk to give the sun a chance to dry him. Mission Accomplished!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Friends old and new

Wednesday (after a nearly sleepless night) we got in my car, drove to Yuma, and visited two couples whom we have met while RVing.  One couple we worked with 2008-2009, and they are dog lovers as well.  The other couple are camp hosts we met this year.  They are greyhound people.

After 75 miles I suddenly realized I'd forgot my purse, so I pulled off the road to let Cari drive.  While in Yuma, we let my dogs play with Mike's dog, Bella, and went to Petsmart.  I was afraid my boy Power would pee in the store.  I walked him around outside the store but he showed no interest in peeing.  Off to the inside of the store.  He and Fleur were perfect!  I was surprised.  They had not been in that store and had not had enough exercise so I was fearful of misbehavior.  

Looked at Dog food brands.  The so called quality foods are terribly expensive.
$45.00 for 15 lbs.  The best ones were twice that much.  I finally bought one bag of Nutro lamb and rice and plan to mix it with Purina One Lamb and rice.
I was not expecting those prices.

Many times I am in an area that has few resources for quality dog food.  I need quality dog food that is readily available and affordable.  Any ideas, anyone? 

After the Yuma trip, I wondered how the night would go.  It was much better.
I  didn't have to be up but once during the night.  Fleur is still having some adjustment problems with Power at bedtime,(she wants to order him around) but it was better last night as well. This morning I noticed tape worms on Power's butt so I called Verde Valley Greyhounds( my adoption agency), and she told me that their vet in Flagstaff could not mail me the meds because it is a type of poison, and that I should have taken out the pet insurance she recommended.  She said if I called it in I could still use it to take Power to a vet.  So I called the insurance and they said that it is $59.00 per month.

I took Power to the Quartzsite vet and he gave Power a shot of tape worm medicine. Power found his lungs and yelled his head off!( not a peep up till then!) The vet says that I will not need to give him any more meds and do not need to treat Fleur and Chica.  $40.00  Not too bad. 

Next I need to work out bathing logistics! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Night Power !

My lovely big boy is partly night owl.  He wakes and need something...

  • is it outside to pee?
  • is he cold?
  • is he hungry?
  • is he thirsty?
  • is he bored?
  • maybe his foot hurts...
  • maybe he needs...............something

I haven't figured it out yet.  If I bundle up and take him for a walk he is happy to go, but doesn't pee or poop.

If I give him something for his foot he is happy to take the pill in a treat, but he's still unsatisfied.

If I throw a blanket over him he throws it off and ignores it and his bed.

If  I give him some water, he just looks at it.

If I break down an give him a snack, he looks at me while he inhales it but still is not satisfied.

If I give him toys to play with, he then leaps up to get the toy, drops it and ignores the toy.

So this morning at 2:30 am I decided that I had to do something drastic.  Power was unable to settle and my female greyhound Fleur would begin growling and barking at Power.  No sleep was in sight for me, so I went back out to the living room and sat in my recliner, covered up with a quilt and dared those dogs to keep on!  Of course they promptly fell asleep.  I wonder if their necks are in a cramp....MINE is!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Power Part 2

Today we drove in the motorhome about 160 miles.  Since it was Power's first time in the motorhome when it's moving, I wondered how he would do.  He did great!  He especially liked it when I dropped some cookies on the floor and he got to them before I did.  Great reflexes.  Those were not injured in his accident.

He managed to get the sock I had covering his surgery foot loosened up enough that it was hanging long on the sore foot, sort of like those funny clown shoes with the extra long toes!  He never let it slow him down, though.

When we got to Quartzsite AZ, I had planned to find one of the two main shade trees and camp under it for cooler temps, but the two shade trees were already taken.  So I drove on down the dirt road to the spot I have always used and there was one of my friends, Debbie Lemon!  I was so glad to see her.  I picked a spot near her and we had a lovely visit.  Debbie's dog (Maui) is a black poodle.Normally Maui has a fit when I approach with my big greyhounds, but she liked Power!  Debbie is a long time RVer and a pretty lady.  Her husband died two years ago but she's very capable and still on the road.  Debbie is also the best beader that I have ever seen.  She covers bottles with leather and does the beading on the leather.  Exquisite!

When we stopped for gas, I took the dogs out for a pee break while the gas tank filled.  I can see that Power has the down part of the steps all figured out, and is doing a lot better on the entering UP the steps.  One thing I've noticed is that he pees without lifting his leg, or even squatting.  He just stops and let's it rip!

Walking around at camp is funny, because Power has a hard time deciding whether to take his TRIBBLE
(stuffed toy with squeaker) with him or to let it stay on the yard mat.  He wants to have it both ways!
I am having to remember to watch for the Tribble in case he drops it.  And, sore as he is he still wants to be released to run.  Today I will unload the fencing from the rear ladder of my RV and set it up.  Then the dogs can play outside and relax off leash.  Rattlesnakes are still out due to the heat, so I need to remember to keep an eye out for them.

Bed time brought with it the fact that Power was not yet ready for sleep.  He was interested in sniffing all around for the possibility of cookie crumbs.  I finally clipped his leash to a retainer to limit his exploring, and he could then move in a smaller area.  His exploring was also making my female greyhound (FLEUR) very antsy and she would growl and bark at him saying" stay out of my space!. She did the same with Val when he was alive.  She want's to be in charge!

Bedtime brought with it the fact that with no electricity, it was very warm and I have two fans which work off battery power.  The dogs got one and I and the cat got one.  After I got to sleep the dogs woke me up wanting to go outside.  So out we went so that Power could pee.  He wasn't ready for sleep, he took the Tribble out and want to run and play.  This was repeated at 3 AM and then at 5:30 am.  By then I decided to stay up.   Out we went, Tribble and all. The beauty of the night sky is breathtaking.  I doubt that Power is thinking of the beautiful stars and moon.  He just wants to play.  Smart boy.

Since  I'm supposed to keep him a bit quiet for a little while to let his injuries finish healing, I have not let him get too rambunctious.  I think he is not in too much pain.  He still gets an antibiotic pill twice a day.  I put the capsule inside a PILL POCKET which is a treat with a pocket in it, to hide a pill or capsule inside.  The treat smells and tastes so good that he ignores the presence of the capsule inside. One gulp and it's gone.

He's so black that at night I can't see him.  I put a white cloth around his neck last night.  I could she if he was into mischief or asleep.  T think I'll look around for a larger fabric to put around his neck at night.

Monday, October 22, 2012


I'm convinced that RVers and dog people are some of the friendliest on earth.

Meeting others!

I had some interesting comments from folks yesterday and today.  First I want to say thanks to all who comment.  I checked out some of their blogs this am while I was waiting for the sun to rise.
Betsy Speert has an interior decorating business and also a restoration business for vintage RV's!  I'm going to love learning from her site!  Thanks Betsy!

Patsy Erdman has the greatest picture of her hound wearing glasses!  You got my vote for getting a dog to be so photogenic and cooperative!

Laura has three dogs who all stayed still for the camera.  Great job, Laura.What is the trick?

Harriet has two Italian Greyhounds.  Sounds like a bundle of energy times two, doesn't it?

Lucy &amp Loree wrote a comment and I checked her blog.  It sounds very interesting.  I'll be checking it out frequently.

Kcgaz joined the blog and he has his own blog as well  Check it out   From the picture of the RV ( Tioga), it sounds like he and his family are learning like all the rest of do....through experience!  Welcome kcgaz!

I've been having blog visits from Germany and I am excited to think this might be family.  My closest family live in a town near Hamburg Germany.  Dearly loved, Jost, Miriam, Dana, and Keno!

Jerry and Sandy of sound like I'm going to learn a lot of cooking tips.

Again, I sure enjoy hearing from you!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New Dog

Today I went to the adoption area for Greyhounds of the Verde Valley, held at the Fall Festival in Camp Verde, AZ.  They had six dogs present.  One was the most beautiful brindle you've ever laid eyes on.  He was also very full of himself.  He was continuously trying to escape the fencing, by squeezing through the one inch opening, or jumping up on the fence, and generally thinking mischief.

Another was a lovely red boy, who was calm and good mannered but had recently killed a cat.

Third was a smaller red girl with her tail completely tucked up between her legs, shaking with fear, unable to hardly breath she was so fearful.  Poor girl!

A black girl called Sedona, who had some adjustment problems at her foster home.

Another brindle dog, and one more red boy.

Finally, a black boy 18 months old, white chin, white chest, white feet and white tipped tail.  He was walking like he was in pain, and didn't want to walk at all.  Turns out he had an accident in a recent race, got his feet and legs torn up.  One toe had to be amputated( it's still bandaged), and the other feet are abraded, scuffed ankles, and wrists as well.  Tomorrow I will go to his vet and the stitches on the amputation will be removed. I hope to find out the extent of his injuries and find out what I need to do to get the best healing possible.
His name is Wild Power House, and to me he will be Power. He will have some real healing to do, along  with trying to regrow the hair on his rear hips, and his tail.  Many greyhounds rub up against the bars of their cages and rub the hair off.  My greyhounds have all had this for a short while.  Most grows back within the first year in a home where they are loved and not caged.

Welcome, Power!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Getting ready for another Greyhound

Welcome to Barbara Dewell, my very first member on the blog!  She has a great blog called Me and my Dog .
She has encouraged me to blog and helped me learn the process, so thanks,Barbara! 

Welcome also to Patty Erdman.  Patty has loved and lost a greyhound as well.
Thanks Patty for sharing with us.

I am really excited about the possibility of getting another greyhound, and have been going through my dog supplies to make sure I have what I need.

  • I purchased a 20 lb bag of dog food
  • retrieved the dog dish Val used and made sure it was clean
  • got out Val's red fleece winter coat and washed it
  • located Val's Thunder shirt and washed it
  • hung Val's leash on door handle in case I need it.
  • placed fur brush in handy location
  • reminder to go to atm for cash in case adopters won't take check
  • Dog bed... got out dog bed cover and located blankets and other padding to stuff the cover.  The new baby needs to be comfortable!
  • print out and fill in the application for adoption
  • Supply of heartworm prevention and flea and tick prevention on hand
  • doggy toothbrush on hand
  • dog toys ( purchased thru toys and collars and leashes.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Travel Preparations

For nearly three weeks I've been camping at Bluewater Lake State Park in NW New Mexico.  I really love it here.  But, winter is coming fast here, it's below freezing at night.  My favorite parts about this park are the horses, and the great beauty of the landscape.This park is managed by Kelly the ranger who does a really great job.

I will be leaving in two more days.  I started getting things ready a few days ago.  I got out my tire gauge and checked the pressure.  All of them needed a bit of air, so I got the compressor out and got the tires all pumped to the optimal psi.  Two of the valve stems had lost the caps so I replaced them with new ones from Walmart.  My neighbor, Cari, was out checking her tires and needed to pump them up.  Her tire gauge is malfunctioning, so she asked to use mine.  Her compressor has a very short air fill attachment, and she asked me to help her get one tire filled because the short attachment was nearly impossible to hold in place on the valve stem.  We finally go it done.

My cactus garden needed watering and fertilizing.  

As you can see, I have to protect some of the plants from the cat.  I thought cats would be deterred by the thorns, but Chica is a sneaky girl!  The clear plastic works well.

The water hoses I own were just barely long enough (three 25 ft hosed hooked end to end) to reach to the nearest faucet for fresh water tank fill. But that job is now done and have the hoses recoiled and stowed away.  

Windshield cleaning is my least favorite job.  I have cleaned it 5 times in the last month and cannot get it clean enough to keep from having a film of streaks inside and outside that are annoying to look through. Used Windex, Alcohol, Rain-X, and Invisible glass.

Repair hole for Dash A/C

Hole repaired and touched up by me

Two months ago I had to get the dash A/C repaired again.  The repair shop left a hole in the front of the motorhome again, so again, I need to touch up the hole repair.  White caulk and white touch up paint make the 12 x 12 inch hole repair less noticeable.  A body shop could fix it so it was invisible, but next time the A/C needs repair the hole would have to be opened again, so the less expensive option is my choice.

Checking under the hood for oil, antifreeze, transmission, brake fluid, etc will be the last job on the mechanical list.  I'm so grateful that motorhome manufacturers made the recent models so that I don't have to take off the engine cover to check transmission fluid.  Last item is to hitch up the car and we're on the road again!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012



I thought retirement was supposed to be easy!  It is still filled with decisions, but different ones in addition to the regular ones.

The decision on my plate this week is: Do I get another greyhound to join the family, or do I decide to keep the family small and avoid the extra cost, housework, training, etc.

My family consists of one greyhound female 9.5 yrs old, and one cat 6 yrs old.
I have been used to having two greyhounds and two cats.  Over the last two months I have lost one greyhound and one cat , both to bone cancer.  I miss them greatly.
Phoenix, 17 years old

Beginning something new

I travel with my family of pets, at present a tuxedo cat named Chica, and a white and red greyhound named Fleur.  We live in a 31 ft Sea Breeze Class A motorhome.  This has been our home since 2007.