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Archive for December, 2012

Dog Blog: Henry Beanz Holidaze…

Posted by indigodream on 14 December, 2012

Fis is Archie bein' silly....

Fis is Archie bein’ silly….

Deer Step-mummi Sue

I’z notised that you is leekin a bit – I knos that you is sad coz Lou is not heer no more so we’z decided to cheer you ups:

  • Is will give you big wet kisses ev’ry day…
  • Archie sez he will sept on your foot ev’ry morning – this meanz that he luffs you loads
  • We’z will all do silly fings to make you larf…
  • Monty will eats your pizza so he gets fat but you duzn’t – mummi dids tell you to feed him up and cleen his ears…
  • Herbie will be a big drama kween so’s you have to go to the vets – coz we knos that you will miss the vet…
  • We will demands food and fusses ev’ry half an hour so’s you still feels wonted..

Luffs me step-mummi, xxx Henry B Beanz..

Dear Henry

You are the best step-houndie ever – thanks for cheering me up. Just a teensy thing though – when you gave me that big sloppy kiss right on my mouth – well, it’s just not proper, really, especially with the extra-long tongue…..

xxx Step-mummi Sue

p.s. Could tell Archie that I’ve got the message – I know that he loves me – so he doesn’t need to tread on my feet every day – they are quite bruised now….,

Herbie bein' pafetic...

Herbie bein’ pafetic…

Monty can helps you wif that pizze, mummi Sue, Monty luffs piza, actooally I luffs pizza too so I'z could help you too...

Monty can helps you wif that pizza, step-mummi Sue, Monty luffs pizza, actooally I luffs pizza, so I’z could help you too…

See, youz gotta smile wen we's bein' fis silly - I meanz, fis is a 2-human sofa but it's never big enuff for two hounds!

See, youz gotta smile wen we’s bein’ fis silly – I meanz, fis is a 2-human sofa but it’s never big enuff for two hounds!

Fis is me speshal silly face - just for me step-mummi....

Fis is me speshal silly face – just for me step-mummi….

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Dog Blog: Henry Beanz’ Holidaze

Posted by indigodream on 14 December, 2012

r_Dogs-271-01Dec12

Deer Mummi
Wen you lefts us on holidaze, you left the TV on a reeelly borin’ programme – so we’s tried to change the station – but TV remotes is rubbish – the buttons is too small for our pawz and they is not tuff enuff for our teef…
So, if yous goin’ to abandon us in front of the TV agen, coulds you get us a proper houndie remote so that’s we can wotch wot WE wants.
Fanks xxx HBB

r_Dogs-273-01Dec12

Deer Mummi
See, if we hads a proper houndie remote control we wudn’t havs to be bored by rugby on TVs – we coulds change to the HCW channel and wotch chikkin wrestlin’, wot would have all greyhounds coz I duzn’t fink that anywun woulds be as good as us πŸ™‚
xxxx HBB

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Dog Blog: Henry Beanz Holidaze…

Posted by indigodream on 12 December, 2012

r_dogs-50-02Dec12

Herbie doin’ trainin’ for hot chikkin wrestlin’….

Deer Step-mummi Sue

Duz we have a fone numba for Sky Sports?

xxx Henry B Beanz

Dear Henry

Uh that would be a “no” – why on earth do you want a number for sky sports – you slept through the rugby the other day….

xxx Step-mummi Sue

Deer Step-mummi Sue

Oh no’ze , I duzn’t wont to wotch sportz, I wonts to sell them a new one for lotz of munni so’s I can buy me own treets…

xxx HBB

r_dogs-51-02Dec12

Oh yeah – tha’s a champion move….

Uh huh, and what sport would that be…?

xxx Step-mummi Sue

D’oh Step mummi Sue

S’obvious, Hot Chikkin Wrestlin’ (HCW) – like wot youz dun wif Herbie the uvva day – you leaves hot chikkin in the kitchen and turnz your back; then Herbie steels it and youz have to wrestle it off him. The one who getz the biggest bit of chikkin wins – simple! I fort Herbie woulds be a champion but youz woz a contender Step-mummi Sue – youz gots almost the hole chikkin off him – respec!

xxx HBB

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Dog Blog: Moors Gem Lou 1/11/2002 – 8/12/2012

Posted by indigodream on 8 December, 2012

Lou in her prime....

Lou in her prime….

Saturday 8th December

One of our first photos of Lou - cowering on a pile of dirty washing - it all changes when she discovered duvets :-)

One of our first photos of Lou – cowering on a pile of dirty washing – it all changed when she discovered duvets πŸ™‚

I am truly heartbroken to report that Lou lost her long fight with cancer today – after a scant 19 weeks in remission, the cancer returned a fortnight ago and spread through her body like wildfire…

We always write a eulogy for our lost hounds – it’s our way of making their lives matter, but I’m finding this one the hardest of all – partly because Lou was such a fighter I can’t actually believe that she’s gone, and partly because the last 6 months have been dominated by her illness and that’s not how I want to remember Lou at all – she was so much more… and it has to be said that the illness did not affect her spirit, she just got on with life in a way that we never ever could. She had lived with failing kidneys for several years and a knee joint so bad that junior vets could never understand how she could walk, let alone run – all the photos here are of her running with a bad knee.

Lou was born on 1st November 2002, her mother was an Irish dog and her father an Australian dog. She raced at Mildenhall in Suffolk as Moors Gem Lou. She had two litter mates, Moors Yap Yap and Moors Rip 1, we have tried to trace them, but with no luck. Unlike many racing stud dogs, who sire thousands of puppies, Lou’s dad (Applause) only sired 129 – it was clear that Lou was of a unique bloodline – later it became clear that she was one of a kind πŸ™‚Β  She ran around 70 races, so she had a good career, though her speciality was coming 2nd! We didn’t understand this until she had a few chases round the garden with Blue and subsequent hounds – she loved to chase other hounds and snap at their bums!

She ran her last race on 19th June 2006, spookily at the same race meeting as our old girl Poppy ran her last race. We’re not too sure what happened to her after that, but we first met Lou on 20th December 2006. I don’t think she’d come direct to Greyhoundhomer – the only information that Pat had was she “had not been looked after”.

We visited Greyhoundhomer in December 2006 to get a companion for Blue – we had hoped that he would choose a nice lady friend, but he showed as much interest in girls as your average 7 year old boy! That meant that we had to choose – we had one visit and met several potential hounds but couldn’t make a decision so we went back the following weekend and met Lou. We wanted a girl with a bit of character – Lou was very engaging and showed a little spark of personality which would later develop into a full bonfire, with attitude!

Snow madness...

Snow madness…

The first week at home was a trauma for Lou – it was obviously her first time in a home and everything was new and scary – she was transfixed by the TV and spent the first few days huddled in various corners, nursing an upset tummy. But she soon got the hang of home life – especially the luxuries! The stairs were a torture to her – we taught her to go upstairs a leg at a time but then she discovered that upstairs was really warm, full of comfy dog beds and she could sleep in the bedroom with the rest of the pack. As with most things, it’s all about incentive πŸ™‚

Lou soon became an Indigo Dreamer and we discovered that she was exceptionally photogenic. She soon became a glamour model – featuring in the Greyhoundhomer calendar five years on the trot. She travelled the length and breadth of the country with us. Lou loved locks – mainly for the softly mown grass alongside each one. In lock flights, we’d often see her lying down at the first lock then she’d just stay there – supervising other boats, but certainly not following us! It was not unusual for us to have to go back to fetch her when we’d finished locking through a flight!

Together with Blue, and later Lynx,Β  she visited assorted towns, coffee bars and pubs – prompting whispers everywhere “look at that – she’s just like a tiger” – her beautiful brindle attracted attention everywhere, though she was somewhat tiger-ish by nature too! Well, only with other dogs, she was a total tart with people!

Once we got over the initial “what is over that horizon” stage, Lou was generally very trustworthy off the lead, but every so often there were exceptions. Richard was walking to the boat through Paddington Basin with her, when he suddenly noticed that she had disappeared. He looked round just in time to see a tail vanishing in through the doorway of a busy pub on the basin, much to the amusement of the drinkers there. In much the same place, sitting outside with the dogs on their sheepskins, people were giving them so many double-takes that one man nearly walked into a lamp post!

Lou on the BCN....

Lou on the BCN….

She went to a meeting on the Olympic Park on a day that Richard was summoned, at short notice, to what could have been a nasty meeting; but it is amazing how nerves are calmed by a tarty Lou saying hello to everyone before settling on a sheep skin in the corner for a relaxing snooze.Β  Despite her success as a facilitator at a meeting she was also ejected from the Olympic Park on one occasion – they started enforcing a no-dogs rule which Richard completely forgot about. He managed to drive through security and then looked in his rear view mirror to see a small battalion of Gurkhas chasing him as they should not have let Lou into the park. We did try and get her a formal pass, pointing out that she had fulfilled a valuable role in chasing out rats on the Primary Sub-station site, but they did not think she would manage to get the palm print biometrics machine to work πŸ™‚

In Birmingham we quite often used to go the Burger Restaurant in Brindley Place and sit outside whilst the dogs consumed a children’s portion (remarkably good value for money, though Lou would have rather swapped portions with us). The staff were very attentive of her every need; people walking past struggled not to fall into the canal (it is a bit narrow there).

The Fat Boys Cafe by Richard’s office also knew her – until problems with her kidneys meant that Richard was banned from buying her a sausage sandwich for breakfast, the guy would automatically cut her sandwich into small easy-to-scoff pieces. He also offered every time to add some hot mustard, which Lou probably would have liked (but was never allowed!).

Lou joined us 6 months after we launched Indigo Dream - we think of her as one of the original Indigo Dreamers...

Lou joined us 6 months after we launched Indigo Dream – we think of her as one of the original Indigo Dreamers – here on the Grand Union…

Because Lou was so feisty, we didn’t think that she’d take to living with other hounds, yet she allowed Lynx, then Ty, then Poppy and Ollie to share her home; she let any number of hounds share her boat, even her boat sofa. She was full of contradictions – for example, she was fearless with fireworks, but afraid of going under railway bridges (frequent occurrence when cruising!) – it must have made sense to her πŸ™‚

We have wonderful memories of cruising with Lou, she features in just about every boating post. But she was never a blogging hound herself – she certainly had a voice – we were never in any doubt of what she wanted or what she was feeling. Somehow I always felt that she didn’t need me to write for her – she could speak for herself!

She has left wee-mails on:Β  two River Avons,Β  most of the BCN, some of the Bridgwater,Β  Caldon, Chesterfield, Coventry Canals, the Fossyke, all of the Grand Union, Kennet & Avon, Lee & Stort, Manchester Ship Canal, River Nene, Nottingham Canal, Oxford Canal, River Roding, River Severn, Shropshire Union Canal, Staffs and Worcester Canal, Stourbridge Canal, Stratford on Avon Canal, River Thames, River Trent, Trent & Mersey, River Weaver, the Wey and the Worcester & Birmingham – not bad for a retired racer whose original life would have rotated between a cage kennel and a racing track….

Ah Lou you gave us six fantastic years, we would so loved to have had more, but thank you, thank you, thank you…..

Photoblog:

The greatest thing about digital photography is that we take thousands of photos and will have a lasting reminder of the hounds that have shared our lives. Lou was exceptionally photogenic so here is a selection of our favourites – you’ll notice that many feature Lou lying near lock bollards – that was her idea of boating!

Lou on the Leicester Arm..

Lou on the Leicester Arm..

Lou on the Grand Union..

Lou on the Grand Union..

And on the Shroppie - very few locks here so she had to make do with the towpath!

And on the Shroppie – very few locks here so she had to make do with the towpath!

Lou rolling for joy at the River Weaver after surviving a rough passage on the Manchester Ship Canal - she had an unintended swim in the Weaver later - oops!

Lou rolling for joy at the River Weaver after surviving a rough passage on the Manchester Ship Canal – she had an unintended swim in the Weaver later – oops!

Lou at her flamboyant best with the canine crews of nb Matilda Rose and nb Caxton - on the River Nene this time,,,

Lou at her flamboyant best with the canine crews of nb Matilda Rose and nb Caxton – on the River Nene this time,,,

This is the one that will make me sad next July - Lou's 2013 Greyhoundhomer calendar photo

This is the one that will make me sad next July – Lou’s 2013 Greyhoundhomer calendar photo – back on the Grand Union

Lou loved her food - especially ice-cream!

Lou loved her food – especially ice-cream!

Looking - before Lynx made it into an olympic sport! This is the Oxford Canal...

Looking – before Lynx made it into an olympic sport! This is either the Oxford or Grand Union canal…

More lock supervision - the the Trent and Mersey this time...

More lock supervision – the the Trent and Mersey this time…

The original Indigo Dreamers - now together at the rainbow bridge - what a commotion that will be!

The original Indigo Dreamers – now together at the rainbow bridge – what a commotion that will be!

One of my favourite images....

One of my favourite images….

Queen of the sofa....

Queen of the sofa….

Fun in the snow....

Fun in the snow….

More fun in the snow...

More fun in the snow…

Lou on the Manchester Ship Canal...

Lou on the Manchester Ship Canal…

Supervising our locking on the Staffs and Worcs...

Supervising our locking on the Staffs and Worcs…

A bit of silliness...on the Staffs and Worcs...

A bit of silliness…on the Staffs and Worcs…

Lou chasing Blue at Swansea beach - they always went ballistic at the beach..

Lou chasing Blue at Camber Sands – they always went ballistic at the beach..

One of my favourite images - Camber Sands near Rye - that's Lou chasing Blue, as usual...

One of my favourite images – Camber Sands near Rye – that’s Lou chasing Blue, as usual…

On Swansea beach - that's me in the red coat about to be mobbed by two hounds :-)

On Swansea beach – that’s me in the red coat about to be mobbed by two hounds πŸ™‚

Flying on Swansea beach...

Flying on Swansea beach… Run Free Dear Lou

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Dog Blog: Still living with canine cancer – the penultimate chapter

Posted by indigodream on 6 December, 2012

Thursday 6th December

r_dogs-13Nov2011- 136a

When I wrote the last cancer post, Lou had miraculously reached her first cancer milestone and we were reasonably optimistic about reaching the next on 20th December. That date is starting to look unachievable.

Sadly, thing have taken a dramatic turn for the worse in the last 10 days – in fact, her illness has been like a whirlwind and I can hardly catch my breath at the speed with which her lymphoma appears to have returned.

Back on the 1st November, we were struggling to get an infection at the root of her canine tooth under control. We tried a number of antibiotics specific to the mouth and had a relatively incident-free fortnight – Lou seemed really well – she was back on her full dose of anti-inflammatories and looking more mobile than she had for months. But the inflammation in her gum just wasn’t going away, and she was developing little spots on her skin – they mainly looked like insect bites, though one looked like a pimple. The vet wasn’t worried – he assumed that her compromised immune system meant that bugs on her skin were taking advantage and forming little infections.

As always, I was afraid that the cancer had come back, but following a dental x-ray, the vet still thought that she had a gum infection and decided that the best course of action was to remove the canine tooth and a few others that were becoming troublesome.

On Monday 17th November, Lou went in for a dental – she had 5 teeth removed and, a few hours after the anaesthetic, she started to recover and was in top form for the rest of the week. We were very relieved because we were expecting an invasion of hounds on Friday 23rd!

Lou continued to perk up, though on Friday 23rd, she became lame on her front right leg – I couldn’t see an obvious cause and it was intermittent, so I assumed a pulled muscle – she, like all greyhounds, is very prone to them. Our guest hounds arrived and a great time was had by all – we went to Cardiff for the day on Saturday, leaving the hounds in Greygal’s capable hands. She mentioned Lou’s lameness and thought that the problem was in Lou’s foot/lower leg. When we got home on Sunday, I did my usual Lou inspection – she was lame, had developed a few more little spots and a hazelnut-sized red raw “boil” on her back leg – since Saturday – waaah!

r_grand-union_20110828-161Luckily her vet was on weekend duty so I rang him to get authority to start Lou on antibiotics then I went to see him on Monday 26th. I mentioned that Lou had been lame and that I thought that she had sprained her wrist. But then the bombshell – Lou was lame because she had a pea-sized lump under the skin on her wrist – this was pressing down on the tendons when she walked and causing her pain. My heart sank – as did the vet’s – he took needle biopsies of that lump and of the “boil” on her back leg – which caused Lou a LOT of stress and drama (though he was as gentle as could be). The following day we got the initial results – the lumps had an abnormal number of lymphocytes – a potential indicator of lymphoma. The samples were sent to a specialist for corroboration – the specialist was worried and recommended a full biopsy.

On Monday 3rd December, Lou went in for a biopsy – now of 4 lesions – the big lumps on her front and back legs, a smaller lump on her back leg and the original pimple. We’re currently waiting for the results. She has also lost around 3kg in 10 days, despite having a good appetite and eating well.

In the meantime, Lou has been developing spots and lumps at an alarming rate; yesterday afternoon I noticed a big swelling on her lower lip and a strange swelling under her jaw.Β  By Thursday morning, she had a hard lumpy pea-sized swelling in her neck. I knew, on an academic level, that lymphoma spreads fast, but the reality of Lou developing new symptoms every few hours has been quite shocking.

I took her back to the vet this morning. Although we don’t have the biopsy results back, the most likely cause of her symptoms is lymphoma – a relapse and very aggressive. He gave her an injection of steroid to try to alleviate the swelling under her jaw – it’s being caused by a build up of fluid – it seems that her lymph drainage system is blocked – probably by a tumour.

I was very tempted to let her go today, but she’s been such a battler, I felt that the least we could do was wait for the biopsy results – we should get them tomorrow.

If the biopsy confirms the cancer (which is what we and the vet expect), then we’ll call it a day very soon – Lou hasn’t been that well on chemo and the law of diminishing returns applies – each intensive course yields a shorter remission. If she had been very well during her first remission then we might have considered it, but her quality of life has to be the deciding factor so we’ve decided against further chemo …

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Dog Blog: Henry Beanz’ Holidaze

Posted by indigodream on 5 December, 2012

r_P1010228

Dear Mummi
Iz goin’ to send you sum posticardies soon, but I’z not lettin’ go of me h-phone – did you heer that sum dogs izn’t hallowed to text their hu-mums – Iz so sad that sum hounds is so deprived…
xxxx Henry B Beanz

Dear Step-mummi Sue

Iz notised that mummi has been on the blog and sez that she will tell you to stop me treetz if she hears Iz bin norty.

Well, I woz finking, how about if she dun’t hear that Iz bin norty, how about if we duz a deal, like you duzn’t tell me mummi what Iz bin up to and I duzn’t tell her wen youz bin a unfit step-mummy…

xxx HBB

Dear Henry

I’m shocked – are you suggesting that we deceive your mummy? Shame on you…

xxx Step-mummy Sue

Dear Step-mummi Sue

Oh no’s, I duzn’t mean actooally lying, more like not tellin’ the whole troof – likes wen you left the gate open, an’ acidently let Monty out, and he runned off…

xxx HBB

Dear Henry

Well, Monty only went for a poo in next door’s garden, and he came back home straight after – that’s not so bad…..

xxx Step-mummy Sue

r_P1010203

Dear Mummi
Fis is Ollie modlin Lou’s jarmies – he finks they is stoopid, Lou finks they is stoopid – mummy Sue sez they is too small for a big puddin’ like me so she’s got the heatin’ goin’ 24/7 so I duzn’t get cold….I luffs my step-mummi πŸ™‚

Dear Step-mummi Sue

Uh huh, so you duzn’t mind if I tells mummi that you woz in a total panic and runned up and down the road in your night shirt and no kni…

Ok Ok, you win, we’ve got a deal, we don’t tell mummi anything about anythin….

Ah, Henry, why are you texting me when you’re sitting in Richard’s armchair like, 3 feet away?

xxx Step-mummy Sue

Deer Step-mummi Sue

D’oh, barkin’ is so old-fashund – texts is THE dog-human talkin’ fing – you always knos exactly wot I’m sayin’ – Archie and Ollie likes to roo ‘n whine but youz not got a clue wot they is sayin’ duz you!

xxx Henry B Beanz

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Dog Blog: Henry Beanz’ Holidaze

Posted by indigodream on 2 December, 2012

Dear Henry

Could you tell mummi that we put a link on the blog to ABNB (where your boat is for sale) and we’ve had lots of hits. Wouldn’t it be super if the boat was sold – you’d be rich and you could afford all the luxury treats in the world..

r_Dogs-267-30Nov12

Steak Ta-tah – nom nom nom….

xxx Step-mummy Sue

Deer Step mummi Sue

We haz bin diskussin it amongst the pak. If mummi sells the boat we cud have treatz, and new ermin beds, and stake ta-tah for dinner, and massarges, and mor treatz, and a limmo wiv dimond enkrustid bowls and snazzee jimjams wiv our names on – mine would have HBB in gold fred. I luffs bein ritch Mummi is still lookin for her fone. She iz doing swearings. She will do more swearings wen she finds her fone cuvvered in poor printz and dog lix. He he. Ize a bad beenz

xxx HBB

Hi Sue,

Well, sorry I’ve been a bit quiet on the text front but I lost my phone only to discover that a certain Henry B Beanz had snaffled it into his bed. He’s licked it and nibbled the rubber case and covered the screen in paw prints – its in a right state. And god knows who he has been texting and calling! Dogs very excited and HBB seems to be v interested in the luxury gift catalogue that came thru the post a few days ago. Strange boy.

So looking forward to seeing you!

Sarah

r_dogs-37-01Dec12

We’z got dimunds on our collars – I luffs bein’ rich!

Sue,
Okay, so a package turns up today. Inside is an ermine-trimmed, fleece lined pair of jimjams with the monogram of HBB embroidered in gold thread. What’s going on?

Sarah

Dear Sarah

Can’t imagine – it must be a gift from the good folk of Goring – they really did love Henry at the pub!!! Uh, I wouldn’t check your credit card this month…….

Regards, Sue

Sue,

Should I be worried that I found a Bentley brochure in Henry’s bed?

Sarah

Dear Sarah

Did Henry order the Bentley with chauffeur like we agreed; uh sorry, like he might have agreed with the others is what I meant obviously…

Regards, Sue

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