Friday, July 27, 2012

A brief brush with technology!

Last weekend, Other Mum decided that it wasn't possible for her to live a second longer without another laptop. Non of her arguments sounded terribly convincing to Mum, but she's learnt to recognise when there is no point arguing. So now we are a two laptop family. Does that mean we have moved up a grade in the socio economic grouping? No? We've just caught up with everyone else. Oh I see.

As my regular readers will know, Other Mum is quite a technical whizz. She loves her flashy phones (which she appears to upgrade more often than most people change their socks!) and her PC's and laptops.  And then there's the software. She's never happier than when she's Photoshopping something or designing a webpage.

I think Photoshop was one of the excuses reasons she used for needing something with 4 million Gb of memory and 8000 terabytes of hard drive. It was at this point that Mum began to glaze over and stopped trying to be helpful. It seems that Other Mum was not that impressed with her saying "What about this one? It's a lovely shade of navy blue with an interesting wood effect finish"

Don't you think that is nice? Apparently not.......

Eventually the laptop was chosen. It is a very nice shade of red, which I must stress had NOTHING to do with the decision to buy it. Oh no, it was all to do with gigabytes and terabytes and processors. Yeah right Other Mum!

When we got home Other Mum reluctantly graciously said I could have the old laptop all to myself for my blogging and Facebooking....... on one condition; Mum & I must not go anywhere near her lovely new laptop. What does she think we're going to do to it?! Apart from the snot marks on the screen from my nose and Mum's tendency to eat hot buttered toast whilst helping me type, I really can't see what the problem is...Anyway Mum and I winked at each other and nodded at Other Mum in unison. Hehehehe........!!!!

Come Monday morning we were very excited as we shoved Other Mum out the door waved Other Mum off to work. We knew we'd have to be careful or Other Mum would find out about our underhand and sneaky plans. So Mum came up with an idea......

If I cover my paws...

....And keep my nose off the screen, Other Mum will never know!

Hmmmm. Hsvr ypu ecrt trord typunh wiyg psws nevrr mond wjen wesring sovkd? 

  No I don't expect you have tried it! "Mum this typing with socks on isn't going to work you know...."

I told Mum she'd have to do the typing for me.....

"Ahhg thus iz a bot diggicylt is;mt ir"?

So it seems our cunning plan has failed. We are back using the old laptop, but at least we can eat toast and leave snot smears to our hearts content..... There's a moral in there somewhere I'm sure........


Mum wants me to tell you that we are going to have a bit of a break during the Olympics. She also said I must make it perfectly clear that it has nothing to do with the hooman Olympics, which she is already sick of, and we haven't had the opening ceremony yet!

Obviously I will be hosting the
 Tuneful Farting 
event on 4th August and I will be visiting the daily events to support my fellow hosts and all the competitors, but other than that I won't be around much. Mum says we need time to catch up on stuff and this seems likea good time to do it! So if I don't see some of you for a while, have a great couple of weeks or so...

Your pal

Deccy x

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nearly Wordless Wednesday 25/7

Declan suddenly realised that when it came to being tall with a long neck, he'd been outdone!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue

Blog the Change

Today, Blog the Change for Animals is joining Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue  and asking us all to use our blogs "to promote the life and death difference that consumers can make by adopting a dog instead of purchasing through a pet store or breeder. Millions of dogs are euthanased each year while waiting for their forever home"

Now I'm not looking to get into an argument with folks about buying dogs from reputable breeders. Mums accept some people do and they have reasons for it. Mums like to adopt, that's their personal choice.  However, if you are looking to get a dog and you feel able to consider adoption, please please do. 

Some of you will have read my post last week about my life as a racing greyhound. Unfortunately I didn't know about this campaign then, as much of what I said is pertinent to it. 

Last year The Retired Greyhound Trust  rehomed  4120 greyhounds, (I was one of them!) but given that over 10,000 retire each year and many aren't good enough to become racers in the first place, there are a lot of dogs that aren't so lucky. 

Now, being a retired racer myself, I may be a tiny little bit biased about the fact that adopting one of my many friends is the best idea you'll ever have! But if you don't believe me talk to my Mums. Mum adopted her first hound    Flynn, and I think it's fair to say from day one she was a greyhound addict! She says crack cocaine has nothing on  us (allegedly......ahem...) Whilst Mum adores all dogs and would happily own other types/breeds she says she can't imagine life without a greyhound at her side (or on her lap.....)

I think a lot of myths about greyhounds have been exploded over recent years but for the uninitiated, here are a few facts:
  • They need very little exercise. Most are happy on 2 x 30 mins a day, though they'll go much further if you want them to.
  • They can curl up to the size of a ball
  • They can stretch to the size of double bed
  • They bark much less than many dogs - some hardly ever
  • They have a gentle and kind nature
  • Many live happily with cats and other small furries. (Yeah I know, I know... but Flynn lived with 4 different cats and 2 rats in his time and was friends with them all!)
  • You've never been truly loved until you've been loved by a greyhound
  • They are bigger couch potatoes than you could ever dream of being
  • They look you in the eyes and smile at you
  • The first time you see your hound in full flight, you'll cry at the sheer beauty of it. 
See, I'm smiling at you!
All dogs deserve a kind loving home, pedigree, mutt or retired working dog, but non more so than the greyhound. Being a racer can be a very hard life and sadly many dogs have been subjected to appalling cruelty. Mum says she can't really remember why she decided on a rescue hound when she got Flynn; she only knows it was the best thing she ever did. 

Please adopt your next dog if you can. Or you can help in other ways:

  • Donate to a local dog rescue organisation
  • Foster a dog
  • Volunteer at a local shelter or rescue organisation
  • Spread the word by sharing this post across all forms of social media.
Thank you. Deccy 

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Wey Hey Loads of Birds!

Ha! That got your attention didn't it?!  Well actually I'm talking about the feathered variety. As everyone (because us Brits haven't stopped banging on about it) knows, summer here as been nearly a total washout. So the Mums think themselves very lucky that when they went on a recent visit to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, it was a beautiful day. I didn't get to go (can't imagine why...) so I spent a very pleasant time with Ganny.

Yeah I even miss you when I've got Ganny's garden to run in...

Slimbridge is a magnificent place (apparently - I wouldn't know, would I? - sniff) covering over 120 acres. It was founded in 1946 and is one of nine wetland centres across the UK.


Obviously David Bailey Mum took her camera with her and got really snap happy. Whilst some of the photos aren't too bad, David Attenborough she ain't so I am unable to tell you what most of the birds are....

She has a habit of taking this sort of shot.....
Not the foggiest..... swan?!
Baby black swan (I'm getting good at this....!)
You got me there....
And again.. though one of them seems to be headless......
Ooooh I know that one - Flamingos!

When Mums eventually came rushing back bothered to come home, I gave them my best deeply hurt look. Good isn't it? Hehe!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Not even slightly Wordless Wednesday.....

Well this is it; the very last day to enter any of the Olympic events, including my Tuneful Fartingevent. If you'd still like to give it ago, you have until midnight GMT today. 

We have entries from:

  • Target 
  • Madi
  • Sasha
  • Goose
  • Molly the Wally
  • Jake & Baby
  • Bouncing Bertie
  • Puddles
  • Nola
  • Bridget
  • Daisy, Bella & Roxy
  • Sarge 
  •  Beachnut
  • Roo
  • The Houston Pittie Pack
  • Maggie & Zoey
  • Rubie
  • Lily Belle
  • Bert
  • Dougall
  • George the Lad
  • Lassiter Chase & Benjamin
  • Stella & Rory
  • Susie 
  •  Sidebite
  • Murphy & Stanley
  • Casey
  • Mesa
  • Nina & Angel Yenna
  • Storm
  • Corbin
  • Winnie

  • If you have sent an entry and you are not listed, please get in touch. All entrants should have received acknowledgement. Email me at declansdogsblog(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    Find out about all the other events HERE

    The other thing I wanted to mention is Facebook. Now I know thousands of you out there have an account and it's no big deal..... but it really is a big deal for me! You see Mum hated, HATED Facebook (note the past tense here!) The trouble was, she had fallen into the trap of disliking something without really knowing enough about it... BAD Mum!

    Mum used to work with some (and there is no way of being polite about this..) very stupid people. They would spend all day on Facebook leaving messages like "just had a cup of coffee" and "think I might cut my toenails later". When they weren't doing that, they spread malicious gossip about anyone they didn't like. Hence Mum decided Facebook was ridiculous and wouldn't touch it with a barge pole!

    Other Mum was less closed minded about the whole thing and, along with me, has been gradually encouraging her to help me put a paw through the door. Well yesterday she finally cracked and now I have my very own Facebook account!! You can visit me there by clicking on the link below or on the badge in my sidebar

    Create Your Badge

    Mum has admitted that she really enjoyed helping me to get started and already I have over 20 friends...many of whom know me from Blogville. We've already chatted with Beryl's Mum,  Bunnies Mum, Solo & his mum & dad, Beckett from Home Is Where the Hounds Are, Nibs from Brindlehounds and my Aunty Lou! To be perfectly honest we don't really know what we're doing at the moment, but I think we'll get the hang of it and it might be a lot of fun. So... Mum has admitted that she might have been wrong. Well... there's a first! Declan Greyhound (finally) enters the 21st centuary. Yay!!

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Running For His Life.....

    Today I wanted to give you a bit of an insight into my life before I retired and came to live with my Mums. 

    Some of you already know that I am a retired racing greyhound. I was known as Barrigone Bank and was born in Limerick, Ireland in May 2007. I only had one other registered litter mate, which is unusual. My Mum had 7 litters in 8 years totaling 54 registered pups. The largest litter was 11 and the smallest, other than mine, 3 - when she was 10 years old. Mum thinks it's possible there were more pups in my litter, but they were too weak to be of any use...... Even my sibling can't be traced after his / her registration in Ireland.   By March 2009 I was at a racing kennel in Derbyshire, England being trialed at Hall Green Racing Stadium in Birmingham. I had a couple of trials in Ireland in December 2008, but other than that it's unclear what happened to me before I went to Derbyshire. All we know (according to the trainer's webpage) is that I was acquired from Hall Green sales "not in the best of conditions" - Mums hate to think what that might mean....

    Barrigone Bank - Champion Racer......!
    I had my first full race at Hall Green on 26th June 2009 (I came 4th) but by 18th July I'd won my first race. The records show that I had my last race at Hall Green on 4th November 2009 and then I disappeared off the scene until 6th May 2010, when I began racing at Monmore Green in Wolverhampton. Mum says she assumes the 6 month break was down to some significant injury. I raced at Monmore until my retirement in February 2011. Again, we aren't really sure why I was retired (aged 3years 9 months) but we believe that too was down to an injury. 

    While trying to fill in the gaps in my history, Mum came across this video, taken at Hall Green on 24th July 2009, when I was just over 2.  This was the sixth race of my career - another 55 were to follow. I am in trap 2

    See..... I'm a champ!

    Hello, it's Declan's Mum here.

    I just wanted to make it clear, that the showing of this video does not in any way mean that I endorse greyhound racing. There is no doubt that greyhounds love to run, but for me, professional greyhound racing is riddled with problems. 

    Greyhound racing is a business; people are in it to make money. The desire to find  the highest performing dog that will make money on the track and then be a valuable bitch or stud dog leads to massive over breeding. Around 25,000 pups are registered in the UK each year. That's registered not born. Many are culled at a few days old. 

    To make this feel a little more real, here are some facts about Deccy's family. His father, grandfather and great grandfather sired over 11000 pups between them. The number of pups that make it to a racing career isn't really known, but a survey by Greyhound Watch estimated that it's around 52%.  So what happened to Dec's 5500 relatives who didn't become racers? Some may have found homes, many weren't that lucky. Of those that become racers, a recent BBC documentary estimated that 25% are rehomed when they retire. On that basis 1375 relatives got lucky. 4125 didn't. So of those 11,000 + pups it seems reasonable to assume that half never made it and their fate is unclear and of those that did over 4000 were most likely destroyed  at the end of their career. 

    Around 10,000 greyhounds retire each year in the UK and the level of cruelty that some endure is truly appalling. Many years ago, before I had Flynn, I was in touch with a rescue group who had just taken in a badly injured greyhound. She had been dumped on the motorway after having her ears burnt off - so that her owner could not be identified by her tattoos. 

     Responsible owners/trainers will keep their dogs as pets or find them a home through rehoming organisations such as Retired Greyhound Trust. But this only accounts for some of the greyhounds retiring. Many others are abandoned, euthanased or brutally killed, while some may be exported to continue racing in appalling conditions abroad, while yet others are used in medical research or vivisection. In 2006 a man from Sunderland in the north east of England was accused of killing up to 10,000 greyhounds over a 15 year period for £10 a time. The method of execution for those poor dogs was a bolt gun, a weapon that fires a metal bar with enough force to shatter the toughest skull. 

    There are hundreds of cases of cruelty recorded, and not just towards dogs at the end of their careers, or who didn't make it in the first place. It is beyond my comprehension (or perhaps I just don't want to think about it) why a so called "trainer" deliberately terrifies and physically hurts a dog to try and make it run faster. I am aware of several greyhounds who bare the scars of old cigarette burns. Declan has a few unexplained scars on his side and I've a pretty good idea what they are. Flynn had his tail broken. Generally I am known as a bit of a wishy washy liberal but my anger knows no bounds when I hear how some of these loving and gentle dogs are mistreated. 

    All dogs deserve a kind and loving home, be they pedigree, mutts or retired working dogs. But if there was ever a breed that deserves a safe and comfortable home for the rest of their lives,  it's the greyhound. Okay, so I'm biased, what can I say! But if you are considering a getting a dog, you could do an awful lot worse than a retired racer! 

    Mr Couch Potato!

    Please don't forget to send your entry for my   Tuneful Farting   Olympic event! You only have until Midnight GMT on Wednesday 18th July. Click HERE if you need more information. Send your entries to declansdogsblog(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    So far we have entries from:

  • Target 
  • Madi
  • Sasha
  • Goose
  • Molly the Wally
  • Jake & Baby
  • Bouncing Bertie
  • Puddles
  • Nola
  • Bridget
  • Daisy, Bella & Roxy
  • Sarge 
  •  Beachnut
  • Roo
  • The Houston Pittie Pack
  • Maggie & Zoey
  • Rubie
  • Lily Belle
  • Bert
  • Dougall
  • George the Lad
  • Lassiter Chase & Benjamin
  • Stella & Rory
  • Susie 
  •  Sidebite

  • Friday, July 13, 2012

    Practice Makes Perfect....!

    Well, as you can see I am sleeping on the job training very hard for the Blogville Olympics 2012. I've entered 24 events with another one to go, plus the opening & closing ceremonies and the Parade of Athletes. Phew! It's no wonder I'm so tired!

    I am hosting Tuneful Farting which will be held on 4th August. So far, I have entries from:
    • Target 
    • Madi
    • Sasha
    • Goose
    • Molly the Wally
    • Jake & Baby
    • Bouncing Bertie
    • Puddles
    • Nola
    • Bridget
    • Daisy, Bella & Roxy
    • Sarge 
    •  Beachnut
    • Roo
    • The Houston Pittie Pack
    Thank you very much to all of the above. 

    If you haven't entered yet, please consider doing so! All we need is a picture (standard or photoshopped) or drawing of you or your friends letting one rip! Click HERE for more ideas. Your entry must be submitted by Midnight (GMT)  Wednesday 18th July. So get your hoomans to grab the camera and get plenty of shots of you this weekend. I find that beer, Cheetos, baked beans and boiled eggs help things along nicely....

    For details of all Olympic events click HERE and join in the fun!

    The following is the latest list of email addresses of the hosts compiled by Mayor Frankie Furter. Apparently some contestants have had difficulty locating host addresses. 

    Parade of Athletes    by POSIE   July 27th.  
              Email to    posiedorg(at)gmail(dot)com
    Opening Ceremonies  by Roo  
              Email to     1roodog(at)gmail(dot)com 
    My Opening Speech    F. Furter
         NO pictures are to be sent to ME...   this is a speech ONLY thingy.. and listed here ONLY to give you a full list of the days events...        SAME is true for My Closing Speech.   

    Window Nose Art/Snot Smears  by Jazzi      July 27th.
               Email to  dcraftsalot(at)yahoo(dot)com 
    Swimming    by Sarge
               Email to   Lfurman1987(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Crazy Sleeping Singles        and   Synchronized Sleepers   by Oskar        July 29th.
            Email to   hoerauf(at)comcast(dot)NET 
    Bouncing      by   Bouncing Bertie...   needs narrative 
          Email to   soi718(at)abdn(dot)ac(dot)uk

    Cross Neighborhood WALKabout      by   CORBIN           July 30th.
               CAN be LEASHED...       Email to   ohcutecorbin(at)gmail(dot)com 
    Beach Ball     by  Benny and Lily   
               Email to       2frenchbulllys(at)gmail(dot)com 

    Gymnastics     by   Madi             July 31st.
       Email to    candb214(at)att(dot)NET 
    Couch Potato Peeling   by Lily Belle and Muffin
       Email to       kimberlypaschedag(at)msn(dot)com

    Tongue Curling     AND     Critter Stalking   by Mona and Weenie     AUGUST 1st.
          Email to     redricca(at)sbcglobal(dot)NET 
    Discus/ Frisbee    by   Mr. Pip
         Email to    mrpippip(at)gmail(dot)com

    Stick (s)      by Goose                Aug. 2nd.
        Email to   pastormichelle13(at)gmail(dot)com 
    Pole JUMPING    by   Bert 
        Email to      jamiesyra(at)gmail(dot)com

    Marathon Chewing    by Murphy and Stanley    Aug. 3rd.
           Email to    cecampbell(at)msn(dot)com 
    Digging      by Puddles   
           Email to     allison(dot)b(dot)schubert(at)gmail(dot)com

    Tuneful Farting   by Declan               Aug. 4th.
            Email to     declansdogsblog(at)gmail(dot)com 
    Keep Away       by   Casey
           Email to     dreagoddess(at)gmail(dot)com

    Equestrian     by   Rubie and Poots         Aug. 5th.
        Email to   rubie(dot)schnauzer(at)me(dot)com 
    Camera Avoidance Tae Kwon Do     by Mayzie Gal
        Email to    mayziegal(at)gmail(dot)com

    Synchronized Peeing     by  Shasta and Shiloh      Aug. 6th.
       Email to   imabeaglemama(at)gmail(dot)com     NOTE:  New category for those with out pee Pawtners...   Synchronized Peeing  WANNA BE's...    SEND THOSE PICS...   
    DE-Stuffing     by Ruthie 
         Email to    k9katastrophie(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    Free Style Zoomies    by Susie and Sidebite      Aug. 7th.
         Email to     racingmom55b(at)att(dot)NET 
    Roaching and Rolling   by Ruby and Penny 
        Email to....    See tab at top of their Blog... marked OLYMPICS   for addy

    Squirrel Hurdles    by  Bailey and Katy          Aug. 8th.
        Email to     cledder(at)yahoo(dot)com 
    Draw Your People.... by   Indigo
         Email to    cheshire(dot)danes(at)gmail(dot)com 
    Snack Sack Race   by Lulu Louise
        Email to    snacksackrace(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Boxing   by   Sasha                        Aug. 9th.
        Email to   chicamom85(at)comcast(dot)NET 
    EXTREME Weather Sports  by   Frank the Tank
        Email to     wackysmoof2001(at)aol(dot)com 

    Turbo Track   by Max                                          Aug. 10th.
         Email to     maxthequiltcat(at)gmail(dot)com 
    Snoopendous Sniff A Thon    by Luna and Cynder
         Email to    lunadogslife(at)gmail(dot)com

    The Great Tennis Ball Tournament    by  Mollie Jo    Aug.11th.
       Email to     dogeared(at)bellsouth(dot)NET 
    Bathtub Wrestling    by     Ujio Izzy Ziggy and Missi
         Email to   coyote(dot)ugly2010(at)gmail(dot)com

    Closing Ceremony    by Finn                            Aug. 12th.
          Email to    marianne(dot)d(dot)howard(at)gmail(dot)com
    Special Presentation    by Oskar   
         (THIS is FOR HOSTS ONLY... HOSTS... You will be contacted about this at a LATER date)
    Closing Speech    by F. Furter   
               NO PICTURES Needed for Closing Speech...