Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Greyhounds in Gettysburg

We got back from Greyhounds in Gettysburg Sunday afternoon, and we were all exhausted!  It was a huge difference from the car ride East as we traveled to Gettysburg...  on the way there, the dogs were anxious and excited and practically exploded out of the car every time we'd take them out to walk and get water.  On the way home, we didn't even stop, because they were literally snoring.

It was a fun event.  We arrived Friday afternoon, and walked around looking at the vendors that they had set up for us.  It was fun to see so many other greyhounds and their people.  And the outfits.  There was a huge variety of doggie outfits going on, everything from jackets to pajamas to sweaters.  I see now that I have been remiss, and will be purchasing my dogs cableknit sweaters before the fall season.  And pjs to wear around the house when it's super cold.  And maybe several more stylish collars.

Dogs, hotel room, first day.
I have to admit, I was a little nervous about traveling without their crates.  They sleep in their crates every night at the house, but there just wasn't enough room for the crates, even broken down,  in the car.  So we were going to share a hotel room with two dogs that are accustomed to being confined at night.  I needn't have worried.  They were very well-behaved, and slept on the beds with us.  Maera jumped down to go exploring once or twice, but that was it.  The room was (in her opinion) disappointingly devoid of food, so she'd jump back up after a couple of minutes of snuffling around.

We had been warned that the eastern part of the state had ticks, so had packed the tick stuff that our vet sold us. We still hadn't dosed the dogs with the stuff, mind you, even once we were in Gettysburg.  But Friday night, I looked down and there was a live tick crawling across my hand.  (Ick!)  I was a Missouri farm girl, so I am quite aware of what a tick looks like before it attaches itself to you, so I promptly killed the little bastard, and then Jeff and I scrambled to get the dogs dosed up.  Unfortunately it meant that patches of their fur were greasy the next day but oh well.  The alternative didn't seem very appealing at all.  I'll take greasy fur any day over blood sucking ticks and possible Lyme's disease.

Early Friday evening, we went to a seminar.  The dogs were still pretty wired up; they'd been stuck in a car all day, and then had seen more greyhounds than they've probably ever seen in one place since their track days.  And had been given treats, and had absolutely no idea of what was going on.  So in hindsight, we maybe should have skipped the seminar, or had one of us attend while the other stayed out with the dogs.  Nothing MAJOR happened, mind you, but Argos lay there and panted nervously the whole time, and Maera kept rearing up on her hind legs to give Jeff hugs and to lick his face and to stare over his shoulder at the greyhounds behind us.  Granted, we did entertain the people around us, but it was starting to get embarrassing!

Saturday we did some touring of the battlefields, and parked the car and walked the dogs around Devil's Den.  Devil's Den seemed to come with its own compliment of cub scouts, but once we got away from the huge rocks, we were completely alone.  It was a good walk, and I do find battlefields interesting, albeit in a very depressing way.

Afterwards, we went to a BBQ and met some very nice people, who had a dog that looked so much like Maera it was startling!  If you put the two of them together, you could see the differences, but not at first.  Actually, we met so many nice people this weekend.  It was nice to be around so many others who have given their hearts to greyhounds.  Anyway, unfortunately Saturday afternoon was really COLD and we weren't especially dressed for it.  So we actually left the BBQ a little early and went back to the somewhat warmer hotel room for naps.

Saturday night, we went to the social that was at the 1863 Inn of Gettysburg, and ran into Bunny and her people, and her German Shephard brother Kuster!  http://talesandtails.com/?p=5738. It was great fun talking to them, and seeing some of our fellow bloggers in the flesh!  I was disappointed in myself for not getting a group photo, but I think by then all of us, humans and dogs alike, were just not thinking about things like that.

Sunday was our last day there.  We went to the Gettysburg Recreational Park, and our greyhounds participated in a "speed run."  You greyhound owners probably know what I'm talking about, but for those that need a couple more details:  there's a strip fenced off, that allows the dog to get up to speed but forces them to run in a straight line.  One dog at a time is sent down, usually because their owner is at the other end,  along with someone with a squawker, and they are enticed to run as fast as they can.  A volunteer stands at one end with a speed gun to clock their speed.  Much fun is had!  The dogs love it, and of course the people love it as well.

We let Argos go first, figuring that he was the professional runner for three years; that he would know what to do once he heard the squawker.  He trotted away, stopped, turned around and looked at all of the people, went over and hiked his leg on the fence.  A couple of guys ran out to try to catch him, and THEN he decided to run, in a very slow, unconcerned way, towards the end of the run.  They weren't even able to get a good speed on him.  We all had a good laugh, and he good-naturedly went to Jeff, who was waiting for him.  (I was still at the far end with Maera.)

Meanwhile, Maera was having fits, trying to leap forward, squirm off of the leash, ANYTHING to follow Argos to the other end.  So... we let her go.  And she flat out ran.  You could tell that she was giving it her all.  She was clocked at 35 mph.  Not bad for a doggie that was "culled" from the track for not being fast enough to even run a single race.  Except that she wasn't done yet, when she got to the other end and there were people waiting to catch her... she wheeled around and ran all the way back!  I grabbed her and snapped the leash back on her and we walked back to the end point.  Let it not be said that my dogs are rule-followers, LOL.

We attended a Blessing of the Hounds service, which turned into a Rainbow Bridge rememberance service, which turned into a "group roo."

And then we went home.  We could have stuck around a little bit longer for a "fun run" with other dogs, but honestly, our hounds were completely tuckered out by that point.

We were home by that afternoon, and our cats sure were happy to see us.  We spent the rest of the afternoon, human, canine, and feline alike, napping and enjoying the warmth and sunshine that had finally caught up with us.


  1. What a wonderful event! We are glad you all had such a great time. That speed run sounds SO awesome! :)

  2. That sounds like a fantastic time! And how special you got to see Bunny and the crew.

  3. It was really good to meet you guys and the pups! We had a lot of fun and still have things that we want to get to do when we go next year. lol The ghost tour had some great stories about Devil's Den!

    Just a word of warning, Frontline and other similar products won't protect your dogs from tick bourne diseases. They kill the ticks after they bite the dogs, but they don't repel them. I know of several people whose dogs have gotten TBD even though they were using preventatives.

  4. Sounds like you had a great time. Fun being around like-minded dog breeds of people, isn't it? We always have a great time when we go to the sled dog races and are surrounded by so many Huskies.

    The clocked race sounds really cool! I would have like to have seen that. I've never seen a greyhound run in the fur and a think it must be a spectacular sight!

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