The Dog I've Always Wanted

Canine Behavior, Training and Photography

The Dog I've Always Wanted header image 4

Entries from April 2009

Walking Ollie or Winning the Love of a Difficult Dog by Stephen Foster

April 17th, 2009 · No Comments · Book Reviews


walkingollie
This is a lovely memoir. The author, Stephen Foster, a sports writer, is greatly challenged by Ollie. (The dog formerly known as Ernie.) The puppy in question is a rescued lurcher. A lurcher is a dog that is half greyhound and half something else. In Ollie’s case his non-greyhound half is saluki, also a sight hound. The lurcher breed was developed in Britain due to the fact that only the nobility were permitted to own greyhounds. Lurchers were and probably still are the poacher’s breed of choice. Ollie is adopted from the animal-welfare home at Snetterton in Norfolk.

Ollie proves to be a nervous pup who seemed to spend a great deal of time running around and looking worried. (This description reminds me of my basenji, Cleo.) Walking him proves to be a major challenge as he wants only (naturally enough) to play with other dogs, to chase and be chased. And as is typical of his breed and sight hounds in general he does not come when he is called, very poor recall. The author calculates the time he spends walking Ollie, chasing Ollie, at about five hours a day. He had imagined that dog walking would be a contemplative activity that would allow him to think about his writing. Instead he must endure the scorn of other dog walkers (mostly Lab owners) who proclaim Ollie “out of control”. [Read more]

→ Add Comments Tags:

Share |

THE GREYHOUND STORY From Hibbing to Everywhere Oscar Schisgall

April 2nd, 2009 · No Comments · Book Reviews, Captioned Photo

While I was researching the topic of sighthounds, greyhounds in particular, I of course searched the library catalogue under subject “greyhound”. There were four hits. Three of them have been reviewed as a trio of books about retired racing greyhounds. This is the fourth.
It is not about dogs. It is about buses. But ever since my interest in greyhounds has been awakened I get a small thrill from seeing the greyhound on the side of a bus. A little smile, oh yes, I think. I know what a greyhound is like and I certainly delight in the visual beauty of one running flat out as portrayed on the side of the bus. Since my reading and researching often seems to be an organic process fueled by free association, curiosity and chance why not read the fourth book ?


‘The Greyhound Story’
documents the growth and development of a very successful business. Founded in 1914 by a Swedish immigrant named Carl Eric Wickman, the bus line expanded its service until in 1939 the figures were presented at the annual stockholder’s meeting indicating that the company’s gross income for the year had been $55,989,765 with a net income of $6,562,802. Greyhound employed, at that point, close to 10,000 people. The history of the company’s expansion, under the direction of several executive officers, is related in great detail. By the mid ’80′s Greyhound had become one of the largest leasing companies in the world. Various international subsidiaries lease aircraft, supply vessels, and oil drilling rigs, among other things.It may be said that the key to the success of Greyhound Corporation has been diversification.

Lady Greyhound

Lady Greyhound

One of the most interesting aspects of this book, as far as I’m concerned, are the photographs of the buses or ‘motor stages’ as they were initially called. Stages because what they replaced were stage coaches! It was not until the 1930s that the now traditional image of the racing greyhound first appeared on the exterior of buses. In 1957 the company introduced a mascot, Lady Greyhound, who attired in a wide rhinestone collar and tiara, made public appearances at various charity events, was named America’s canine symbol by the American Humane Association. And (this is my favourite) she opened the brand new Greyhound terminal in Detroit by biting through a ribbon of dog biscuits! It was reassuring for me to discover that there was an actual dog involved in this story somewhere. “Once, when someone commented that Greyhound’s president ‘worked like a dog,’ his secretary said , ‘But not as hard as the dog.’ ”

→ Add Comments Tags:

Share |