Rainbow Bridge – Simon Time

Simon is gone. He died shortly after surgery in Florida; he was in surgery to be neutered. He was scheduled to come up to our group as soon as we planned the next transport.

Simon was Alaska’s littermate (one of our Available Dogs) and just as sweet as Alaska. Simon was three years old December 1, 2010.

Dear Simon,
We never met you but we loved you all the same.
You never reached your forever home but your reached our hearts.
You will never feel any pain or suffering, you will only know love and peace.
We never met you but you are in our hearts all the same.
RIP Sweetie Pie, you were loved..

Lost Greyhound (Barbie) Update

Barbie has been found! Someone recognized a greyhound on the loose and reported it; it as Barbie. It took Skip and Dotty and some family members a few hours to locate her and then work to get her to come to them. One family member sat on the ground and held up a treat. That got her close enough. We are all so happy that, after exactly six days on the loose in the coldest temperatures of the year, she was able to get back to her home.

She is heading to the vet to be checked. She is very thin and tired and has some bleeding from scrapes. We are all hopeful that the time outside did no irreparable harm.

We are thankful to so many in the area where Skip and Dotty live who helped out the entire time she was missing. No one gave up. It was a tireless effort, but it paid off. We continue to pray for Barbie and that she gets back to normal very soon!!

Lost Greyhound – Barbie


We are posting this notice in our News Blog because we hope that someone might read this and know someone who can help.

On Wednesday, January 19,someone opened the gate to Skip and Dotty Johnson’s back yard and let three of their hounds out. Skip and Dotty were able to get two back, but have not been able to find Barbie. It is going on four days now since Barbie went missing and no one has reported a reliable sighting of her.

Skip and Dotty used to live in Boonsboro and volunteered regularly for our group. A couple of years ago they moved to Coal Township, Pennsylvania, which is located around the area of Shamokin, Pennsylvania.

They have done everything correctly. Since they were volunteers for our group, they knew exactly what to do and made sure that everyone in the area was properly notified. Since they live in a small township, everyone knows them and their dogs.

In addition, the other greyhound adoption groups in the surrounding areas were notified and some of their volunteers have been aiding in the search. They have posted many leaflets and given them out to everyone they meet.

If you know of anyone who lives in that area of Pennsylvania, we’d appreciate it if you would call or email them. If you have a Facebook account, please post this information for freinds that you might have who live in that area. Hundreds of people have been notified through Facebook and other social media as well as greyhound forums.

Please contact us and we will pass on the information to Skip and Dotty. Although there have been no sightings, we are still hopeful that Barbie can be found.

Barbie is friendly and outgoing and is wearing identification tags. She knows her neighborhood because she gets walked often.

Please keep Barbie in your thoughts.

Event – Fundraiser (Bon Ton Community Day)


Support Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc.! Since 1999, the Bon-Ton family of stores has partnered with local community organizations just like ours to help raise over $80 million! Community Day is a great way for you to give back to your community by purchasing coupon booklets valued at over $200 for just $5 each! For $5 you will receive a $10 off coupon with minimal restrictions, a 30%* off early-bird coupon, a 20%* off shopping pass, bonus coupons and amazing web offers. Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc. keeps 100% of the booklet price!

We are using the funds we raise to help bring retired racing greyhounds into our organization and find responsible and forever homes for them. Help us help them!

You can go shopping, get discounts on great merchandise and show your support for Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc..

Ready to purchase a booklet? Here’s how:

Step 1: We’ll be selling booklets in the Bon-Ton store at the Valley Mall in Hagerstown on Friday January 28th from 10:00 a.m. – Noon. Or, go online to www.communitydayevent.com and click on the “Participating Organizations” link. We are listed in the drop-down menu as Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc.. Once you’re on our Community Day Homepage, you can contact us to purchase coupon booklets for just $5 each, good toward great looks at the Bon-Ton family of stores.

Step 2: Shop the One Day Community Day Sale on Saturday February 26, 2011 at any participating store and use your coupons for sensational merchandise at great prices.

Step 3: Look fantastic and feel even better about helping Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc.!

Questions? Do you want coupon booklets to sell? Please contact us!
Name: Hettie Ballweber Phone: 301-416-2028

New Video on Utube for FFGR, Inc.

We are happy to announce that our organization has a wonderful new way to advertise our mission! We are now on Utube! We were fortunate enough to meet two very talented students at Towson State University who were taking a class in Electronic Media and Film. Under the direction of their professor, Dr. Dave Reiss, Ryan Pew and Joe Freeman worked very hard and spent many hours with our volunteers and greyhounds to produce a spectacular 6 minute wide screen high definition video that highlights the work we do to find homes for our greyhounds.

We are very touched that Ryan and Joe were so dedicated to producing just the perfect video; they came back to visit us and filmed us sometimes doing even the most mundane part of our work. They wanted to capture the whole world of greyhound adoption on film. We think it was to our benefit that they were so detail oriented and diligent about producing a great product.

We have posted our video on the home page of our web site and we hope that it will give people interested in adopting a greyhound a sense of how we work and how we fulfull our mission.

Thanks to all of our wonderful volunteers for being so willing to speak on behalf of the greyhounds!

Here is our video:

Events – New Meet and Greet Venue


It’s NEW! We are proud to announce that our group will be holding meet and greet events at a brand new location! We have been invited to the Pet Valu in Annapolis, Maryland to talk to customers and interested visitors about greyhound adoption. Our first meet and greet event is scheduled for Saturday, February 5, from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. We hope that this event will bring more potential adopters.

Thanks to Helen Coleman and Anne Celeste who will be hosting this new event. You can plan to meet one of their greyhounds (or more!). They will be glad to answer questions about the breed and talk about greyhound adoption.

If you live in the Annapolis area and want to help our or want to come in to talk about greyhound adoption, you can contact Helen through our web site calendar of events.

The address of our new location is:

Pet Valu
Bay Forest Center
940 Bay Ridge Road
Annapolis, MD 21403

You can get more information on the store by clicking on the title of this post.

Winter Safety for Your Hound


Well, it’s that time of year again. We go from rain to ice to snow to thaw and back around again and again. With colder temperatures, everything freezes and thaws; and then there is the ever present threat snow!

Don’t forget your hound’s safety during these times of changing temperatures. Snow is beautiful and our hounds all seem to love it! Some run like the wind in the yard or do hops and circles on the leash when they walk. While the snow is not generally dangerous, the temperature variations between day and night can cause freezing of the top layer of snow. This thin layer of ice can act like knife blades on the delicate skin on the legs and paw pads. Check before giving your hounds freedom to run in the yard.

If you leash walk, be careful of road salt that is used liberally to melt the snow and ice off the roads. It can cause irritation of the paw pads. Also, a greyhound licking salt off its paws can get sick. Stick to safe areas that have not been treated to walk your hound.

Don’t forget to use a coat or wrap in freezing temperatures. Our rule here is “if it’s cold enough for us to put on a coat, it’s time to get out the greyhounds’ coats too.” If your hound is the type to get down to business in the yard right away, a coat is probably not necessary. But if you have to leash walk or if you want to take a longer walk with your hound, get out the coat and use it.

And each time the weather changes, our yards look more like the face of the moon. And our hounds start behaving in ways that make us scratch our heads in puzzlement!

Paw wiping is just a part of having a dog and a muddy yard can always be fixed with a bale of hay and by reseeding in the spring. But what do you do when your hounds start eating POOP!!!

We get calls all the time at this time of year and we are never surprised. While experts disagree on the how and the why, we need to work on solving the problem.

Many people think it’s a behavior that goes back to ancient times. And when females give birth, they clean up after their pups. Most dogs keep their crates clean. Others say that poop is just digested food and why shouldn’t a dog be tempted, especially if it’s frozen? But either way, we humans believe it’s a nasty habit and it sometimes can make a dog sick or result in diarrhea.

There are products on the market that are supposed to discourage the behavior. These products claim that, if they are placed in a dog’s food, it will make the poop taste so bad that the dog will not eat it. It may work for some dogs, but not for others.

And it doesn’t help those dogs that also like to eat dirt! This is another problem that we get calls about too. There are even more theories about why dogs eat dirt, and we won’t go into them here (we risk putting ourselves to sleep!). And then there are the eaters of anything chewable like mulch, acorns, small branches, rocks, gravel, etc. These items can not only make a dog sick, but can cause blockages in the digestive system which can be life threatening.

We have found two almost “sure fire” ways to prevent opportunistic eating and it works every time. The first solution throws the problem right into the hands of the adopter. A clean yard will prevent a dog from eating anything you don’t want it to eat. And if you have multiple dogs, it helps even more because they won’t be tempted to eat each others’ feces.

Of course, the weather doesn’t always cooperate and it may take way too long to pick up every single rock, twig, etc. We highly recommend keeping feces cleaned up as often as possible because it not only cuts down on the eating, but it will keep dogs from walking through it and dragging it into the house.

The next best recommendation (and we use it here with every single dog) is to use the muzzle you are given when you adopt your greyhound. Of course, the muzzle alone won’t stop the eating because a dog can still get its tongue through the holes in the muzzle, but you can buy a “stool cup”, a plastic cup that can be attached by zip ties, which fits on the inside of a large muzzle or on the outside of a small muzzle. The cup covers up the holes in the muzzle so the dog cannot get its tongue through it. These are very inexpensive and can solve a host of problems. Birdwell Enterprises, which makes these clever items, sells them for $3.50 each. A hound can breathe normally and go about its business but cannot get into anything (and that means anything) in your yard. The only work on your part is to remember to use the muzzle each time your dog goes out.

We hope your hound stays safe and warm until the flowers bloom in the spring!

Rainbow Bridge – Pepsi

It’s with great sadness that we have to report that Connie Brown had to send Pepsi to the Rainbow Bridge. Pepsi had been diagnosed with bone cancer at the end of October. It was a blow to all of us as Pepsi had been through so much and had found such a wonderful home.

For those who don’t know Pepsi’s story, he was dropped in a shelter in May of last year along with his lab friend, Buddy. We got the call about Pepsi and Buddy and we went to the shelter and got them both out. Buddy had liver cancer and did not live but we managed to get him into a lab rescue and with loving people who spent time with him during his last hours. Pepsi was not in good shape. He needed vaccinations and his mouth was quite a mess. He had a twisted foot that caused him to walk with a limp. And he was eleven years old. He had been taken to the shelter by the husband of his owner who had died. She had taken him from a farm as a puppy. He had not been tatooed.

We took care of getting Pepsi well. He lost all but eleven teeth during a dental. But he was quite a dog! We loved him immediately as he had such a wonderful spirit and was so funny. We placed him on Craiger’s List after he got a little better, but we didn’t expect to find him a home very soon. Who would want an eleven year old greyhound that was not tatooed, had a twisted foot, and hardly any teeth? Connie Brown! Connie saw Pepsi’s photo on Craiger’s List and read about him and she submitted an application to adopt him.

We could not have asked for a better home for Pepsi. From the moment Connie took Pepsi home, he was greatly loved and showered with attention, food, toys, many collars, coats and anything else that Connie might think he needed! She truly loved him. She called or emailed me at least once a week and we laughed at his many exploits (like how Connie could not figure out how her foster dogs were getting out of their crates until she found that Pepsi had learned how to unlatch them!). He was always doing something funny.

We had fun at Dewey Beach in October when Connie stopped by our vending area many times to show us all the wonderful things she had bought for Pepsi. We also saw her and Pepsi at the GPA picnic in late October.

At the end of October he started limping and a vet visit revealed that he had bone cancer. It was unbelieveable that now that Pepsi had found such a wonderful home that his time would be cut short. Connie decided to do pain management for Pepsi and watched him very carefully.

He did so well over the last two months that we often wondered together if Pepsi had been mis-diagnosed. He had good days and less good days but never bad days. But it all finally came to an end the last two days when it was clear that things were changing. Connie held Pepsi in her arms as she let him go to the bridge.

I will miss Pepsi more than words can say. I am so grateful to Connie for keeping him in my life. I made a friend that I will miss talking to about a wonderful greyhound that we shared.

But we know that Pepsi had a wonderful life and even much more than we could have ever hoped for. We are grateful to Connie and thank her for giving Pepsi the home he deserved. Run free sweet boy; your fan club is waiting at the bridge. And you will never be forgotten in the hearts and minds of those who knew you here on earth.

Poem “Snow Buddy”


Snow Buddy

Snow is falling, oh what glee!
I’ll take my snow buddy out with me.

Outside I call to my Ruby!
Bolting cheerfully she meets me!

On with the plaid coat
Slide on the fleece snood

Preparation for play
A must I say

Leaps and bounds, front paws to the ground
Haunches upward to the sky

Twisting, turning to and fro
Circle tracks all in the snow

Strutting up and down the street
Wagging her tail at strangers she meets

Burying her nose deep in the snow
To sniff the smells on the ground below

Looking at me she doesn’t know
That on her nose there’s a puff of snow

Her demeanor fills me with such delight
Joy and happiness floods my soul

My snow buddy is so sweet
She prances around my soiled feet

Skipping the steps up to the porch
She runs and jumps with a flying leap

Back inside she waits for me
I’ll slip her a biscuit a special treat

She slides back to her blanketed bed
To dream of her adventures in her head

Till next time when she hears the word
Outside snow buddy, just you and me!

Written By: Ashley Lake
Inspired By: Ruby (at the Bridge)

Event – Greyhounds in Gettysburg


If you are a new adopter, or even if you have adopted your hounds years ago, you may be interested in a large event that takes place very close to us! Greyhounds in Gettyburg takes place the last weekend in April and has become one of the largest events on the east coast. There are lots of activities planned and a vendor area where you can buy just about anything for your hound. Registration is now open for this event. Just click on the title of this post to get to the GIG web site where you can register. What is special about this event is that our group will be vending there for the third year in a row! We will post more information as time goes on but we wanted to let you know about this event so you can plan for it. Here is the information posted by the Greyhounds in Gettysburg Planning Committee:

Happy New Year and good news to all GIG fans. REGISTRATION IS NOW
OPEN FOR GREYHOUNDS IN GETTYSBURG 2011 ! ! ! !

We are planning a great event for you this year and we want you to be
a part of it. We have great seminars, vendors and dinners planned
for you, and will also be bringing back some of our favorite events.
Here is a bit of what we have planned so far:

We have a new special raffle prize to offer that has been donated by
Kathy Hoynes-Goree, known for her work under the name of Greyhound
Studies. This is a one of a kind art piece that has been commissioned
for GIG only. Kathy has also been one of our loyal vendors for many
years, so you may already be familiar with her work. Her website is
listed on our vendor page so go see for yourself how talented she is.
We will be showing this work in progress on the GIG website. Don’t
miss the opportunity to be the owner of this beautiful custom work of
art.

We have a great new shirt design created by Kent Roberts of
Caricatures By Kent Roberts that we are previewing on the website.
He has really outdone himself with this one. Be sure to order one (or
more) when you register.

There is a new twist to the barbeque dinner on Saturday night this
year. Our sponsor, ARC of Adams County, will be offering us a CHOICE
of either ribs OR chicken. All you have to do is make your selection
when you register. So keep a sharp eye out and make your preference
known.

We are really looking forward to 2011, so come one come all, and be a
part of the fun this year. Give yourself the “Dogcation” you and
yours have been needing. See old friends and make new ones. Be sure
to tell your friends that we are up and running once again in case
they don’t receive our emails. We don’t want anyone to miss out. And
remember, this is the annual fundraiser for Triangle Greyhound
Society. It is the means by which we are able to raise the funds that
we use to help adoption groups in North Carolina and beyond. So help
us help the hounds, and have a good time doing it. What more can you
ask for??

New Year’s Resolutions for Our Hounds

Now that the new year has arrived, we thought it would be a good idea to make up a check list of things that would help you get through the coming year and make sure your hound is safe, healthy, and happy.

_____Always be vigilant and look for signs that your hound is not feeling well. Consider a medical reason for sudden behavior changes first.

_____Use heartworm/flea and tick preventative; add a reminder to your calendar monthly so you don’t forget.

_____Check gate latches daily; place a sign on gates warning contractors or visitors to keep gates closed. Lock gates that are not used daily.

_____Check fence lines for holes and depressions where a hound can crawl or slip through. Make repairs.

_____Check all doors to make sure they close correctly or don’t fly open accidentally. Add a baby gate to doors where a hound can jump out accidentally (i.e., screened doors) when you come and go.

_____Check the yard often to make sure nothing harmful has been dropped or thrown in it that your hound could eat.

_____Make sure your hound does not get too cold or hot outdoors. Be watchful for signs of distress when you are outdoors with your hound.

_____Wash and change water in water bowls frequently and make sure there is always a fresh supply of clean water available.

_____When changing your hound’s food, make sure it’s done slowly and wait an entire month before changing his/her diet again.

_____Check vaccination records and make sure all are up to date; add the date the shots are due on your calendar so that you can make an appointment to see your vet.

_____Make sure that your hound’s teeth are clean; brush teeth often or have their teeth cleaned once a year; check for bad breath which might indicate dental problems.

_____Check collars monthly for wear and tear and loose hardware. Replace worn collars.

_____At all times, keep your own ID tag as well as the FFGR, Inc. ID tag on your hound(s).

_____Inspect leashes often and replace leashes that have slits in them or are fraying.

_____Make sure no tags are on the D-ring that tightens the collar. Use a tag collar or place tags elsewhere where they can’t tighten the collar if they get caught in anything.

_____Check weekly to ensure the collar is adjusted to fit snuggly. Test by bringing the collar up to behind the ears. Pull D-ring to tighten collar. You should be able to place two fingers inside the loop at the dog’s neck.

_____Inspect all toys often and throw away any that are torn. Keep fiberfill from beds and toys away from your hound so it can’t be ingested.

_____When repairing plush toys, use only upholstery or breakable thread; don’t use nylon or polyester thread that, when swallowed, can be caught in the digestive tract.

_____Throw away all rubber toys that can be easily chewed up into small pieces and swallowed.

_____Regularly inspect bones and rawhides; throw away all small and old pieces; replace with new ones.

_____Keep your hound’s nails clipped; don’t allow them to get so long that your hound has a hard time walking. Adhere to a schedule for nail clipping.

_____Check ears monthly to make sure they are clean; watch for scratching and pawing at the ears and head shaking (sign of infection).

_____Check constantly to make sure that any cleaning products, medications, etc. are high up on shelves and out of the way of your hound. Keep counters clear of same.

_____Put together a contingency plan NOW for boarding your hounds, etc. in case an emergency comes up and you have to leave your home immediately.

_____Consider NOW what would happen to your hound(s) in case you get sick, die, have an accident, lose your home, etc. Give the information to someone you trust or contact our group for help.

_____Love your hounds as they love you!!!!!!