Health and Medical – Finding a Veterinarian

The following article was written by one of our adopters, Helen Coleman. We hope that it will be helpful:

Most of us that have been greyhound owners for years know how frustrating it can be to find a greyhound-savvy vet that will LISTEN to what you, as the owner, have to say about your dog’s problems and your observations. Recent threads on some of the forums encouraged me to share some insight into this subject. Here are some of the rules that I live by which have been compounded over many years of dealing with vets that say “Oh, I know greyhounds, I vetted them in college.” The truth of that statement is – they used greyhounds as the examples and test dogs for the students to practice their various skills. Because greyhounds are mostly docile and compliant, they make great dogs to use as “subjects”. This does NOT mean that every vet that went to college KNOWS greyhounds and their health issues.

When you search for a new greyhound-savvy vet, referrals from other greyhound owners or your adoption group representatives are your best resources. Everyone likes their vet for different reasons. Not every vet will match every owner’s expectations. As an example – One vet I know is a fantastic orthopedic vet and a remarkably caring person. He has better than average diagnostic skills but his specialty (and they all have their areas) is orthopedics. He will spend time digging to find out what the problem is and go the extra mile to diagnose an ailment. Another vet is a diagnostician extraordinaire but his bedside manner is a wee bit lacking. If you can understand that he is more concerned about your dog than your feelings, he may be the vet for you. Both of these vets are excellent greyhound vets and have many years of experience in vetting and doing surgery on the greyhounds. Our local personal vet has been vetting greyhounds for over twenty years and loves them as a breed and is very knowledgeable about their particular issues. However, she is very quick to refer you to a specialist if it is out of the ordinary realm of her knowledge. All of these people “listen” when you tell them what is wrong with your dog. They will ask you lots of questions about behavior, habits, normal daily routine and out of the ordinary things that your dog does.

When you adopt your dog, you are given a set of paperwork in your adoption packet that provides details about particular medical idiosyncrasies specific to the greyhound. When I take a new dog to any vet, I always take along a set of this paperwork and hand it to the vet. After all these years, my vets give me a look but my response is this – “I am required to give this to you by the adoption group. As part of the contract I signed, I am to provide this to you to be certain that you understand everything that is different about the greyhound. This info is updated constantly with new and important info that you may find useful. Please read this, otherwise, I am in violation of my adoption contract.” You will be amazed at how many vets will then give the paperwork at least a once over. That is the start of your relationship with your vet. Make it very clear that you as the owner are planning on being an integral part of any care and treatment they plan to administer to your greyhound. If the vet you visit has a problem with this idea, then you need to find another vet who will understand your decision to be involved. Veterinarians are human; they are not gods. Sometimes, they need to be reminded that they are our employees when we visit them, not the other way around. If you start off on the right understanding with your vet, chances are your relationship will be a rewarding one for all concerned. It may take a few visits to different vets to find the right one for you and your pet. In the end, it will be well worth the effort for your greyhound.

When your greyhound is having a problem and your vet will not/does not return your call or does not seem to want to talk to you about the issues, by all means seek another opinion or search for a new vet. Your dog’s health is the most important thing to you and it should be to whatever vet you choose as well.

Event – Middletown Heritage Festival

We are very excited to have been invited to be a vendor and participant at the Middletown Heritage Festival in Middletown, Maryland. Each year the town of Middletown holds a large well attended festival to celebrate the town’s history. Our organization will be on hand for the celebration for the first time. We are looking forward to having our greyhounds present to meet and greet the public as well as to talk to people about greyhound adoption. This promises to be a wonderful opportunity to spread the word about greyhounds! Join us and thousands of others for this special event!

We also have received a GREYT donation from the Hollow Creek Golf Course. They have donated two rounds of golf (and use of cart) for use any day Monday through Thursday. This package is valid until December 2013! We will be raffling this package off at the festival. If you love golf (or know someone who does), we are selling the tickets for $1 each or $5 for six. Contact Hettie at 301-416-2028 if you want to purchase tickets for this raffle (if you cannot make it to the festival). Remember, Christmas is just around the corner and this package may make a great gift for that golfer in your family!

We hope to see you at the festival! For more details about this event, click on the title of this post.

Event – GPA Maryland Picnic

Our organization was invited to vend at the annual Greyhound Pets of America, Maryland Chapter, Saturday, September 17. Although the day was a bit on the drizzly side, the crowds were plentiful and there was a wonderful festive atmosphere!

For the second year we set up our tent and sold our inventory to lots of nice people. The favorite of the day was the fleece Raven hound coat! We could have sold a LOT of those! Everyone also liked our assortment of unique greyhound figurines, vintage one-of-a-kind jewelry and, of course, our concrete garden statues! We also raffled off a vintage racing silk from the Pueblo, Colorado Race Track that is now closed. That was a popular raffle item.

We are grateful for being given the opportunity to vend at this event and each year we meet and make new friends and see our old friends. We all enjoyed meeting all the beautiful hounds. We saw a few “adopt me” jackets come off the dogs as the dogs got a home!

Thanks again to the greyt folks at GPA Maryland for this opporunity!! Rooooos to you all!

Rainbow Bridge – Flying Alysheba (Sheba)

March 1, 2000 – September 18, 2011

It’s with great sadness that we report the loss of a wonderful senior girl, Sheba. Sheba was a wonderful eleven year old greyhound that had been returned to another group when her owner could no longer care for her. We offered to bring her to Maryland (along with her companion Shadow) and find her a home via Craiger’s List. Isaac and Jeff read their story and description on line and asked if they could meet both dogs. They brought their two hounds (Azalea and Grant) out for a visit and it didn’t take long to know that this would be one greyt family of hounds! We were thrilled that Sheba found her truly forever home – and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Sheba was the diva of the family, always in the middle of everything.

Isaac reported that Sheba started going downhill late last week and her symptoms seemed to indicate a possible pinched nerve in the neck. However, she never got any better and kept declining. The vet doesn’t know for sure what exactly caused her death, but she passed on to the Rainbow Bridge early Sunday morning.

We fostered Sheba for awhile until she went to her forever home with Isaac and Jeff. She was such a sweet senior girl and was gentle and loving. Although we were sad that she and her companion Shadow lost their long time home, she got the very best home with Isaac and Jeff who doted on her (and Shadow)and loved her greatly.

She will be missed by many in our group who met her. Last year she and Shadow were at our FFGR, Inc. party at Dewey Beach. We think that Sheba was a lucky girl to have such a wonderful and loving home at the time of her life when she needed it the most. We are grateful to Isaac and Jeff for giving her the home she had. They are truly special people.

Run free baby girl. You were so loved.

Yard Sale Recap

No one would have guessed, when it was suggested back in the early part of the summer that we hold a yard sale to earn funds for our hounds, that it would be such a huge success. Yard sales are “iffy” fund raisers. A lot depends on the weather, the types of items that are being sold and how many people show up to buy things.

But our fundraising yard sales can be described as a GREYT success! We know why. First, so many people where involved in this project that the work was minimal and very easy. So many people donated so many items that it took a large car hauling trailer to hold them all! And the donations kept coming. All donations were extremely nice, clean and items that almost anyone would want to buy. People really came through with wonderful donations that were way better than expected.

Next, everyone joined in to publicize the sale and organize items for sale. The organization was spot on in every aspect. By the day of the sale, all items were organized into groups that made it easy for shoppers to see. So many volunteers turned out to help that no one had that much work to do.

We found that people were more willing to purchase items and pay more (as a donation) to help out when they knew that the sale was to benefit a non-profit. Many people did not purchase anything but gave a donation anyway.

Items that were left over from the first sale were packed away and organized. For the second sale (during Boonsboro Days) all items were very easily unwrapped and set up. The second sale provided a means for us to sell what little was remaining from the first sale and it worked like a charm. People again were generous and not only bought to help our organization and the hounds, but many again made donations willingly.

At the end of this project we ended up making close to $2,500 and had so little left that we will sell that on Ebay. It involved very little work which made this a wonderful project. Therefore, nothing has gone to waste.

We know that this project would not have been as successful without the help of all our volunteers. We thank everyone for making this fund raiser such a huge success. Everyone had so much fun that we are talking about another yard sale next year!

Rainbow Bridge – Ricky

We received a sad email from Lynne and George Yourick recently. They informed us that Ricky, their beloved greyhound, lost his battle with osteo. Ricky is a dog that Bill and I fostered for a very long time back when we were working for a group that no longer is in business.

Ricky came into our house right off the hauler with two other dogs in early 2002. All three came here and got the usual treatment. All were kept outside and brought in one at a time to be bathed and cleaned up. That is because they were all crawling with fleas and were filthy coming straight from the kennels. That was the norm back then.

Ricky had terrible flea dermatitis and had open sores and scabs all over him. He was missing a lot of hair. He was so thin. Bill and I remember that day as it was sad to see dogs in such awful condition. Ricky stayed with us for at least a couple of months as that was when the group we were working for started to go downhill and did not do as many meet and greet events or adoptions.

Ricky accompanied me on a regular basis to my new part time retirement job working in an antique mall. He loved being there and the customers loved visiting with him. Over the months that he lived with us he filled in nicely and his coat began to shine (in addition to his beautiful eyes). We were worried that Ricky would never find his forever home (he was not cat safe) but figured that, if he didn’t, he could stay with us.

But Lynne and George came along and met Ricky and that was it. They fell in love with him and the rest is history. Later Lynne and George adopted another greyhound from our new group (WVs Zagnut) and he recently lost his battle with cancer.

Shorty after Zagnut went to the bridge, Ricky was also diagnosed with osteo (in early August). Lynne and George decided to go with pain management because of Ricky’s age. He was twelve in April.

We know that Ricky took awhile to find his forever home. But that is because he was waiting for Lynne and George to come along. He could not have gotten a better home.

Ricky has always been close to our hearts because he was here with us so long. We share in the grief of his loss. But we are gratified that Ricky had such a good home with two people who truly gave him all that any greyhound should have and deserves.

Run free Ricky and know that you were loved greatly.

Rainbow Bridge – Chessie

We are sorry to report that one of our adopters and volunteers has lost her beloved greyhound to cancer. Although Chessie was not adopted through our group, she was ever so much a part of our FFGR, Inc. extended family. We received the following email about Chessie from Anne Celeste (and Helen Coleman) recently:

It never ceases to amaze me how the loss of one animal can leave such a huge hole in a home. It is with sad heart, that I must report the loss of our dear Chessie Belle (8 year old)brindle female that left us for the Rainbow Bridge 11:30 p.m. Sunday evening. Chessie fractured her hip in a freak accident at home. While the hip was repairable, the cause was not…Osteosarcoma. There was no warning, few signs (none attributable to osteo), and the shock has left us dazed and heartbroken.

When Chessie first came to us she was fearful of being touched or restricted in any way. You could admire her from afar but to hold her close or even be petted was torture to her. We loved her on her terms until one day out of the blue, Chessie came over demanding to get her share of affection! We were thrilled to say the least. Over the years, Chessie and Jetta Sue (our other greyhound)formed an alliance, a sisterhood of sorts. They could read each other’s thoughts and with one glance, would begin a charge to the back yard as though words had been spoken. If one of them went to the door, the other would magically appear a few seconds later from a different part of the house. A secret language, we had only begun to understand.

Chessie had lots of love pent up inside of her and recently she began to share it with her family and friends. Unka Bill was her savior and he always saw that she got a tidbit or two from meals. Her signals were very vague, when she came to you, you might think she wanted to be petted but in truth she was telling you she needed to go outside. Undemanding, loving, gentle, and always smiling, only begin to describe this special girl.

It near broke my heart to hold her magnificent head in my lap, communicating to her through my hands the love we shared, as she gently slipped away to begin her next journey. Please join me in wishing Chessie Belle a swift and safe journey to the Bridge.

Chessie Belle, you take with you the most valuable thing I own, THE PIECE OF MY HEART THAT BELONGS ONLY TO YOU. Fly free our sweet darling. We shall meet again when all things have been made equal and we both trod the paths at the Rainbow Bridge. Parting is such a sorrow but the loving and knowing you sweetens the bitterness of our loss.

Run free sweet Chessie; you were greatly loved.

The Race Video

Thanks to our many supporters and adopters, our video, The Race, was one of the top five videos (out of 41 other organizations) watched during the month of August! The video is located at the bottom of our Craiger’s List web page. We hope more people will access Craiger’s List and look at all the wonderful dogs that are looking for forever homes! See our video below!

Help FFGR, Inc. This Labor Day Holiday!

This holiday weekend, you can discover huge savings at the PetSmart Labor Day Sale! Save 50% on select items during the Petsmart Labor Day Sale and a portion of your purchases will go to our organization. Just click on the banner below and you will automatically go to our Petsmart Affiliate link where you can order on line and save money as well! You do not need to do anything and you will not receive any messages. The link is exclusively ours and the sales will automatically be added to our account.

The sale ends September 5 so don’t delay!! Thanks for your support!


Mister – A Real Hound Hero!

The following is a story written by Dee Stevenson about her senior hound Mister. Dee adopted Mister last fall after being returned to our group through no fault of his own. Everyone loves Mister and we are all happy that he found such a wonderful home with someone who appreciates what a greyt dog he is. But the bond between Mister and Dee was proven recently when Mister warned Dee of a potential house fire. (Dee also recently adopted King, another sweet senior hound.) This is a heartwarming story that proves what we already know about these wonderful dogs:

I have a story to share with all of you about my boy, Mister.

I’ll need to give you a bit of back ground so you can fully understand the order of events that took place just this past Sunday morning. I have my boyz, Mister and King on a schedule due to working. We get up around 5:00 am so we can all go for a nice walk that usually last about 45 minutes. When we return home, I make them breakfast. They’re always hungry after their morning walk. Afterward, they curl up on their beds and sleep while I get ready for work. Before I leave, the last thing I do is take them around the block one more time. When we get back home, I give them each a treat (because they are such good boyz), a big ole hug and a kiss goodbye. Then I’m off to the office.

No Matter how hard I try to get them to understand weekends are good for sleeping in just a bit.They don’t seem to care. I’ve even tried to get them to understand the difference between the words “work day” and “mommy day”… During the week when I get up I say “Good morning handsome boyz. Today’s a work day and mommy has to go to work”. On weekends I get up and say “Good morning my handsome boyz, today’s a mommy day and we get to spend the day together”. They wag their tails just the same everyday regardless of what I say. Oh well, I guess I can’t have it all… Back to the reason for this story.

This past Sunday morning as we all know, it was dark, dreary and raining because of the huricane. It would have been a great day to sleep in, at least until 7 or 8:00. But that wasn’t going to happen at my house. Mister decided he was ready for his walk at 4:45 and wasn’t willing to postpone it at all. After throwing on a pair of jeans and t-shirt the boyz and I went walking. When we got home, I dried them off from the rain and made their breakfast. Since I was up, I thought I would get started on my weekend chores. I had poured myself a glass of ice tea which emptied the pitcher so I filled a large pan with water and put the tea bags in to brew. Then I put in a load of laundry. After having the house closed up for most of the summer due to the heat, I thought it would be a great day to open a few windows to let some fresh air in. I even put small window fan in the dinning room window drawing air out to help pull the fresh air in the other windows. I decided to work on some homework so I went to the den where I opened my laptop and logged into my class. By this time the boyz were both sound asleep on their beds. King was on his back with all 4 legs going in all four directions, his mouth open and his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. Mister was stretched out on his side with his head totally off his bed, his mouth was open and he was actually snoring a bit.

After working for a while my eyes began to get very heavy so I laid my head back and drifted off to sleep. Although I didn’t actually wake up, I heard Mister jump up from his bed and run to the kitchen. In my half waken state, I simply figued he heard Molly or Waggs (my shih tzu’s) and went to see what they were doing. But in just a matter of seconds he was back in the den staring at me and making a strange noise. Without opening my eyes I told him to be a good boy and go back to his nap. He left the den and just a few seconds later he was back again. This time he pushed his entire head under my arm and started pulling on it. I finally opened my eyes and told him to stop because he was going to cause me to drop my laptop off my lap. He was relentless and for the first time totally ignored my instuction. The tone of my voice became more firm and again I told him it wasn’t time to go out yet, we had not been back from the first walk long enough for his coat to fully dry. As my voice became more firm, so did he! He then started hitting me with his front paw. Needless to say, this caught me by surprise. I removed the laptop from my lap and stood to see what was bothering him. When I stood, I could smell something burning. I immediately thought the fan motor had overheated due to the wind blowing against it. I went to the dinning room, which was filled with smoke and turned off the fan. But the smoke was not coming from there. Something was burning somewhere in my house and the smoke was bellowing out of my kitchen! When I got there, the large pan I had filled with water and tea bags had boiled dry and was now on fire. I grabbed it, tossed it in the sink and turned on the water. I couldn’t believe I had forgotten all about it being on the stove. Through all of this, my Mister NEVER left my side. He was against my legs the entire time like he was making sure he protected me. Needless to say I hugged and kissed him as I thanked him from the bottom of my heart.

Because the fan was in the dinning window, it was pulling the smoke out the window enough to keep it from coming out to my den. If not for Mister, I could have continued to sleep and I could have lost my entire kitchen or worse…

Through it all… my cutie boy King never woke. As a matter of fact he was in the same position when I returned to the den as he was when I left…bless his heart.

Needless to say.. I’m very proud of my boy Mister… he’s my HERO!

I’m so blessed to have both my boyz in my life.