(Photo: Dasher is 14 now.)
Dasher's Italian Greyhound blog 2023
This is the continued story of Italian Greyhound Dasher from July 2009 - see old blogs. The latest "happenings" will be put on at the top at frequent intervals, so the story unfolds from the bottom and up! See videos of him on YouTube under my name: sighthounddotnet, Email me or go back at any time to my sighthound.net start page.
Happy reading! - Janet
Older blogs: 1st blog July 2009 - 2010 - 2011 - 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 - 2017 - 2018 - 2019 - 2020 - 2021 - 2022

Saturday the 2nd of September 2023 - and the 15th blog!

Yesterday, Mega ate his first raspberry! (Already scoffing on the plums that are falling down although I try to pick up before he gets to them! Eats apple as well! Not to speak of dead and sun-dried worms and chasing Daddy longlegs to eat!)

My neighbour visited with her charming little grandson who got well "kissed" by a very loving Mega while they shared a dog bed!

Thursday the 31st of August
Yesterday, after I had been doing gardening in the kitchen garden for just over an hour, with Mega's enthusiastic assistance, I suddenly look at him and see to my horror that he is allergic to something! His whole head swelled up in big bumps and spots and he could barely open his eyes as they swelled so much. Luckily I have seen this reaction before many years ago and I found my trusty "Hyderm" skin cream and carefully rubbed this in, I didn't know what else to do, He didn't seem very bothered by it and frisked about quite normally, told me it was dinner time, ate normally and played about full of his usual fun and games! After about an hour, the swellings were easing and after two hours he was almost normal again - and this morning you would never guess at the frightful sight he was yesterday afternoon! Phew!

After nearly an hour:

Friday the 18th of August

Mega makes the most of the 5 meter flexline!

While I crawl around weeding in the kitchen garden, Mega lies sunbathing in the strawberries and supervises!

He also relaxes in the back garden while I do gardening work! (Dasher goes inside as he prefers to lie in a dog bed!)

Typical Italian Greyhound, they HAVE to sit ON TOP of other dogs and cannot just lie beside them!

It can be very tiring for Dasher who just wants peace and has to put up with a lot of silly behaviour!

On Monday I took the bus to the vet where Mega was examined, approved of and given his second lot of vaccinations! Here he is sitting waiting for the bus to come like a professional traveller! It was his first time in this special travel bag, good as gold and it was also his first time ever on a bus. He was a bit scared when the bus twice banged and crashed over some road works, but could quickly see that he was safe and everything WAS ok! He was greatly admired by two passengers!

Chewing on an apple he has brought in from the garden!

Thursday the 10th of August
While I am on my knees working in the kitchen garden, Mega is dragging stuff into the house to have a good chew on!

Monday the 7th of August
Help! That's my garden chair....NOT the best place!

Sunday the 6th of August
14 weeks and 14 years old lying together!

Saturday the 5th of August
I spotted them sitting together outside on the patio!

(Dasher's ears are often up as he is almost totally deaf - but tries his best to hear if he can.)

Wednesday the 2nd of August
Family to lunch and Mega was very much admired, loved and approved of!

However, the family Cavalier King Charles did NOT approve! Mega is too silly and lively for his taste!

Mega amuses me by disappearing into the flower beds when he needs to poo! I can leave it there, but not on the lawn!

Saturday the 29th July

Side by side! Mega now knows precisely where he lives and pulls hard to get home faster on the last stretch, stopping at the gates! He has no desire to run away, but I know now that if he did ever get out, he does know the way back again!

What the heck is that "thing"?

Mega loves sunbathing and will sit anywhere to enjoy it!

Wednesday the 26th of July

Even though they have eaten their food, they still hope I might drop something when I start to make mine!

Tuesday the 25th of July

12 weeks, soon 13 and the extreme elegance of the Italian Greyhound is very slowly growing day by day!

Sitting beside me in a bed at my feet in my office!

Mega tells me when he wants more food sitting here where I put down their food bowls! (I feed three times a day shortly before I eat my own meal, but as a puppy he needs up to 6 times a day - much to Dashers’ horror as he has to stand watching, but he is used to this torture now!

Then Mega soon realised that after the lunch time meal, they get a treat of a chew stick (rubbery-soft compressed chicken as old Dasher CAN break his teeth) so the little cheater tells me he is finished and “full up” in order to quicker get his chew stick – together with Dasher who eats real fast! THEN afterwards, he tells me he needs more “proper food” and finishes his portion! What a trickster! After dinner, their main meal, the tradition going back nearly 30 years is they get a tiny piece of the white crunchy stem of Chinese cabbage! (I eat the green leaves.) They LOVE this and I am barely forgiven if I ever run out of it! So he does the same “I can’t eat any more!” trick for this as well!

Mega with his piece of Chinese cabbage!

Two days ago it rained all day, so Mega had to endure wearing a little coat I have had for many years!

Relaxing on the sofa afterwards! I have taken all the thick seating cushions off so he cannot break a leg jumping down, it is now so low.

Here, sleeping on Dasher (who puts up with a lot), one can see he is not black at all, but a VERY dark shade of brown, which I find very beautiful.

Inspired by a friend whose IG fetches tennis balls for good exercise, I tried Mega, who fetched this once, like he was trained - but then he decided to keep it for himself! But it's too early yet for such wild exercise!

On a walk this morning he waits patiently while Dasher pees and later when we turn and head for home (I walk in a big circle) he pulls like mad and knows EXACTLY where he lives and can't wait to get home!
He stops at the gate!

Please let me in!

Friday the 21st of July
Today for the first time, little Mega walked the whole walk “nicely” (though some of the time he thought I was too slow as he can already run 50 miles an hour and thinks I should too!!!) The problem was the ill-fitting harness that pinched under his sensitive armpits… now I am using a very old and soft suede collar made in England especially for IG puppies, and he was happy with it. We met a big Labrador puppy and he greeted it warmly - he is open for other dogs and people, which is a very good thing.

Dasher gives him extra confidence of course.

Mega being a mountain goat balancing on stones in the garden!

Tuesday the 18th of July
Up until now I have to carry Mega on dog walks with Dasher, but today there was a "break through" where he walked a small part of the way! Had some good sniffs. However, he threw himself down in the grass several times, but I waited... he is only 11 weeks old after all! Then he greeted the neighbour's dog Hugo (seen below the 2nd of July) with cautious enthusiasm – and no fear! I was pleased. No photos as unfortunately my hands were full!

Sleeping later!

Saturday the 15th of July

Mucking about before the morning walk! (I carry Mega sitting under my knitted vest at the moment as he is far too young.)

Mega SO wants the bone, so kind Dasher lets him take it!

He's just tried to catch a bee on the lavender - but luckily got away with it NOT stinging him! Phew!
Enjoying the sun!

On the back doorstep! The cushion is to prevent the heavy back door from slamming if one opens the front door and a wind blows strongly straight through the house. I fear it could slam on a small Italian foot...

So little and alone waiting for me to come outside and join him!

Thursday the 13th of July

Now there are two who go around looking for exciting things in the lawn - like pigeon poop and insects!
(And from today, Mega is insured after the Danish law plus a sickness insurance - very necessary with these lively and athletic dogs who can race at hectic speeds.
He is already shocking me with how fast he is!

Tuesday the 11th of July

He's growing well!

ALL my sighthounds through the years have loved a piece of Chinese cabbage - the crsipy white stem (I eat the green part!) and amazingly, Mega unhestitatingly chomped away and ate his tiny piece too as a "dessert" after the evening meal. Dasher is hoping he can get it, but no luck! He had a much bigger piece.
Mega is fascinated by Ladybirds - there are many at the moment! And he steals from a kitchen cupboard!

Mega leaps up at Dasher in play!
Right: One can easily see that a puppy has moved into the house!

There is tennis at Wimbledon right now - so Mega takes a tennis ball to be in fashion!

Monday the 10th of July
Unfortunately it is pouring hard with rain today! 31mm in just a handful of hours! We got soaked on the very short doggy walk.

Mega still hasn't mastered the art of burrowing underneath blankets!

Above: Mucking about playing in the bed in my office.

Sleeping together again. Dasher is being kind but really and truly he is NOT keen on being lain on top of! He knows Mega's just a puppy though, so one bends the rules a bit!

Now I again have TWO watching out for burglers down at the gate!
Left: Mega inspects a garden light and right he is leaping high up at the oven and cupboards as he is annoyed he cannot reach my food! I gave him a little piece of cheese, which he loved!

They are so cute together! Their relationship will grow enormously as soon as Mega isn't a "delicate baby" any more.

Sunday the 9th of July
My kind son drives me all the way to Esbjerg yesterday to collect a new family member and entertainer, an Italian Greyhound puppy of 10 weeks I now call Mega - with tongue in cheek, as the expression goes!

We drive over two bridges on our way - in perfect summer weather and not a breath of wind.

Dasher greets the mother called Nike. He rather likes her to say the least but she doesn't feel the need for a new boyfriend - yet!

Dasher, right, looking longingly at Nike and her pups who have a wonderful cool "throne" to relax on in the heat!

Dasher is fascinated by Nike! She is a very pretty dog.

Then we "kidnap" Mega from his wonderful family and drive him home to Mynde Manor!

It's hot in the car until we get the air con just right.
They both sit together with me on the back seat. Each is harnessed into the passenger's safety click-lock. No loose dogs in a car for me!

Mega slept the whole journey apart from waking up two times and giving a little howl and a whimper as he knew he was being taken away from his family and things were not "right"! I petted and comforted him and inside of a minute, he fell asleep again.

Arriving at my house, Dasher dashes inside and shows Mega where the water bowl is in the kitchen! They both drink.
Mega is inspecting one of Dasher's beds for the first time! He gets in and Dasher is saying "What? This is MINE!"

Later on Mega throws himself on top! He is still learning the art of burrowing underneath the blankets!
After arriving home, Mega plays wih Dasher for over an hour! Racing around the small grass area that is their toilet on the patio like it's a speedway track! He is amazingly fast! I took a million photos!
He actually threw himself up against Dasher deliberately crashing into him. Dasher was a bit amazed by the whole act!
Later on, tired out and homesick, he thinks it is time he was driven home again! He sat out in the utility room, which the clever pup already knows is the way out, and is clearly waiting for his family to come and pick him up!

So I take him and cuddle him and for the rest of the evening he insists on sitting on my lap - which wasn't easy but I managed!
Next day, Sunday:

Mega in the big garden staring at Dasher and showing off his "ready for a dog show" look and the elegant lines that are to come! He is settling in nicely and has fully accepted his new home - and me!
Mega doesn't eat much, I have to hand-feed him to get him interested. He would sooner chew on an old bone! But "the other end" is functioning just fine!!! (And no accidents yet!)

They sit together but not for long! Dasher has never wanted to cuddle so close, he is being very patient.

Mega takes Dasher's much loved duck!
He truly is feeling at home here now!

Sunday the 2nd of July
Dasher meets my neighbour's dog Hugo when out on a walk - but Hugo is more interested in ME, as I always give him one tiny "treat" from a bag I have in my pocket, whenever we meet!

Hugo just pushes past Dasher to get to his treat!

Dasher finds all sorts of edible things in the lawn, from wood lice, Daddy long legs and dead worms to pigeon poops! Ugh!!!

I help a poorly bee after some heavy rain.

Wednesday the 14th of June
My two wonderful sons have clubbed together and bought me a grass cutting robot for my very big lawn! This is going to be a wonderful help. But a little dangerous for animals - and children, and I wanted to see how Dasher would react so I put him on the lead at first.
He sized it up in seconds and was not interested! Not nearly fast enough for sighthounds! Just an "idiot machine" Mum's got!

As he is almost completely deaf due to old age, it could creep up behind him while he stands sniffing at something, so I will always have to be careful.

Here, he just strolls past it, now off the lead.

Sunday the 4th of June
Dasher and I went to a family birthday party yesterday on bus and train and he met up with a new and very cute "Cockerpoo" puppy in the family!
Here they are mucking about together!

Above: Sitting on the train for an hour good as gold! Dogs travel free if only one small dog and sitting in a bag (or crate).
I think he understood it was a harmless baby and he just let it do anything it wanted!
They played together for hours so in the end we put them on the lead as Dasher IS after all, an old dog at 14 years old! ! He really enjoyed having a playmate as he misses Solo badly and has never been alone before. (I had 2 Whippets when I got him.)
Right photo: Travelling home on the train lying between my legs absolutely tired out after a very long and active day!
Sunday the 28th of May
I had a wonderful “sighthound day” yesterday with two good “sighthound friends” to lunch with no less than 3 Whippets! Fauna I know well as I have looked after her many a time but the two others: Whuffi and Happy of 5 months were new to me. Dasher, who is used to and likes Whippets, quickly discovered that young Happy was still of the puppy age where you are polite and careful with your “elders”. So Dasher chased him mercilessly around and was trying to mate on him most of the time! Finally, after about 4 hours of irritating, unwanted attention, Happy snapped out with a loud yelp-come snarl and told Dasher off! It took just a split second and from that moment, all Dasher’s hopes were, yes, dashed!
He then showed Happy deep respect and stopped all irritating behavior. These photos are from before the telling off, where he also would like Happy’s bone!

Below: After he was told off and wondering what to do next!

... it was a really wonderful day for me chatting with two other sighthound lovers!
Tuesday the 16th of May
Dasher had to go to the vet for a little operation to remove two loose teeth - and the vet found two more that were broken, so he did a very good job - it is especially worrying to operate on a very old dog.

I got the job of watching over him as he came round - as I was sitting in the waiting room anyway! Here he is very drugged up.
Dasher was groggy for a long time after on Tuesday but is VERY fresh and happy now!

Sitting on the sofa contemplating life the day after!
Thursday the 11th of May
After many days where it seemed to rain a lot, then many days with a nasty, very hard and cold wind, at last some sun and a lovely day - where Dasher enjoys the warmth beside me in the garden where I sit for five minutes in between weeding!

Thursday the 4th of April
Dasher is whole 14 years old today! Doing very well except that he is almost totally deaf, which is a big handicap. I have to use hand signels to communicate and a soundless whistle to call him.
(The Danish flag because he is a pure Danish dog!)

Sunday the 30th of April

Dasher doing what he's best at: dashing around the house at high speed! He does this 3 times before each meal - used to be 10 times but due to his age.... this photo shows off my wonderful Japanese Cherry tree!

Tuesday the 25th of April

Lonely walks from now on... sigh....
Solo is missed every second of the day...
Sunday the 23rd of April
My kind opposite neighbour managed to find a source of Chinese cabbage for me and came with one she had bought! I haven't been able to find one where I shop for several months - I don't know why as I have always had one in the fridge for nearly 30 years. I eat the green part of each leaf - no matter what the menu is for dinner! And all my dogs through the years have always adored crunching on the white stem. Maybe it gives them valuable fiber? I have even taught several guest dogs how to love a piece after dinner! So Dasher was thrilled with an extra big chunk!

Tuesday the 18th of April

I can hardly bear to write this, but my darling, so entertaining, very intelligent and bossy Solo had to go to the vet for the last time last Thursday. His back and hip pains were merely getting worse not better after another fall before Christmas and despite two different painkillers from the vet. he was just suffering too much and I found it my frightful duty, to save him from more pain. He now even refused to come out on a walk, so the pain had to be bad. It was cruel to let him go on living in in such pain... But Dasher and I both miss him badly, he was SO funny and entertaining and bossed me around! A very unique character. Here he is sunning himself in one of the last pictures I took. He was only 10 1/2.....
I truly thought I would have him for many more years... this breed can easily be 15 even 16.

Wednesday the 5th of April
Dasher gives an affectionate lick in Solo's ear while they wait for me to make breakfast in the morning sun!

Wednesday the 29th of March
Waiting to go inside after the morning walk...

they brighten up the dull driveway!

Solo just killed the duck toy again!

Dasher knows it's wrong but he just HAS to bat a solar light around the kitchen!

Monday the 20th of March
From the garden yesterday!

Below, the sun suddenly broke through in the clouds, after at dull, freezing cold day.

Monday the 6th of March
My son and daughter-in-law came yesterday - the dog's favourite people, and brought a huge bone present for them both, but beforehand...

Solo is SO happy to see them, he playfully grabs up a toy and sings a very loud song of joy!

Dasher spent hours chewing his! He retired to my office for privacy!

Solo runs off before anyone can take it from him!

Wednesday the 22nd of February

When are you coming and making my dinner, mum?

Sunday the 19th of February

Dasher finds an old toy duck and enjoys killing it all over again!

Checking around the garden after a big storm and I see these pretty crocusses doing just fine!
Spring is here!
Tuesday the 7th of February

I have never known a dog who could ask me to do something or tell me something SOOO intensly as Solo can!!! He looks like a big question mark! If I say the right words he gives a loud woof meaning "YES!!!!" and danses around with happiness!

Friday the 3rd of February

Poor Solo! After about 2 weeks with the pain killer Loxicam, I discovered he was bleeding from his intestines and had two nightmare days where he asked to go outside nearly every half an hour! I immediately Googled the product and read that a side effect was bloody diarrhea and so stopped giving it plus I contacted the vet who very kindly came the same evening after work with some other painkillers and a product for restoring the natural stomach and bowel bacteria etc.
Wednesday he was much improved and today Friday, at long last no more blood! The poor dog must have really suffered from griping stomach pains. He has not had any pain killers the last few days as I am not giving meds on such bad digestion – but he seems a lot happier and fresher.

Monday the 30th of January

Above after visit to the vet., he was briefly in our frosty garden.
On January the 26th it was Dasher’s turn for a vaccination at the Animal Hospital. I went in with what I thought was a very healthy and lively, playful dog - apart from the fact that he drinks a lot so I wanted him tested for diabetes. To my shock though the vet found quite serious heart murmurs and declared that his heart was not working at all well, meaning his inner organs like lungs, liver and kidneys would not have the optimal blood supply they need and surely are suffering. Then after a short wait while he tested some blood samples he took, he said no diabetes but signs of other things wrong and not good at all so Dasher has to go on a diet designed for dogs with poorly livers. I was very depressed for a day or two as of course he was tired after the visit and one front leg hurt where the blood had been taken, so he limped badly for some hours.
But two days later he seems his normal fresh and dominating self – so I actually wish I did not know about his very worrying “invisible” state of health inside his body! The Hills diet food is ordered and will arrive this week, meantime he eats Hike’s food designed for elderly dogs.
So now I have two patients to worry about....
Wednesday the 25th
I buy most of my dog food from the Danish firm Hike who appear to have a very high standard of quality - and some good chew things. The dogs know the smell of the box even from a distance, and get excited as they know that Hike kindly put a free little treat inside with the food I ordered! I put the box on the floor in the utility room:
Solo leads and scratches on the box as Dasher doesn't want "trouble" or a fight!
I rip the tape off and Solo sticks his nose inside! He knows the big packets are NOT what he is looking for!
Yeah! I grabbed the treats before he did! And then showed Dasher, who sits to show how good and deserving he is!
There are exactly two pieces, which makes them very happy!

Monday the 16th of January 2023 - and the 15th blog!

Dasher with his favoute toy and ready to play! He is 13 years old and sure acts like a teenager!

Above: They huddle together in this cold and rainy weather - I lift the blanket and here they are:

Below: Taken from the doorway:

Dasher debating whether to go out or not in the wet weather.

I took Solo to the Animal Hospital in Slagelse the 12th of January,
and I left the house at 12.20 to catch a local bus at 1.38 after a tiny snack lunch.
I was warmly dressed in rain coat, rain trousers and a sou’wester in bright yellow that is perfect for rainy doggy walks - but I have never ever seen another woman wearing one! So some people gawp a bit!
It was the worst imaginable weather with gale force winds and BELTING down with driving rain.
The dogs and I had already got soaked on their morning walk and luckily I have several sets of coats (from Helen at the-italian-greyhound-collection/italian-greyhound-coats.html of course!) for the same reason,
but poor Solo got of course his head and ears and legs dripping wet and pulled me non-stop uphill to the bus stop.
LUCKLY this bus stop has a shelter although it is made of a metal mesh so fine drips pass through!
And of course the wooden bench was soaking, but knowing this, I had taken a piece of bubble-plastic packing to sit on – a trick I do in freezing cold weather too when the bench would be cold to sit on! There is a rubbish bin I can stuff it in when the bus turns up – dead on time at 1.38pm
Solo sat like an angel in his travel bag so he could travel free on the bus and it’s waterproof though of course his wet feet and legs soon got it all damp inside.
I left home early as I always have to allow time for dogs to stop and sniff, poo and pee on the way, you can never be sure how long time it will take, but he knew from experience we were going to the bus stop and dragged me there at top speed non-stop all the way! No advantage because then we had longer time to sit and wait in the cold!
When the bus arrived, I picked him up in the bag under my arm and as I staggered on board, I gasped out to the driver
(who was eyes popping at the sight of me with my sou’wester and a little dog staring at him with big eyes),
“Terrible weather today!” in Danish, using a very common expression of speech and he made me laugh out loud by answering: “Only OUTSIDE!” so true! HE was sitting nicely warm and dry!
Just 4 stops and then we had a had another, much longer walk in this terrible weather and Solo’s leg cannot have too much wrong with it as again he remembered the way and pulled quite hard so I was gasping for breath and fast walking at top speed. We staggered in the door at the vets soaking wet and dripping everywhere!
Here we are waiting our turn. Solo in his travel bag.
The vet, who I have known for some 15 years now since we moved here, thinks it is to do with the old fall out of Adrian’s car last Christmas eve 2021 when Adrian kindly came to fetch me and all the Christmas presents.
Solo LOVES riding in cars and will even attempt to leap into any strangers’ car on a walk if we pass close to someone who opens their car door!
While we were packing that fateful day, he came out into the drive way and tried to jump inside before we could stop him. BUT, what he couldn’t see was, that we had put their fabric travel cage on the back seat and so there was no room for him and I saw him fall on his back in the driveway.
I had to take him to the vets’ after a few days as he clearly had hurt himself – but he got over it quite alright with painkillers for some weeks. He's been happily running around the house ever since!!!
They now run 4 times, 3 times a day before meals! Or at least only Dasher does now! (In their younger days it was 10 times each time and I have reduced it over the years. (They run FULL speed – they decide the speed not me!)

Then a while back in December, he tried to jump up on something and fell backwards on the stone kitchen floor so I think this has started the old injury again. The vet has examined him very thoroughly thinks the same. He cannot double his left leg up under him when jumping up – it doesn’t fold up, nor can it bare his weight on landing again.. and he collapses if he’s pressured or pushed by Dasher. So now he has painkillers for about 6 weeks in the hope he can heal himself.
Then I treated us to a taxi home - I just couldn’t face walking in the storm all the way back to the bus again - where we would have to wait and there is NO shelter.
So now cross fingers that Solo once more, can heal himself and it is not arthritis or something permanent.

Fuzzy photo of Solo with his favourite toy the next day.

I spotted the moon over the house the other morning!

Dasher is all playful as he has stolen a sweet paper from my wastepaper basket in my office!

The two lie together in the bed beside me as I eat.

Dried dog food swells up in the dog's stomach - of course!
This is only natural as all moisture has been removed. Always test before feeding your dog, if you try a new brand. Take two particles of the new food and put one in a small bowl of cold water
leave the other alongside on the table top. One new brand I tried swelled up to a shocking nearly four times the size! See here after 3 hours:
You should bear this in mind when feeding your dog, because what looks like a very modest portion, can swell up to 2-3-4 times the size after a few hours and could make your dog vomit some up to relieve the pressure.
At the very least, it will give your dog a lot of discomfort - at worst he/she may throw up the entire meal. Therefore, with ANY brand of food, you need to know exactly how big the meal will become in a few hours time - and serve the appropriate amount. This is probably a major cause of overweight dogs (not to mention the possibility of bloat and torsion). People fill up their dog's bowls with a portion that looks "the right size" in their eyes but not allowing for the fact that whole lot actually becomes, say 3 times larger in the dogs' stomach! We all know how dogs are "opportunists" and eat whatever they can whenever they can, so best to to regulate according to the known "swelling point" - which varies a lot from brand to brand and contents to contents!