i am Seabiscuit’s monkey

Jim and monkey

Seabiscuit’s monkey

The Mister calls Jane “Seabiscuit”, because she reminds him a lot of that race horse:

  • Jane and Seabiscuit were born to be racers.
  • They both weren’t so interested in racing, but if they caught a buddy’s eye just right, zoom! good luck catching them!
  • They’re both undersized.
  • They are both professional sleepers.
  • But most of all, they both need their critter-posse.

Seabiscuit had his horse buddy, two dogs, and a monkey his owners found on a track. I’m Jane’s critter-posse and she found me at the Hern Greyt Works.

When FoodLady wanted to bring Jane home, she agreed with the Greyt Adoption Team that Jane could not be an only dog.  She needed a companion, someone who could show her how to be a confident dog.

FoodLady told the Greyt Adoption Team to let it be Jane’s decision who would go home with her a as a friend. Jane picked me!

FoodLady and me think it was nice to give Jane the choice. I saw FoodLady so many times at the kennel, and she loves all the greyhounds. She gave me lots of kisses on the head way before it was even a remote possibility for me, or Jane, to go live with her. I know she loves me.

So when The Mister asked FoodLady if maybe Jim was feeling sad, or left out, or not special, because FoodLady didn’t directly choose me, that am I just Seabiscuit’s monkey, I wanted to shout out:

silly boy! ask the Greyt Adoption Team to tell you The Big Truth:  most of the time, even when the humans think that they picked the greyhound, the Greyt Adoption Team and us greyhounds know that most of the time, we greyhounds pick our people and our greyhound friends.

So as long as we all know the truth, we can laugh about Jane and me being Seabiscuit and his monkey.

ooh ooh ooh eee eee eee aah aah aah

bold is beautiful

So, I’m cooking sunday breakfast. The Mister, sitting at the dining room table, turns around to realize Jane is no longer in the dining room. The Mister quietly announces that he’s going to see if he can coax her back with us. He assumes that she’s in the back bedroom, her safe spot. About a minute later, I hear The Mister, “I think you’ll want to get your camera for this.” As I grab my camera I see that he’s standing outside the guest room door. Uh-oh.

I find her:

Jane in the guest room

Queen Jane on the queen bed

I take the photos, trying not to laugh as I rejoice in her boldness, then ask her to get down (no dogs on the human furniture here). Nope! I give her a little tug, and she stands, turns herself around, and flops down facing the other way. Then she invokes one of her superpowers: I Am An Elephant, a power where she suddenly weighs 2,000 pounds. Said she, “I Am NOT budging.”

I had to pick her up, and carry her into the hallway, at which point, she trotted confidently to her safe spot in the back room – an 8″ thick geriatric foam bed that I myself have had lovely naps on. She flopped down, letting out an audible breath, and then proceeded, without a doubt, to seriously pout. “ratz-n-fratzn’-foodlady-mumble-bumble-my-queen-bed-rumble-mumble-i-am-the-queen-flumble-mumble.”

Huzzah! to comfort! to security! to finding a bit of one’s inner boldness!

sweetness of Mr Jim

In the classes and studying I’ve done about meditation and REM sleep, there is the idea that our minds are most open first thing in the morning, in that space between being asleep and being fully awake.

Over the years, I’ve found that to be true with my dogs.

It’s a time of day when their fears and quirks are temporarily tucked away.

This time of day has been Jane’s best time, for sure. She’s as joyful as Julia was – happy to be awake, wriggling, wagging her tail, and asking for love.

One morning recently, though, I saw a whole different dimension of Jim. So far,  first thing in the morning is a rush to the yard to take care of morning business.  It took only 2 days for him to learn that right after morning business is breakfast. So, as soon as he realizes that FoodLady is awake, and that we’re getting up, he’s up and ready and dancing to get outside.

This morning was different – The Mister had a really really early appointment, which woke the dogs up. I let them outside at oh-dark-thirty, but when they came back in, I escorted them back to bed: it’s too early for breakfast. They had no complaints about going back to bed.

But then, a couple of hours later, when it really was time for breakfast, Jim wasn’t dancing to get outside. So, he was awake, but lazin’ it up on his bed – and that’s when I saw a new level of his inner sweetness.  I was giving him a good morning pet, and then he gave me The Signal. woo-hoo! Then, we hit the next level: he turned himself into a full-out belly-up: belly stretched as far to the sky as he could, front and back legs stretched as long as they could be, and then…..the smile!  As I rubbed his belly, he smiled even more. He even let me kiss his belly! Finally, the love fest was over, and he said “how ’bout some breakfast?”

recent highlights

FoodLady here to share some recent highlights.

  • when The Mister isn’t home, Jane is 90-95% a “normal” dog, just livin’ her life in her new pad, waggin’ her tail, lookin’ for loves, wanting to be loved on.
  • when The Mister is here and visible, she goes back to nervous circles and keeping an eye on him. Depending on where Jane and/or The Mister are located in the house at any given time, she runs away, or not, from him.
  • when The Mister gets down on the floor when Jane’s on a dog bed, she flops over and asks for one of his amazing massages.
  • Jane’s now eating in the dining room. One morning, she picked a spot, away from Mr Jim’s spot, but not all the way in the far corner of the living room like she had been. She kind of stood there, looked at me and said “yes, I think I’ll have my breakfast right here, please.”
  • Jim and Jane are eating well, and mind less and less if someone might be looking at them while they eat. I purposely go about the rest of my business in the kitchen, and if that happens to be to walk by one of them, I just do it. They’re now continuing to eat, instead of running away from their bowl.
  • both Jim and Jane know the words “cookie” “breakfast” “dinner” “timeToGoOut” “let’sGo” and “walk”.
  • both Jim and Jane know how to WAIT! and also how to wait. WAIT! means FoodLady is about to open a door or gate, and if anyone moves even a whisker, or thinks about moving a whisker, nobody’s going anywhere. No heavy breathing, no tail wags. Total calm and seriousness. Of course, we’re suited up for such an event. On the other hand, wait means hold it there, but it’s ok to breath. When the word is given, proceed forward (the word being: OK).
  • Jim’s leash manners have improved immensely. It’s been kind of like learning WAIT! – no one’s going anywhere if we’re trying to pull FoodLady down, and she has allllllll the time in the world to just stand in the street with her dogs. It doesn’t matter how far we go on a walk, as long as we’re showing good manners while we’re doing it.

we met our Mom-Mom – she has a superpower

smiling Jim with eyes rolled back

Jim smiling after Mom-Mom’s scritch-o-rama

Our Mom-Mom came to meet us! She is FoodLady’s Mom. She is really nice. I was too nervous to get close to her, but by the end of her visit, I was circling close and sniffing her toes, as long as she didn’t look at me.

Jim made good friends with her and learned that Mom-Mom has a superpower: she can scritch your ears for hours! as long as you still want scritches, she can keep scratching. After Jim was done getting scritches, he rolled his eyes to the back of his head and smiled.

One day, I won’t be so nervous to be around Mom-Mom and she will invoke her superpower on me, and it will be my eyes that roll to the back of my head.

Even though I was too nervous to tell her, I love my Mom-Mom.

thank you, Auntie Kate

tuckered out Jim

Jim is tuckered out from playing hard

Dear Auntie Kate,

Thank you for the toys you gave us. We like them and play with them a lot. Sorry we were too nervous when you came to visit to play with them then.

I really like the floppy toy. I like to shake toys and I laugh when they hit me in the face. Jim really likes the one with the ball at the end – he throws it around, and can even catch it. We all have to stay clear when he’s playing with it so that he doesn’t clobber us!

Here’s a picture of Jim after he was done playing hard. He can hardly keep himself up.

thank you for the stuffies

Jim and elephant

Jim loves his elephant

Dear Nigel, Oscar, Miss Cali, and Penny,

Thank you so much for the welcome home card and stuffies that you gave us. We have been squeaking away with them. Jane likes to shake the dragon and his wings hit her in the face, then she laughs. The elephant is my favorite toy in the whole house. I even carry it from the dining room play area to my bed at night, and I bring it out to breakfast with me. I love to throw it in the air and make it squeak.

Thank you for being friends.

Your friends,

Jim and Jane

Jim and his elephant

Jim and his elephant

week 1 highlights (and yes, there was surfing and belly-ups)

FoodLady here to share some milestones from week 1.

Jim is tired

Jim is tired

  • Day 1: Jim is so tired, he purposely moves a stuffie, and then puts his eyes under it and goes out like a light
  • Day 2: Let the stuffy frenzies begin! Both Jane and Jim enjoy a morning squeak-a squeak-a fest
  • Day 3: Jane’s giving tail wags (Jim’s been wagging his tail since he got here)
  • Day 4: The Mister gives Jane one of his amazing-doggie-massages. And Jane gives The Mister the signal “you stoppin’? don’t stop!”
  • Day 5: Jane’s sleeping with her eyes closed
  • Day 6: Jane goes belly-up and starts sleeping in her favorite position of legs-up-the-wall
  • Day 7: Jim goes belly-up!
  • Day 8: Jane came from the back bedroom (her safe spot) when I called her. When she got to me, she gave a look as if to say “uh-oh, did I just do that?”
  • Day 9: Jane is coming out to the kitchen when she hears the dinner kibble hitting the bowl, and then waits after she’s done for dessert cookies (nightly dog treat)
  • Day 9: Jane surfs FoodLady’s dinner. Though this is not to be commended, as it is unacceptable behavior, it is to be quietly celebrated, as it showed she’s getting comfortable here
  • Day 10: Jane comes ‘a runnin’ when I say “wanna go for a walk”, then speeds it up when she sees the leashes in my hand
  • Days 1-10: FoodLady is in JOY! mode
Jane belly up

Jane: belly-up!