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Welcome to our news blog! Here you can access the latest information about what our organization is doing, information about greyhounds, photos, events, pertinent articles, and fun items that we think you will enjoy. Check back often as we are always posting new information.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rainbow Bridge - Iruska Leo (Leo)

July 21, 2004 - December 14, 2010

We are heartbroken to report that yet another FFGR, Inc. greyhound has been sent to the Rainbow Bridge. We got the following email yesterday from Leo's adopter, Mary Anne Golling:

It’s with a heavy heart that I must inform you that Leo is now waiting for me this side of the rainbow bridge.

We do not know exactly what happened – but Leo ended up with fractures in his neck and back after taking a tumble running his “track” in the yard. He was unable to stand or move his back legs.

After several days in the emergency veterinarian hospital, he was unable to eat or drink, stand or move anything beyond his neck/head.

After a long night, he was failing rapidly. I made the decision to let him go as I could not bear to see him in pain and so heavily medicated; he went to the Rainbow Bridge with dignity and peace.

When the foot prints on my heart are not so heavy, I may find room in my heart for another grey.

Mary Anne

We placed Leo with Mary Anne and her husband back in June of 2006. Leo was a little guy - only 58 pounds - and very shy! This was in the early days when we took applications, processed them and then we ordered the greyhound and people waited for "their" greyhound to come in. They came and met "their" greyhound and after a week in foster care, they took them home.

When Leo arrived for the Gollings, we saw a very small and frightened greyhound! What a sweet boy! I immediately took to Leo, this shy and tiny black boy. I worried that Mary Anne might not like him or not want a dog that was so shy. At the time I decided that we would keep him if he didn't work for Mary Anne. But she walked in, took one look at Leo, and was thrilled at meeting her new greyhound! Mary Anne saw what we saw in him. She took him home and loved loved loved him. They live near the railroad tracks at Point of Rocks and Leo was so afraid of the trains! It took a very long time to get him used to those awful scarey noises. But there were never any complaints from Mary Anne. She worked with him and eventually he got used to his surroundings and became a very outgoing and friendly dog. I got to see Mary Anne and Leo many times over the years and each time Mary Anne remarked about what a great boy he was. And Leo always looked like one very happy boy!

Leo was six years old last July. We know that he got the very best home possible and, although his time with Mary Anne and her family was way too short, Leo had people who truly loved and appreciated him for what he was. That's all the we hope for when we place a greyhound in a home.

Rest in peace sweet Leo.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's Not to Late to Help!!!

Now that the holidays are winding down, it's not too late to get those last of the year tax breaks! There is still time to donate to Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc.!! Our organization depends on donations to help us get retired racing greyhounds into their forever homes. Since the adoption fees we charge do not come close to covering the cost of each greyhound coming into our program (and the market does not support our increasing our adoption fees), we depend on generous people to help us meet our goals.

Just go to our web site home page and you will see the "donate" button at the bottom of the page. You can make your donation via Paypal or credit card. Also, if you check out our Support Us page, there are a number of other ways that you can help. Our address is on our web site if you would like to send a check. We appreciate every donation, no matter how small; it all adds up in the end!

We ALWAYS send out donation receipts immediately and can even email them if you need the receipt before the end of the year.

Help us help the hounds! We appreciate the support!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

On Christmas Morning

I wish

For every dog
searching trash cans for breakfast,
a filled bowl with his name printed in bright letters.

For every dog
who slept fitfully last night, chained to a frozen yard,
a person snoring gently nearby.

For every shelter dog,
spending Christmas morning in a soiled run,
a forever home,
filled with sounds and smells of family.

For every "Christmas" puppy
given today,
a tolerant, caring owner
who will lovingly stay with you
as you grow into a real dog.

For every ailing pet,
enough money for your owner
to pay the bills to make you well.

For every lost dog,
a clear, safe road, and well marked path,
to lead you home.

For every dog at the Bridge,
a moment when you know that you
are remembered today,
missed again,
and loved forever.

Author Unknown

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to Our FFGR Family and Friends

We wish all of our FFGR, Inc. family, our friends and supporters a blessed Christmas. We thank you for all the work you have done to support our hounds. It's really all about the greyhounds! When we put their well being first, we will never go wrong. May all the good that you've done for them come back to you ten fold.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Focus on Fosters - Jewel

Dear Santa:

I thought it might be a good idea to write to you because perhaps you can give me the very best Christmas present ever! I’ve been in my foster home for six months now and am waiting for that special person to take me home forever. Don’t get me wrong; it’s very nice here and mom and dad love me very much. But I know that there is some special person out there who will love me in a special way. Maybe someone will notice me (who has been looking for a dog like me) and the two of us will be brought together. I don’t expect to celebrate Christmas in my new home; I just want someone to know I’m here and available.

My name is Fuzzy’s Jewel and mom says that “Jewel” is a perfect name as that is what I am (I think that’s good?)! I am eight years old (will be nine years old in February). I was a good racer at one time (until I broke my leg) and then I was a brood mom. Some of my pups are still racing!

I was on the farm when my owner decided to go out of business and then I moved into my foster home. When I first got here I was scared! It took a long time for me to understand that I was in a good place. But here I am, at home in the routine and bustle that I’ve learned to enjoy.

I’m a really beautiful dark brindle girl (or at least my foster mom and dad kept telling me) and they also use the words “good girl” a lot around me! I am very healthy and really no trouble at all. I am very low key and sleep a lot. I also know the inside/outside routine and have that down pat.

I like the other greyhounds here but I really would not mind being the only dog. And I’m so good and confident now that I could be left alone in my home while someone works. Unfortunately, I don’t like the kitties and small dogs. I just never got used to thinking of them as anything but dinner! Mom and dad think that it’s taken so long for my forever home to come along because of that, but I just can’t seem to change.

I LOVE routine! Dad takes me for walks all the time and the neighbors like me a lot! I like visiting with them too. One day contractors left a part of the fence open and I got out. I took myself for a walk down the street on my regular route and said hi to all the neighbors. Then I turned around and came back to the gate for mom to let me in! Boy, was she glad to see me; she even cried! That was when she used the words “good girl” a lot!

Mom said that I am on Craiger’s List and if someone adopts me, my adoption fee will go to help cancer research. Mom also says that the nicest people adopt the Craiger’s List dogs. I’m not sure what all that means but I think it’s a good thing.

Thanks for reading my request Santa. I hope that this will help me find my forever home. Whoever adopts me will really get a JEWEL of a dog.

Thanks Santa!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rainbow Bridge - Craigie Jet (Jet)

Craigie Jet - January 9, 2004 - November 23, 2010

We got a call from Brenda Morrison yesterday. She finally was able to talk about losing her precious Jetty. Brenda adopted Jet from our group in early 2008. He had a wonderful home with Brenda and her mother. But Jet got sick last month and Brenda took him back and forth to the vet to try to find out what was making him feel so badly. The bottom line is that he went in for the last time on November 23 and was diagnosed with an autoimmune mediated deficiency. Brenda went to see him for the last time and let him go to the Rainbow Bridge in her arms.

Brenda was not expecting this. Jet was only six years old. We have to say it again but we loved this dog! He was a wonderful, good natured and happy black boy that was the biggest smiler of all the greyhounds we've ever seen! He showed every tooth in his mouth when you talked to him! We've known Brenda for a very long time. She has adopted six dogs from our group over the years and had greyhounds before when we were working for another group back in 2000. We know that Brenda is one of the "good" adopters who loves her animals and takes such good care of them that we'd leave every one of our dogs with her if we had to leave them with somebody.

She lives right down the road from us and we get to visit her often and spend some time with her four other greyhounds. We always looked forward to Jetty's wonderful smile. We'd be sitting at the table talking to Brenda and glance over at Jetty and he'd give me this big smile! He died way too young but we do know that Brenda took care of him and loved him like no other human could.

Brenda was so heartbroken that she could not talk about this and finally decided to call and let us know. We surely shared some tears together.

Rest in peace dear Jetty; we will miss you so much. But we know that you were in the best hands and are now in a good place. Watch out for all of the other FFGR hounds that have gone before you. Too many and way too young.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rainbow Bridge - Oceana Boy (Silver)

July 7, 2004 - December 6, 2010

Another wonderful greyhound has left for the bridge too soon. We got a call from Lynda Kundrat telling us that they lost Silver. No one could have expected such a piece of news. Lynda sent us the following email:

We lost Silver too quick. Joe is absolutely heart broken. He loved Silver so much. Silver was his dog from the time he first laid eyes on him. We want you to know we did everything we could for him. He and Angel had just been to the vet the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for a check-up, shots and their teeth cleaned. There was no sign of any thing wrong with Silver. There was a growth on his intestines, sometime Sunday it tore open and waste began to leak into his body. He was great Sunday morning, Joe had taken both of them to the dog park and Silver was fine. Sunday afternoon he started throwing up. He was panting and you could tell he was in pain. We took him to the Emergency Vet about 8:00 PM. They took X-rays and they could see the tumor but not all the leakage. They kept him over night to monitor him, give him pain meds and fluids. This morning we took Silver to our vet, they have a sonogram machine. Dr. Rupert couldn't see too much more than a lot of fluid and the growth. He drew some fluid from Silver's belly. He told us there was a lot of infection and he suggested we do surgery to see what was going on. When they opened him he was too full fluid and infection and he couldn't save him. He sewed him back up and we decided to just let him go rather than come out of the anesthesia. Joe and I held him, released him to the Lord, and he went peacefully. We are still in shock.

All of us in our group know Silver well. It took a very long time to find him his forever home. We don't know why so many people met him and then decided to adopt a different greyhound. We loved Silver and thought he might just be staying at our house. But fate would have it that Silver was waiting for his family to come along.

Joe and Lynda loved and cherished Silver more than anyone. They knew what a treasure he was. Silver and Joe traveled everywhere together. Anyone meeting them could see the connection between Joe and Silver!

As heartbreaking as this for so many of us, we take comfort in knowing that Silver could not have had a better home.

Rest in peace sweet Silver; we will all be together at the bridge one day.

Rainbow Bridge - WV's Midkiff (Mikey)

February 1, 2004 - September 1, 2010

We are sad to report that another sweet greyhound has gone to the bridge. Mikey was adopted by Jeff and Nancy Bowman after he was returned to our group several years ago. We thought that Mikey was an exceptionally sweet and gentle greyhound; he was returned through no fault of his own. At the same time, Nancy and Jeff were looking for a second greyhound and met Mikey.

Thanks to Jeff and Nancy, Mikey landed in his real forever home. Mikey got very sick suddenly and Nancy took him to the vet. The vet found out that he had a birth defect and his kidneys were extremely small. It was surprising that he was able to race and to live as long as he did. Because of the extent of his illness, Mikey could not be saved.

We are sad to see a fairly young dog go, but we do know for sure that he had the very best home any greyhound could have. He was loved and cherished by the Bowman's and that is what we hope to find for all of our adopted dogs.

Rest in peace sweet Mikey and know that you were greatly loved.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rally to Rescue

Recently, our group has been chosen to be a Rally to Rescue ambassador. We are one of 500 organizations chosen by the Purina Pro Plan Rally to Rescue program.

The Rally to Rescue® program is a partnership with Purina® Pro Plan® brand pet food and pet rescue organizations across the country to help give rescued pets the nutrition and care they need and the loving homes they deserve.

The Purina® Pro Plan® Rally to Rescue® program is committed to Doing More™ to support smaller pet rescue organizations that often may have been overlooked by donors or adopters due to limited fundraising and marketing efforts.

We have received items to sell to help us earn money as well as many items that will help us make our events more noticable. We have received a tent, banners, curb signs to use, and professional quality signs that will save our group a lot of money.

We are thrilled at the help and support this program will offer us. For more information on the Rally to Rescue ambassador program, click on the title of this post.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Help FFGR, Inc. for Christmas!

Would you like to help our greyhound adoption group but have limited funds? There are a lot of ways that you can help our group without spending a penny!!!

If you get gifts that you never use or have new items stored in closets that are taking up space, you might want to try selling them on Ebay! If you do, you can donate any percentage of the money you make to FFGR, Inc. if you sell through Mission Fish! It's a program on Ebay that allows you to sell the item and designate the money you make to go directly into our bank account. Mission Fish facilitates the donation as well as taking care of most of the fees. We are already registered as a charity; all you have to do is look for the Mission Fish ribbon and click on it. You can sell as many items as you want as well!

If you buy a lot on line, then you can shop through and earn money for FFGR, Inc.! It is free; you do not pay anything. This wonderful program has loads of stores that participate in the program. All you have to do is go to, register, and then start shopping! We are registered as a charity and you can designate the money that each store sets aside for a donation to go to FFGR, Inc. The prices are still the same for all merchandise that you buy on line through this program. Each store gives a percentage of your purchase on their own. This is very easy to do. We have lots of IGive shoppers who constantly purchase on line and designate the donation from the store to go go FFGR, Inc.

Do you use Purina pet food? If you do, Purina dog food bags contain a weight circle that has points on it. If you cut these weight circles out and save them, they can add up to lots of help for our group because we collect them for money! If we save 50,000 points (which is a LOT of weight circles!), we can get a check sent to our vet to help us with medical bills for our fosters. We have been collecting these weight circles for years and have received a number of checks during that time. All you have to do is send them in the mail, drop them off at a meet and greet or to one of our volunteers. If you have friends or family members who use Purina products, get them to save the weight circles too! Please note: These weight circles are different than the UPC symbols that some companies require for refunds, etc.

The following products contain the weight circles:

Pro Plan Selects
Pro Plan Performance
Purina Veterinary Diets
ALL OTHER Pro Plan and Purina One foods (including puppy foods); this is an extensive list and the best approach would be to look for a weight circle on the bags

The points also vary by the weight of the bags.

Other participating Purina Brands include Beef Complete, Bonz, Butcher's Burger, Chezy Chews, Chew Morsels, Chuck Wagon, Lucky Dog, Moist and Chunky, Kibbles and Chunks, Nature's Course, Praise, Prime and Ribz brands

Don't forget, it takes a lot of points to get rewards, but with lots of people donating the weight circles, it adds up very fast!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Event - Frederick Petco Grand Opening

Our group will be hosting a special and unique three-day meet and greet event at the grand opening of the new Petco, located in Frederick, Maryland. FFGR, Inc. volunteers will be on hand throughout the time to introduce the public to our greyhounds and to talk about greyhound adoption. The three day event will run from Friday, December 3, to Sunday, December 5. At times when volunteers will not be present, there will be a permanent display for people to read about our group and to pick up literature about greyhound adoption.

We congratulate Petco on their new store and are looking forward to working at this store in the coming year to find greyt homes for greyhounds! For more information on exact times when our volunteers will be present along with available hounds (as well as directions to the new Petco), click on the title of this post to access our calendar of events.

See you there!

Rainbow Bridge - Tyville Moondog (Magic)

November 19, 2000 - November 26, 2010

We are heartbroken to report that we had to let Magic go to the Rainbow Bridge the day after Thanksgiving. In the previous two weeks, the cancerous tumor on his nose (that had been diagnosed months ago) seemed to take on a life of its own. It seemed to grow a little more each day. He also started pawing at it at times. He started licking around his mouth and swallowing and when we checked inside his mouth, we saw some blood. It looked like the tumor was getting ready to burst (if it hadn’t already started). We decided that we could not let this get any worse.

This has been a particularly bittersweet journey for us. It was about watching Magic’s tumor grow, knowing that, otherwise, he was a very healthy dog. He came to us with a small lump that eventually was diagnosed as a slow moving cancer. The tumor was too involved with the blood vessels in his nose to do surgery without the risk of him bleeding out. The tumor would not have gone away but would have returned eventually. Radiation would have held that back for a short time, but it was expensive and would only serve to hold back the advancement of the cancer, not stop it. He was nine years old and we could not see putting him through that.

Magic was a grade A racer in Iowa. He even fathered a few pups that raced. He was adopted in Iowa and his family eventually moved to Ohio. There, he was turned into a group (good people we know) when he bit a child for falling on him. It certainly was not his fault, but we know how these things go. We helped the group in Ohio when they found themselves overwhelmed with senior returns. In January we brought in Magic along with Sheba and Shadow. Of course, we know that Sheba and Shadow found the perfect home! But we knew when Magic was diagnosed with cancer that it was going to be next to impossible to find him a home. So he stayed here with us and we loved him dearly.

Magic never came close to biting anyone or anything here. He was the most gentle and loving creature. Magic loved to run. He ran like the wind in our field. We could always see the good racer in him. We know that he is running like the wind at the bridge with no tumors or limitations. He was a very big dog, a gentle giant, and his presence will be missed here in so many ways.

Rest in peace our wonderful boy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


We would like to wish all of our Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc. family a wonderful and peaceful Thanksgiving! When we count our blessings, we are grateful beyond words for the wonderful people who are a part of our family. We are especially grateful for the exceptional volunteers who have all been with us for as long as our group has been in business. Your continued support and hours spent working on behalf of the hounds has made us what we are.

Thanks to all of those adopters who understand the commitment to their dogs and for loving and caring for them. You give us the strength and desire to keep going.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holiday Reminder - Open Door Training

Now that the holidays are upon us, we think it's a good opportunity to call attention to the fact that this is the time of year when we experience the most calls about loose dogs. With a little planning and thinking ahead, you can enjoy that turkey and spend time with your family and not have to take time out of your holidays to look for a lost dog. Make sure all doors are closed properly when guests come to your home. Also, it's important to remind guests to be aware of the fact that a greyhound lives in the house. It seems as though every holiday we get calls about dogs escaping out of doors when they have accidentally been left open or they get through open doors when guests arrive and take off their coats at the door. It only takes a small opening in a door for a greyhound to get through because of their thin bodies.

Start to plan now for what you will do to keep your holidays happy and your hound safe. When we had our four greyhounds years ago, we worked with them all and trained them to "wait" at the door until we said "let's go." Everyone understood the commands and listened well. At the time we didn't have a fenced in yard so we couldn't afford to have our dogs get loose where we live in a rural area and on the side of a mountian. But now that we have so many dogs here, that kind of training is hard to do and many of the dogs are not here long enough to train. We do practice the "wait" command at the door before it's opened so we cut down on the chaos involved with a lot of dogs running out the door at the same time. We also back that up with the word "easy". No one goes outside until everyone is settled down and there is no bouncing around or whining.

Start now to think of what you can do to prevent your hound from accidentally getting out of a door. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Use a baby gate at the door and keep it propped up until you have your hound(s) secure. Then you can take the gate down, let guests in and then put the gate back in place. This will also work if you have a porch or deck that guests access to get to your front door. Place a gate across the porch/deck opening so that if your hound does get out of the door, he/she can only go so far.

2. Keep a leash next to the door and when guests arrive, leash your hound. This gets hard to do if you have lots of guests and lots of hounds!

3. Put an extra latch on your door so that you will have to go through more work to get a door open. This is a good reminder that you have to do something with your hound!

4. Make a sign for your door that warns guests that you have a greyhound inside the house and to be very careful when opening the door. Keep the door locked so that you have to answer it and guests can't walk in on their own.

4. To be perfectly safe, crate or baby gate your hound in another room while guests are arriving. Some people will even kennel their dog during large family gatherings; although not possible for some, it does guarantee that the greyhound will be safe.

5. Review the Lost Dog link we have posted on the Greytlinks page of our web site. You can print one Lost Dog flyer with your hound's photo and your phone number. Keep it handy and hope you will never have to use it. Keep all important phone numbers handy as well in case your hound escapes. It will get you help that much faster having the important information out in case you need it.

We hope that none of our hounds get out the door this holiday period; we hope that everyone will have a safe and happy holiday season and not have to feel the panic of searching for a beloved hound that escaped out of a door.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rainbow Bridge - FTK Trouble (Trouble)

October 29, 2002 - November 5, 2010

We are sad to report that another wonderful greyhound has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We got notice from Jason Grove that he lost his best friend after a short illness. Jason adopted Trouble from our group in January 2006; he and Trouble became frequent visitors to our meet and greet events. Everyone loved seeing Trouble because he was truly an exceptional greyhound. He was loving and sweet and was one of the most gentle natured greyhounds we've ever met. He was also strikingly handsome with a shiny dark brindle coat and eyes that danced. He was a scene stealer!

We know that Jason is devastated over the loss of Trouble. We will all miss this sweet boy so much! We know that Trouble is flying with angel wings at the bridge!

Rainbow Bridge - R Raisinaruckus (Washington)

February 13, 1999 - October 2010

Washington is the call name of R Raisinaruckus. Washington got his call name because he was born on George Washington's birthday. He was an awesome racer for many years and then was used as a stud at the Roban Kennels farm in Florida where his owners took good care of him. They decided, at the age of eleven, that perhaps he would like to have a soft couch to sleep on and a nice home to spend the rest of his retirement years. They thought he might like having a person to call his own. Our group offered to take Washington. They had him neutered for us.

The problem, as always, was how to get Washington from Florida to Maryland. We tried on numerous occasions to find a way for Washington to get to us. We didn't want to put him on a hauler because of his age. And Greyhounds Reach the Beach was coming up and that kept us very busy.

While Washington was waiting on us, he started going downhill. He lost the ability to get up and get around. They decided at the farm that he was not well enough to travel. This was just at the time that we found a ride north for him. Washington is now at the bridge. He never made it here and never found that couch. We have to say that he touched us deeply when we saw his photo. We felt that if he did not find a home anywhere else, he could stay at the Ballweber house for as long as he had left in his life.

Perhaps this was for the best. It would have been a tragedy to have him die on the way to Maryland or get sick on arrival. He only knew the people at the farm and we know sure, to him, it was home.

Rest in peace dear boy We never got to meet you but we all love you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Once again the Holiday season is upon us. Each year we try to remind families about the "Hazards Of Holidays and Hounds". Everyone is so busy during the holidays that sometimes we forget to watch our hounds. We feel it is important to remind you of this advice.

Bees - Fall is the time for the bees to do buzzing best or rather their worst. Use special caution with yellow jackets that swarm and nest in the ground. They can sting several times before dying and even one sting could be fatal if your hound has a sensitivity or reaction to the venom. Ask your vet regarding the proper dosage of benadryl or get a "bee sting kit" from your vet.

Fleas & ticks are looking for a warm winter haven at this time of year. Take extra care to use prevention on your hounds to prevent them from finding a home in their fur and especially in your home.

Turkey - That tempting morsel of turkey, left over on your plate, is best left on your plate! Turkey, turkey skin and gravy can cause extreme gastrointestinal problems for hounds. Onions have also been found to be toxic o some hounds so resist the temptation to share your holiday fare with your hound. Turkey bones are so numerous that one or two will hardly be missed UNTIL an emergency vet visit is needed. Be kind to your hound and yourself..."Leave IT" for the outside trash.

Chocolate can be a killer! There is an ingredient in chocolate (Theo bromine) that can cause severe illness and even death. Keep it locked up tight and in a safe place, far away from hound hunters. This ingredient can also be found in the red cocoa mulch that has become so popular in recent years.

There has not been a counter made that a hound cannot conquer. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by placing items in the sink either. A hungry hound will manage some way to get to food in a sink if it’s determined enough.

In today's high tech world, decorations keep getting more sophisticated. Be aware that even battery or transistor operated lights can be hazardous to your hound. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but there have been hounds that came close to the same fate. Batteries have caustic acid inside of them and when chewed, can cause severe burns to the mouth and throat. Transistors can cause shocks which cold burn the mouth or throat, even short circuit the heart and circulatory system which can lead to death. These can lie in the stomach for long periods of time before they erode and begin to cause trouble.

Twinkle lights are beautiful on trees and shrubs, not all tangled up in long hound limbs and torsos. Keep cords out of hound pathways. Also, resist the temptation to hang those cutesy ornaments made out of dog biscuits or the clay look-a-like dog treats on your tree. Hang only your unbreakable bulbs on the lower half of the three. Better yet, hang no decorations at all on the bottom part. Some hounds have never seen a tree decoration before and may be tempted to taste them. Remember the words "LEAVE IT!"

Remember to quickly teach your hound that the inside tree does not need to be watered by the boys or it may be a long yellow holiday season for some of you.

Tinsel, Ribbons, and Foil wrapping papers are like candy to some hounds. They can cause serious problems if ingested, some of which may require surgery to remove from hound intestines. Place these items in the proper receptacles to eliminate the temptation to snack.

Poinsettias, Mistletoe, Holly Berries and Pine Cones are all toxic to your hounds. If you must have them in your home, place them high where your hound cannot reach them.

Holiday Parties are fun, but they may stress your hound with all the noise and commotion. Be sure your hound has a quiet place to go to if company gets to be too much for them (i.e., crate, bedroom with the door baby gated, not closed) until the party's over. Be sure all guests understand the importance of keeping outside doors and gates closed so your hound does not get out.

Snow and Ice - Of the two, ice is more dangerous to hounds. Some of our hounds have never seen snow or experienced ice and slippery sidewalks. Use extreme caution when dealing with these two elements and your hound.

Snow can be fun if limited to short exposures. Hounds do not have fat layers to provide insulation in the cold weather. If you are taking your hound out in the cold weather (below 50 degrees) for more than a few minutes, put a jacket, sweater or coat on your hound. Watch hound feet for frostbite and cuts from sharp ice.

Firewood & Snow -Take care not to pile firewood or shovel snow too close to a fence. This will make an easy escape route for a slick hound to get out of the yard. Be aware of snowdrifts also providing an escape ramp.

Snow Melt - Use caution when using heat producing chemicals to melt the snow and ice around your home. They can quickly burn hound feet and have them hopping as if their legs are broken. When in doubt about using any products, contact your vet for recommendations.

Fire, Fireplaces & Candles - We all love a roaring fire in the fireplace but fires and lit candles should never be left unattended, especially with a curious hound in the house. Hounds love warmth and in their attempt to get warm, may get to close and singe hair and body parts. Flying embers may also jump out and blister tender places. Overturned candles and hot candle wax can spell disaster.

Check firewood for spiders and wasps that have come to life after being brought into a warm home environment.


We at FFGR, Inc. want you and your hounds to have a safe Happy Holiday season. With a little thought and reviewing the above advice...We wish you a Happy Holiday and look forward to seeing you in the New Year!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rainbow Bridge - Crankin Cleo (Chloe)

October 30, 2003 - November 1, 2010

We got word from Vivian Ewell, who lives in Thurmont, that she lost her beloved Chloe. Chloe got sick a short time ago and Vivian took her to her vet. She did not feel that she had a diagnosis that she fell good about. They also told her that Chloe needed a dental. We advised her to go to another vet and Vivian took Chloe to the Waynesboro Veterinary Clinic, a vet who knows greyhounds in this area. Here's what Vivian wrote:

Dr Becker was great. We decided to go with medication for Chloes' teeth. As for the limp, she xrayed her hip and thought it was hip dysplasia. I took her back about two weeks later, she was losing weight and still limping off and on. Dr. Becker took a chest xray because she felt Chloe was not breathing right and she heard something. The xray showed many tumors, either cancer or histoplasmia? She decided to send away bloodwork and they called on Sunday. It was not the histo problem and it seemed clear that they were waiting for me to accept the lung cancer. In the meantime Chloe only ate a little baked chicken, a few drops of food, or peanut butter filled Kong. I could see her melting away before my eyes. Her breathing became labored or noisy at times. After talking again to Dr. Becker on Monday, I decided to try to keep Chloe thru the week but within the hour it was obvious that Chloe was only waiting on me to do the right thing. I called the vet and they put her to sleep in the afternoon. I wish there had been more help for Chloe but she is now running her own race and enjoying the wind blowing over her skin. Thanks for all your help and the opportunity to adopt Chloe, Vivian.

Vivian adopted Chloe in February of 2009. Chloe died two days after her seventh birthday. I know that Chloe had a great home.

Rest in peace beautiful girl.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Events - Greyhounds Rock!

For those of you who like going to greyhound events but can't get away for long distance events, here is one that you should really like! It's Greyhounds Rock and it takes place in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It happens the weekend of October 29-31. The entire event is a fund raiser to support cancer research. You do not have to go for the entire weekend, but if you do, you can stay in one location - The Fredericksburg Hospitality House and Conference Center. They have opened up the hotel for dogs and the cost is $79 per night. There is a pre-registration fee and it's $25. What is nice about this event is that there are a number of seminars that would be very interesting to attend. Most take place on Saturday so it may be a great day trip to make. Instead of me posting the details, I'm posting the link to the web site so you can look over what is happening. Our group will be vending there one day (Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.) and this will be our last big vending event until next spring. For more information just click on the title of this post.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Greyhounds Reach the Beach

Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc. will be at Greyhounds Reach the Beach in Dewey Beach, Delware, for this special weekend event, held October 8th through 11th! This is one of the biggest greyhound related events on the east coast. If you have a greyhound, you will want to attend this special event with your hounds and have a great time! There are lots of vendors, activities, seminars, contests, etc. Our group will be vending at this event for three days. We will be at the Sand Palace Motel (in the car port area), located on Route 1 and Dagsworthy streets. Come and visit us and say hello. We will be selling a lot of NEW and UNIQUE items including concrete greyhound garden statuary, original artwork, collars and leashes, coats, jewelry, tick keys, lanyards, key fobs, ornaments, candles, harnesses, muzzles, toys, and much more!


For more information on the great event, click on the title of this post to go to the GRTB message board!

Rainbow Bridge - Duzit Quick (Rush)

August 1, 2004 - October 3 2010

Another one of our sweet hounds has gone on to the Rainbow Bridge. Sandy Hendricks, who adopted Rush, called to tell us that she had to put down her beloved greyhound Rush. Rush turned six years old in August. Sandy adopted Rush from our group in May of 2006. At the time she had two dalmations and heard how great greyhounds were. We brought Rush to her and he became a wonderful family member. He did well until recently when he started getting sick. Several trips to the vet did not reveal the source of his problems and he appeared to be getting sicker. She called and we talked about him and from what she was describing, it sounded serious. She made an appointment and took him to another vet. But before much could be done, he got so sick that this new vet felt that his kidneys had failed and he had to be put down. Sandy is broken hearted. She came to our picnics with Rush when we had them and it was always great to see this sweet boy.

I know that he will be greatly missed. God speed Rush. You are pain free and happy running at the bridge.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Event - Wendy's Fund Raiser!

Join Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc. adopters and volunteers for this special fund raiser! Come to Wendy's restaurant in Frederick, Maryland on Sunday, October 3, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and buy lunch. Wendy's will donate 10% of your purchase to our group! Bring your family and tell all of your friends. The more people who come and eat lunch, the more money our group will make. We will be in the parking lot with our hounds for a get-together and to talk to people about greyhound adoption. Join us for this fun event, have lunch and help us earn money for our hounds!

98 Monocacy Boulevard
Frederick, Maryland 21702

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How to Help FFGR, Inc.

Would you like to help Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc. and don't have the extra time to spend driving and attending events, etc.? Would you like to help our organization from the comfort of your own home? We have a greyt idea for you!

Are you an Ebay seller? Do you list items to sell on Ebay? Well our organization is a part of Ebay! Our rescue group is a recognized charity on Mission Fish.

Here’s how it works:

If you sell an item on Ebay, you list it as you normally would. When you list your item, you will go to Mission Fish and pick our organization to donate to (click on the blue and yellow ribbon) and then list a percentage of the proceeds to share in the sale. You can list an item for a percentage or all of it to benefit our organization.

● Once the item is listed, the bidding begins on Ebay (our group would reserve the right to cancel an item listed on our behalf as we get notice of the listing).

● If the item sells, the seller gets paid by the buyer and ships the item – same as always.

● Mission Fish collects the donation from the seller, pays our organization, and provides a tax receipt to the seller.

Mission Fish also gives organizations like ours the ability to do an on line auction to benefit our group. We hope to get one scheduled soon.

If you like to sell things on Ebay and/or are interested in putting together an auction for our group (we have all the items, photos and descriptions), please contact Hettie at

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rainbow Bridge - Demitri

July 2001 - September 10, 2010

We are sad to report that yet another greyhound crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Rob Robinson, who adopted Demetri, called us to tell us that Demetri had not been feeling well and seemed to be in some distress. He took Demetri to the emergency animal hospital only to lose him there. There was nothing the veterinarian could do to help him.

Rob and Greg are quite devastated over the loss of their beloved Demitri. They have two other greyhounds, Heidi and Danti. Rob adopted Heidi from our group several years ago.

Rob, along with his (and our)friend Paula, helped our group for a long time by hosting meet and greet events and doing other work for our group. Both had to step back because of medical problems, but they stay involved with our group and are very much a part of our FFGR, Inc. family. They are very devoted to their greyhounds and have been in greyhound adoption for many years. We know that Demetri had a wonderful home. He was cherished by Rob and Greg and we know that they will grieve a long time for their sweet boy.

Godspeed Demetri, you will be missed very much.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rainbow Bridge - Doug Boy (Wugs)

April 22, 2000 - September 3, 2010

Another one of our very special greyhounds has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Doug Boy (Wugs) was adopted by Jackie and Curt from Craiger's List. He came to us from another group. He had been adopted by a kennel worker when he was done racing but his owner died, leaving Wugs without a home. We saw his story and offered to bring Wugs here to find him a home.

Wugs was adopted by Curt and Jackie in July of 2009. Although he was in his home a relatively short time (a little more than a year), he was greatly loved. He developed problems with incontinence and had other neurological issues.

We received the following email after talking to Curt and Jackie about Wugs. We knew that he was not doing well and were concerned that he was ready to cross over the bridge:

Hey Sally, Courtney Lynn, Leonor, Zeus, Jes Xpress, Judy, Mugsy,
Snoopy, Tuffy, Bonnie, Ben, Trisket, CC, Trinidad, Angel, Ozzie, Sierra, Kassidy, and any of you hounds who I missed:

Lissen up: Keep your eyes out for Doug Boy. He'll is joining you at the Rainbow Bridge today. He's a huge black boy with a very grey muzzle. Take good care of him 'til Jackie and I join him. He's not too tough--oh, he'll pay more attention if you call him Wuggles.

He'll tell you he was a VERY good boy, but that his neurological stuff started to fail. He often didn't know who he was or where he was or who we were.

Wuggles: thanks for the joy and love you brought us. We will remember you forever. Nora says "Hi." elsif sends a growl.


We are always sad to hear of one of our Craiger's List dogs passing. But we know that there are special people who do not mind that they are older, infirm, not necessarily the most adoptable dogs and/or may have only limited time. We are thankful that Wugs had the chance for happiness and love in his last year of life. Since dogs live in the moment, Wug's last moments were spent with those who loved him.

Godspeed, you wonderful boy. You were truly special and we know you have a special place at the bridge.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Labor Day Holiday Hours

NOTICE: We at FFGR, Inc. work hard to help greyhounds find homes. However, once in awhile we need to take a break~!!! We will not be available for phone calls or to answer emails from Friday morning, September 3 (9:00 a.m.) until Tuesday morning, September 7 (10:00 a.m.).

Once we get back from our vacation, we will hit the ground running as we have lots of events coming up in the months ahead.

We hope that you enjoy the last holiday for the summer season!!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Information - Check our Greytlinks Page!

We have maintained a great web page that contains information for all greyhound adopters. It's a little used page of our web site that has tons of information right at your fingertips. Do you want to know more about greyhounds? Do you have a training issue? Medical issue? Do you need to find a boarding kennel in your area? Do you want to look for your greyhounds' littermates? Do you need to find the phone number and/or web site address of your closest emergency vet? Do you have a question about poisonous plants, etc. that might harm your dog? Do you want to learn more about what to do if your greyhound gets lost?

Then look no further!!! Everything that we could think of is included on our Greytlinks page. We suggest that you check it out and then bookmark the link. You can even print the page to have it close at hand if you have a question or concern.

We try to provide the best and most up to date information to our adopters - and it's all in one place!

To access our Greytlinks page, just click on the title of this post.

If you have a suggestion for what we can add, please let us know. Happy reading!

Event _ Greyhound Pets Of America Picnic

Come join Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc. at the Greyhound Pets of America (Maryland Chapter) Picnic! Our group will be vending at the picnic. Come visit us and look at all of the GREYT merchandise we will have to sell. ALL sales benefit our greyhound adoption organization and help us help the hounds. We will be bringing all of our usual merchandise as well as our assortment of concrete garden statues and some new hand made wind chimes and hand made bling for your hounds! The GPA picnic is open to all greyhound volunteers, adopters and friends. We have posted the information below (including directions):

Greyhound Pets of America / MD, Inc.
20th Annual Greyhound Reunion Picnic
Oregon Ridge Park – Hunt Valley, Maryland
Sunday, September 19, 2010
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

50-50 Raffle (need not be present to win)
GPA/MD, Inc. Boutique (cash and checks accepted)
Greyhound/Canine Gifts and Art – Meet Artist, Scott Blaney
Silent Auction Nail Clipping Food and Fun
DJ * Games * Costume Contest * Hound “Fun Run”

Find out why Greyhounds make GREAT pets!!

The Public is invited. Takes place rain or shine.
Door prizes will be awarded throughout the day.
$2 Donation per family helps pay for the park.
Call 800-600-8607 for more information

10:00 am Welcome. Invocation and Blessing of Greyhounds -
Reverend Susan Carole Roy

Special Fundraiser………L I V E A U C T I O N!!!

Baltimore Beltway (Rt. 695), to Exit 24 (I-83) North, to Exit 20B (Shawan Rd. West). Go approx. 1 mile to traffic light (Beaver Dam Rd.) Go left to Oregon Ridge Park. Follow signs to park.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Health - Why Dentistry is Important

This is Quincy:

He was turned over to our group recently.

This is what Quincy’s mouth looked like when he was turned over to us.

This is a photo of Quincy's teeth; they were in his mouth until recently.

Quincy is a perfect example of what happens when an adopter does not take the time to take care of his greyhound. When we took Quincy in, we were told that his teeth were “normal for a greyhound.” We didn’t question much. All we wanted was to bring him to our group and help him after his adopter asked us if our group would take him.

When we took him, it only took one minute to smell the horrible breath coming from Quincy. When we looked into his mouth, we were sick. We could tell by the black tartar and the shrunken and red gum line that this dog was in trouble.

We immediately made an appointment with our vet and within two days, Quincy was getting his dental. We knew that it would be bad. But we were sick and shocked to learn that Quincy lost all but four teeth! Quincy is six years old and he had been in his home for three years.

We don’t know why his adopter was able to overlook the obvious. We know from what our vet told us that Quincy had to have been in a lot of pain for a long time. He drooled constantly which was how the mouth tried to compensate for the pain. He also took a long time to eat. He had to have felt immense pain each time he tried to eat.

His teeth were not “pulled”. They popped out of his mouth when the tool the vet used for cleaning off the tartar was used. Only three of the larger teeth actually had to be pulled.

PLEASE take the time and make the effort to keep your hound’s teeth clean. Find ways to keep the teeth free of tartar. If they don’t like having their teeth brushed, find some other way to clean the teeth. There are products on the market that will help keep tartar from building up. Save the money for a dental. Yes, dentals can be expensive. But, what is the cost to the dog? How costly is it to watch a fairly young dog lose all but a few teeth in his mouth just because someone didn’t take the time or want to spend the money to keep his teeth in good shape? How much time and effort would it have been to prevent what happened.

Maybe it would have happened anyway. Yes, some greyhounds have bad teeth. Some are prone to having problems. Blame it on genetics, etc. That is not the point. It is no excuse for a dog to suffer pain. Bad teeth can cause many other medical problems.

If Quincy could talk, we are sure that he would be pleading for every person who has adopted a greyhound to do the right thing. His mouth is healing quickly because those teeth were ready to come out. He is happy and healthy now and has a great appetite. He won’t ever be able to chew on the bones he picks up but he’ll find some enjoyment from carrying them around. He will miss out on some things a dog loves to do. But he’ll be OK. And no thanks to the person who was given Quincy in return for a promise take care of him.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rainbow Bridge - Roseline (Zoe)

September 26, 2002 - August 15, 2010

We are saddened to report that yet another member of the FFGR, Inc. family has lost one of their beloved greyhounds. We received word from Nancy Benny informing us that she and Mark lost one of their greyhounds Zoe.

Zoe was adopted by Mark and Nancy in June of 2006. We had first placed Zoe in a home with a retired couple. What we didn't know is that they babysat for their grandchildren who were very small and active. One of the grandchildren jumped on the bed where Zoe was sleeping and woke her up in a start and she snapped at the child. Zoe was returned immediately.

Mark and Nancy were looking for a second greyhound and met Zoe at the Walk-n-Wag in Frederick. They fell in love with her and called us later to ask if they could adopt her. We said "YES!"

Mark and Nancy were one of the very first families that adopted from us when we first started our group. They have adopted four dogs altogether from us. They are very special people. They have always been our most loyal volunteers and family members since the beginning. They have been to so many of our events and have constantly been there when we asked them for help. They are salt of the earth people.

They love their greyhounds and we know that they are the best of the best. Zoe started limping this past week and went dowhill very quickly. A trip to a specialist revealed in an x-ray that she had a shadow along her spine and near her rectum that was probably cancerous. Within a short period of time she could not walk. Mark and Nancy made the painful decision to let her go.

They are sad to have lost Zoe and we mourn with them. But we know that these people are the type of people who love and cherish and care deeply for their greyhounds. Nancy's mom has adopted a greyhound from our group too. Zoe had the most wonderful home - the type of home we hope to find for every greyhound we place.

Mark and Nancy are coming to Dewey this year and I told them about our FFGR get together. I think if you have not met them you are certainly in for a wonderful experience. We love them and know that Zoe is romping at the Rainbow Bridge looking for all the others and happy to be waiting for her wonderful family to join her.

Godspeed Zoe; know that you were greatly loved.

Adoption - The Other Half of the Contract

Since we organized our non-profit adoption group five years ago, we’ve gone through some growing pains and have made some greyt changes over that period to help us operate better and work better on behalf of the greyhounds placed in our care.

We feel that we have been extremely successful in placing most greyhounds into good and forever homes. We are proud to report that we have consistently maintained a low return rate. That is because we screen adoption applications carefully, conduct home visits, talk to prospective adopters at length, provide lots of reading materials and other information to help an adopter learn more about the greyhound breed, profile and foster all of our hounds and make sure that the being placed fits into the adoptive home. The point is to find the dog its “forever” home.

All adopters must sign an Adoption Contract. The dictionary defines the word contract as : an agreement with specific terms between two or more persons or entities in which there is a promise to do something in return for a valuable benefit known as consideration. Since the law of contracts is at the heart of most business dealings, it is one of the three or four most significant areas of legal concern and can involve variations on circumstances and complexities. The existence of a contract requires finding the following factual elements: a) an offer; b) an acceptance of that offer which results in a meeting of the minds; c) a promise to perform; d) a valuable consideration (which can be a promise or payment in some form); e) a time or event when performance must be made (meet commitments); f) terms and conditions for performance, including fulfilling promises; g) performance.

We offer a lot to adopters. Our half of the adoption contract is to provide the adopter with a dog that will fit their application as well as the following:

Transportation of the dog to our group from our suppliers and/or foster caregivers
Spaying or Neutering
All up-to-date immunizations
All available veterinarian records
Worming and Flea/Tick treatment
Heartworm test
Track records/pedigree if available
Greyhound collar and lead
Greyhound muzzle
FFGR, Inc. Identification Tag and Number
A Copy of Retired Racing Greyhounds
for Dummies OR Adopting The Racing
Fast Friends Adopter's Guide
Food to last through a period of transition
AND Lots of Surprises (like toys, bones, treats etc.)
Membership invitation to our private on line forum
Adoption folder with lots of special greyhound related handouts

AND we provide support for the adopter. We do not take the adoption fee and disappear. We feel that what we offer is an excellent package. The profiling we do is so precise, that we can find a dog for adopters with specific requirements (cat safe and child safe). We make sure that every dog that needs to be cat and child safe actually lives in a foster home with cats and children so that we know the dog will be a great fit.

We spend so much time trying to work with adopters to find the perfect dog for them, that sometimes we don’t think seriously enough about the other half of the contract! What should an adopter commit to the dog and our group in return for trusting them with a dog! What is their obligation which is outlined in the other half of the adoption contract? What does the adopter have to do to make the contract valid and work for both parties?

Here are the requirements we ask of adopters when they adopt. These are the elements of the contract that they are required to fulfill:

Adopter will provide all necessary care and kind treatment for the dog throughout its life
Adopter will always use a leash and not allow the greyhound to run free
Adopter will not abuse or neglect the greyhound; FFGR, Inc. can investigate any reports
Adopter will return the greyhound only to FFGR, Inc. (fee not returnable)
Adopter will train the dog to live in the home (i.e., alone training, behavioral training)
Adopter will not use the dog for business, medical or experimental purposes
Adopter will complete house training started by FFGR, Inc. in foster care
Adopter will keep all other animals in the house up to date with vaccinations
Adopter will monitor and keep safe all small animals coming in contact with the greyhound and provide proper training
Adopter will inform FFGR, Inc. if the greyhound is lost or injured

While the elements of the adoption contract are excellent and we feel attainable by all adopters, we often have no way of knowing for sure if the other half of the adoption contract is being fulfilled. Since we cannot go into every home and monitor what is happening, we can only encourage people to keep in touch with us and let us know how the dog is doing. We have no other way of proving that the dog is getting the proper food, medical care, and if people are even complying with the laws in their communities regarding animals.

It seems like the “other half of the contract” becomes unenforceable. While we fulfill our half of the contract (we will hear about it if someone has a problem), we seldom know what is going wrong until we receive word that a dog is being returned.

We have been pondering how to make sure that the other half of the contract is being fulfilled. We have tightened up our adoption requirements and are more careful about where we place dogs. We are now in the process of making sure that a dog that is not being properly cared for will be found and those returning dogs will have to return them in the condition they were in when adopted. That means: up to date with shots, clean teeth, etc. We are developing a more stringent and enforceable return policy that will become a part of the adoption contract that will have to be reviewed and agreed upon prior to adoption. By signing the adoption contract, the adopter will know what is expected when they adopt a greyhound. There will also be no uncertainties about what is expected at the time of a return. Adopters will be given the chance to “opt out” of the adoption if they feel that they cannot meet the requirements set forth in the adoption contract. Those signing the contract will be held accountable, legally, financially and morally.

The mission of our organization is to find forever homes for greyhounds retiring from the tracks when they are done racing. Our organization was never set up to pay for the responsibilities that the adopter agreed to when they adopted a dog from our organization. We know that sometimes there is a good reason for a return. But when we have a dog returned with vet care required, we must spend our hard earned funds fulfilling some one else’s half of the adoption contract. We are working hard to make sure this will not happen. We are making preparations to make sure that no returning dog will have to endure the trauma of being returned but also require vet care to make it healthy again. Our obligation is to the dogs first. And we will meet this goal head on.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rainbow Bridge - Nita Sue Dawn (Hope)

January 9, 2004 - August 16, 2010

It is with sincere sadness and shock that we have to report the loss of a wonderful and sweet greyhound. Here is the email we received:

All summer I've been meaning to write to you and tell you how wonderful Hope was doing and now I am writing to tell you that this morning during a routine dental cleaning she went into heart failure and passed. We are devastated. Dr. Roberts of Hillside Veterinary was doing her cleaning. She was healthy, so we are unsure as to what happened. Once my mind has settled some I hope to find out better what went wrong. Her heart was as big as all outdoors. She loved everyone and everyone loved her. Her work as a Therapy pet was her joy. I had visions of being with her for so many more years! Remember her today as she heads for the Rainbow Bridge.
Thank you for bringing her into our lives, though my heart is breaking right now, I know I am better for the time she had with us.
Kimberley Huff

We are so saddened by this news. Kimberley and Thomas Huff are wonderful people. Hope has worked as a Therapy dog at the County Meadows village since she was adopted. Thomas is the chaplain there. He also did the blessing of the hounds for us at our 2008 picnic. They truly loved Hope. They wrote an article for our newsletter about Hope shortly after they adopted her and we are posting it below:

A Time For Hope!

Hope arrived at our home on May 25th, 2008. Just two short days later, Hope joined my husband, Thomas, on his daily duties as Chaplain for Country Meadows of Frederick. She took to her life as “Assistant Chaplain” immediately!

The nuts and bolts of becoming a Therapy Pet are pretty simple. Thomas and Hope took the obedience class, Patty, our trainer, went online and downloaded all the information on Therapy Pets, Inc; including their testing procedure. Patty was able to conduct the test for us, as there are no Therapy Pet, Inc, testers in this area. We then obtained 3 letters of reference, had our vet sign that all of Hope’s shots were up to date and sent it all to Therapy Pets, Inc in Cheyenne Wy. Country Meadows requires that Hope also have the AKC Good Citizen certification and we will do that at a later date. Being a part of Therapy Pets, Inc not only offers Thomas & Hope liability coverage for the off campus visits, it also offers the facilities she will visit the assurance that Hope is trained and that her medical records are current. Therapy Pets, Inc also offers points and tips on how to train your pet to be a therapy pet.

While Hope was going through obedience classes, she continued to go to work daily with Thomas. Initially we simply had Hope accompany Thomas wherever he went. Hope had an immediate impact on the Dementia/Alzheimer’s unit. Within the first week Thomas saw residents who had become nonverbal, speak and residents who had become withdrawn, reach out to pet and talk to Hope. Hope is very loving and seems to have an intuition of who needs her presence. Just walking her through a room brings peace and calm to many while engaging others! We also saw a change in residents in assisted living as well. Hope’s presence relaxes folks. They are more comfortable sharing their lives with those around them. Much of what Hope does comes naturally to her. We have not had to train her to be patient with residents or to side step a wheel chair or walker. Her graceful and patient manner lends her to be a wonderful therapy pet. Her favorite thing to do is to put her head in your lap and just stand there to be petted! This is a hit not only with the residents, but also with the staff!

I titled this article A Time For Hope because that is the name of the program begun by Thomas and Hope within the dementia unit at Country Meadows. Hope lives up to her name. She not only brings it but, in this her forever home, she lives it!

We are saddened by Hope's loss way before her time. But we know that she had the most wonderful home any greyhound could have; that is all we hope for when we place a dog. Godspeed Hope, you were greatly loved by many.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Health - Where Tick Borne Diseases are Found

We at FFGR, Inc. always encourage our adopters to use tick and flea preventatives regularly for their greyhounds to keep them healthy. We use preventatives regularly for all of the dogs in our foster program and make sure that all dogs going into adoptive homes have had a heartworm test, etc.

While we do live in an area that experiences cold temperatures in the winter, this region has been seeing a significant increase in the tick population in recent years and a higher incidence of lyme disease in dogs. It is up to the adopter to determine how often and when tick and flea preventives are used. However, we highly recommend becoming educated about the risks of not treating dogs.

Many of the dogs that we receive into our adoption program from the warmer climates may have had tick related diseases that have been successfully treated. We always inform our adopters (and provide medical records) of any treatment for these diseases. In most cases, once a dog has been treated, the diseases will not return as long as the dog is kept on preventatives.

The problem with TBDs is that often, when an animal displays symptoms, most adopters (and vets as well) do not always think to test for a TBD. Many times symptoms such as limping, walking with a painful gait, loss of appetite, swollen joints, fever and fatigue are treated with medications to aleviate the symptoms, but the cause of the symptoms are not diagnosed.

Don't under estimate the damage that a tick borne disease can do. Some of these diseases are deadly if not treated. The best way to approach this issue is through prevention. Make sure your dog has a heartworm test once a year if you do not regularly use preventatives. If you do use prevenatives, make sure your dogs are getting their treatments on a regular basis. Most preventative come with reminder stickers that can be added to your calendar to help remember to treat your dog.

An excellent web site for learning more about tick borne diseases is You can access this web site by clicking on the title of this thread. It not only provides detailed information about tick borne diseases, but you can actually do a seach on your zip code to learn the extent of reported tick borne diseases in your area. This information should help you determine how important it is to keep up with regularly scheduled treatments.

We all want our dogs to be healthy, and one way to help them is to eliminate the threat of a tick borne disease.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Publicity - National PR for FFGR, Inc.!

Our organization has received word that our work will be mentioned on a nationally broadcasted radio program about pets. The program is broadcasted on WCCO News Radio 830. It will be aired today at around 3:00 p.m. central time. The topic discussed today will be Taking the Journey: When Serious Illness Occurs The speaker will be Dr. Todd Metcalf, of Harmony Veterinary Care, Prescott, Arizona. The work of our group will be mentioned and our Greyhound Adopter's Pledge will be read.

We are hoping to form a partnership with the folks at PetzLife who produce this radio program. We appreciate the work they do and for helping our group by recognizing our work (and Craiger's List).

Tune in via your computer to hear the program. You can also access the PetzLife web site by clicking on the subject of this blog post.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rainbow Bridge - John M. Curly (John)

September 7, 2003 - July 26, 2010

Another sweet hound has left our FFGR, Inc. family.

Several weeks ago, Dana Rinehart called me to tell me that her precious hound, John, had just been diagnosed with the dreaded osteo. John was not quite seven years old. She and her husband David adopted John from our group several years ago. According to Dana, his cancer was caught relatively early. At the time she did not know what to do but was faced with the hard decision about whether to have John go through surgery for an amputation or to do pain management and give him what time was left.

Like everyone who is faced with a difficult decision to make regarding what would be best for our hounds, she struggled with the decision and decided to have the amputation done. However, the morning it was scheduled she could not go through with it.

She made a change in her decision a few days later when John went through a painful night. The surgery was done and John went into the recovery room. The surgery was considered a success. However, a short time later, John died of a heart problem.

John was a really beautiful blue brindle boy and he had a very gentle and quiet nature. I know he had a wonderful home and it was very obvious that he was greatly loved and cherished. We are so sorry for Dana and her family and we understand their deep sense of loss.

The Rineharts gave John the gift of their love. That is all that any greyhound deserves. Run free at the bridge John. You were greatly loved and will always be remembered.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Emergency Auction for Greyhounds

Thursday evening, July 8, Fort Worth Animal Control Cruelty Investigation Officers took 28 dogs (mostly greyhounds and sight hounds)into custody. Greyhound Adoption League of Texas (GALT) was contacted as greyhounds were included in the seize. At GALTs request, Greyhounds Unlimited was notified and they also joined in this effort. GALT and GU are the only adoption groups in the DFW/north Texas area equipped to help stray and shelter greyhounds. Friday morning, representatives from GALT and GU met with Diane Whiteley, the Executive Director of the Texas Greyhound Association, to assess the dogs. The greyhounds were taken in by GALT and GU and a number of other rescue groups took in other breeds included in the seizure. A total of seventeen greyhounds were in the seizure of dogs. There are videos and pictures on their websites which are very hard to watch.

The condition of the greyhounds was absolutely appalling and shocking. Weights on the females and males range from 35 to 51 pounds. Besides being extremely thin, each dog was covered with more ticks than can ever be imagined. These groups will have enormous medical bills in order to bring these greyhounds back to health. Unfortunately, one greyhound (Braden) was in such bad condition that all attempts of save him failed. He did not make it through his ordeal. Many of the greyhounds have been diagnosed with erhlichia and heartworm disease.

Because of the enormity of the veterinarian and other bills associated with helping these dogs get healthy again, an emergency Carpe Canem Auction is now running to help earn funds for the groups that are caring for the dogs.

There are hundreds of wonderful items being offered on this auction and anything you bid on will be directly used to help these dogs and the groups caring for them.

Our group has donated four items for this auction. Please consider helping by bidding on the items on this auction. You can access the auction web site by clicking on the title of this post.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Events - Meet and Greet Schedule Changes

Thanks to our wonderful volunteers, we have made some changes in our meet and greet schedule that should make us even more available for meeting potential adopters! Right now we have a most impressive meet and greet schedule!!! Here is what has changed:

Dan will be hosting a new meet and greet at the Petco on the Golden Mile in Frederick. We have that scheduled for the next three months to coincide with their National Adoption Weekend which is usually on the third weekend of each month. This month, July, it will be held on the fourth Saturday because of other scheduled events at their store but will go back to the third weekend in August; that is when Dan will be there.

Megan will be taking over Dan's meet and greet at the Frederick Petsmart on the first Saturday of each month. Thanks Megan!

We are rescheduling our meet and greets at the Hagerstown Petco from the first Sunday of each month to the third Sunday of each month. That will coincide with their National Adoption Weekend. Mary and Mike will be taking this over in August.

Jimmy has held an "extra" meet and greet at the Petco in Ranson for this past year to coincide with their adoption weekends too. This is in addition to his regularly scheduled one at Petco on the second Saturday of the month and the Martinsburg Petsmart on the third Saturday of each month. AND he also helps at the Country Club Mall in Cumberland on the fourth Saturday of each month!

We will still be holding a meet and greet at the Frederick County Humane Society on the third Saturday of each month and Megan is volunteering to host that as well!

AND, all of our other meet and greet locations are still in place; we thank those volunteers for hosting these events each month.

We have not scheduled any outdoor events this summer even though we've been invited to a number of venues. We feel that it's been way too hot for our hounds (and us!) and it's not worth risking the health of a dog (or person) to do these. As soon as things cool down a little we can revisit those possibilities as they come up.

We have been invited to vend at the Maryland GPA picnic to be held on September 19 and we think that will be a lot of fun! That usually brings out a lot of people and their hounds.

Thanks to EVERYONE who is willing to continually give of their time each month to host a meet and greet for our group. It ABSOLUTELY makes a difference! Most of our applications come from these meet and greet events. Please know that we are aware of how much time and effort it takes to do this and it is greytly appreciated!

Please check our events calendar on out web site often; in addition to our regular meet and greet events, we are always adding new events when they are scheduled.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Abdo Ruby Girl - Ruby

March 16, 1999 - July 10, 2010

We are so sorry to report the loss of another one of our FFGR, Inc. hounds. Jonathan and Ashley Lake came to our group in early 2007; at the time they were thinking of adopting a dog. What is different about them was that they had never had a dog before. They visited our meet and greet events and talked to us over time about the possibility of adopting a greyhound. We could tell that they were taking the whole process very seriously and thinking this all out. They finally decided to adopt a greyhound. We suggested that they adopt an older hound because it would be easier having a dog that was used to being in a home and was more settled. They actually trusted our judgement and agreed to adopt an older dog.

We found Ruby for them. At the time Ruby was eight years old. Jonathan and Ashley not only did not mind adopting an older dog, but did very well with her, far exceeding our expectations! They did wonderfully. Ruby was their pride and joy and she was greatly loved and cherished.

We learned that Ruby got very ill and was rushed to the vet. She did not pull through. Ruby was eleven years old. We know that Ruby could not have had a better and more loving home with people who cared enough about her to do the right thing from the very beginning.

Ruby was one of the most photogenic hounds our group has ever seen (and Ashley is a good photographer!). Ruby's photos are on our web site in several places and she has been on the home page a number of times.

Ruby was a very special dog, but Ashley and Jonathan are very special people. They know how wonderful the senior dogs are and they gave Ruby the absolutely best home she could have ever had. Ashley is a loyal volunteer and attends many of our meet and greet events. We are lucky to have met them and honored to know them; but we are gratified that Ruby had such a wonderful life because of them.

Godspeed Ruby; look for all the rest of the FFGR, Inc. hounds that will be waiting for you at the bridge!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rainbow Bridge - Sl Chattanoga (Chatty)

April 1, 2007 - July 2, 2010

There are times when it's harder than other times to face the fact that a greyhound has passed on. While we know that as dogs get older we will eventually have to think about them leaving us, the loss of a very young dog hits us all the hardest. This is one of those times. Rhonda and Dave have lost their greyhound, Chatty, suddenly and unexpectedly.

Chatty was a young girl when she came into our group. We brought her here for a couple who returned her for a number of issues (and which we all ageed on who knew this, that the issue was not with Chatty). Rhonda and Dave were looking for another greyhound at that time and they decided to foster Chatty. The rest is history.

What makes this so awful is that Chatty was only three years old (she was three years old on April 1). Chatty was a representative at Rhonda's meet and greet each month at the Chambersburg Petsmart. She was also Dave's traveling companion. She went with him on all of his long distance drives and loved the drive and meeting new people. She was a unique dog; she was full of personality; everyone who met her really loved her and all of us always had to laugh at her exploits. She was happy and energetic, so much still a puppy. She knew her limits with dogs bothering her and stood her ground when she needed to but was so good with Rhonda's daughter Nicole and she loved her family. She never stopped trying to chase the cat!

Chatty and Cassey (Rhonda's other greyhound) were with Rhonda and Dave at Grapehounds in Virginia recenly. Chatty spent time in the x-pen with the other hounds during our event and they had a great time.

We know how terrible this has been for Rhonda and Dave. No one can ever prepare for this type of heartbreak. Rhonda has been hosting meet and greets for our group for almost as long as we have had the group! She was always there when we needed her and no matter what happened in her life, she always found a way to be at her meet and greets.

She rescheduled many of her meet and greets when her daughter, Nicole, had serious medical problems and faced surgery and many doctor visits over many months. But Rhonda never missed a month. She also rescheduled her meet and greet events when her mother had heart surgery. She has never missed a month. She has always been there.

We can only imagine how hard it must be to lose a young dog so suddenly without explanation.

Godspeed Chatty. You have been loved by many.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Events - New Meet and Greet Venue!

A new Petco has arrived in Frederick, Maryland! And Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc. is one of the first adoption groups to get on the meet and greet schedule! The new Petco is located along the "Golden Mile" on Route 40 in Frederick. It is in the same location as where the old Super Petz was located for many years. Although our group had some meet and greet events at the Super Petz, it was not a high traffic store and we did not feel that it was worth the effort to take our dogs there. However, with the new Petco, the traffic has already improved a great deal!

The manager was thrilled that we stopped in and put us on the schedule right away! Our first meet and greet is scheduled for Saturday, July 24 which also coincides with Petco's National Adoption weekend.

The new Petco store is going through some major renovations to bring it up to the standards of the other stores; however, this store is already getting good reviews from the customers.

If you would like to visit us, the address is 1275 West Patrick Street, Frederick, Maryland. We will be holding this event from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. We will have available dogs at this event. Future events at the store will also be held during Petco's National Adoption weekends. Check our calendar of events on our web site for future dates.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rainbow Bridge - AJR Hardwayten

AJR - Hardwayten - Lacey
July 26, 2004 - June 29, 2010

We are sad to report that another greyt adopter lost her beloved greyhound to a long term illness. Claire Exten has loved Lacey since she adopted her in July 2007. Lacey was adopted along with Rocky and the two dogs were constant companions. Along with Claire, they were a loving family sharing many good times together.

Several months ago, Lacey became ill and traveled back and forth to the vet to be treated for a number of issues that never really amounted to a definite diagnosis. While at times Lacey seemed to feel much better and be "back to normal", she would then get ill again and each time she would be sicker.

Finally, the pain was too much for Lacey to bear and Claire had to make the very painful and difficult decision to continue on the same path with little improvements, or to end Lacey's suffering. The last bout of illness took away any doubt and Claire released Lacey from her pain.

Claire is devastated to lose a fairly young dog to an illness that was never diagnosed (but not from lack of vet care and trying). We know that Lacey had the best care and most love that any greyhound could get. While we are sad that Lacey is gone, we know that Claire gave her a most wonderful and loving home.

God speed sweet Lacey.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Surviving Summertime Celebrations With Your Hound

It’s that time of year again! Lots of festivals and celebrations and outdoor events that always end in fireworks. With the Fourth of July celebrations coming up, we know that we will get calls about frightened and stressed out greyhounds. The calls we don’t want to get are the ones when a greyhound has gone into a panic and jumped a fence or pulled out of a collar.

Yes, fireworks!!!! Even the most docile and well adjusted hounds can turn into frightened animals trying to find a way to hide from all the noise.

Here are some suggestions for helping your greyhound make it through all the noise.

- If you have a fenced in yard, DO NOT leave your hound unattended. Make sure that all gates are locked and that there are no holes in a fence or spaces under a fence for a dog to get through. Limit the time that your greyhound is outside in the evening after dark. If you leash walk your hound, do NOT take him/her outside when fireworks are expected. If you cannot avoid walking, then make sure your hound’s collar is adjusted properly and the leash is fastened correctly. Use a harness if you feel that you must walk during this time.

- Make sure that your hound is wearing a collar with an I.D. tag on it (personal and FFGR, Inc. tag) and that all of your information on the tag is up to date. Even if your hound does not usually wear a collar, you might want to make an exception during this time of year just to make sure that it can be located if it gets lost.

-If your hound does panic at the sound of fireworks, don’t over react. Let your dog find a place where it feels safe. This might mean a corner of a room, a closet, a bathroom or even the bathtub. Try putting one of your own T-shirts on your hound or any article of clothing that carries your scent. You can even cover over your hound with a blanket once it’s found its safe spot.

- If you have a basement, put your hound there as it may buffer the noise outside a bit. You can also set up a crate and cover it over with a comforter or blanket prior to when you expect the fireworks displays to start.

- Don’t try to comfort your hound if it gets stressed out. This may inadvertently reinforce the behavior as the dog will think that you are rewarding it for being frightened. Treat this as nothing important; be nonchalant. Your dog will respond to your suggestions.

- An adult dose of Benadryl given before the fireworks are scheduled can make your hound drowsy. You can also use a D.A.P. (dog appeasing pheromone), an all natural way to treat anxiety in dogs that comes in several forms including plug in oil, spray and/or a collar. You can use a combination of Melatonin and Rescue Remedy as well. Call your vet and ask about other recommended medications if your hound gets very stressed out.

Make this summer a stress free time for you and your hound! Check for all scheduled events in your area and then take the proper steps to avoid panic times! Have a safe and happy summer!!!

When We Let A Greyhound Into Our Life

When you bring a greyhound into your life, you begin a journey - a journey that will bring you more love and devotion than you have ever known, yet also test your strength and courage.

If you allow, the journey will teach you many things, about life, about yourself, and most of all, about love. You will come away changed forever, for one soul cannot touch another without leaving its mark. Along the way, you will learn much about savoring life’s simple pleasures -jumping in leaves, snoozing in the sun, the joys of puddles, and even the satisfaction of a good scratch behind the ears. If you spend much time outside, you will be taught how to truly experience every element, for no rock, leaf, or Jog will go unexamined, no rustling bush will be overlooked, and even the very air will be inhaled, pondered, and noted as being full of valuable information. Your pace may be slower - except when heading home to the food dish - but you will become a better naturalist, having been taught by an expert in the field.

Too many times we hike on automatic pilot, our goal being to complete the trail rather than enjoy the journey. We miss the details - the colorful mushrooms on the rotting log, the honeycomb in the old maple snag, the hawk feather caught on a twig. Once we walk as a dog does, we discover a whole new world. We stop; we browse the landscape, we kick over leaves, peek in tree holes, look up, down, all around. And we learn what any dog knows: that nature has created a marvelously complex world that is full of surprises, that each cycle of the seasons bring ever changing wonders, each day an essence all its own.

Even from indoors you will find yourself more attuned to the world around you. You will find yourself watching summer insects collecting on a screen. (How bizarre they are! How many kinds there are!), or noting the flick and flash of fireflies through the dark. You will stop to observe the swirling dance of windblown leaves, or sniff the air after a rain. It does not matter that there is no objective in this; the point is in the doing, in not letting life’s most important details slip by. You will find yourself doing silly things that your dog-less friends might not understand: spending thirty minutes in the pet store aisle looking for the dog food brand your greyhound must have, buying dog birthday treats, or driving around the block an extra time because your greyhound enjoys the ride. You will roll in the snow, wrestle with chewy toys, bounce little rubber balls till your eyes cross, and even run around the house trailing your bathrobe tie - with a greyhound in hot pursuit - all in the name of love. You may find dog biscuits in your pocket or purse, and feel the need to explain that old plastic shopping bags are conveniently positioned by every house entrance for pick-up duty in the yard.

You will learn the true measure of love - the steadfast, undying kind that says, “It doesn’t matter where we are or what we do, or how life treats us as long as we are together.” Respect this always. It is the most precious gift any living soul can give another. You will not find it often among the human race. And you will learn humility. The look in my greyhound’s eyes often made me feel ashamed. Such joy and love at my presence. She saw not some flawed human who could be cross and stubborn, moody or rude, but only her wonderful companion. Or maybe she saw those things and dismissed them as mere human foibles, not worth considering, and so chose to love me anyway.

If you pay attention and learn well, when the journey is done, you will be not just a better person, but the person your greyhound always knew you to be - the one they were proud to call beloved friend. I must caution you that this journey is not without pain. Like all paths of true love, the pain is part of loving. For as surely as the sun sets, one day your dear greyhound companion will follow a trail you cannot yet go down. And you will have to find the strength and love to let them go. A pet’s time on earth is far too short - especially for those that love them. We borrow them, really, just for a while, and during these brief years they are generous enough to give us all their love, every inch of their spirit and heart, until one day there is nothing left. The greyhound that only yesterday was a racer is all too soon old and frail and sleeping in the sun, waking up stiff and lame, the muzzle now gray. Deep down we somehow always knew that this journey would end. We knew that if we gave our hearts they would be broken. But give them we must, for it is all they ask in return. When the time comes, and the road curves ahead to a place we cannot see, we give one final gift and let them run on ahead - young and whole once more. “Godspeed, good friend,” we say, until our journey comes full circle and our paths cross again. Author Unknown