Donate to FFGR, Inc.

WELCOME!

Get the latest!

FAST FRIENDS GREYHOUND RESCUE, INC.

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.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Rainbow Bridge - Rjs Sioux (Shadow)



March 19, 2000 - August 2, 2012

We are always sad to report the loss of one of our greyhounds; however, the passing of Shadow is particularly hard because he was such a uniquely special dog.  Shadow was adopted by Isaac and Jeff in May of 2010. He and his house mate, Sheba, were both turned over to a group in Ohio when their adopter could no longer care for them.  They lived in a home together for many years and were bonded so we placed them both on Craiger's List and looked for a home for them together.

Jeff and Isaac saw them on Craiger's List and came to meet them - the rest is history.  Both dogs had a wonderful life and we are so happy to know that these seniors were greatly loved and so well cared for.

In October, 2010, Shadow was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his right front leg.  At the age of ten, it was difficult to make a decision about what to do.  However, because Shadow had such a wonderful spirit, Isaac and Jeff decided to go the amputation route.  Shadow went through the surgery well and was back on three feet in record time.  Shadow was known to all of us in the organization as the amazing tripod.  He certainly earned that name because of his zest for life and unstoppable spirit.

His house mate, Sheba, passed on to the Rainbow Bridge in September of 2011.  Shadow still was cancer free at that time.  Recently, he was diagnosed with a squamas cell sarcoma on his nose.  Although it was manageable for a long time, it was finally serious enough to make Shadow unhappy.  Isaac and Jeff gave Shadow a final goodbye and sent him to meet Sheba.

We love working with people who adopt greyhounds from Craiger's List because they seem to understand the value of all dogs.  Those who adopt seniors understand that they may have limited time.  But the love and joy that a senior brings in to one's life cannot be matched by youth and beauty.

We thank Isaac and Jeff for the loving home they gave both dogs.  Run free Shadow and rest in sweet peace knowing that you were loved by all of us; look for Sheba.


.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rainbow Bridge - Likable (Casey)


June 8, 2005 - July 22, 2012

We are sad to report the loss of another FFGR, Inc. hound to lymphoma.  We had all been following Trish's posts about her beloved Casey.  After a short illness, Casey went on to the Rainbow Bridge.  We all know that it was very difficult for Jeff, Trish and the kids to say goodbye. No matter how much we all prepare for the inevitable, it still breaks our hearts to say goodbye. Casey got to the place that she no longer would eat and it was clear that she was tired and had enough. Trish and Jeff did the most loving thing and let her go.

We remember when Trish brought her hound Joey over to meet available dogs and how Casey stole her heart (and Joey's!).   We told Trish that the best part of doing this work is meeting and knowing people who adopt a hound and make it part of the family. Although Trish and her family are broken hearted at this time, we can all take solace in the fact that Casey had the most loving home that any greyhound could have. She will be greatly missed, not only by her family, but all of her FFGR, Inc. friends and family who met her through her many meet and greet events. I always loved going to Trish's house and was so happy to be greeted by the hounds. Casey was the most exhuberant of the trio and always had a bounce and kiss for me.

She was a beautiful tall girl with the most pleasing personality. We think it was because she was so happy. Rest in peace lovely girl knowing that you were greatly loved.




Sunday, July 15, 2012

Training and Behavior - Separation Anxiety



The following is a reprint of an article that was published in our Hound Happenings newsletter (December 2006 issue).  We focus so much on separation anxiety when we place a greyhound in a home, that we have not had any greyhounds returned for separation anxiety in over six years.  We know that education and training in the beginning makes all the difference in how well a dog does in a new home.  All potential adopters get training in separation anxiety and how to avoid it:


There’s an old expression that goes, “Knowledge is bouncing all over the place; it’s just not hitting many targets.” With all of the books, television programs, and internet resources available, it is amazing that most dogs are returned to dog rescue groups and humane societies these days because they are suffering from separation anxiety.

People have little tolerance for a dog that tears up the furniture, soils the rugs, and chews up the window frames. But it is not because the dog is angry or resentful that it owners have left it behind. This type of thinking is referred to as “mind theory” where the human projects his or her own emotions onto a dog that is incapable of those emotions. Dogs are not resentful, angry, nor do they want to “get back” at their owners for going away. What is going on in the dog’s mind is plain old anxiety. A dog has to be taught that when you leave, you will be coming back.

Some dog experts believe that separation anxiety occurs in dogs that are not given enough human attention and interaction during their period of learning. Others also think that to some extent genetics plays a factor. It actually may be a combination of those factors.

Because greyhounds have lived structured lives and some have had limited amounts of interaction with their trainers and handlers when they are young, when they get into a home with lots of attention, they bond tightly to their adopters. When your dog spends too much time with you and then is suddenly left alone, it may act out. A dog has no way of knowing that you will be coming back. You must make the effort to help your dog adjust to life without you as well as with you.

Separation anxiety may develop in a greyhound that has been in a home for long time without any problems. In most of these cases, when research is conducted to determine why, there has been a change of routine, a stressful family situation, relationship change, illness, or other cause that places stress on the dog. It can even be caused by behaviors in the owner that foster dependency.

Greyhounds are very sensitive and they detect changes in the lives of the people they love. If you are home all of the time with your greyhound and then get a job and go off to work, your greyhound will be suddenly left alone without your company for hours. Some greyhounds may just go to sleep and be fine while others will try to climb out windows to get to their owners.

If you have an older dog that has been fine for years and suddenly behaves negatively when you leave,
you should have your dog checked for medical problems. Dogs search out their owners when they
are not feeling well and sometimes the behavior may be mistaken for separation anxiety.

Signs of separation anxiety include:

Barking or howling at the door when you leave;

Escape behavior such as chewing door frames, window blinds, breaking windows;

Urinating and defecating in the house (The dog is besides itself with anxiety);

Excessive licking (lick granuloma) and self-mutilation (extreme cases).

If you can remember that your dog is literally stressed out at your absence, you can help avoid or overcome separation anxiety if it starts. We as humans want to be wanted, liked and needed. Imagine that your dog loves you so much that he/she cannot bear to be without you. Then you can take the right steps to help your dog.

First, be patient. Very patient. Start slow. Use lots of praise and positive reinforcement to reduce the panic level of your dog. You must be consistent. Start off by not looking at or talking to your dog prior to leaving the house and when coming back in.  You can start off by leaving for five to ten minutes at a time. Do not make any effort to play with your dog, talk to him/her, or give him/her any reason to become anxious over your actions. When you are home, pick up your car keys and jangle them. Pick up your umbrella, jacket, etc. then put them all back down and walk way or sit down (not looking at the dog). Do this often and for many days. You will be desensitizing your dog to the cues that makes it anxious. Soon your dog will no
longer associate those activities as signs that you are leaving.

You can open and close your door often during the day. That is another way of teaching the dog that an
open door doesn’t mean that you are going away. You can extend this training by stepping outside
once in awhile for a few minutes and walking back in. Keep extending the time from a few minutes to
an hour, etc. Go away for short periods of time first and when you see that your dog has dealt with your
absence well, extend the times that you are away. When you do leave, ignore your dog. When you
come home, ignore your dog. If your dog jumps around and barks, just ignore him/her and go about
your business for a while. Only after things have settled down should you speak to your dog.

You can also use positive reinforcement to make your coming and going more pleasurable and
rewarding. Use knucklebones, a peanut-butter filled Kong, bully sticks, etc. to distract your dog
when you leave. If you have a dog that likes those kinds of food-oriented items you have the
advantage. Keep lots of these treats around for when you go away. Keeping your dog busy while
you are gone is a good thing!!

Some vets recommend that dogs that suffer from separation anxiety should be fed a low-protein dog
food. There is no need for a high-energy dog food if your dog is going to be restricted in a crate or
house for longer periods of time. Remember to check with your vet before changing your dog’s
food.

Don’t rule out exercise. A tired dog is not going to get into as much trouble as a wired dog. A long
walk can benefit you as well as your dog and some time in the back yard playing can be a great way to
give your dog the attention he/she needs. If you are not using a crate, try using one. Some dogs actually feel safe and secure in a crate. If you have some objection to a crate, at least set it up and give the dog the option of using it. Leave the door open. Remember, the ancestors of the dogs dug dens for shelter. Greyhounds have lived in crates at the track and most are very comfortable in them.

If all else fails and your hound is not making any progress in spite of all you’ve tried to do, there are
medications that you can give your dog (from your vet), but they should be used only as a last resort.
Medications just take care of the symptoms and do nothing to help the dog in the long run. The money
may be better spent to consult an animal behavior specialist.

If you want to learn more about separation anxiety, The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell, is a book that guides you through peaceful methods of training and relating to your dog. The techniques described have been very helpful for many dogs suffering from separation anxiety.

Another book called Leader of the Pack by Nancy Baer and Steve Duno emphasizes the understanding of why dogs behave the way they do and what behaviors WE do that send the wrong signals to our pets resulting in dominance issues, separation anxiety, barking, etc. Both books can be found on line.

The most important thing for you to remember is that you CAN help your dog. Your dog loves you and wants to please you and you can start from that knowledge. But it takes time and patience. If a dog
is sent back to the rescue group, the people who foster or care for the dog will have to train an
animal that misses its owner and is in a strange and foreign environment. This is not good for the dog.

Some dogs have a hard time trusting and forming bonds again. Some dogs have been returned over
and over for the same problem of separation anxiety but even the most difficult cases can be resolved
with enough patience and understanding.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Training and Behavior - Fear in Greyhounds

The following was written by Dennis McKeon, who was a trainer for many years at the Wonderland Race Track.  Dennis has years of experience and knows greyhounds very well.   Since we try to place many of the shy dogs (on Craiger's List), we feel that this information is helpful in understanding them:


Ideopathic Fear and Withdrawal In Greyhounds

One of the most educational aspects of working with large populations or colonies of Greyhounds in racing, is to watch how the pack interacts, and to observe the dynamics of it. Greyhounds have always been pack animals. Not just historically, but in actuality. They have hunted and coursed in packs, and today they race in packs.

They are kept with their dams much longer than most, if not all breeds, and they begin their socialization training within their own family units. Within that unit, a pecking order develops. There is usually always a dominant individual, or an “alpha”, and depending upon the size and nature of the litter, there might be both an alpha male and female. Often, they are the play leaders. The others are submissive to them, and to one another, and so-on, down the “chain of command”. The alphas are not always the best athletes or the fastest in the litter, but they do often command a certain degree of supplication.

More educational, is when these small packs are introduced to the larger pack of the kennel, either at the track, or on the breeder’s facility. It is simply fascinating to see how they integrate themselves within the pack dynamic and the established hierarchy. Sometimes it can mean trouble, when introducing future colony alphas to current colony alphas, or to one another. You have to be able to read dog body language well, and to recognize instantly when there is a disturbance within the pack “force”.

Now the alphas are not the only ones that require your attentions. Betas, or sub-dominant individuals, can be in constant need of your supervision, as they often push the envelope of the pack’s serenity, and while not seeking pack dominance, sometimes seem to almost invite correction. Greyhounds at the bottom of the pack hierarchy are omegas. These are often high strung, nervous, shy, retiring, submissive types, who are only followers. Sometimes this “follower” mentality results in a racer who doesn’t want to lead the pack at all. But more often, the omega personality is simply a tightly wound follower, lacking in self-confidence, readily submissive and somewhat introverted. We used to call these types “touchy” or “squirrelly”.

Sometimes, adoptive owners of omega and other lower ranking pack members, mistake their dog’s pack-ordained personalities as being the result of inattention, or even rough or inappropriate handling. And this could be the case in some instances. More likely, their natural nervous energies and absence of self assurance is amplified by the extremely challenging life adjustment from the racing kennel to the family domicile---where all sorts of new and intimidating objects and arrangements confront them. Good and empathetic pet owners are patient with these dogs---and there are many more of them than there are alphas---and they slowly acclimate and re-habituate them to their new lives. It has all worked out splendidly, as we know, and retired greyhounds are phenomenally popular as pets. Even the shy, touchy types seem to find their forever homes.

One of the great mysteries of the Greyhound world, and the dog world in general, is the “spook” phenomenon. Spooks are greyhounds who are pathologically fearful of everyone and everything with which or whom they are not intimately familiar. They are profoundly terrified of any sort of novelty. Spooks are genetic. Spooks who are bred, tend to throw a higher percentage of spook offspring, though some never pass the anomaly on.

All dogs develop a natural fear response at about 8-12 months of age. For some reason we don’t quite understand yet, sometimes this natural fight-or-flight instinct goes haywire, and the dog becomes entirely fearful and withdrawn. Anyone who has ever raised a litter of spooks---and I have---is always heartbroken when they see this phenomenon developing, and are powerless to do anything much to remedy it.


According to PetMD:

“Profound fear and withdrawal of unknown cause (so called idiopathic fear and withdrawal) has also been noted in certain dog breeds, including the Siberian Husky, German Shorthaired Pointer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Pyrenees, Border Collie, and Standard Poodle, among others. There appears to be a strong familial component, with the likelihood of a genetic influence.”

While the racing greyhound who develops idiopathic fear and withdrawal syndrome can behave quite normally around his/her handlers and familiars, they become completely withdrawn and terrified of any new people who are introduced to the kennel environment.

Naturally, they are a true challenge to potential adopters, and only greyhound savvy individuals with a great deal of empathy, time and patience would be advised to adopt a greyhound who exhibits this unusual disorder. These aren’t simply shy, touchy, squirrelly omega types, or just high strung greyhounds. As a matter of fact, I’ve handled at least one spook who was the alpha female in a racing kennel.

The rewards, needless to say, of winning the trust and love of a true “spook”, are well worth the time and energy required. It’s almost as if they’ve kept it all stored up just to shower down their affections upon you, once you have finally broken through those vexing personality barricades.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rainbow Bridge - Joseph McNeal

We are very sad to report that our organization has lost a wonderful friend.  Joe McNeal lost his battle with a long illness in June.  We first met Joe years ago when we first started hosting meet and greet events.  Joe came in with his greyhound, Blondie, and introduced himself.  From that time on, Joe became a wonderful and loyal volunteer.  He came to almost all of our meet and greet events - he and Blondie spoke to many people during that time about greyhound adoption.

Joe always had a positive and upbeat attitude.  No matter what happened, he and Blondie kept up the cause.  Everyone in our group was happy to see Joe and Blondie.

Several years ago, Joe was diagnosed with a terminal illness but he kept coming out for our events.  It was a little later that Blondie went to the bridge.  Joe's illness prohibited him from adopting another greyhound (his wife was also ill), but he and his wife, Ann, often stopped in for a visit at our events to "get his greyhound fix."

Between Joe's illness and Ann's illness, they were not able to attend as many events.  However, their daughter, Joanne, became a Nutro dog food representative so we were all able to keep in touch about Joe and Ann through Joanne.

Joe loved greyhounds as much as any person could.  We know how much he loved his precious Blondie and would like to think that he and Blondie have finally been reunited.  Rest in peace, Joe.  You and Blondie were loved by all of us.




Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dogs and Hot Cars - Warning!

The following press release has been posted from http://redrover.org/

Hot Cars Deadly for Dogs, Even with Windows Rolled Down
Police crack down on pet owners leaving dogs in hot cars


SACRAMENTO, CA (June 13, 2012) – After a number of people across the U.S. have been charged with animal cruelty for leaving their dogs in hot cars, causing the pets severe distress and even death, RedRover, a national nonprofit animal protection organization, is imploring pet owners to leave their dogs at home while running errands or visiting businesses that do not allow pets. Enclosed cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures quickly, even when relatively mild outside, making even short trips dangerous for pets.

Earlier in June, a Buckley, Washington, man was charged with first degree animal cruelty after his dog, Nexus, died locked inside his truck outside Nolte State Park. The two-year-old Golden retriever’s body temperature had risen to above 108 degrees and was still hot to the touch when examined hours later after passing. According to the vet, Nexus must have suffered greatly while trapped in the vehicle.

“People often leave their dogs in the car while they shop or run errands, but doing so can literally be a death sentence for your pet,” said RedRover President and CEO Nicole Forsyth. “You might think you will be gone for ‘just a minute,’ but every second counts for a dog left in a hot car. If it’s hot outside, leave your dog at home.”

Forsyth offered five reasons why leaving a dog in a hot car can be deadly:

Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they can only cool off by panting and through the pads in their feet.

Even seemingly mild days are dangerous. In a Stanford University study, when it was 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature climbed to 116 degrees within one hour.

Enclosed cars heat up quickly. In a study by San Francisco State University, when it was 80 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car rose to 99 degrees in 10 minutes and 109 degrees in 20 minutes.

A dog’s normal body temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees; a dog can only withstand a high body temperature for a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.

Studies show that cracking the windows has little effect on a vehicle’s internal temperature.

“People are under the misconception that dogs are tougher than humans are, that they can handle the heat,” Forsyth said. “But the reality is, they are more susceptible to high temperatures and depend on us to keep them safe.”

In Nexus’ case, a passer-by did call 911 for help at witnessing the dog’s distress; unfortunately it was too late. Upon seeing a dog in distress in a hot car, it is imperative to call the local animal control agency or police immediately. Signs of distress include:

Excessive panting and/or drooling
Increased heart rate
Trouble breathing
Disorientation
Collapse or loss of consciousness
Seizure
Respiratory arrest

To learn more about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars and to download educational materials to share with others, visit www.MyDogIsCool.com.



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rainbow Bridge - Aljo Slinky (Lucy)

We received a call from Mark Benny yesterday reporting that they lost their greyhound Lucy last week. Mark and Nancy have a home on the eastern shore and Mark was there with their three greyhounds. He let the dogs out while he vacuumed and when he called them to come inside, Lucy did not come in with the other two. Mark did a search of the yard and found Lucy lying down. She could not get up. It was clear that she was paralizyed in her back end. Mark called Nancy and they took Lucy to the local vet. X-rays and an MRI confirmed that Lucy had a severely ruptered disk in her neck. The rupture was serious enough that the vets said that surgery would not be a guarantee at all that it could be repaired and that Lucy would ever walk again. After painful thought, they decided to let her go. Lucy was nine years old.

Mark and Nancy were one of the very first families that adopted from us when we first started our group. They adopted four dogs altogether from us. They lost another one of their hounds, Zoe, in 2010. 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. They are sad to have lost Lucy 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. Lucy had the most wonderful home - the type of home we hope to find for every greyhound we place.

We know that Lucy is romping at the Rainbow Bridge looking for all the others and happy to be waiting for her wonderful family to join her.




Rainbow Bridge - Dakota

We got a call from Paula Thompson two days ago that her greyhound Dakota was having difficulty walking and was losing weight quickly. He had all but lost movement in his leg. The vet she had taken him to had diagnosed the problem as a sprain but the medication did not seem to be helping him. We advised her to take him to our vet for a second opinion and she made an appointment for that afternoon. Paula called us from the vet's office to tell Us that an x-ray revealed that Dakota's leg as eaten by cancer. She let him go to the Rainbow Bridge.


We met Paula six years ago at the Hagerstown Petsmart. She had greyhounds and was involved with another group for years. We talked and it started a friendship which has lasted up to the present. Paula became a volunteer for our group and she and her friend, Rob, hosted meet and greet events at the Hagerstown Petsmart for us for several years. Dakota was one of the dogs that was always at the meet and greets because he was such a friendly boy. Over the years, Paula adopted two greyhounds from our group. She lost one to cancer last year and has  one greyhound, Miley, left now.

Paula wrote a tribute to Dakota and we've included it here:

Dakota came to me off the hauler, a tall, lanky tan on black brindle boy. He was regal, nervous and my heart pledged eternal love. He was three days off the track and didn't have a clue, which leveled the playing field because neither did I. My friend Rob had greyhounds and with his help, Dakota and I conquered everything fearful. We helped him learn to climb up and go down the steps; that he could not just "morph" through the door - that it had to be opened; that the food he was given was all his own. He learned how to play with toys and that it was okay to be himself.


He learned that his human was slow when it came to chasing squirrels but that it was okay to chase them. He learned that his human made lots of noises that he did not undertand, like laughter and sadness, but he became used to them. He came to the door when I would come home from work and greet me like a long lost friend. He and I learned and grew through each other and it was such an amazing journey.

He won't be greeting me at the door any longer. He developed osteosarcoma in his right leg and I helped him to cross over the Rainbow Bridge on June 19th. As I held his head in my lap and told him I loved him and that I was sorry, he looked up at me for a moment and then he was gone. My forever friend.

We know that Dakota had a loving home with Paula and that is all that any greyhound deserves.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Do You Have a Plan??


 
What would happen to your hound(s) if something happened to you? Have you thought of the future and all of the possibilities of what can happen? We are asking you to think about this important topic because something happened recently that gave us all pause.

Consider this true story…… a woman in Memphis, Tennessee was murdered by someone she knew. He was someone who had done work around her house so he knew the lay out of her home and knew that, even though she had nine greyhounds, he was not in any danger of being attacked. He knew that she lived alone with her dogs. He was caught when a camera captured his image while he was using the woman’s ATM card.

Five days later, the police found her body in her home. For five days her dogs were without food or water. The adoption group that she worked with took all of the dogs (which she had adopted) and they were subsequently adopted into other homes. Fortunately, she was an active member of her greyhound adoption group because if she hadn’t been, all of the dogs would have been removed by authorities and perhaps would never have had a chance to live out the remainder of their lives.

The lesson here is that we should have a plan in place for someone to take care of our dogs if something happens to us. Our dogs depend upon us to take care of them. They cannot take care of themselves. If you go on a trip and leave them at a kennel, please think about what would happen if you didn’t come back home. Also, consider what you would do if you ended up hospitalized from an accident or illness and could not get back home. Who would know that you had a dog at home waiting for you? Who would take care of your animals while you are sick, incapacitated, etc.

Please take the time to sit down and work out an emergency plan that will work for you. One suggestion is to place a card in your wallet next to your driver’s license stating that you have animals at home and to please call the number of a person you designate (and who can be called) to get them. Work it out with family members, friends, co-workers to take care of your dogs if something happens to you. Keep this information current.

Also, if you don’t survive, do you have someone designated who will take your pet? You should have your designated caregiver call our group to inform us that they are to pick up the dog in the event that we get a call that your pet is alone and we take it back. Our group would probably be the logical contact if you don’t have another person designated and we would take it and start looking for a home for it. We need to know if you have other people who will look out for you so that we don’t place a dog that already has a home to go to. If you prepare a will to include money to care for your dog, don’t leave the money to the dog. It will be much more difficult to get the legalities sorted out. Leave money to your designated caregiver to use to take care of your dog. You can be specific about how the funds are to be spent.

Do not assume that your greyhound adoption group will always be around as a safety net.  Many adoption groups go out of business. What would happen if the organization you adopted your greyhound from went out of business? Our group has taken in many greyhounds from people needing help and the group they adopted the dog from is no longer operating. Please take the time to think through all the possibilities.

Life may be going great but we all know that anything can happen at any time. Please care enough about your dog(s) to make plans in the event of an unforeseen emergency.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Rainbow Bridge - Doc Lloyd (Doc)



 September 10, 2003 - June 14, 2012

It's with a heavy heart that we announce that one of our long term adopters and volunteers has lost her greyhound to cancer.  Mary and Tim Kueberth had to let their hound, Doc, go to the Rainbow Bridge today.  Doc was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor this spring and it turned out to be cancerous.

Doc not only was a beloved hound in his home, but everyone in our organization knew and loved him.  Doc was a therapy dog and he and Mary made their rounds to visit people on a regular basis for many years.  Doc also was an expert meeter and greeter at many events as well.  In fact, Doc was a real veteran as he and his hound buddy Wolf and Mary hosted  monthly meet and greet events at Two Paws Up for over five years.  He could always be seen at all of our special events as well.

Doc was a gentle and sweet dog; he always had a tail wag for everyone he met.  He loved everyone.  Doc was an expert critter hunter and many times we all laughed at his exploits tracking animals in his yard.  He was always on the prowl and managed to find any wildlife that was brave enough to come through the yard.  We all laughed at the photos of Doc standing guard and looking up a tree for the latest critter he discovered.

We all agree that Doc was not here long enough.  But we also know that he had a wonderful loving home with Mary and Tim.  He will be missed by so many.

Rest in peace handsome boy.



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer Hints for Hounds


As the summer months are now in full swing, our concerns for our hounds change direction. Instead of ice, snow and winter woes, we have now arrived at the time of year when another set of issues come into play. Here are a few items we would like to share.


Bee Stings

Watch out for bee stings! Yellow jackets can sting several times and still live. Other bees, like honey bees, sting once and die; some wasps and hornets can sting many times as well. If a hound were to have an allergic reaction to a bee sting, it would only take about 30 seconds to happen. If you know or suspect your grey may have been stung give Benadryl (one tablet for up to 60 pounds, 2 tablets for over that) and rush them to the vet.

If you know your grey is allergic, ask your vet to prescribe a "bee sting emergency kit" for you to keep at home.

The most important areas of concern are the mouth, eyes and ingestion of a multi-sting bee (they can keep stinging all the way down the esophagus and cause swelling which then cuts off the airway).

Mulch (and other Interesting Items)

Mulch seems pretty harmless unless you are using the "red cocoa mulch" which was so popular last year. This product is made from the husk of the cocoa tree which is what produces CHOCOLATE. If any of this red mulch is ingested, it acts just like a chocolate candy bar and can cause upset stomachs, seizures and even death.

Some greyhounds love to eat anything interesting in the garden. Any type of mulch that is ingested can make a hound sick. If your hound likes to chew on things out in the yard (grass, plants, acorns, rocks, seed pods, sticks, etc.), you may want to use the kennel muzzle (with a stool cup inside) that you received in your adoption kit. This will prevent a hound from snacking on items that are not good for the digestion.

Fertilizer/Weed Killer

We all want beautiful plants and grass. Don’t forget your greyhound(s) when you are working in your yard and garden. Keep in mind that some lawn care products can be hazardous to your hounds. If you have a lawn care service, please ask them what types of fertilizers and pest sprays they use. Most chemicals today are safe for pets, but remember that our hounds have much thinner skin and can get sicker faster if subjected to strong doses of even safe chemicals. Your hound may not ingest any chemicals directly from your landscape, but a dog licking its paws can unwittingly dose itself with the chemical it walked in.

Also, be aware of the types of specialized products you are using. For instance, although some lawn fertilizers are safe, some products used for specific garden applications could mean a dose of poison for a greyhound. Reports have been published recently of greyhounds dying when they ate snail bait spread around the base of plants in the garden.

If you don’t use fertilizers, pesticides or weed killers on your yard, you still need to be vigilant if you walk your hound in the neighborhood. Many people do use these products. Pay careful attention to this as your dog traverses the neighborhood lawns or grassy areas along curbs. If you notice any spraying going on, please avoid walking near these areas as lawn chemicals can be transported by wind.

Garden Tools and Lawn Furniture

This one hurts deeply. Several years ago a friend was cleaning up her yard. She had her wheelbarrow out for the debris she was gathering. She thought it would be nice to have the dogs out in the yard with her. The dogs began playing and suddenly her 10 year old grey streaked by and impaled itself on the handles of her wheelbarrow. Another adopter last summer lost her greyhound when she ran full speed into the corner of a concrete bench. Remember that your hounds can reach speeds up to 35-45 MPH in three strides. That speed is enough to turn a harmless tool handle into a death sentence for a greyhound. The same applies to garden tools with points. No matter how careful you are, the possibility is always there.

Poisonous Plants

Dieffenbachia, philodendron, and other pretty plants are deadly to greyhounds and other pets. If you go to the National Poison Control web site, you can get the entire list of plants that are hazardous to your animals.
Water Hoses

Seems safe enough, right? Have you ever felt the water coming out of a hose that sat in the sun for a few hours? It can be hot enough to burn your skin not to mention the tender mouth tissue of any person or animal. Another concern with hoses are the loops can get caught around skinny necks and in trying to get away can be twisted and tighten until the dog literally hangs itself.

Ice Cold Water/Ice cubes

For years it was common to give dog’s ice cubes. At dog shows, breeders and owners sometimes give their dogs ice cubes after coming out of the ring to cool them off; that is, until one dog ate ice cubes and it caused the stomach to twist and the dog died of bloat before it could reach medical treatment. The dog’s body temperature on the inside was very high and the affect from the ice was the same as giving the dog a drink of water or food before or after running. It produced an atmosphere to allow gas to build up and the intestines twisted.

Feeding and Watering

We all have been told not to feed or water our greyhounds or any dog one hour before or one hour after they eat, but it is worth repeating. Always make sure you dog has access to water when outside on a hot day.

Heat Exhaustion/Heat Stroke.  Do you know the difference?

This is one of our biggest concerns! In the spring and summer many of us like to take our hounds with us to outdoor events and parks. Often, on a hot day, we don’t think of how the heat may be affecting our hounds. Please take a moment to think about this important topic.

Heat Stroke is an emergency! Saliva is thick and tenacious and the dog vomits frequently, fainting or unconsciousness. Rectal temps are high often over 106 degrees. If untreated the dog becomes unsteady, staggers, has diarrhea which is often bloody, becomes weaker. Brain damage, coma and death can occur.

Heat Exhaustion: Excessive panting, skin inside the ears becomes flushed and red, weakness, staggering. If left untreated can become heat stroke

Treatment

Treatments are the same for both. DON’T wait for vet treatment; start at once. Cool the dog’s body with cool wet towels or hose the dog with cool water. Apply an ice pack to the dogs head. Remove the dog to a cool place. Continue treatment until your dog’s temperature reaches normal (102-103 degrees). Transport to the vet as soon as the dog’s temperature is stabilized. This is the most dangerous problem we face in summer. Our hounds do not have the body fat or the fur to protect them from the sun’s heat. We must be vigilant.

Pools

Greyhounds are not usually great swimmers. Some may be able to paddle around but on the whole they can not swim or float. There is no body fat to keep them afloat. If you have an in-ground pool, be sure to take your dog into the water with you and show them how to get out. Show them where the steps are located, teach them that if they fall in the deep end they can walk to the shallow end and get out. For those with above-ground pools, you need to have extra vigilance that your ladder is not left down.

Hot Pavement

Don’t forget, on a hot day, walking your hound on hot pavement may result in blistered paws! We’ve seen many greyhounds suffer from blistered paws at some of the outdoor greyhound events that take place in the spring and summer months. If you want to test how hot the pavement is, take off your shoes and stand on the pavement for a moment in your bare feet. If it’s too hot for you, it is certainly too hot for your greyhound!

Sunburns

Since greyhounds don’t have thick fur to protect their skin from sunburns, many can burn very easily and quickly out in the hot sun. Watch their ears as well as ears will burn (and blister) quickly before other parts of the body. A sunburned greyhound will suffer much pain – if you’ve ever had a bad sun burn, you certainly can understand what you hound might be feeling.

The advice offered here is not designed to frighten you or discourage you from having summer fun with your greyhound. Just a little attention to all of these warnings will ensure that you have a Greyt Safe Summer!



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rainbow Bridge - Guvna



We are sorry to report that one of our long term FFGR, Inc. families, Jackie and Scott Grove, have lost their beloved hound.

Guv was only nine years old but had fought a number of battles in his life. He got through a long battle with fear aggression brought on by him being crated 22 hours a day. He managed to battle through seizures and hang on while Jackie and Scott dialed in his medications. He was seizure free for five years.

The one thing that Guv could not battle back from showed itself one night recently......Osteo. Guv started limping and by the next morning he was three-legged lame.  Jackie managed to get him to let her feel the leg and she found a spot above the wrist that was not right. After x-rays at the vet the answer presented itself - serious bone changes and the beginnings of the dreaded swiss cheese look in the femur.


Jackie discussed with the vet the options for this warrior and they both agreed that with his history of seizures, amputation or chemo would be difficult if not impossible. With all the love they could pull together, they held him and let him go releasing him from any more pain.

Guv was much loved by our group.  He attended many many meet and greet events over the years once he got over his fear.  We were all proud of him and cheered for him when he became such a calm and sweet boy.  He may have never had a chance had he not been adopted by Jackie and Scott.  They took the time and patience and worked with him and the result was a very happy and healthy dog.

Even though Guv will be greatly missed by his family (and all of us), we all are grateful that he had such a wonderful home.  Run free Guv; we will all meet some day at the bridge.





Monday, June 4, 2012

Greyhound First Aid

Summer is here and soon we will be outside a lot. AND our greyhounds will be there with us enjoying the nice weather. We think it’s a good time to consider what you would do if your hound gets injured or sick. Often, we don’t think about this until it becomes necessary. And when something happens, we often don’t have the presence of mind to know what to do immediately.

Before going further, please take the time to look in your phone book and find the phone numbers of veterinarians who are located close to you. Post those numbers someplace where they are easily accessible. (This past holiday, we had two hounds that needed vet care and both were located in areas where most of the vets were closed and no emergency services were available.) You may want to call those vets in your area to find out what their hours are and if they take emergency cases.

If you have emergency vet services in your area, please keep the phone numbers handy and learn exactly where they are located in case you need to get there right away. You can find the names of all of the emergency vets that we know of in our area by going to our web site and clicking on our Greytlinks page.

Before you do anything else, check to make sure that all of your vet records are up to date and in one place in case you need them in a hurry. Your adoption folder may be the best place to keep all of your records in one place. Also, make copies of your records and keep a set in your car in case your dog gets sick away from home. Keep copies of any medication that your hound has to take in case you run out while on vacation.

If you want to prepare for an emergency, you can put together a first aid kit that has essential items right in one place. In fact, if you are going to prepare a kit, why not prepare two kits and keep one in your car? It may be one of the best decisions you ever made!!!

What do you put in a greyhound first aid kit? We can help! Listed below are some things that we think would be a fairly complete kit with all that you’ll need. You don’t have to have it ALL but what you have ready to use in case of an emergency could mean the difference between life and death someday. WE HOPE NOT ever, but it always pays to be prepared. Many of the items we suggest you may already have in your home and you can collect. The rest of it can be purchased without great expense. Here’s a list:

GENERAL ITEMS:

• waterproof foil rescue blanket
• wooden tongue depressors
• small magnifying glass
• medium to large scissors
• small (cuticle style) scissors
• travel water bowl
• small towel and washcloth
• latex gloves
• hand sanitizer
• muzzle
• extra collar
• zip lock bags (small and large)
• tweezers (several types)
• eye dropper or oral dose syringe
• rectal thermometer for dogs
• copies of vet records
• suture kit
• pencil and notepad
• instant ice pack
• safety pins or clips
• Thera Paw boot(s) or baby socks
• extra six foot leash
• sharp sterile knife or blade

STERILE BANDAGES AND DRESSINGS:

• vet wrap (2 and 4 inch widths)
• self-adhering athletic bandage - 3 inch width
• self-adhering athletic bandage - 6 inch width
• Telfa, sterile, non-adherent pads (various sizes)
• waterproof tape
• finger sleeve bandages (for happy tail)
• sterile elastic bandage - 2 inches by 4 yards
• hypoallergenic porous tape
• roll of cotton
• gauze sponges (various sizes)
• square gauze pads (various sizes)
• cotton swabs
• cotton balls
• liquid bandage (from vet – Facilitator brand)
• unscented disposable diapers

ORAL MEDICATIONS (check with your vet for correct dosages):

• Pepto Bismol tablets
• Benadryl (25mg. for allergies/insect bites)
• Immodium tablets or
• kaopectate tablets
• low dose buffered aspirin
• Pedialyte
• Rymadil
• Rescue Remedy
• extra prescription medications

WOUND CLEANING SOLUTIONS:

• alcohol swabs
• artificial tears
• hydrogen peroxide - 1% solution
• small bottle of spring water
• Betadine solution (Povidone-iodine 5%)
• ear cleansing solution
• sterile eye wash
• sterile saline spray or solution

TOPICAL MEDICATIONS:

• Ynamite all natural wound salve
• Granulex spray (for treating open wounds that don’t require stitches)
• eye lubricating ointment
• hydrocortisone cream
• bag balm ointment or petroleum jelly
• EMT salve
• triple antibiotic ointment

If you are planning to put together a first aid kit to carry in your car, don’t forget to add a “squawker,” the call that they use at the track to train the dogs to return.  They are a little expensive, but they are worth the money if your dog gets loose.

Since we are on the subject of health emergencies and first aid, don’t forget that your greyhound will not do well in heat. Don’t leave your dog outside on hot days for too long or expose him/her to a lot of sun.

If you plan to take your hound to outdoor events this summer, always be vigilant and pay attention to how they are handling the heat. It doesn’t take much for them to suffer from heat exhaustion (which could really make them sick!). They could even suffer seizures!

If you are going to be out for any length of time, make sure there is lots of shade, plenty of water, and take things easy. If you are hot, they are REALLY hot! Use a spray bottle of water to cool your hound down as well as a cool damp cloth for wiping paws. They sweat through their feet so cool water on their feet will make them feel good and cool them down! Please have fun and be careful!!!




Friday, May 25, 2012

Rainbow Bridge - SWD Houdini (Hattie)


October 1, 2007 - May 21, 2012

We are always sad to report the loss of a dog.  However, this loss is very heartbreaking because Hattie was so young.  She was only four years old.  She became ill several weeks ago and got continually worse over time in spite of numerous vet visits and extensive testing.  She ended up spending time at the emergency vet as the vets there tried to get her temperature down and get her stabilized. But in spite of all of the efforts on the part of all of the vets, it was determined that Hattie was seriously ill and her adopter, Bruce, made the terribly heart breaking decision to let her suffering end.


We all know Hattie well as she was a big part of our volunteer force.  She spent many hours at meet and greet events and other special events winning over people to greyhound adoption.  Everyone in our group loved Hattie as she had such a funny and pleasant personality.  She was a huge part of her family as well.  It goes without saying how much she meant to Bruce and his family. This has been a very emotionally hard time for everyone. But we do know one comforting fact - Hattie had a wonderful and loving home.

Even though she went far too soon, she knew she was loved deeply. We will all miss Hattie but we know that she was the center of the universe in her home.  Rest in peace sweet girl.



Monday, May 14, 2012

Event - YARD SALE!!!!!



It's spring and it's YARD SALE TIME!

If you like yard sales, get ready for a "REALLY BIG" yard sale! Our volunteers have been collecting items for several weeks and we have to say that we now have enough to call this yard sale extraordinary! We have all been filling a large hauling trailer to the brim! And we are still collecting more!


Our yard sale will be held at the home of Jo and CL Long at 6794 Stonewall Court West Adamstown, Maryland. The yard sale will run from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. Jo and CL live along a major route in Maryland and lots of traffic will be available to lure in customers to buy, buy, buy.


This is a major fund raiser for our group. It will also be a chance for people and hounds to get together. Jo and CL have a beautifully landscaped yard (nearly three acres of level grass!) that hounds will LOVE! We will have a number of x-pens and resting places under trees for all hounds that wish to come along with their adopters while the sale is going on. We will also have hounds looking for their forever homes; come out and meet them!

Unlike other typical yard sales, there will be a huge assortment of new items as well as collectibles. Here is a partial list of items that are available for sale:

Furniture
Electronics
Many new and slightly used tools in boxes
Antique farm related items
Antique Tools
Dog crates
Many like new small kitchen appliances (all work)
Books
Many video tapes and CDs (children's)
Many many new dog related items

If you would like to donate any items to the yard sale, it's not too late! Just call Jo at 301-874-5911 and you can make arrangements to drop items off at the trailer. Some of our items will be priced, but most will be available to buy for whatever donation one wants to give. If you want to donate items the day of the sale, please bring them by.

All sales benefit Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc. Come out and have a good time, meet our hounds and get a GREYT bargain!













Rainbow Bridge - WTD Mello (Xena)


June 23, 2005 - May 11, 2012

We are sad to report that our group has lost another greyhound to osteo. Laura and Arne Borsum had to let their beloved Xena go to the bridge after a short bout with cancer. Xena was only seven years old. She had been limping but her vets did not know exactly what the problem was. She had been treated for pain but did not do well. An MRI finally diagnosed the cancer and it was determined that it was in a place and severe enough that there was nothing more that could be done.


Xena's vet came to their home and Xena was surrounded by the people she loved in the home she knew as she crossed the bridge. Also, one of our volunteers, Megan, was there for support. Laura and Arne are neighbors of Megan. Megan introduced them to greyhounds and they adopted two dogs from our group. Megan was always there to help throughout their ordeal.

Xena's pain is over and she is running pain free. She had a home where she was loved so much.  Rest in peace with the angels sweet girl.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Events - Grapehounds Virginia



Grapehounds-Virginia kicks off in three days in Leesburg-Virginia!

Please plan to be with us for the weekend ...or for the day! You don't even have to be a wine taster to love this event! If you are a wine lover, there are six wineries and a new custom wine glass waiting to welcome you and your hounds!

Here's a taste of what's to come!

Food, music, vendors, beautiful wineries, and hundreds of greyhounds in springtime Virginia!
Sounds like a Grapehounds event!

A huge vendor tent opens at noon on Friday this year at Lost Creek Winery, filled with vendors from as far away as Illinois, Arkansas and Vermont.  This year there are some new vendors who have never before been to a greyhound event!

Our organization will also be vending at this event.  We will have new and unique items exclusively brought in for this event!  Some are one of a kind!
A Welcome Party will be held at North Gate Vineyards on Friday evening from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m for registered guests, with delicious food pairings from Gourmet Your Way! Saturday, the vendor tent will be open all day, along with food, music, and wine tasting.

If you can't come for the weekend, then get a friend and come for the day on Saturday!
 Bring your greyhounds and a toy, blanket or collar from any greyhound you have lost for a special Blessing of the Hounds by Rev. Susan Carol Roy at 3PM on Saturday.

Claudia Presto from the Greyhound Gang is flying in from Utah to do three seminars for the event! Chat with Claudia about your hounds...

Check out our full schedule at www.Grapehounds.com

There is still some hotel availability in Leesburg, but now is the time to reserve a room! Rates in the area are as low as $75 a night.

Although pre-registration has ended, you can still register at the event.  Registration includes a new Grapehounds stemless or stemmed glass, entrance to the Welcome Party, and wine tasting at six wineries.
All proceeds go to ten area greyhound adoption groups (including FFGR, Inc.) co-sponsoring the event.

For more information, go to our Calendar of Events on our web site.  We hope to see you there!







Saturday, May 5, 2012

Diamond Pet Food Recall

http://diamondpetrecall.com/diamond-expands-voluntary-recall/


Diamond Pet Foods has voluntarily recalled several brands produced in its Gaston, South Carolina, plant as a precautionary measure to protect the health and safety of customers and their pets. Please refer to the production code number on your bag to determine whether your product is affected by this recall. Please feel free to contact us at 866-918-8756 with any questions. Diamond Pet Foods apologizes for any potential issues this may have caused customers and their pets. We will update this website continually so check back often for new information.

BRANDS AFFECTED BY RECALL

Costco, Kirkland Brand Dry Dog foods.
Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
Country Value
Diamond
Diamond Naturals
Premium Edge
Professional
4Health
Taste of the Wild

PRODUCTION CODES

If your production code has a 2 or 3 in the 9th or 10th position AND an “X” in the 11th position, your product is affected by the recall. If the product you have does not include a 2 or 3 in the 9th or 10th position AND an “X” in the 11th position, your product is not affected by the recall, and you can continue to feed it as usual.

If you have any questions about this voluntary recall, please contact  Diamond Pet Foods at 866-918-8756.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Event - Hearty Pet Grand Opening


                  GRAND OPENING EVENT TO BENEFIT LOCAL RESCUES

Hearty Pet Sponsors Grand Opening Event, All Raffle Proceeds Benefits The Humane Society of Washington County and Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue

Hearty Pet is having an official Grand Opening for their retail store located at the Premium Outlets, Hagerstown in suite 727, on May 12th and 13th. There will be well over $3,000 of pet products to be raffled off throughout the weekend. All the proceeds from the raffled items will be split evenly between the Humane Society of Washington County and Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue from Boonsboro, MD.

Customers will have the opportunity to win their pets some goodies from brands like: Weruva, EVO, Innova, Worlds Best Cat Litter, The Honest Kitchen, Orijen, Acana, Canidae, Barkwheats, Wapiti Labs, Tiki Cat, Tropiclean, Fruitables, Wellness, Planet Dog, Earthbath, Fromm, Plato and many, many more! Raffle tickets will be available starting at 10am on May 12th. There will be multiple baskets up for grabs. They will range in value from about $30 to $1000! The cost of the tickets will start at $1. All winners will be contacted on Monday, May 14. They will also be announced via our Facebook page and email newsletter.

Hearty Pet will be offering 15% off store wide to all of our customers for those two days in celebration of our official Grand Opening! Amazing door busters will be handed out throughout the weekend as well as free refreshments for both four and two legged guests. (Yes, pets are welcome!) Several product demonstrations will be happening throughout the Grand Opening by representatives from several manufactures. The demonstration will help educate customers on the importance of feeding their pets high quality foods as well as the advantages of supplements and dental products.

Several contests will be held throughout the weekend as well. These will include best pet costume, best pet/owner look alike and cutest pet! Contest will start at 11am on May 12th. We will also have several games for kids such as guess how many pieces of kibble are in a bag of dog food, pin the tail on the dog, and we will even have a face painter present for part of the event! For full list of events and times, go to the Hearty Pet Retail Store Facebook Page or call the store. 301-791-7387.

This event is to support two amazing local rescues as well as promote shopping at a small, family owned and operated business. Hearty Pet offers a wide variety of high quality pet foods, treats, supplements, toys and chews. They have a very knowledgeable staff that is able to assist our customers in picking out the best products for their furry best friends!

Hearty Pet’s mission is to provide all pets with the best possible nutrition and care so that they can live a long, healthy, happy life!

We hope that you will join us for a wonderful event; thanks Hearty Pet!!



Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rainbow Bridge - UMR Grade (Grady)

We are sad to report the loss of another greyhound. We received notice from Rhonda Feihler that she lost her greyhound Grady last month. Rhonda (and her previous partner Robin) adopted Grady in 2007. Grady was a return to our group because the people who adopted him did not want to keep him when he started having seizures. Shortly after he came back, Rhonda and Robin contacted us when they saw him on our web site. These were the days before Craiger's List. At the time they lived in Ohio. But because they were seasoned and experienced greyhound adopters who adopted special needs greyhounds, we made arrangements for them to adopt Grady.

Grady was greatly loved by Rhonda and Robin and they were able to manage his seizures well. Rhonda took Grady with her when she moved from Ohio to New Jersey but she kept in contact with us throughout the years.

Grady did so well and had very few seizures. However, he had one last seizure last month and the vet reported that he most likely suffered brain damage from it because Grady was non-responsive. Rhonda sadly let Grady go. Grady would have been nine years old in July.

We are sad to hear of the loss of a beloved hound. However, we know that Grady had a wonderful home where he was greatly loved and cared for so well. Many greyhounds, especially those with special needs like Grady, never get that chance.

Run with the wind Grady until we all meet one day at the bridge.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Happy Birthday FFGR, Inc.!

Happy Birthday FFGR, Inc.! We are seven years old today! Thanks to our wonderful volunteers who are TEAM PLAYERS! Take a bow (wow)! Each dog we place takes countless hours of work on the part of many volunteers. Thank you all if you made a financial donation, thank those of you who opened your hearts and homes to give a greyhound a home, especially those willing to love a greyhound that was old or ill or behaviorally challenged. Thank you for donating items to our vending events. and/or for working our special events and many meet and greet events. Thank you home visitors, transporters, and especially fosterers. You are all angels!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Memorial - David "Kip" Koontz


June 1, 1963 to April 8, 2012

Our organization has lost a wonderful long time friend and volunteer. "Kip" Koontz died unexpectedly in his home April 8. We have known Kip as long as FFGR, Inc. has been in business. Kip and his spouse, J.D. came to us in the early days of our organization and adopted their first greyhound, Amelia, in early 2006. It was the beginning of a wonderful relationship that lasted through the years.

Kip and J.D. eventually adopted four greyhounds - Amelia, Fitzgerald, Brogan and Lili from our group. They spent many hours working at our meet and greet events and they helped out at numerous other events.

It was Kip who first came to us and suggested having a picnic to celebrate our hounds. For three years, Kip not only helped plan the picnics, but he was the auctioneer at our live auctions to raise money for our group. Everyone loved Kip's enthusiasm and great sense of humor. He was responsible for helping our organization raise thousands of dollars through our live auctions. Each year everyone was eager to get to the picnic to hear Kip as he made us all laugh and bid high.

For four years, Kip and J.D. organized neighborhood yard sales that also earned our organization funds. Each yard sale was fun and was more like a big neighborhood block party than a sale. He was able to channel his enthusiasm into making hard work fun and profitable.

What made Kip so unique was his unabridged love for his dogs. No one could ever say that Kip didn't love his greyhounds. They were the center of his universe. It was not uncommon to get a phone call from Kip sounding excited and happy about something one of his dogs learned to do or something funny one did. We knew that any phone call from Kip meant that he had something nice to say about his dogs.

When Amelia died unexpectedly during a dental, Kip was inconsolable. And the loss of Fitzgerald to cancer was just as devastating to him.

In recent years job changes and illness made it hard for Kip and J.D. to volunteer as often but they never lost interest in our group throughout all of their ordeals. They always were willing to help out.

Kip will be greatly missed by all of us who knew and loved him. He was a large part of our organization and his loss will leave a hole that will never be filled.

Rest in peace dear friend until we all meet one day at the bridge.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thanks to NEAR!




We'd like to thank the New England Airedale Rescue, located in Cornwall Bridge, CT, for their generous donation of items to sell at our upcoming vending events. We appreciate the generosity and the support of this wonderful rescue organization. ROOOOOS to you all!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April - Adopt A Greyhound Month!



BIG NEWS! Did you know that April is Adopt a Greyhound Month? Not only that, but we at Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc. will be celebrating our seventh birthday! Thanks to the very hard work of our dedicated volunteers, our group has placed over 435 greyhounds into their forever homes. Our group does not focus on numbers but on quality of adoptions. That is why our return rate remains low. We are proud of our record because we are located in a more rural and less populated area where we need to travel to do our work and reach out to potential adopters. In our seven years, we have received an award from the SPCA International as well as from Greythound Guardians for the work we do to find homes for dogs that are less adoptable.

In our seven years, we have consistently tried to focus on giving all greyhounds a chance at a forever home. We take in all greyhounds no matter what the problem. We reach out to other groups to help find homes for the harder to place greyhounds. We believe in giving every greyhound a chance at a forever home and find many adopters who also understand the value in each and every dog.

Therefore, during the month of April, we will be offering a number of incentives for adopting a greyhound. The adoption fee will be waived for any Craiger's List dog during the month to a QUALIFIED adopter. However, our group will make a donation in the adopter's honor to the Morris Animal Foundation for cancer research. We will offer reduced adoption fees to adopters who have adopted a greyhound from our group previously. We will also offer a special "goody" bag to first time adopters in addition to the many free items we supply.

If you are interested in adopting a greyhound, please visit our web site and read about the greyhound breed. If you feel that a greyhound is the type of dog that you would like to adopt, then submit your application.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Event - Greyhounds in Gettysburg



Join Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc. for the fourteenth annual Greyhounds in Gettysburg! If you have never attended this greyt event, please consider it this year. If you are looking for a fun event to enjoy with your hound(s) you will not want to miss this event.

Two and a half days of activities are planned beginning at noon on Friday, April 27 and running to noon on Sunday, April 29. Approximately 40 vendors will be available on Friday and Saturday to sell greyhound related merchandise. Our organization will be vending this year for the fourth year. Come and see all the great merchandise! This event is truly a shopper's paradise. Special activities for the whole family run thoughout the day and into the night as well. This has become one the of most popular events on the east coast in recent years and it gets larger each year.

When you are not participating in greyhound related activities, you have all of historic Gettysburg and surrounding countryside open to you. Gettysburg was the pivotal battle in the Civil War. You can visit the battlefield, museums and the historic town to discover more about this historic battle and the men that fought here.

On-line registration is closed April 1, so if you want to attend, please register by that date. On Site Registration will also be available on site at the GIG Information Tent at Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg, Friday, April 27, 2011 and Saturday, April 28, 2011.

For more information about this event, please click on the title of this post and it will take you to the GIG web site. We hope to see you there!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rainbow Bridge - Ds I'm Coming (Bentley)


June 17, 2001 - March 27, 2010
We are sad to report the loss of another wonderful greyhound. We got a phone call from Judy Riley this past week. Her greyhound, Bentley, was limping and his leg was swollen. After taking him to one vet and the emergency vet, she still had no answers. When she called we advised her to ask her vet for a referral to another vet. However, yesterday, she called to report that Bentley's limping was much worse and the swelling had become much worse. She took him back to the vet and x-rays revealed that his leg had broken badly. Evidently, he had osteo which did not show up clearly on the earlier x-rays. Because of the severity of the break and his age, Judy chose to let Bentley go.

Judy adopted Bentley from our group in June of 2006. Bentley was eleven years old. Judy and her family also adopted another greyhound from our group a few years ago. The family is very broken up and sad about losing Bentley. However, they are great adopters and we know that Bentley had a wonderful home.

Rainbow Bridge - Hahtland (Penfold)


This past week we got a sad email from Hilary Craig that she lost her greyhound, Penfold, to cancer in early January. Hilary adopted Penfold from our group in September 2006 and she was broken hearted to lose him. He was seven years old. Hilary also adopted a female greyhound (Ezzie) from our group last year. We remember Penfold; he was such a handsome boy and very sweet natured. He got along well with Hilary's cat (the one that didn't usually like other animals!). Hilary is contemplating adopting another greyhound and, if she does, we know that another hound will get a good home.

We are always sad when one of the hounds we place passes on. But we know that each dog had the best home with loving adopters who gave them a chance to have a great life.

Run free sweet boy; you were greatly loved.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring is Here!


It’s that time of year again! The weather is changing and each day it’s getting warmer and brighter. Soon the “dog days of summer” will be upon us. Now is the time to be thinking of how you are going to prepare your yards and gardens for new growth and for all those great blooms and blossoms.

Don’t forget your greyhound(s) when you start working in your yard and garden. Keep in mind that some lawn care products can be hazardous to your hounds. If you have a lawn care service, please ask them what types of fertilizers and pest sprays they use. Most chemicals today are safe for pets, but remember that our hounds have much thinner skin and can get sicker faster if subjected to strong doses of even safe chemicals. Your hound may not ingest any chemicals directly from your landscape, but a dog licking its paws can unwittingly dose itself with the chemical it walked in.

Also, be aware of the types of specialized products you are using. For instance, although some lawn fertilizers are safe, some products used for specific garden applications could mean a dose of poison for a greyhound. Reports have been published recently of greyhounds dying when they ate snail bait spread around the base of plants in the garden.

None of us want to have to bear the loss of a pet because we didn’t pay attention to the types of chemicals that we used to make our yards look nice. The best advice is ALWAYS BE AWARE.

The warmer weather brings more opportunities for taking walks with our hounds. Now is the time to inspect all collars and leashes for wear. Check all webbing around the collars to make sure there are no cuts or fraying. Leashes that are cut or frayed in any way should be thrown out. Also, check the hardware on the collars to make sure there are no splits. The D-rings in some martingale collars are made from one piece of wire that is then shaped into the D-ring. These are not safe as pressure on this hardware may split the ring and open it enough for the cloth part of the collar to slip through. When buying a new collar, make sure that the D-ring is all one piece. Inspect the clips on leashes to make sure they work properly. Nothing is more frightening to have a hound slip the leash because the clip sticks or comes loose.

It’s also time to bring out the heartworm preventative and flea and tick preventative. Many people do not use these products in the winter and may forget when spring comes to start using them again. We recommend strongly (and hope that you agree) that heartworm and flea/tick preventative is worth the cost of not having to worry about your hound’s well being.

You can get these preventatives from your vet and on line. The heartworm preventative is not available in any pet food or supply stores. Before you give your hound a heartworm preventative, please make sure that he/she is heartworm negative. You do not want to give this medication to a hound that tests positive for heartworms. Your hound can get a heartworm test at your vet. You may also want to check your hound’s vet records to determine when the last heartworm test was done and to make sure that all other shots are up to date.

Heartworm preventative is taken once a month. You can usually buy it in a six month supply. Your vet may carry several brands to choose from, but some only carry one brand. While you can shop on line for this preventative to save money, most companies will require an “OK” from your vet (to confirm that your hound is negative for heartworms) before they send you the product. If your vet objects to this, ask if he/she will be willing to price match.

You do not need a “prescription” from your vet to shop for flea and tick preventatives, and you can most likely save money by comparing prices on line (remember to add in shipping costs!). There are many different products to choose from. However, DO NOT use a flea collar on your hound. These items contain toxic chemicals and your hound’s thin skin will absorb the chemicals quickly and make him/her sick.

If you need advice on which types of preventatives to use, please email us and we’ll try to help.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Health and Nutrition - Dogs and Ticks


With a much warmer winter than usual, we can expect to see a lot more unwanted little critters on our hounds very soon! It's important to keep your hounds protected from ticks as they carry many diseases that can jeopardize your hounds' health.

There are many products on the market that will help keep ticks off your pet. We feel that most work well. However, you may want to discuss with your veterinarian which products may work best in your area.

We have found that tick collars work well and they are safe for greyhounds. You can purchase these on line. They are called Preventic Tick Collars and they will work for three months. The only issue with them is that they should not get wet.

Just remember that you should never use flea collars on your hound! Stick with the various topical products.

If you want more information on which tick borne diseases are more prevalent in your area, click on the title of this post. This web site provides an amazing amount of detailed information about ticks and provides maps of which of those diseases are found in your area.

We hope that you will use this information and pass it along!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Save Purina Weight Circles and Help FFGR, Inc.


More angels among us! Thanks to all of those angels who cut all of the Purina weight circles off their bags of dog food and donate them to us. Thanks to your efforts our group has just received checks in the total amount of $1,350 to pay for any future vet bills! We save the weight circles and then Bill adds them all up and sends them in to Purina. Since we started our group, we always got checks for $500. This time, because of the efforts everyone made, we now have a credit at our vet for $1,350!

If you are using Purina products, here is what you can get the weight circles from. Each weight circle is worth a certain number of points and the points add up to money or products. We always choose the money for the vet.

The list of which foods have the weight circles:

Pro Plan Selects: 12 points
Pro Plan Performance: 12 points
Purina Veterinary Diets: 12 points
ALL OTHER Pro Plan and Purina One foods (including puppy foods): 11 points - there are a LOT of products under this category, too many to list. You will have to check the bags for a weight circle.

The points also vary by the weight of the bags.

Other participating Purina Brands: 8 points (these 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 (these must really be low end!)

There are no cat food products listed.

Thanks to all of you! See what you did? And you didn't even have to leave home except to buy the dog food!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rainbow Bridge - EZ Lord Penske (EZ)



September 23, 2003 - February 22, 2012

We are sad to report that another greyhound has passed on to the Rainbow Bridge. We got word that EZ lost his battle with seizures.

Beryl Powers adopted EZ from our group in August 2008. At the time he was on Craiger's List because he was a seizure dog. He had seizures at the racing kennel so he was sent out for adoption. Beryl and her husband (now deceased) had no problem adopting EZ and they were more than willing to take care of him and give him a wonderful home. Over the years EZ had seizures on and off and Beryl each time took him to a neurologist for tests and medication adjustments. He did very well in her care.

We are so sorry to learn that EZ is gone but we do know that without this special care EZ probably would never have enjoyed the number of years that he had. He was a sweet sweet boy and a big boy too. He loved raw carrots - they were his favorite treat.

Beryl makes all of the coats we sell in our Greytdogs Store. She has been a loyal and generous volunteer and has made many items for our group including belly bands, pillows, blankets, etc. She has donated many items to our fund raising efforts.

EZ is romping at the bridge with all of his companions and will never have a seizure again.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rainbow Bridge - Kacy Dunbar (Kacy)


September 20, 2003 - February 21, 2012

We are sad to report that one of our long term FFGR, Inc. volunteers, Donna (Domenick) lost her beautiful greyhound Kacy. Kacy died suddenly and unexpectedly in her home. She had no signs of illness and was fine as usual. Donna reported that Kacy went to her usual spot to lie down on her bed and Donna heard a slight whine. When Donna checked on Kacy she could tell that something was terribly wrong. Kacy died while Donna was holding her.

Donna called her vet and her vet seems to think that Kacy's heart stopped. We don't have to describe how totally shocked and devastated Donna and her family are. Donna and Kacy have been a central part of our family since she and her husband adopted Kacy in March of 2007. Kacy has always been loved so much by the entire family. This has to be hard to accept.

Kacy was eight years old in September. She was at our meet and greet in Gettysburg just a week ago.

We all know how much Kacy was loved; Donna never missed an opportunity to tell us how much Kacy meant to the whole family. But we also know that Kacy was a very lucky dog to have found her family. We are comforted to know that she always had the best care and was the center of attention.

Kacy, you were so loved by your family and everyone (including your extended FFGR, Inc. family) who knew you; rest in peace sweet girl.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rainbow Bridge - Suzgonpostal (Tera)



August 14, 2002 - February 2012

We received an email from Laurie Carey yesterday reporting that she lost her greyhound Tera. Laurie and her family adopted Tera from our group in October of 2006.

Laurie reported that Tera went in for a routine dental last week - she gets one every year - and during the dental her heart stopped. This was a shock and not expected. Tera was nine years old. Laurie did state that the vet, who knew Tera very well and treated her for years, worked for nearly an hour trying to revive Tera.

We are all saddened to hear of Tera's passing, especially when it was so unexpected. We know the Carey family is devastated. But we also know that Tera had a most loving home with her family and that is all she remembered. She was a fortunately dog to get such a great family.

Run free sweet girl; you were loved.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Shop the PetSmart Dollar Day Sale at PetSmart.com! Offer Valid 2/16 - 2/20.

PetSmart Dollar Days Sale!

For four days only beginning February 16th, all Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc. shoppers can find great deals at the PetSmart Dollar Days Sale! There are lots of wonderful items that you can buy for your pets while donating to our organization at the same time. Click on the link above and anything that you buy on line at Petsmart will result in a percentage of the sale going to FFGR, Inc. Take advantage of this great opportunity to stock up now!

Shop the dollar days sale at Petsmart.com!
Offer Valid 2/16 - 2/20.

Greytdogs Store News



Big news! We've just increased our winter coat inventory! Our Greytdogs Store is supplied with a lot of new coats. Some of them are our old favorites that seem to sell and sell; we've now made them available again. Others are new designs. We also have a new supply of sports team coats for those sports fans who like to show their team spirit.

Check out our new inventory and you are sure to find something you like. Of course, our diva coat model, Cassie, loved her recent photo shoot - she LOVES to model all of the coats herself. She knows exactly what to do and where to stand, etc. She has been our official coat model for over two years! You can even see the seasonal changes by looking at the backgrounds in the photos. No matter what type of weather, though, Cassie is willing to strut her stuff!

Remember, all sales directly benefit our organization. The coats are all designed and made by Beryl Powers and she loves to see Cassie model the coats too. Thanks to Beryl for her hard work to benefit the hounds.

You can go to our Greytdogs Store by clicking on the title of this post! Happy shopping!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Health and Nutrition - Winter Hints for Hounds


Winter weather brings special challenges for greyhounds. Greyhound feet and toes, not to mention slender bodies, can be vulnerable to the changing temperatures, snow and ice.

During cooler weather it would be prudent to have a fleece coat to keep the slender greyhound figure warm. Exposed feet and toes are not only sensitive to the cold but can be injured by ice, burned by chemicals used to melt ice and when a greyhound licks its feet, some of the chemicals can be ingested causing illness and sometimes death.

Snow and Ice
When your greyhound returns from outside, you should examine feet and toes to be sure there are no cuts, scrapes or snow trapped between toes. Ice is not only dangerous to feet but can cause injury by a greyhound falling.

In the event that there is a deep snow fall, you may need to dig out an area for your greyhound to be able to relieve itself. Remember that greyhounds do not like their body parts to touch snow or ice, so plan accordingly when clearing a space.

Ice forming on tree branches and then breaking the branches or just ice or snow falling from trees or houses can injury your pet. Inspect your yard after a snow or ice storm to be certain any dangerous items are removed before allowing your pet free access to the yard. Leash walking may be advisable until an inspection can be completed.

When shoveling snow be sure that you do not provide an escape route for your greyhound by piling snow close to fences, sheds, woodpiles, garages or any other items that might be used as a springboard to escape.

Chemicals
When choosing an “ice melt” product be sure it states clearly that it is pet and child safe. Even then, feet should be wiped after returning from outside to ensure that your pet does not lick any of the chemicals that may have adhered to its paws, legs and underbelly.

If you leash walk your dog in the neighborhood, pay particular attention to areas that have been cleared or where the “road salt” may have been thrown up onto the grass and sidewalk. These chemicals are extremely harsh and dangerous if ingested by your pet.

Many homeowners take this time of year to prepare their lawns for the long dormant period by spreading fertilizer or other chemicals on their lawns. Take note of any “Caution, Lawn Treatment” signs in the area and avoid these yards. Overspray from these yards can be carried quite a distance by wind blowing.

Insects
The temperatures dip and many insects seek warmer climates for the winter. Take extra caution when bringing firewood into your home. Spider bites are one of the most dangerous threats to pets during the winter. They can go undiagnosed and cause serious illness.

Overexposure
No one would knowingly expose their pet to extended exposure to inclement weather on purpose, HOWEVER, we are human and unexpected things can happen. Consider setting an oven/kitchen timer when you put your pet outside. That way even if you get distracted the timer will remind you about your pet.

In the event that your pet does suffer from overexposure, IT IS A LIFE THREATENING PROBLEM. Urgent veterinary care is essential to the life of your pet. If you are not able to get professional help immediately, here are a few tips to get you through ONLY until a vet can be reached.

If your pet is overexposed to the cold, wrap them in room temperature blankets. Use towels to rub vigorously and help restore warm blood circulation. NEVER put your pet into very warm or hot water. This can cause major circulation problems and even result in death due to the shock incurred by the animal's system. If you must use warm water (in case of drowning or immersion in cold water) use tepid water (like a baby’s bath water) and slowly warm the water to not more than 98 degrees. If at all possible, veterinary care should be sought ASAP.

As always, these suggestions are never to replace the professional care of a veterinarian. When in doubt, seek professional advice and treatment for your greyhound. Hoping you have a safe, healthy winter season.

Written by Helen Coleman