Lucy isn't talking to me currently, and Wiz, as usual, is asleep upside somewhere so without their invaluable input into the happenings at Casa Stevens (aka 'Tumbledown Manor€) over the month this will be a difficult blog to write but I'll try my best.

"Why is Lucy not talking to you€ I hear you cry, aghast and slightly dumbfounded.

Reason 1 for her recent lack of communication is because I was unkind, nay cruel enough, to book her in to have her teeth cleaned. Needless to say this was a full day event and involved enforced sleep, which is her least favourite kind. Not to mention that when she came to the vet had seen fit to clip her toe nails as well (I haven't told her yet that I had asked them to do just that). They also asked that she come back in 7 days time for a 'post dental' check up, and that is Reason 2. Apparently two trips to the vet within the space of a week is frowned upon - as things currently stand Lucy can not even bring herself to make eye contact (as evidenced by this months photo of her).

On the bright side, Lucy did have company on her second trip to the vet as Wiz had, with his usual style, grace and elegance been dashing around the garden and town his dew claw. Again. When he came back inside, chuffing and huffing like some sort of demented and hair clad steam train the left dew claw was sticking out at what can best be described as "an odd angle€. As I was already taking Lucy to the vet the following day I took the liberty of "piggy backing€ Wiz and his latest injury on her appointment.

I needn't have bothered taking him though as on the way to the vets he managed to remove the dew claw completely by catching it on something in the back of the car. I'm reasonably certain however that the SPCA are now on the look-out for me as we had the car windows down as we drove through town and several peoples heads turned as the Greyhound Scream of Death travelled past them at 50km per hour.

Quite apart from almost hiring a room at the vet clinic we've had two group walks since I last wrote, one of which was held at Bell Block and was followed by an afternoon tea at Denis & Jenny's house. We've walked out there several times and so know both the short and long (marathon length) walking routes reasonably well. It turned out on this particular walk that Lucy & Wiz were the oldest dogs in attendance and as such Mrs. S and I thought it only fair that we take every short cut available to us to complete the walk. I believe that the other may have been slightly concerned by our constant disappearance and reappearance, but Lucy & Wiz were delighted at not having to work quite so hard as the others and still have enough energy for their share of afternoon tea.

The second walk was at Pukekura Park where Lucy made painstakingly slow progress around the gravel paths and Wiz urinated everything into submission (including one mobility scooter and a Tai-Chi practitioner). Lucy doesn't like walking on gravel paths as it hurts her feet - this is we believe, as does the vet, due to her Discoid Lupus. Where ever the skin changes from 'skin€ to some other specially purposed covering, like paw pads or her nose, the Discoid Lupus takes exception and gives her peeling skin (on the nose) or an almost wart like covering around the edges of her paw pads, but we manage to get through the walk and make it to the kiosk for an every time. Funny that.

I've also been away again for work this month, twice even, which could well be another reason why Lucy isn't talking to me at the moment. The motel that I stay at would probably frown upon me bring two greyhounds along for the ride so I'm forced to leave them in the capable care of Mrs. S whom I'm sure feeds them more treats than I do, takes them on shorter walks (with 'rain' being the reason for curtailment) and lets them sleep anywhere they like.

Halloween was also an education for Lucy & Wiz this year with 6 face painted and suitably decorated teenaged girls descended upon our humble abode for a party but we were also joined by a dubious collection of fellow 'Cult of Greyhound' members and their hounds so it was nowhere near as frightening as it could have been. Added to this was the frequent "free love€ that Lucy & Wiz managed to procure from trick or treaters on that nights walk, so I would say that they are now firm believers and fans of Halloween.

We also participated in a Supermarket Collection at the local Countdown - Wiz and Lucy enjoy these primarily because they give Wiz something new to urinate all over and Lucy can sidle up to as many complete strangers for free love as she likes€¦there's also the faint but eternal hope that she can slip her lead and make a mad dash for the bread aisle of the supermarket to devour as much as she possibly can before being caught.

Because of Lucy's penchant for bread we have to carefully time when we throw crusts out to the birds. If she sees it being thrown out her eyes will following the arc of the bread as it sails casually through the air. She will then delicately pace to the edge of the deck and await the birds arrival, at which point she will careen across the lawn, scattering the birds to the four winds and mercilessly scoff all the bread€¦so as well as two greyhounds we also have the worlds first part time four legged and flightless bird.

So now the countdown to Christmas begins but nothing will change for Lucy & Wiz with the exception of being able to look forward to sly tidbits being fed to them from the plates of the 'grandparents' who are always of the opinion that both the hounds are just too adorable not be fed. They even go so far as to create diversions that make us look the other way, all in the name of being able to have their fingers licked clean.

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