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No idea?  How about now?

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Yes, it was decided that it was time Sid had a bath!  You want to know how we managed to bath a greyhound with only thee legs, who won’t go upstairs, and wouldn’t do well in a slippery tub anyway? Well, I’ll tell you.

You assemble everything you’ll need, and fill the baby bath with clean, warm water, and mix up a solution of dog shampoo in a small container.   Then fetch the dog.

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Looks quite happy, doesn’t he?   I wonder how long that will last?

So, then take a jug and wet your dog.

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And lather up.

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Don’t worry if he collapses.

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Everyone knows that greyhounds dissolve in the rain!

More water to rinse – and make sure you get all that pesky soap out.

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Hmm.  It doesn’t look as if he thinks much of this stage, does it?  It was a very hot day too – you’d think he’d be grateful!

Next, squeeze out as much water as possible.

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And don’t forget the ears …

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I suspect he enjoyed that!

Next, dry the dog with a big fluffy towel … or three.

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There.  All done!  All you need to do now is to let the hound have a mad dash around the garden to release all that stress and worry (“I’m gonna melt! I’m gonna melt!!”) and then pop on his collar and lead and take him for a walk. This allows him to dry properly before you let him back in the house, and also takes his mind off the fact that he doesn’t quite smell like himself any more.

Piece of cake.

But if you think they’re all this easy, you’d be wrong. It was an absolute nightmare bathing Jack. You see, he hated anyone touching his back, his legs, or his tail. The neighbours must have thought we were murdering him, poor soul.

In greyhound terms, Jack was a spook, which describes a dog who is nervous to the point of neurosis – they live constantly on the edge of fear, sometimes focussed, sometimes not. Usually it’s a genetic tendency, although in Jack’s case it might not have been, because he’d had a bit of a rough time before we got him.

Anyway, as you see, young Sid is about as far from being a spook as it’s possible to get!

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Well, here we are on ABC Wednesday with the greyhounds and we’ve reached the letter ‘W‘! And where is the ‘W‘ in that picture? Well, that dog was my very first greyhound, James, who came from Wood Green Animal Shelters. And somebody (I can’t think who it could be … ) is teaching him ‘Wait‘! See how closely he’s watching that biscuit? And don’t forget to check out my that woman’s wild and woolly hair!

He was a very smart dog, was James. He was, as you can see, a white and brindle hound. Here he is, during a rare snuggle with Renie.

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But Renie wasn’t his first companion. No, that was a beautiful ticked white girl called Susan. Susan’s kennel name was ‘Wishy‘ but we didn’t think it suited her all that much.

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Susan’s poor face was scarred because a would-be kennel-mate attacked her when she was introduced to him. She nearly lost an eye, but luckily, they were separated in time. We didn’t have Suze for long, because (unknown to us) she had kidney cancer when we adopted her.

Jim pined so much for his lost companion that we took him to choose another, and we came home with Renie, who had just retired with a wrist injury.

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As you can see, she was whip-thin when we got her, but very fit.  My goodness – what a waist!

Here she is reluctantly modelling a warm winter coat which I had made for the Spanish Galgos*.

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Well, as time went on, James became very old and he began to feel the cold rather a lot, so we bought him a warm woolly jumper. A white one. He was very pleased with it.

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When he died, Renie was very lonely, so we brought Jack home. We bought them matching waterproof coats for when they went out in the rain, so they didn’t get too wet.

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And they lived very happily together until we lost Renie ..

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That left poor Jack, an old dog by then, to walk all alone that winter. He didn’t survive her long.

Now, of course, we have the lovely Sid!

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And why is Sid looking so content on that tiled floor in the middle of winter? Well, our conservatory has underfloor heating, which keeps it toasty warm!

*Galgos are Spanish greyhounds. There are a lot of abandoned and ill-treated Galgos in Spain, and the good people on Greytalk were collecting up coats to send out to Spain to keep the poor dogs warm in their concrete animal shelter kennels during the winter.

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Well now, Ladies and Gentlemen. You had an easy puzzle for Macro Monday last week, didn’t you? So perhaps this one will tax those little grey cells just a little more?

It’s something that is found in a large number of households, though no doubt not everyone has one. They come in various designs and colours, but the basic shape doesn’t vary much. It’s a convenience rather than a necessity, perhaps, but I wouldn’t be without mine.

What is it? Over to you!

I’m sure several of you will guess at once, while others may struggle – OH says it’s cruel, but we’ll see!

As usual, the answer will be added to the bottom of this post tomorrow evening (Tuesday, UK time) in the form of a picture link, and as usual, you can click on the picture to make it bigger, but you’ll need to click on it again on the next screen.

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Well.  It seems Tuesday escaped me and I just had an email from Silverback reminding me that you still hadn’t had the Macro Monday answer!  I’m so sorry.  I do  hope you haven’t all bitten your nails down to the elbow in frustrations!

Here is your answer!  And you will immediately see tha OH was right this time: it was cruel and unusual!  In fact only one person guessed correctly.

Ruth Hull Chatlien, take a bow!  You are this week’s Macro Monday champion!  Well done!

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Oooh, here we are at the letter ‘V‘ in our ABC Wednesday alphabet, and I have some really good ones for you all!

Now, I’m guessing that you’re scratching your heads and thinking I’ve got confused and posted another Macro Monday, but in fact, that picture up there is a Very Important V for dogs. It’s a picture of Sid’s vomeronasal organ! Well, you’re seeing where two of the entrances to it are, anyway.

The vomeronasal organ, otherwise known as Jacobson’s organ, is what gives dogs (and other animals) their incredible sense of smell. Situated between the roof of the mouth and the nasal cavity, and opening into both, it contains huge numbers of sensory receptors and is provided with its own nerves, which run straight up into the brain where they stimulates three different regions. One of its main functions is to capture, sense and process pheromones. See how important it is? It’s the reason for the Flehman response, which isn’t a V, but is interesting anyway.

Also in that picture, you’ll see some of Sid’s vibrissae, otherwise known as ‘whiskers’. Now, vibrissae are also important to dogs. You might think ‘not so important as they are to cats’ and I suppose you’d be right, but as some people have found, after taking a blind dog to the groomers and letting them trim those vibrissae, they do use them. The aforesaid blind dogs tend to bump their noses into their food or water dishes until their whiskers grow back.

Look who else had vibrissae!

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My beautiful Renie, who raced as LoVely Irene. And she was lovely, bless her. And see – she has a violet coloured enamelled tag on her necklace.

Here’s another part of Sid’s anatomy – rather more prominent in Sid than in most dogs, I think.

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I do realise that most of you aren’t used to seeing a dog’s vertebrae quite so clearly, and in most breeds, you shouldn’t. Greyhounds are meant to be lean, though, and in Sid’s case, his vertebrae are more prominent than most because of the way he walks, being a tripod. It makes it very difficult to judge his weight, when I have to ignore those prominent bones along his back, but trust me, he’s well enough covered for a greyhound!

What else can I tell you about ‘V‘ .. well, my Captain Jack raced at the Brighton and HoVe track – but I don’t have a picture.

But here he is, look, demonstrating yet another ‘V

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V’ for Vein. Do you see that long string down his hind leg? It runs from midway down the back of his thigh, crosses over and disappears round the front of his leg about halfway down. That’s his long saphenous vein, which I believe is the longest vein in the body – it runs the whole length of the leg. All dogs have them, of course, it’s just that you can see them on all greyhounds, from about fifteen paces. They have excellent circulation, and very visible veins! You can see the equivalent vein in their forelegs too, but I don’t have a picture of that.

OK, enough with the anatomy lessons. How about we finish up with some pictures of some of the dogs in vests?

There’s the racing vest, worn here by Renie -

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Poor girl was very unhappy, because this picture was taken during a violent thunderstorm, and she was very scared of thunder. The vest was supposed to act like a hug and comfort her.

Here’s a dog called Skittle, in her ‘please adopt me’ vest -

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And she’s looking anxious because she wasn’t used to meeting people yet.

So let’s finish with a happier looking Sid, in his donation vest!

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He does like meeting people!

Well, that’s all I have for you. There’s plenty more over at the ABC Wednesday Blog though – go take a look!