Posts Tagged ‘greyhounds’

Safety in Cages: Zeke Busts Out

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Zeke, the new member of our pack is truly prison trained. Yes, he went through the whole program at the TGIE (The Greyhound Inmate Experience). He can sit and stay, given a big enough cookie, no crumbs thank you. But he came aiming to bust out. On my last trip out we found out just what he can do, left in a crate for 5 hours. The crate was rocked open and he let Bird out on the other side. They had a lovely party after that decorating with found objects (THE TRASH). You have no idea how tasteful a chicken liver container can be in the middle of a dog bed. Or, for that matter, your bed. Never let it be said my dogs are not creative souls.

The opposite of all of that urge for freedom is a really constraining case of the flu. I’ve spent the last week in bed as it’s run through it’s paces. I consider myself lucky to be up in a week.

The upside of a confining illness is that you start to drift. You start to dream. I knew I was better yesterday when I was just plain bored. Then I started dreaming about borders in lattice in terms of a story I’m working on. Don’t ask me what it means. I’m quite unsure. But somehow the well is full again. My chest isn’t quite clear. My stomach isn’t quite settled. But I need to be in the studio again.

I don’t know if we can ever teach Zeke about the safety of his crate. He does go in to rescue the toys I’ve put away there and any extra cookies he can find. It’s sort of like Mr. MacGreggor’s  garden. You know it’s dangerous but there are good things in here. I think it’s a doomed effort. For starters, Fin has started to pee in the crate to prove it’s his. I’m for whatever buys me the least amount of laundry.

But I know for myself I need my life sometimes constrained and sometimes flung to the winds. Luckily that happens naturally. I just need to pay attention.

Zeke Dyes Fabric, Ellen Dyes Bird: Notes from the Dog House

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

I’m Ezekiel, the new studio dog at Thread Magic Studio. I’m learning the fine points of being Ellen’s studio dog. We have three at the studio.I’m here at the studio door. Mom spends a lot of time at the computer in the living room, so I was shocked when we went to the studio.

It appears a studio dog has a lot of things to do.

I didn’t know which way to look.


Mom dyed a lot of fabric. I ate a lot of cookies.Then Mom accidently dyed Bird. I guess you should think first before you demand to be petted in the studio.

Pat Winter (The Dye Cup Fairy) came and got Mom to open the cookie jar again.Pat dyes fabulous silk ribbons, and since it takes just a little dye for that, she likes to use the ends of the dye in the cups. Works all around.You can see Pat’s amazing dyed ribbon and the astonishing things she does with it on her blog at Pat Winter Gatherings.

You’ll find more blogs about her on this site at

Technology and the Dye Cup Fairy

And Pat Winter: It’s always the Quiet Ones.

Finnie says the secret is to keep your head down and nap a lot. He seems to have that down to a science.

Here’s what the fabric looked like.

Will I dye more fabric? Well, it’s a big cookie jar out there.

Waiting for Ezekiel: My Dog got out of Jail!

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Earlier this year we lost Cara Candice Canis, to bone cancer. Cara was a spectacular 11 year old greyhound girl and if you came to the studio she would carefully bark to announce your arrival. Her highest accolade for everyone was to come behind and sniff.

It takes a time to register a loss like that. Greyhounds are strong pack animals and I too am part of the pack. So changes like that affect us all strongly. And take a while for adjustment. But it appears two dogs do not make a pack. Bird at 10 thinks running anywhere except after loose rabbits is beneath her. Fin is suffering the prickles of boredom  and caught ( and tried to take home) a baby squirrel from the park. So much for Carry Out.

So we went to Gems, Greyhounds of Eastern Michigan, where both Cara and Finn had come from and asked about  new dogs. A number of their dogs go through a prison program for 10 weeks where they learn all the basic civilities.

For those of you who don’t know greyhounds, it’s not who they normally are. All of mine sit, after a fashion. It’s better than jumping up and taking a visitor’s eye out. But they don’t normally do sit, down stay stuff overwell. So if you have a greyhound who does, it’s sort of the canine  version of Einstein. They understand what you’re asking. They just can’t figure out why you should think it that important. And how it relates to them.

So  we’re waited for the dogs to get out of Jail! Hence the Steve Goodman song. Any greyhound who actually comes when called is an astonishment as well.

TGIE is The Greyhound Inmate Experience.Teams of two inmates are given  a greyhound to love and train for 2-3 months. The combination is a miracle in itself. These men work 24/7  with the dogs and earn their love and trust. The dogs come out knowing basic commands and their first caring relationship with people. It’s a win win win situation, at it’s very best.

Unfortunately we couldn’t find the right cat safe dog with Gems. They told me about the other groups involved in  the program.

Last night the wait is over. We adopted a fabulous 3 year old boy from the program. His racing name was Craigie Ruston. But a racing name means almost nothing to a  dog. They called him Rusty at the prison. We’re calling him Ezekiel.

 Ezekiel came from Allies for Greyhounds in Western

Michigan. All greyhound groups are treasures. They protect and place the oldest breed on the planet. But Allies was particularly kind and helpful. You can find them on facebook as well. 




 Zeek loves to chew, loves belly rubs and will have whatever you’re having. I’m in love.

Finnie and Bird are a bit out of joint, but Finn particularly liked someone to yard crawl with him. 

Hercule and Momo have already explained that they are holy people, not to be spoken to, watched, chased, scared or eaten. I wouldn’t have wanted to be hissed at that way.

So come to the studio, come meet my new boy. We’re all studio bound this afternoon to dye a big batch of fabric.


And love some animal and let it love you. We are all here for a reason.

Cara Speaks from the Dog House: Gardening Projects:The Big Hole

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012


Cara Candis Canis

Every dog wants a special sitting spot this time of year in the garden. With a little stealth and effort you can dig a lovely hole that will cool and soothe you all summer long.


  • Look for a place where the ground is soft.
  • Watch closely to see that your mom isn’t looking. She’s not broad minded, and she probably won’t approve.

  • Dig a large luxurious hole that fits you even when you stretch out.


Refuse to sit in it in front of mom. No need to let her know for a certainty you dug it. There are other dogs in the house. It could have been someone else, right?


  • Don’t let her fill it with plants or chips. Training people takes years. You need them to understand you are in charge and that, in the end, you’ll get your way.

Ellen’s not over bright, but we all take care of her. I regularly garden with her, digging holes that are lovely structures and making sure that they stay perfectly fresh, for the perfectly fresh dog.





Finny Speaks! You aren’t going to eat that, are you? Notes from the Dog House

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Being the largest dog in my mother’s studio is, of course, a large responsibility.

But I bear it well. I’m also the youngest dog, so I’m cheer leader, mom motivator and the head greeter here.

I just had a dental yesterday. Boy are those people weird. You go in back, someone hits you with a needle and when you wake up it’s definitely different. Thank God they had liver treats. The day wasn’t a total waste. And I did come home to mom with special hamburger pill treats. Yes, I know about the pill inside. It’s hamburger, so I put up with it.

So I’m putting it out there. Does your mom give you treats in the studio? Chewy fix your teeth treats? I’m lobbying for a movement here. There’s a no-food law in mom’s studio. But I’ve caught her with tangerines and candy in there. I think if she let me have chewy bones there my teeth might be better. If nothing else, it makes me a happier greeter dog. After all, she let the mice eat the crayons.

Perhaps if I developed an art form for bone arrangement? Or a coloring system? Everything I color turns a shade of brown, but it’s very earthy. Perhaps I can start a movement?

After all, every dog has his day.

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