November 9, 2001
Valley View Mall
On Sunday, November 9, from 2:00 to 5:00pm, the Gilley Girls, with their directors, Kathleen and Gil, dazzled the crowds gathered at Valley View Mall with their fancy footwork and dynamic drills! Their two performances were superb! See the bottom of this page for a slideshow of pictures of the Girls in action.
This was their first trip to Dallas in many years, and GALT feels very honored to have the Gilleys' help in spreading the word of what GREYT companion pets these ex-racers are! ALL The Gilleys appeared along with GALT Chairman John McQuade and three of GALT's available athletes the following Wednesday morning on Channel 4, Fox TV, "Good Day Dallas" interviewed by Anna Allen.
GALT extends our heartfelt thanks to Kathleen, Gil and the Girls for spending their valuable time with GALT in Dallas!
Below is Kathleen's account of their trip and stay in Dallas. We're very Greytful for their safe arrival - read the following and you will see what we mean!
Dancing Greyhounds: Greyhound Adoption League of Texas - Dewing Dallas
After Arizona, we stopped by my parents' on the way to a thing for Greyhound Adoption League of Texas (GALT). We left the relatives' house to head for Dallas. The trip was not uneventful. Heard that before? What if I said, "It was a dark and stormy day?" Ha!
Central Texas is having what one weatherman described as its "100-year Flood." We sought refuge in a Wal-Mart parking lot in Austin and rode out five hours of tornado warnings. The TV told a story about an 18-wheeler who pulled his rig to the shoulder of the interstate because of zero visibility. A couple of minutes later, the whole unit was picked up, rolled over and tossed 300 feet down the interstate on its side. Two other 18-wheelers laid down to take a nap and closed I-35 for hours.
Meanwhile, we had taken shelter beside a couple of small scrub oak with no large branches. The next morning, they didn't have any branches at all. About 2000 hrs, the winds hit us. We had our hydraulic stabilizer jacks down. At first it was a little difficult to concentrate. Then, one side of the coach started to lift off the ground. I did momentarily contemplate a drastic change in my life's circumstances. If a 26,000-pound motorhome lies down on its side, it's dead. If we had had a slide out, we would have been road kill. As it was, the force of the wind blew water back through either the furnace or refrigerator vent. The bedroom carpet was sopping the next morning.
The lightning and thunder were wall-to-wall. Good thing none of the Girls were bothered. (I was trying to read a book; Gil was watching the weather on TV.) MsME! was laying on her back between us in bed demanding a belly rub when we thought we were going to tip. The only ones intimidated were two-leggers.
The next morning, the parking lot and Austin in general looked like hell turned inside out. There's going to be a big sale on everything that was outside at Wal-Mart's. Even one of the high-mast lights exploded. Trees, carts, cart holders, pallets and garden supplies were all over the place. We have lived on the road for almost thirteen years now, and this was the worst weather scare we have had. Hope I never have to say that again.
As we approached Dallas, the flooding grew less severe. Rain is still a possibility every day. We will be here until Wednesday, when the Girls make an appearance on "Good Morning, Dallas."
We arrived Saturday night and were feted by John and Susie McQuade, GALT board and volunteers, and Bill Chaillot, owner of Houn' House, site of our accommodations. There was a Texas bar-b-que buffet of magnificent proportions! In return we brought the Girls in, let them work the GALT folks and do a little preview.
Sunday, from 1400 to 1700 hours, we were scheduled to appear with GALT at the Valley View Mall. Susie McQuade was able to warn me far enough in advance that she was having difficulty finding enough material to cover the slick floor. "Well," I thought, "I'll just teach everyone to wear their boots." The first couple of days we simply took long walks. Then we started to ask for a few jumps. We found that the boots were rotating on the foot during hard turns. They are also a bit clunky for the high flyers.
The most incredible thing I noticed was the change in personality wearing shoes made. Everyone, including the Mouth of the South Boss Lady, Sweet, became extremely mild mannered. It was almost as if they had been Prozac-ed. When we got ready for a walk, there was no screaming and yelling about how slow we were putting our shoes on. They were right by our sides unless nature called. No prancy-dancy, hot-rodding, or group sniffs. Being a barefooter at heart, I could identify.
About two hours before show time, Gil mentioned the flyball teams at St. Judes Showcase of Dogs had been wearing Vetrap. I assumed it was just around the pasterns for support. He explained the whole foot had been wrapped and it appeared to be for traction purposes. About a year ago, when Chey first developed her foot fetish, one of my correspondents (I can't remember who) suggested Vetrap. I said it wouldn't hold up.
Now I decided to try it. I would wrap the paws and then put the shoes on to protect the elastic fabric from dirt, moisture or abrasion. I started in order of priority.
Strange Child Chey was my first experiment. This was the only way to keep her from foot freaking and avoid another grand mal sulk. Then Sweet, who cannot afford a fall at her age but refuses to recognize she is a senior citizen. Then Beauty, who needs all the help she can get in the grace department. Then MsME! who got her dignity damaged last time she went plop. Then Pasta, just for the heck of it. At this point, I ran out of Vetrap and Co-Flex. (Safire, who loves slick floors, was about to prove just how much.)
We marched into the Valley View Mall with boots on. When we removed the boots so they were only wearing their homemade "socks," Team spirit soared!!! Even the Strange Child was ecstatic. Her performance was superb. Everyone did well. Safire was at her glory but this was by far the slickest surface we had encountered. It was more like marble or tile than vinyl.
One of Pasta's "socks" came off. Since I don't have trauma injuries, I am not yet adept at the fine art of bandaging. I soon will be however. A young GALT volunteer, Steve, just happened to have more Vetrap. How about his father turns out to be a sales rep for 3M, the company that makes it?! Fortune smiled on us.
Since we now had plenty, I reasoned, why not do Safire and help her traction? Oh man, what a BAD idea. The minute she found out she couldn't slide, it was Funksville, USA. It totally broke her spirit and sapped all her joy. We quickly cut it off and restored her to the land of the living. I gar-on-T-U, that is not a mistake we will soon make again!
Our second performance went off nicely. We still have a few things to learn about wrapping techniques, but something very important happened for us. Once we get a goodly supply of either Vetrap of Co-Flex on hand, inviting organizations will be free of having to worry about slippery floors or floor coverings. The Dancing Greyhounds will be truly self sufficient!!!
Tip of the day: If you want to tranquilize your Greyhound, cover up his feet, LOL.