We got Bread! Did you?

Yep, winter storm Bread did not disappoint and came to fruition. For those who may not know, WRVA in Richmond (Jimmy B. and the morning show folks) are naming all the snow storms this winter. Alvin, the first storm (Dec. 19th) died off and was a disappointment, but not true for Bread. In our area we saw the effects of Bread starting around 2:30 p.m. on Christmas day and continuing to snow off and on until 5 p.m. today. Total snow fall for us 7.5 inches. Yay! Hey, I would much prefer white sandy beaches and sun, but if it is going to be this da** cold it may as well snow!

I will apologize in advance, as the pictures are out of order, and blogger won't let me rearrange them. GRRR!!

Pippi was not too sure about the snow at first, but once she figured it out she had a blast.

Booyah knows how much fun the white fluffy stuff can be. This snow, so I have been told, is like a Maine snow. Fine and fluffy.

Below is Pippi surveying the yard before venturing out.

She finds her snow legs and takes a romp.
Cueball loves, loves, loves the snow. He would stay out there all day long playing in it if you let him.

One happy boy. :)

Booyah joins him for some fun.

I so enjoy watching the kids play in the snow. It puts huge smiles on our faces. Such a joy to see them so happy!

Here Booyah is taking a break to enjoy the snowflakes falling on him.

Maggie had a great time playing until she lost her cuz toy in the snow. I searched and searched but couldn't find it. Every spot I thought I had found it turned out to be a pee spot. So Mae is hoping for some sun to melt the snow so she can retrieve her beloved toy. Not sure what toy she will bring to bed in its place. The cuz is her favorite.

This pic below is from Christmas day after the snow had come down for a few hours. She was having a ball with her new cow squeaky toy.

Pippi would like it stated for the record that it is much safer indoors in the confides of a warm, toasty room, laying on a plush dog bed covered with a fleece blanket snuggling with the plushy moose toy.

We will have some Christmas day videos to share and some catching up to do in upcoming posts, so stay tuned. We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!


Merry Christmas!!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!! May your Christmas be filled with love and laughter!We are having a very lovely white Christmas here in the Ole Forge of Virginia!


Update Booyah

I am very happy to report that Booyah had his follow up visit with Dr. Blair on Wednesday. He also celebrated his fourth gotcha day last weekend, which will be saved for another post. :) Dr. Blair was quite pleased with the improvement in Booyah's eye. He does not see any need for surgery at this point, as he feels the eye is not causing Booyah any discomfort or pain. The redness is almost completely gone and he expects this to continue to diminish with time. The area surrounding the eye is no longer swollen or tender. Booyah is off of his pain meds but will continue with his daily eye drops and will follow up in six months to be re-evaluated. Of course if there are any issues before that time, he will see Dr. Blair again immediately.

As mentioned in my last post we will not be going back to our previous primary vet again. So we are changing vets to another greyhound savvy vet who is highly recommended. I should note that our previous primary vet was very greyhound savvy and is a sight hound owner herself. We, like many other greyhound owners passed by several vet's offices on our way to see this vet. Her office was not close to our home and was a 45 minute drive for us. That did not matter to us as we believed our hounds were in good hands. That is why we put our trust in this vet practice, but unfortunately we were mistaken. Anyone who personally knows us, knows that we do everything we can to provide the best care and loving home for all of our furkids. We put a lot of research and thought into choosing our previous vet and are deeply disappointed. We are hopeful that our new vet will provide our hounds with the proper care they so rightfully deserve.


Elizabeth Taylor eye

We had a rough weekend last weekend. We had nothing planned and were looking forward to having a relaxing weekend at home. All he** decided to break loose instead. In order to understand the story, we must start at the beginning. We adopted Booyah almost four years ago (it will be four years at the end of this week). He is a very sweet boy. He waited and waited at the kennel to find a home because he is a big (83lb) black male with one eye that has a genetic defect. It is blue in color, has a protrusion at its center and a bit sunken in. He also has no sight in this eye. If you look closely you can see the difference in his right eye from a "normal" greyhound eye. None of that mattered to us, we just wanted a good second addition to help Miss Queen with her separation anxiety. He is the perfect fit and cured Maggie's anxiety. All has been well with this eye and his general health for the past almost four years. That is until last Wednesday. Wednesday evening I noticed his eye was a bit red and he was squinting a bit. This has happened before when he has poked himself in the eye when walking by a tree branch. I did not think much of it and decided to check him in the morning and go from there. Thursday morning, the redness had decreased some, there was no drainage, swelling or edema and his natural blue color was present. I thought it must be getting better and opted not to take him to the vet. Things ended up taking a turn for the worse on Friday evening. His eye had changed in color to purple, was swollen and bulging. (this pic below was taken today) We went to see my primary vet early Saturday morning, who diagnosed him with having a Descemetocele, which is a formation of an ulcer that then ruptures. As you can imagine, that would be quite painful. They informed me that he will likely need surgery to either repair the eye (cut the nerve endings to the eye) or remove the eye. I was given a referral to see a specialist.

I should note here that because of this whole incident, Booyah nor will any of my other fur kids, will be returning to this vet for any further care. And here is the reason. Booyah has been seen by this vet practice for four years. The vet he normally sees was off last Saturday, so he saw the other vet. In the four years he has been seen, no one noted that there was a birth defect in this eye and what it looked like. The vet who saw him Saturday also informed me that when they saw him the Saturday prior for a regular 6 month check up and vaccine update they noted at that time that he had an ulcer in his eye. However, no one bothered to inform me of this. They had also noted back in 2009 that he had corneal scarring and an unknown mass/deformity. On 3 separate visits some issue with his eye was noted in his chart but was not discussed with me. As you can imagine, I was quite perturbed and the Vet and her staff received quite the mouthful of ugliness from me.

I am very proactive and heavily involved in the care of our fur kids and I always ask when they are seen if there are any concerns with their health. In the interest of seeking a second opinion, because I no longer trusted anything this vet had to say, I drove Booyah to an emergency vet for their opinion. The vet who saw him concluded the same diagnosis and also referred me to a specialist. Before going to the emergency vet, I did contact two specialist's office, but unfortunately none of the Ophthalmologists in the Richmond nor the Northern Virginia were on call that weekend. As a side note, if you live in the state of Virginia and your fur kid has a true eye emergency, good luck on the weekends. You may end up at Virginia Tech or NC State to receive care.

The ER vet gave us pain meds and eye drops to get us through the weekend and told us to call if the eye worsened. She also informed us that we could go to VT or NC state if he needed emergent surgery.

The whole weekend I was anxious and worried sick about Booyah. We saw the specialist on Monday. After looking at Booyah for just a few seconds and hearing his history, the vet informed me that this was not a Descemetocele. I was quite relived.

Now, it should be noted that I am not bashing the other two vets for a wrong diagnosis, as they are not eye specialists and I don't expect they would be able to properly diagnosis this issue. However, my primary vet office not letting me know about scarring, unknown mass and an ulcer in the eye is ridiculous and I am still outraged over that situation.

The good news is that Booyah is going to be okay and surgery is not needed, at least not yet. It may be needed in the future if we cannot medically manage his pain. Booyah's correct diagnosis is a Congential anomaly/blind; Corneal staphloma; Hyphema suspect retina detachment. So what does all that mean? According to the eye specialist it means this:
"Booyah's right eye has a birth defect and the bulge in the cornea is a weak area but it is not unstable. The hemorrhage inside the eye is likely due to a detachment of the retina. I suspect he had a blunt trauma to the eye and that caused the hemorrhage and sensitivity. If the eye remains painful, removal of the eye may be recommended."

Booyah is on pain meds, anti-inflammatorys and eye drops. His has remained his loving, sweet self and his tail has never stopped wagging through this whole ordeal. He is no longer squinting, so I think there has been an improvement. Only time will tell if surgery will be necessary. We follow up with the specialist on December 1st and will go from there. But for the meantime and the future, we are ans will remain in love with our big, beautiful, black boy even with his Elizabeth Taylor eye.


Just Cuz

A couple of weeks ago, the girls and I played fetch in the yard with their new cuz toy. This is Maggie's absolute, bar none, favorite toy. It makes an obnoxiously loud squeak, so it remains an outside toy. The boys don't care much for a game of fetch, but the girls love it. They love the competition and play very well together. Maggie is like a "big sister" to Pippi and plays that role very well. :) The girls do everything together and are quite lost when they are apart even though they have the company of the boys. Mitch always walks the boys when we travel and I always walk the girls. It bodes true at home also. The boys are usually always with Mitch whether he is downstairs or upstairs and the girls are with me. Maybe it should not be this way, but it is. Now, that is not to say that Mitch does not spend any time with the girls or loves them any less or that I do not spend any time with the boys or love them any less. It just seems that they have picked "their people". =)

Anywho...here are some pics of our time playing fetch in the backyard.

Pippi is ready to catch the cuz toy.

Maggie watches as Pippi makes her catch.
Then it is Maggie's turn to catch.
The girls both look on for the flying cuz.

Pippi makes her move while Maggie waits.Maggie's technique pays off.
Next throw, Maggie loses site of cuz.

Once she spots it, she makes a 180 degree turn.
Pippi has her eyes on the next throw.

She makes a dive for it and ends up looking like a Kangaroo. I wonder if her tail was balancing her. ;-)This catch sends her flying around the yard. Her victory lap, I guess.The girls had a blast! I am so glad two have to hounds who love to play fetch. We have such a good time watching them. That is about all that we have been up to for the month of October as far as doggie activities are concerned. We have been busy with human activities, which I may post about later. =)


NKC Vineyard visit

We are fortunate to live less than 15 miles from a very nice winery, New Kent Winery. We frequent there as often as we can. We have done the tour and tasting multiple times and sometimes we just go to sit out on their back patio and enjoy a bottle of wine. I brought the camera along on a recent trip. It was a beautiful day outside. Even when it is not warm out, they have propane heaters on the deck and you stay quite toasty while enjoying your wine. It is the perfect place to visit during all seasons. We even learned on our last trip that our hounds would be welcome, so long as they stayed outside. Our next trip will for sure include our hounds. :)

Mitch enjoys a glass of Meritage.

New Kent Winery was built using almost all reusable material. The bricks, decking, beams, tasting bar etc. all came from older buildings in Virginia, in other states and from other countries. The building itself is beautiful, but to get a full appreciation for how it was designed and built the tour is a must. NKC winery is the largest winery in Virginia. It is situated on 5,000 acres of land. After the owner purchased the land, he made a deal with folks in the community who hunted on the land. They still do hunt on the property (not close to the winery) and for that priviledge in return they come out each year with their families and help harvest the crops. All of their grapes are hand picked! After seeing the process that it takes to make just one barrel of wine, y0u get a true appreciation for their work and the wine. We were so amazed by the process we stood in awe in the wine makers room on the catwalk as they explained the process in great detail.

Below are some of the Cabernet Franc vines. These are located just across from the building. This is a pretty popular wine by Virginia wineries. I enjoy Cabernet Franc, but it is a required taste.

Below are the vines for the Norton grapes. New Kent makes a White Norton wine that is very unique. The Norton grape is another popular grape used in Virginia wines. Unfortunately, last year's crop was destroyed by birds. They have covered the grapes for the future crop. We will be waiting 10-12 months for the White Norton wine to be made. This wine is my favorite from this winery. Next time we go and it is available, I will be stocking up. If you live in Virginia and are a fan of wine, a trip to this winery should be on your to do list. We highly recommend it! Not only is it situated in a beautiful setting, it is also provides a unique experience with some great wine!


A Toyrefic 10th B-day

Another year has gone by and my little queen is now 10. It is hard to believe how fast time does fly. Maggie has been with us now for four years. I love her more every day. She is my heart and we share a very special bond. Her birthday was on 9-27. We had big plans to go to the park and then to Petsmart. It was going to be just her and I. Kinda of a mommy and me day. The rain had a different idea, so instead we just went to Petsmart and got some new toys and treats, came back to the house and she went to town playing with all her new toys. She eventually let her brothers and sister play too.

She plays with the pink and green Octopus first.

Then moves on to the squirrel. As a side note, this toy looks realistic and scared the crap out of me one evening, as it was laying in the hallway, and for a second I thought it was real. Yes, I screamed and ran like a girl.

As you can see, she keeps all the new toy in her general vicinity. She is a stinker. ;-)
She was quite befuddled as to what to do with this one. Then decided to chew its head. Maybe it was giving her the stink eye. :)30 minutes later she had worn herself out and slept the rest of the afternoon. She had a great birthday. She is a toy girl, so it was very fitting for her. I had a blast watching her. It was great to be home all day with her too. It did not really matter to me what we did so long as we were together!We love our Maggie Mae and we hope for many, many more wonderful years with our little queen!


Life's a beach

We are back from a great trip at the beach. We had such a good time at Beach Bound Hounds last year, that we decided to make BBH our annual beach vacation. We were not disappointed.

We spent most of our time doing this.

The first day we were there, the weather was nice and the pups got to spend lots of time on the beach with us. Most of the rest of the week was too hot for them to be on the beach for long periods of time. So they spent a lot of time in our hotel room, but we checked on them frequently and took them on the beach as often as we could. Pippi has become so much more comfortable with the water. She played and played in the waves this year, so much so that she sprained one of her toes on her back leg. She is all better now. :)
We went to bed under this sky.
And woke up to this sky.The waves were awesome. The water was warm. We spent hours each day in the ocean riding in the waves. We got to swim with a school of fish. They were like sardine fish and there were millions in the water with us. It was pretty neat. I wish I had a camera I could take in the water. :( We did not get to see a shark, but we saw all the commotion it caused when the lifeguards had to call people out of the ocean two days in a row due to sharks sightings.

Mitch got to ride some good waves in. I did my best, but got knocked on my arse most times. I lost my sunglasses to the ocean floor on Friday when a wave took me out.

Every day we got to enjoy sitting in our beach chairs drinking Sangria's with a cool ocean breeze blowing on us, listening to the sound of waves crashing on the shore and watching Sandpipers scatter all around us. I could get used to being a beach bum very quickly! This is the life!!

Pippi was very intrigued by these little guys.On Friday night we went out to eat at Wild Wing Cafe at Barefoot Landing. They had a great set up with plenty of space for the hounds to stretch out. We were accompanied by 3 more hounds at our table and a packed room of hounds by the middle of our meal. The hounds got lots of attention and the staff loved having all of us. It is awesome to be able to eat at a restaurant with the pups. Quite an experience.

On Friday we got to watch some very special guests demonstrate the important work they do. I did not get any action shots. I was mesmerized by these incredible K9's from the Greensville County Sheriffs department. We watched the demonstration twice on the beach.
We did attend two seminars to hear Dr. James Radcliffe speak. He was amazing. We learned so much about our hounds. Such a valuable experience. He will be back to speak again next year too and we look forward to learning more. :) I will share one interesting tid bit that we did not know. Do you know why greyhounds roach? Because they are comfortable, right? Yes, but why? I never thought about it before, just thought it was something goofy with the breed. But, Dr. Radcliffe explained that it is because when they roach they can expand both lungs with air. When they lay on one side, on of their lungs is not able to be fully expanded. Makes sense! We also participated in the silent auction. I love silent auctions! This year, I won an embroidered greyhound tote bag, greyhound spoon holder and a stained glass running greyhound. Very cool and for a great cause. A win win.

Saturday night we participated in the pizza party. Lots of hounds and people sitting together enjoying good times. =)

Our last day on the beach, we got a group photo taken.

And joined in with our fellow greyhound friends for the blessing of the hounds and beach good byes.The ride home was uneventful. The hounds were worn slam out and slept for most of the ride. We did not even have to stop for a potty break.

We know we are over half way home when we pass this (South of the Border).
We saw lots of pretty wild flowers on the side of the road.
And cotton fields.
The hounds on the ride home did this.
Are we home yet?
BBH 2010 rocked! We can't wait to do it all over again next year!! :) We had a blast but are happy to be back at home and sleeping in our own bed.