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Posted on June 8, 2010 in The Home Front by Jay28 Comments »

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This week’s ABC Wednesday with the greyhounds is devoted to my ‘double U‘ girl, Princess Renie. There she is, look, in one of her famous ‘upside down and underside up’ poses, and grinning to herself in unadulterated contentment as usual. She looks a bit like a letter ‘U‘ herself, too, doesn’t she? 

And that front leg, the uppermost one, slightly extended for balance, is giving you a great view of the part containing the ulna – which (as I’m sure you all know) is one of the bones of the forearm, or in this case, the lower front leg of a quadruped. It’s the bit between her wrist and her elbow, just as it is with people.  

I think, if you look very closely, you will probably be able to see her umbilicus, too!

So, why do I call her my ‘double U‘ girl?  Because dear, sweet Renie, being an Irish-born ex-racing greyhound, was tattooed in both her ears with her unique identification number.  And in her case, this was ‘UL UPL’, as you can see for yourself if you go here and check out her pedigree*.

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So here’s another great (upside down) view of Renie displaying those ulna-containing limbs, and do you also see that green ink in her ear?  Not too clear, is it?

How about here?

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It’s a funny thing, but I have no shots of the other ear, which has the ‘UL‘ part. It’s probably because (unless it was an emergency, like, a squirrel, for instance) she could only ever put one ear up properly – maybe because that’s the ear with the ‘UP‘ part in it.  But there it is, pretty clear in that picture, too, isn’t it?  And you might notice something else, too.  She’s doing the ‘Princess Diana’ eyes, looking up under her lashes.

Talking of ‘under‘ – our Princess loved to be covered in the winter, so she was snuggled up underneath a blanket.

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There she goes with the eyes again.  She was a terrible flirt, was Renie!

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What?  Didn’t you believe me?  You can’t get more flirtatious that this, can you?  We used to call that her ‘Playgirl’ pose.

Now, some people used to think she was undernourished.  We used to have people stop us in the street and tell us we should feed our dogs more.

I suppose they can be forgiven …

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She was rather narrow in the waist, especially when we first adopted her (as you can see on her pedigree page) but she was just a naturally slender girl.   She ate like a horse – and I pretty much free feed my dogs, too, with unlimited kibble and plenty of treats – but greyhounds have a wonderful metabolism and if my experience is anything to go by, you really do have to kind of work at making them fat.

There were times, though, when I’d look at her and wonder where all that food went. Is there any truth in the ‘hollow legs’ theory, do you think?

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But there she is, utterly relaxed – completely unconscious, bless her – and quite obviously not pining for food!

No, if you want to see an undernourished dog, take a look at Captain Jack when we first got him.

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Poor old guy. He’d had a bad time, but he put weight on unbelievably quickly!  He just needed peace, exercise and good food.  And he became beautiful too, just like The Princess … only different.

The Princess was indeed quite unique.

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* The information on the pedigree page is sadly out of date. I haven’t been able to include the fact that we have now lost her, because (due to malicious interference with the data) it is now necessary to send proof of identity through the mail to get authorisation to alter your entry, and … well, I’m not sure I want to do that.  I may, one day.

Posted on June 8, 2010 in The Home Front by Jay15 Comments »

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Some of you may remember that we lost both of our beloved dogs within five weeks of each other at the turn of 2008-9, and some may also remember that I have a habit of trying to find plants as living memorials for those I have lost.

Hemerocallis ‘Renie’s Delight’ is doing very well, but isn’t anywhere near flowering yet. Captain Jack, on the other hand, produced two stunning, almost blood red, blooms last week. It’s only a young plant, so I’m pretty pleased with two flower heads.

Isn’t it lovely? Straight out of the camera, too, with just a light trim.

If you fancy planting one of these smaller rhododendrons yourself, mine came from Glendoik, ‘the worlds favourite rhododendron and azalea nursery’. But be warned. This little beauty is in high demand and is often sold out.

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While I was away at the weekend helping to run a stall at the Denham Village Fayre, I did a little people-watching. A village fair – or even a village fayre - is a great place to watch the world go by, and this one was absolutely packed with a wonderful variety of the human species. There were army cadets and mothers with babies and toddlers, and old folk, and young lovers, and children of all ages, both well-behaved and not. And among the most interesting of the heaving mass was this guy.

I noticed him right away. I mean, how many good-looking men do you come across striding down a village street with a tail? Well, OK, it wasn’t a tail, but that was the first, fleeting impression, trust me. And the fact that it drew attention to his neat posterior did no harm at all. I had to ask if I could get a shot, didn’t I? And he said yes.

Brimming with self-confidence and bonhomie, he cheerfully posed for me to take a couple of pictures of his unique way of carrying a brolly without actually having to hold it. Typical man, don’t you think? So many of us ladies get a lot of extra items to carry, usually with the words ‘can you just put this in your handbag?’ but at least this gentleman has found his own solution to the problem of keeping his hands free without doing that.

So thank you, Mark of Rickmansworth, for being a good sport, and giving me permission to post your picture here for all to admire.

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And may I say it suits you, sir!

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Well, I’m back home again today after my second three night trip away, and I’m feeling a little shellshocked from all the travelling, but I think I’m just in time for this week’s ABC Wednesday, no? So this week, it will be a quick post (lucky for me the letter ‘T‘ is a very easy one!) and then I’m going to tuck myself into bed early and sleep in late.

Talking of beds, do you see that one up there? The lovely Princess Renie is twisted into a sweet curve in the blue and green tartan bed, toes and tummy up, and giving us one of her famous toothy grins. I do miss that dog.

She was our best grinner, was Renie. She loved to show her pleasure and her joy with her teeth. The trouble was, some people could easily misinterpret her signals. You see, Renie used to take it to the extreme, and air-snap while grinning.

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There. See how scary that might be to some people? But she was only expressing her happiness at having her tummy rubbed and asking me to continue. See the lack of tension in the corner of her mouth, and the way her eyes are soft and shining? The shape of that mouth says that, no matter how much tooth is showing, and how loudly those teeth snap together, there is no aggression being shown here. She just wanted us to know how happy she was in our company, and how much she loved having that furry belly tickled. You’ll also notice that her nose is turned up, without making her face wrinkle – that’s a clue to the lack of aggression, too.

She was such a great smiler. We would find her in all kinds of places, grinning that grin and showing those excellent teeth of hers.

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Sometimes, finding her on the couch in a dark room would strike terror into the heart of an unsuspecting guest …

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I can’t imagine why, can you? Tee hee!

Renie was our ‘tiger dog‘, as children would sometimes call the brindled beauties. You can see why, can’t you? Her stripes show particularly well in this picture of her tush.

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.. and if only she weren’t sitting on it, you would see how the chevrons of those stripes continued neatly on down the back of her tail.

She did get tuckered out rather easily though, and this picture has always amused me.

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You know how dogs love bones? Well, you should never give dogs cooked bones, of course, in case they splinter and injure the poor dog’s insides, but raw bones are rather good for them. On this occasion, Renie had a piece of cow pelvis and she loved chewing it so much, that when she got tired and lay down, she kept that bone in her mouth, ready to chew as soon as she woke up again, refreshed!

Now, talking of chewing, poor Captain Jack had very few teeth, but he did love to chew on his toys, and he was quite capable of tearing the paper from his Christmas gifts. What pretty paper, isn’t it? All patterned with Christmas trees!

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Anyway, Jack would tear paper, and also chew his toys – and see there? He’s on a different tartan bed – this time a red one.

In fact, Jack had so few teeth he couldn’t keep his tongue in his mouth while he slept!

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Here’s that blue/green tartan bed again! We still have it, and now Sid sleeps there.

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And there is the lovely Sid himself, toes delicately placed on top of each other. He looks like a king waiting for his subjects to pay tribute to him.

And so, of course, he is!