Why Bluehound?

I would love to tell you why I chose this name.

In 2004, my husband and I were looking for a dog. We had heard about the Greyhound Adoption Program in SA and did some homework about greyhounds as pets. We liked what we found – they are friendly, quiet, clean dogs who love being with people and also love sleeping as much as they love walks (or possibly more).

We applied to adopt a greyhound, and after a few months got an email offering us a beautiful blue girl named Tillee. She raced for several years with the name Matt’s Rocket, but was now looking for a forever home. We accepted without hesitation.

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Tillee turned out to be a life changer. She was with us for 11 wonderful years from June 2004 until January 2015. She was by our sides during good times and bad. She gave me a reason to keep going at times when life felt impossible.

She loved playing with children, and my husband’s kids soon nicknamed her “Silly Tillee”.

We tried to keep her off of the furniture (like my previous dogs), but gave up the fight after a good 6 months when she showed that she was not open to negotiation.

She was a diva, literally kicking me off the couch with her hind legs when she wanted more room to spread out. She could take up the entire queen sized bed when she wanted to. If we stopped patting, we would get prodded with a paw more and more forcefully until we resumed. She would pace around huffing and sighing loudly if we hadn’t vacated the bed early enough on a weekend. She liked to have the curtains open so she could watch the world go by, and would tell us if we were too slow to open them.

She was a fussy eater and would turn her nose up at anything that she suspected was home brand. She took over one of our armchairs as her throne, from which she ruled the household. We tried to foster another greyhound once, but she wouldn’t have a bar of the competition, so poor docile Alex had to find another foster home.

She was sensitive and perceptive. She knew if one of us was feeling down, and would snuggle up to make everything better. She would remind me to get off the couch and take her for a walk. We took her out for social functions where she acted as an unofficial meeter and greeter, undeterred by anything, including some unexpected fireworks at one large party. She was confident and took no notice of thunder or barking dogs. She was the queen of her own little universe.

Tillee passed away in my arms in the early hours of 16th January 2015, due to a haemorrhaged tumour on her spleen.

We loved her more than anything, and were devastated by her passing. The fact that she lived to a ripe age for a greyhound was little consolation. There was only one Tillee.

I now have two of her great nieces – Skyla and Izzie. They are beautiful hounds and unique in their own ways. They do not have the diva attitude that was so unique about Tillee. We love them just as much, but they will never replace the original.

“Bluehound” = Tillee the blue hound.

Happy Festivus!

Happy Festivus!
Wait – what the heck is Festivus? It’s a secular holiday celebrated by a growing number of people on 23rd December each year, as an alternative to the commercialism of Christmas.
It’s also a great example of the way things can take on a whole new life, thanks to social media (and the internet in general)…
Festivus started in the mid 1960s with the O’Keefe family in New York. Its reason for existing is somewhat hazy, but it became an annual tradition for that one family.
Years later, one of the family would go on to become a TV writer. Dan O’Keefe wrote a 1997 Seinfeld episode called “The Strike”, which introduced Festivus to a worldwide audience, and it gained a small cult following amongst dedicated Seinfeld fans. And there it would probably have stayed (and maybe gradually died out).
About 15 years later, social media really took off – and so did Festivus. Now one family’s idiosyncratic holiday has grown to the point where thousands of people around the world gather around their unadorned aluminium poles, and celebrate with traditions including “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength”.
It was a trending topic on Twitter in 2010. Google is in on the fun (search “Festivus” and there are a few extra additions to the results page – try it!). Since 2012, several US state capitols have included a Festivus pole in their official holiday decorations – one made of beer cans! Now that sounds like a holiday worth celebrating.
Happy Festivus