Saturday, December 31, 2011

Welcome 2012!

 We are all happy for the new year and looking forward to lots of fun in 2012.

 I'm so happy to have celebrated the holidays watching Zephyr and Astro have a great time.

 Our few days in Phoenix over Christmas were really nice.  The weather was great.  The mornings were crisp, there's actually frost on the grass, and then the days warmed up to the 60s.

 Astro gave some love to Grandma.

 Zephyr spent quality time with Grandpa.

 PJ took out Astro.  :-)

 Zephyr and Astro love the big grassy yard and had many runs like this.  We also practiced some agility, but no video of that.  Zephyr's been doing great.

 The night after Christmas we went to Zoo Lights at The Phoenix Zoo.  I'd heard that it was really good and it didn't disappoint.

 We were almost run over by these racing deer.

 I was surprised that it was so busy after Christmas.  We had to park in the overflow lot and there was a huge line to get tickets.  Luckily we had pre-purchased ours and walked right in.

 I'd never seen a light show like this and was really impressed.

 Back at home the fashionista is still at it, and she hasn't even returned Zephyr's collar yet.

 The boys got to open some more pressies when we got home.

 Astro got a bag of chicken strips and Zephyr got a bag of duck strips.  Yum!

I hope you have a great 2012!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Snow Days

Zephyr and Astro having a great time in our recent snow storm.  We are enjoying the warm temperatures and soft grass of Phoenix for Christmas.  Happy Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays

Wishing You All a Wonderful Winter and Happy and Healthy New Year!
Zephyr, Astro, Riley, Pablo, Annie, and I are sending you and your hounds best wishes for the holidays and the new year.  This year was tough with Zephyr getting encephalitis and I really appreciate all of the nice supportive messages you all sent.  Thank you!  Zephyr is doing great!  I've continued to reduce his medicines and he's feeling even better.

We are also looking forward to Winter Solstice and the return of the sun.  Zephyr's registered name is Cebar Winter Solstice Zephyrus FC.  I chose that because he was born in early January, Zephyrus is the Greek god of the west wind that gently blows in spring, and he definitely makes life brighter.  :-)

This is the final card that I made at Shutterfly.  I'm really happy with it and wanted to send it out to everyone.  The inside has a collage of pictures of the dogs and cats and the back even has a picture.  I couldn't get that to show, but all of the pictures are one's that I've already posted on the blog so you can imagine, it's really cute.  ;-)

Enjoy the Holidays!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Feel the Love

Many thanks to Nibs at BrindleHounds and A Dogs Journey for giving us the Liebster Blog award!  We are feeling double the love here.  :-)  They actually gave us the award a week ago, but I've been a little busy and am finally getting around to passing it on. 

Here are the rules to follow for accepting the award. 

Liebster means “dearest” in German, and the award is intended to help up-and-coming blogs get the attention they deserve. As with any award, there is a bit of ceremony involved. In order to accept the award, we must do the following:
1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave us the award
3. Pick our five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs

Since I received the Liebster award twice I'm going to award it to six other blogs.  Enjoy!
1.  Graceful Greyhounds - Sue and Song share the love from Norfolk, England.
2.  Itsa Great Day at Greyhound Gardens - Spreading love from Oregon.
3.  Luna's Life in the Garden State - Giving lots of love to their recovering girl Luna.
4. A Dog Blog - Sharing love with Ferg and fosters in Maryland.

5.  Crafting 4 Greyhounds - Creatively spreading the love from Norfolk Broads in the UK.
6.  Jennifer Zalewski Studio - Sharing artistic love from New York.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


 Miss Annabelle Lee Pinkerton is a true fashionista.  After a hike one day for some reason I laid Zephyr's collar on the floor next to the couch.  A few hours later this is what I find.  Annie decided to try on Zephyr's collar.  BTW, the knitting you see peeking out of the bag is the sweater I've been making for Zephyr.  It's taken awhile because I've really had to alter the pattern because Zephyr is much bigger than even the biggest size, and I'm just a slow knitter.

Annie looks quite proud of herself.  She was rolling around on Zephyr's collar and managed to get it on.  She then proceeded to walk around the house with her new accessory.  I have to agree, it looks stunning on her.  :-)

It fit her perfectly and didn't seem to impede her climbing abilities.  After this I put the camera down and forgot about the little fashionista.  A bit later she showed up without the collar and I went to retrieve it.  Alas, it could not be found and hasn't been seen since.  I've looked in all the normal and not so normal places and haven't been able to find the collar.  She must have a secret place for all her favorite things.  Luckily, Zephyr and Astro can tend to be metrosexual and have many collars to choose from, therefore not missing out on any walkies.  ;-)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Hike

Astro and I went on a hike in Woods Canyon with friends Thanksgiving weekend.  This was Astro's first time carrying a pack on a long hike, it was a little over 9 miles.  His pack only weighed five pounds and didn't seem to slow him down. 

Chris and Dan with Friday, Linus, and Astro.
Chris, on the right, organizes all of the pack hikes through the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America.  Thanks Chris! 

This is the trail that we saw some cows on last winter.  No cows this time.  Actually there were no other people on the trail so the dogs got to do a lot of off leash hiking. 

I was a little worried about letting Astro off leash in this area because there are a lot of cactus.  He did a great job though and had no cactus incidents.

A rare photo of me with a dog.

Astro did finally slow down a little towards the end of the hike.  He definitely likes to be out in front of the group exploring around though.  But, he won't go too far and always stops to wait or comes back to the pack.

At the end of the hike there was a nice walk along a small creek.  Walking along in the grass and oak leaves and taking a dip in the cool water was a great ending for the day.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Forgotten Astro Post

I just found this old post that I forgot to publish.  It's from last year.  The pictures are pretty cute, so I thought I would post them anyway.

With our friend Elaine.

Swooning over Annie.

In the mist.

Astro has such a sweet face with the best expressions.  All I have to do is look at him and raise my eyebrows a few times, wink, smile, or turn my head and it will really get him going and being goofy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Running Free

I feel the wind in my face!
 On November 17 I took some deep breaths, unhooked the leash, and let Zephyr run free in the forest with Astro.   
And the ground under my feet!
Then I had to remind myself to keep breathing.  :-)

We'll run
 This was the first time the boys had really run together and explored the forest since March when Zephyr became sick with encephalitis.  Of course they've run and played in the yard, etc., and there was a very short run on our fall outing.    

And race
 Running in the open forest with your brother can inspire all kinds of acts of greatness.  Because of this I wanted to wait until Zephyr had built up some muscle tone to reduce the risk of him getting hurt while twisting and flying through the forest like all good dogs do.

Until we are complete!
 I'm very happy to report that no big injuries have occurred.  Only some cuts and scrapes from forest debris, one kind of big on the front of his back foot.  I was worried about two things, that something would happen to trigger the encephalitis to come back (I will always worrying about that) or he would run or twist too hard and hurt himself.  Zephyr has done a great job.  Sometimes Astro will try to get him going after he's kind of tired, but Zephyr's been really good about listening to his body not overdoing it.

The plants smell extra fresh!
 Zephyr is so happy to be able to roam the forest again.  He's gone out about six times now.  It's great to watch him rediscover his forest freedom and to see him so happy.  The first time I let him go it took him a few minutes to fully understand that he could really go.  He kind of galloped around smelling things and looking around before he and Astro really ran.  Sometimes he just stops and looks out and around through the forest.  He really smells around things a lot.  And, he's discovered a new forest delicacy.  Elk Poop.  That's right, I used to be one of those lucky people who's dog was not so interested in elk poop.  Zephyr would like me to remind you that although he is doing extremely well, he is still taking prednisone and is at risk of starvation at any moment, therefore he has expanded his taste palate to include some of the finer things in life.

And the dirt is cool and soft!
 Astro is also very happy to have his forest partner back.  The two of them work their way around to all the good things in the forest.

Let's dig a hole together
I have some other good news.  Zephyr's liver function is much better.  Two of the values, ALT and AST, are in the normal range.  This is great because these are the two that really indicate that the liver cells are damaged and dying.  His ALP is still high, in the 800s, but down from the 1,300s.  Apparently since he is taking prednisone this is typical and not as bad as having the other two elevated. 

And go back and share with Mother!  ;-)
Dr. Knowles also gave the okay to continue reducing his medicines.  So, after tomorrow's dose of procarbazine (chemo med.) he will start taking it only twice a week, down from every other day.  He'll continue on this schedule until the middle of January and then he'll be done with it.  And, in two weeks I'll start reducing his prednisone to 5mg once a day, down from twice a day.  This will be in small increments, 1.25mg at time, and over about four weeks. All of this will continue to help his liver function too.  I'm so happy to be reducing his medicines!   But, I have to admit that it also makes me nervous that the encephalitis will come back.  Hopefully everything will go smoothly.

The snow fell on the ground!
We've also had our first snow, it was actually in early November.  The boys were so excited to go out in the morning and find snow on the ground.

And now happy greyhound feet
I love watching them first step out on the deck, realize there is snow, and then get all spunky sticking their nose in the snow and pouncing around on it.

Are the only sound!
And then of course have a good run in the snow.  We are supposed to get more snow late this week so there will be a lot more running and playing to be done.  Apparently happy greyhounds running free also inspires poetry.  ;-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Warming up on the treadmill.
Hi everyone, this is Zephyr!  Ya that's right it's me, and I am doing really well and wanted to tell you all about it.  I'm still going for physical therapy once a week.  Going to physical therapy is kind of like going to a spa where they treat you like a king.  It's all about you.  Look how nice and relaxing the decor is.  I feel like I'm taking a walk in the forest when I'm on the treadmill.  And look close at those pictures above the treadmill.

Inspiring everyone at the spa!
That's right, it's yours truly! There to inspire all the recovering animals with my awesome athleticism and the joy of running free.  I think this will really get them treading along.  Those are pictures of me during my very first lure coursing run when I was just a babe at 18 months old.  Notice the picture of Mom laying down?  After my run I didn't want to stop.  I only came back and stopped running when I thought she was being attacked by a crazy lady.  I'm a good boy like that.  The other picture is of my friends, family, and me on an excellent hike in the mountains.  We are all powering up the trail.  Btw, my friends Friday and Linus also have a photo display to inspire everyone.

Can't this thing go any faster?
I have really been getting in shape, loosing my extra weight and building muscle.  Mom says that I am in even better shape now than in these photos. 

Riding the wave

I'm really working on my core strength.  I do lots of things with balance that use all my little muscles. 

Check me out!
I'm a natural on the pods.  These really help me use all my muscles from my toes and up through my whole body.  When I'm on the equipment Dr. Lisa gently rocks me from side to side to really use my muscles.  Oh, and do you want to know the other reason it's really like being at a spa?  They feed you really good food the whole time! 

Can you see the sparkle in my eyes?
Also, each session ends with a laser treatment that is like having a relaxing and energizing healing massage.  Mmmm, Mom is so jealous.