Tag Archives: greyhounds

Job share: Boots and Rush

When this story came through my Facebook feed, I had to share it.

Yet another ‘working dogs/therapy dogs’ success story – this time in Western Australia at the Woodvale Secondary College using two special greyhounds.

Boots came first for three days of dog therapy support, and then Rush joined to fill in for the remaining two days.

Enjoy this video, which shows therapy dog work and benefits:

And the spin-off benefit from using the dogs at the school is the profile raised for greyhound adoption.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Izzy’s racing career

Izzy is a retired racing greyhound.  She won 6 races over the course of her 2  1/2-year, 74 race career.

As a salute to my ‘little winner’ who is now a much-loved pet and helper in massage classes, here is a montage of the finish lines at her races and one photo of her in her preferred career…

Izzy winning on 10 Dec 2010Izzy winning on 25 May 2011Izzy winning on 1 Jun 2011Izzy winning on 3 Aug 2011Izzy winning on 7 Nov 2012Izzy winning on 19 Dec 2012

IMG_1237

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Greyt New Zealand Caterpillar Craze

As you know, Izzy is a greyhound.  And as a devoted greyhound owner, I belong to several Facebook groups dedicated to greyhounds.  One is the Greyhound Collective, based here in New Zealand.

Early last week, a fellow owner posted that their hound loved their large stuffed caterpillar from The Warehouse (the New Zealand equivalent of Walmart) and – coincidentally – they were available at the annual toy sale for 50% off (so $40 compared to $80)…Caterpillar

The caterpillars being sold by The Warehouse are 250 cm long

…and so started the Greyt New Zealand Caterpillar Craze!

I slept on it overnight and then decided Izzy should have one.  I ordered it online and then emailed my friend Marie “I’ve just bought Izzy one of those caterpillars.”  Marie wrote back “So did I, for Ben”   Gosh, I thought – we are good dog mothers…

And then another one and another one posted on The Greyhound Collective.  Their hounds were also reveling in their new colourful friends.  It’s been like that all week (and the sale is still going).  More and more New Zealand greyhounds are loving their warm and cuddly friends.  It’s winter here and greyhounds feel the cold.  A caterpillar makes a greyt friend on a cold winter’s day…

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So enjoy these snaps of our Caterpillar Craze…can you spot Izzy?

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

The benefits of stretching

Dog doing morning stretches

Vera does her morning yoga (photo by Jenny Hamilton)

I remember watching a yoga video years ago where the instructor described the act of stretching as ‘making space in the joints.’

As a canine massage therapist, I think stretching is essential.  It lengthens muscles in a controlled and safe way to ensure good range of motion in the limbs and it helps to maintain blood flow to essential soft tissues.

As our dogs age, or when they are injured, then often need help with stretching (the same is true of people).  That’s where professional massage comes in – someone to help warm and stretch the muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Owners can also learn to stretch their dogs; it’s something I include in special massage workshops for greyhound owners.  I’ve found that greyhounds, with their sleek builds and racing instinct, often tighten up when in a pet home or when they don’t get regular off-lead exercise.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

Corporate sponsorship

I’m regularly approached by charities for sponsorship of shows and other events.  I’ve been trading since 2007 and, eight years on, I have developed a sense of what I will and will not support.

Let me explain.

Sponsorship, from the smallest company to the largest, must match the goals and values of the sponsor and the receiver.  Where there is a mis-match, either one party or the other loses out.

Dog shows, for example, are often looking for products for their prize packs.  It’s an ‘easy win’ for a large company to provide bags of food and get their name onto a show program and in front of dog owners.   The recipients of these prize packs get something for free and there’s little loyalty involved.  They may never buy from the company involved again and the large corporate sponsor doesn’t mind because their goal was simply name recognition.

The same is typically not true for products and services provided by smaller businesses.  These businesses need something reciprocal in order to grow and to afford sponsorship in the future.  These businesses may donate to a cause one year, but if they receive no response from your members during the year, they are unlikely to consider sponsorship of benefit to them.

For my business, as an example, I am looking for an on-going link to the groups I support.  I am happy to provide my time and services if I feel that people will direct their business to me in the future.  I have a keen interest in helping rescue dogs, for example.  I get great personal satisfaction from helping dogs in need and when they are adopted, some come back to me as clients.

I rent space from a local training club, for example.  They give me a good rate but in return they get advertising by me bringing other dog owners to their property.  I also acknowledge their support when promoting the workshops I hold there.  Win-win.

This weekend, I sponsored a garage sale.  I did all of the promotion for the event and took time out of my business to seek donations of goods from my clients and from like-minded businesses I deal with.  The benefactor was Greyhounds as Pets (GAP), a charity that works to re-home retired racing greyhounds.

I believe in this cause because my Izzy is a greyhound who came from GAP just over a year ago.  But, more importantly, I get support from the other volunteers in this group.  They recommend me to friends, buy products from my company, and some have registered for a special massage workshop for greyhounds that I am holding.  It’s another case of win-win.

So my plea to rescue groups and other charities is to think about the owner-operated businesses in your area.  What can they do for you but also what can you do for them?

Corporate sponsorship is a different model when dealing with a smaller business and it’s based on relationships.  Please don’t approach us for ‘free stuff’ without offering anything in return.

A little boy meets a greyhound at our garage sale

A little boy meets a greyhound at our garage sale

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

The greyhounds at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts

If you are a greyhound lover, then a trip to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is a worthy visit.  There are a number of pieces in the museum depicting greyhounds.  Here are just a few examples.

Sculptor Horatio Greenough (1805–1852) rendered his dog Arno in marble.  Arno was named for the river that runs through Florence, Italy (Greenough trained in Italy).

Arno sculpture

Photo by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Photo by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Photo by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Carousel greyhound by Charles Looff, photo by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Carousel greyhound by Charles Looff, photo by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In the Folk Art Gallery, you will find a carousel figure in the shape of a greyhound.  This figure was carved between 1905 and 1910 by Charles Looff.   He only made about 12 greyhound figures for carousels and all were said to be modeled after his family’s greyhound.

When acquired by the Museum, the greyhound was painted dark brown and covered with a thick layer of varnish. A painstaking process of conservation removed about fourteen layers of paint (carousel figures were exposed to the weather and thus repainted frequently), revealing the original polychrome painted surface and other details.

Greyhounds Unleashed, a plaster sculpture dated 1928 by Katharine Lane Weems

Greyhounds Unleashed, a plaster sculpture dated 1928 by Katharine Lane Weems

And this English Regency bed features greyhounds inspired by medieval tomb sculptures, but anyone who knows greyhounds know that they love to sleep – so very appropriate to have them as embellishments on a human bed.

Photo by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Photo by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Photo by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Photo by Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand