Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sue & Frankie and Beryl

Who is in the photo at right?

That's me, Sue, and Beryl. I don't have any photos of me with my other dog, Frankie. Beryl is an ex-racing Greyhound who I've had since Easter Monday, 2010 (where does the time go?) and she's 4 1/2 years old.

The flash title for my job is Wool Technician, every day term is 'rousie' or 'woolhandler'. I work in a local shearing gang where the guys shear the wool off the sheep and the rousies work with the wool once it's off the sheep. It's hard work and well paid but weather dependent and seasonal and when we're not working we don't get paid! But I love my days off cos I get to be with the kids.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Relaxing with the kids on a day off.

What's brewing?

Lipton's Vanilla Chai Latte. I don't drink coffee but I do drink way too much of this.

Any treat for you and your dogs on this occasion?

Hot Cross Buns are in the shops already so I would have one of them, warmed in the microwave with too much margarine on it and I'd be sharing it with Beryl. Frankie doesn't eat that sort of fancy stuff. He's a meat and potatoes kind of guy.

How were you and your dogs united?

I got Frankie on December 22nd, 2009 from the New Zealand equivalent of Ebay. I'm not sure of his birthdate so I made it Valentines Day and he's just turned 3. He had been rescued from the pound in a smallish country town on the day he was to be PTS! His photos on the auction site weren't very pretty but the sadness in eyes got to me finally and on the last day of his posting I emailed the rescue society to see if he was still available.

Obviously nobody had bought him and after I'd been home checked and he'd been neutered he was driven to my town where I collected him. Boy, did he look better after a couple of weeks in foster care!

And he's a very happy chappy now.

I'd been thinking about getting Frankie a mate for company while I'm at work and he got on really well with his Greyhound friends at the park. In fact the love of his life is a little Greyhound called Lucy. When I saw Beryl's photo on the Greyhounds As Pets site I fell in love with her freckles and the mischief in her eyes!

And her write up said she was showing signs of quirkiness which intrigued me. They weren't wrong either, lol! So I had to very quickly get my application in as there weren't many Greyhounds available at the time due to a bout of kennel cough at the tracks so none could be brought in to the kennels. I was very lucky to get her as she was cat friendly and I haven't got a cat! Beryl soon got the message across to Frankie that she was going to be in charge of things and he took it very well although it was probably a couple of months before he stopped occasionally asking me if she could go away for a while. Now they are best buddies.

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

Beryl was already Beryl. I was going to change her name as she didn't know it but it suits her and I don't know any other dogs called Beryl. It's quite a conversation starter too. She also gets called The Beryl, The Princess and Ratbag.

Frankie just looked like a Frankie in his photos and I asked for his foster parents to start calling him that before I got him. And he is a Frankie. He is The Armourguard Man at the park as he has to patrol the area and make sure it's safe for us. And Bud and Frankie Panky. Also the Greyhound Magnet. Greyhounds love him.

We have a lot to do with foster Greyhounds and most of them are obsessed with him. Frankie, Beryl, Lucy (Frankie and Beryl's BFF) and Cilla, who has now found her forever home, like to run around the park [photo above left].

Cat, rabbit, postman...?

How about cat, rabbit and possum? I have no real idea what breeds are in Frankie. I'm thinking perhaps Kelpie/Whippet and ...? He is quite a hunter and has caught 7 possums which are a noxious pest in New Zealand. He's what we call here a 'pig hunting' type dog and considering where he came from it's most likely that's what he was bred to be. He certainly likes to hunt. He won't let any cats onto my property and he and Beryl have chased them at the river and they've chased rabbits too but never caught any. But for all his hunting tendencies he's an extremely loving, clever dog and I wouldn't be without him for a second. He has no issues from his previous life. Considering he was found extremely emaciated it's a wonder he doesn't guard his food. Someone missed out on a wonderful dog when they turfed him out on the streets. Hmm, I've digressed a bit from the original question, lol!

Tennis ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Oh boy, all of the above, bring 'em on! Frankie will fetch sticks from the river for a long time. Beryl is getting confident in the river with the help of her friend, Jake and his tennis balls. His Mum throws the balls into the river and Beryl helps Jake fetch them. The river isn't deep enough for her to learn to swim in yet but hopefully that will happen before it gets too cool. Frankie tends to run off with tennis balls, he's not good at fetching. I have to have 2 sticks on the go at the river for him.

Then there are the soft toys! Some of which Frankie [photo, right] tends to disembowel!

Where is your dogs' favorite place for an outing?

They love going to the park and river which is where I take them most days.

But the beach is their absolute favourite place.

It's total doggy heaven. We had great excitement there the other day when we came across a seal basking on the sand [photo below right].

Frankie thought it was a weird looking dog and Beryl verbally abused it and told it to get off the beach.

What are your dogs most endearing qualities?

Beryl's would be what is probably a Greyhound characteristic, her teeth chattering when she's anticipating a treat or something else good. Not all Greyhounds do it ... I don't know if other breeds of dogs do it? And she 'foofs' which is what I call it when she blows her cheeks out and makes a 'foofing' noise. And her excitement and joy at new experiences. Frankie's is his all over 'Frankiness'. It's just him, the way he just seems to 'know'. Although he's not always endearing especially when he's rolled in something gross....

They both make me laugh many times a day and that's very endearing.

If your dogs could change one thing about you, what would it be?

Only one thing, that's difficult. They would say I spend way too much time sitting at the computer when I'm home ... and can we go live at the beach.

What is each dog's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

Frankie's proudest moment is every time he catches a possum. His most embarrassing was probably the first night I had him. I'd gone to the shops to try and get him a raw bone as I had a half-day of work the next day. When I got home (without a bone!) I didn't have a dog any more!! My dog proof section wasn't Frankie proof! Talk about panic. I'd taken him for a walk around a big block that afternoon so I retraced my steps and finally found him not far from home at 9pm when it was almost dark. He was going up driveways and coming out again obviously looking for my place. I called him and he came racing up to me, total relief and embarrassment on his face.

Beryl's proudest moment was a few weeks ago when she got 4th place in a Rally O competition much to my surprise! Her most embarrassing was probably the time she was tearing around at the river with her BFF friend, Lucy and she missed her footing and did a huge face plant in the rocky ground. I even got it on video! Luckily only her pride was hurt. This would be Beryl's only embarrassing moment as she is always right and doesn't get embarrassed!

Visit Sue's Greyhounds CAN Sit blog.

--Marshal Zeringue