Here In This House

We hope that every adopter who comes to our group will understand that we wish for all of our dogs to be loved and cared for………………..

Here in this house…
I will never know the loneliness I hear in the barks of the other dogs ‘out there’.
I can sleep soundly, assured that when I wake, my world will not have changed.
I will never know hunger, or the fear of not knowing if I’ll eat.
I will not shiver in the cold, or grow weary from the heat.
I will feel the sun’s heat, and the rain’s coolness, and be allowed to smell all that can reach my nose.
My fur will shine, and never be dirty or matted.

Here in this house…
There will be an effort to communicate with me on my level.
I will be talked to and, even if I don’t understand, I can enjoy the warmth of the words.
I will be given a name so that I may know who I am among many.
My name will be used in joy, and I will love the sound of it!

Here in this house…
I will never be a substitute for anything I am not.
I will never be used to improve peoples’ images of themselves.
I will be loved because I am who I am, not someone’s idea of who I should be.
I will never suffer for someone’s anger, impatience, or stupidity.
I will be taught all the things I need to know to be loved by all.
If I do not learn my lessons well, they will look to my teacher for blame.

Here in this house…
I can trust arms that hold, hands that touch… knowing that, no matter what they do, they do it for the good of me.
If I am ill, I will be doctored.
If scared, I will be calmed.
If sad, I will be cheered.
No matter what I look like, I will be considered beautiful and known to be of value.
I will never be cast out because I am too old, too ill, too unruly, or not cute enough.
My life is a responsibility, and not an afterthought.
I will learn that humans can almost, sometimes, be as kind and as fair as dogs.

Here in this house…
I will belong.
I will be home.

(author unknown)

Rainbow Bridge – Romac (Rowan)

July 26, 2002 – February 23, 2011

There are no words to speak to the pain we feel over losing Rowan. To us she was way too young. But she is gone from a brain tumor that took her vision and her spirit so quickly. She was only eight years old and we had hoped that she would have been with us many more years.

If it is possible to describe one dog as being perfect, Rowan came the closest of any dog we ever had. She was perfect in every single way to us; a little beauty queen. She NEVER did anything wrong. She was a wonderful dog that God had perfected and then threw away the mold.

She was my girl friend. I can’t count how many meet and greets she did. I can’t count the number of home visits she accompanied me on. I don’t exaggerate when I say that we could have adopted her a hundred times over. I can’t even count the number of times she visited the nursing homes making so many people smile. She saved lives because she was a blood donor for awhile. None of the dogs here could ever out run her. She ran with joy and abandon each time she went out in our field. If she was a human, she would be one that would have been recognized for the contribution she made to this world. She was truly a giver.

In the last couple of weeks we knew that something bad was happening. We now think that because she was so good, she never let us know how badly she felt. It took the neurologist to determine that her vision was gone in one eye. That is why she was so hesitant to walk across the floors she knew so well for so long.

I dreamt of Rowan last night. She ran toward me with that bounce and dog smile that reassured me that she is OK now. Although I selfishly want her back, she is gone. But Bill and I are so lucky to have found sweet Rowan and are honored that she was so willing to share her life with us.

Find Ajay Ro Ro. He’s just a little ahead of you. I’m sure the angels are looking for their newest member.

Special Event – 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 coupon booklet and shop? Here’s how:

Step 1: We’ll be selling coupon booklets in the Bon-Ton store at the Valley Mall in Hagerstown all day Saturday, February 26 from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. You can drop in and visit us and get your coupon booklet. Then you can start shopping for great bargains immediately!

Step 2: Look fantastic and feel even better about helping Fast Friends Greyhound Rescue, Inc.!

Questions? If you would like to help our volunteers sell coupon booklets, please contact us! If you want to come by and buy a coupon booklet from us and shop, just look for our greyhounds! We will be at the various tables set up throughout the store (at all entrances)for our event.

Call Hettie Ballweber- Phone: 301-416-2028

Rainbow Bridge – UMR Sexy Shanny (Amelia)

January 13, 2003 – February 17, 2011.

We are heartbroken to have to report this news. Kip Koontz and J.D. Hulse called us to inform us that their hound, Amelia, died during a routine dental. This is every adopter’s nighmare. Kip and J.D. adopted Amelia in early 2006. She was the eighteenth dog our group had placed.

We’ve known Kip and J.D. for as long as we’ve had our group. They are not only great people and good adopters (they’ve adopted four greyhounds from us) but they have been active volunteers. Amelia was a seasoned meet and greet hound and was at many of our events over the years.

We spent many summer evenings with Amelia when we visited Kip and J.D. and we shared almost all of our Thanksgiving dinners together (along with neighbors and adopters Lisa and Randy who live down the street). We have fond memories of all of the hounds lying around the house or nosing their way around for attention, and Amelia was the “princess” in the group. When we visited Kip and J.D.’s house, we could plan on getting a lot of kisses from Amelia as she loved seeing us as much as we loved seeing her.

We apprecate the love and attention that Kip and J.D. gave Amelia. Amelia developed serious thyroid issues along with fears of loud noises and confusion. They never gave up on her. They did everything they could to make their home comfortable for her and to desensitize her to the noises she hated. She feared the noise from the early morning garbage truck making it’s rounds and on several occasions jumped through a screened window. Fortunately, she ran to Liza’s house each time so that Liza could comfort her and bring her home.

Needless to say, Kip and J.D. are devastated as well as all of us in our FFGR, Inc. family. Rest in peace sweet Amelia knowing that you have so many who love you.

Health and Nutrition – Pet Dental Health Month

Did you know?………..February is National Pet Dental Health Month.

Does your hound have bad breath? Is the hair along the muzzle discolored and stiff (this is from bacteria)? Has your hound’s eating habits changed? Do you notice any pawing at the face?

Your hound may have dirty teeth! Check for tartar buildup on teeth, red and bleeding gums, and/or swollen gums and a reluctance to allow you to open the mouth. Retired racers often have dirty teeth. Some of it is genetic but often it is because the food at the racing kennels is soft and tarter builds up fast. Tartar is produced when mucus (called plaque) builds up and hardens on the teeth. If it is not removed through good dental care, once this tartar gets hardened and
established, it can only come off through a thorough professional (and expensive!) teeth cleaning by your veterinarian.

Most adoption group (ours included) have a newly retired greyhound’s teeth cleaned during the spay/neuter process (so the dog only has to be anesthetized once). Why is it important for your hound to have clean teeth? Did you know that oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets? Poor dental care can result in periodontal disease which is severe and
irreversible. It causes red, bleeding and swollen gums, pain, and eventually can lead to tooth loss and severe infections. The gums have a rich blood supply and when an infection begins, it can easily be passed on to other parts of the body and make the hound seriously ill. It can also permanently damage the heart because the infection can lodge in the valves of the heart.

Prevention is the best medicine. Brushing your hound’s teeth once or twice weekly is the best preventative measure; there are lots of tooth pastes on the market for dogs. DO NOT use products designed for humans as they contain enzymes or other chemicals that might make your hound sick. There are also oral cleansing wipes, gels and sprays available if your hound objects too strongly to tooth brushing.

Feeding dry food and hard biscuits and bully sticks can also help break off tartar. Be careful of the dog treats you give a greyhound; some may cause more harm than good. Some people advocate using raw turkey necks and bones, but if your hound has a food allergy or sensitive stomach, you might want to consult with your vet before adding new foods to his/her diet. Watch those teeth! It could save your hound pain and you money!

If you would like to know how to brush your hound’s teeth, watch the video that we have provided. Just click on the title of this post.

Rainbow Bridge – BP CruisinwithAJ (Ajay)

September 21, 2000 – February 10, 2011

We are heartbroken to report that we lost our wonderful greyhound Ajay. His illness came on so quickly and took him before we had a chance to accept it. Ajay will forever be in our hearts.

He was a special greyhound in so many ways. He was such a large presence in our lives and was not just the average greyhound. He was truly unique.

His loss will leave a HUGE hole in our hearts. Race with the wind our precious boy. You were so loved and will be so missed. Rest in peace with the angels; and wait for us.

Help Wanted! – Foster a Greyhound!

Have you recently lost your greyhound and do not want to adopt again just yet? Do you love greyhounds but are not in the position to adopt? Do you want to do something to give back to the community and help make a difference? Then you might want to think about fostering a greyhound!

In today’s economy, greyhound adoption organizations (as well as other animal adoption organizations) are having a more difficult time finding people who are willing to help. However, this does not stop the influx of hounds looking for homes. There is still a need to find homes for hounds and it is even more important now that more dogs are coming off the tracks.

If you have any experience with greyhounds and can help, we need YOU! Won’t you consider taking in one greyhound this year to help find it a home? Almost all of our greyhounds have already been fostered and are used to being in a home. You will only need to care for the hound until we find it a home.

We will take care of ALL of the expenses as well as provide food, crate, preventatives, toys, etc. We require that you help profile the dog to make sure that we know what home would be best for it and we would require you to be accessible if we need to communicate with you.

Many people have told us that they cannot foster because they would want to keep the dog or would have a hard time giving it up. This is a common problem. In fact, in 2010, we lost twelve foster homes because the foster family adopted the dog. This is a GOOD a problem but it leaves us without the foster homes we need! Please consider taking in that one dog that will get a chance that it would not otherwise get.

You can read more about our foster program by clicking on the title of this post. All we are asking is for you to open your heart and give one dog a chance.

A Note From A Racing Kennel Owner…….

Whatever it is you think about racing, the adoption aspect needs to understand a very simple truth. Greyhounds are dogs, and dogs rely on routine. I’m HUGE about adoption, I want my dogs to go home, but the adoption faction really needs to recognize and utilize where the dogs have been and what they’ve known. What was safe for them, and what the routine was. It might make you cringe, and I don’t care about that. The only important thing is getting my dogs home.

It may not be what you want for your pets, and that’s ok. But life in the race kennel is structured for the safety of the dogs and for ease of handling so many at one time. If you, as an adopter, had to handle 62 dogs at once, it would be outside your ability. I’m not sneering at you, the work you do is immense, but this end is a little different from what you can do. What we have is a bunch of unmannerly brutes who want to chase the bunny…… 60 of ’em. We do it with one or two people in the kennel. We turn out and we feed and we weigh in and we school and we do it all with as much respect as we can give them. We love our dogs. We can tell you personalities all day long, because we LIVE them all day long. And any dog that goes into adoption has had us to care for them.

It was home. It was safe and it was familiar and it was a routine that he or she relied on to be happy.

I know that going home is a wonderful thing, and most of the adoption groups do a fine job. If you forget, for the merest moment, where they’re from… you fail. And going home through a group that fails that way is going to be tough on the dog.

I want my dogs to be the very best they can be… on the track and at home when they get there. I can’t teach them about stairs and mirrors and ceiling fans. We don’t have them and those are for you to do.

Celebrate the whole dog. He has a history and it’s important to him. It’s who he is. He was safe in his routine, and has to LEARN yours. The way you teach it is who you are, and frankly it matters to me.

Because they were mine, and they were home with me. Safe with me.


Focus on Fosters – Kyle

Kyle came into our group over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. He has been looking for his forever home since then. We have had Kyle in our foster home for nearly two months and we think that he is a WONDERFUL greyhound! He is also a VERY handsome dog too, with his sweet eyes and long nose!

We think that it’s taken longer for Kyle to find his forever home because of his age. He turned seven on November 23 of 2010. In addition, Kyle is not cat safe. He may be trainable to the experienced adopter, but we think that he would probably be better off in a home without cats.

Kyle is a hidden treasure. You cannot get a better dog than him. He is so well behaved, low key, quiet, cooperative, loving, easy going, engaged, sweet natured – on and on and on. We will never run out of good words about Kyle.

Kyle had a dental when he came in to our group and he lost seventeen teeth. Therefore, he is limited in his ability to chew on bones, etc., but his tooth loss does not impact him at all. He can still find enjoyment in chewing on bones and bully sticks; it just takes a little longer. He has no trouble eating his kibble. With good dental care, the rest of his teeth should last him the rest of his life.

He loves taking walks on the leash and is one of the best dogs in our foster home to walk. He loves his crate and never objects to being in it. But he is perfect without it. We think he would make a great only dog or he could go into a home with other dogs and be fine as well. He is confident and doesn’t mind changes or upsets – he rolls with the flow.

We would love to find Kyle his forever home. Anyone who adopts him will certainly be getting a wonderful dog. We suggest to anyone considering Kyle as a possible dog for their home and who might be worried about the “age thing”, please be mindful that youth does not always guarantee that a dog will be with you longer. Dogs die when fate dictates. We all are sad and mourn the loss of a wonderful friend. To have a dog means that we will eventually lose them. However, nothing good is lost without pain. These older dogs are so much more settled and secure and have so much to give. Kyle would make a good dog for a first time adopter.

Please think seriously about giving Kyle a chance. Anyone adopting him will not regret it at all.