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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

Health and Nutrition – Nail Trimming

Do your hound’s nails look like this??? What is wrong with this picture? Did you know that overgrown nails can be hazardous to your hound’s health? Overgrown nails may cause your hound’s toes to splay. This can adversely affect his gait, and can actually cause many other serious medical problems. The nails force the dog to rock back on his foot and carry his rear legs much farther forward under his body. Many times dogs get injured while running in their yards and some of those injuries can be attributed to the dog over-compensating because of overgrown nails. Neglecting regular nail trimming and maintenance may even lead to early arthritis, crippling, and broken bones. (Remember, greyhounds have more delicate bones than other breeds of dogs.)

The main reason people do not keep up with regular nail trimming is because they are afraid that they might hurt their dog. People shy away from trimming with hand clippers because they can remove too much nail (causing pain and bleeding), not enough nail, or cause the nail to splinter and have rough edges. These sharp edges can scratch your skin and snag your carpeting and clothing. But neglecting nails is even more hurtful in the long run. Long sharp nails are more likely to get caught on things which can rip the nail from the dog’s foot. This will result in a lot of needless pain for the dog and pain in your wallet. Having to take a dog to a groomer often enough to keep the nails trimmed can be expensive and time consuming. The best option would be to learn how to do the trimming and keep practicing until you feel comfortable.

Usually, during the warmer months, long walks on sidewalks and asphalt can trim nails down a bit. However, in the colder months, when the dogs are not out walking as much, nails can often get out of control if they are not trimmed regularly.

Some people cannot get their hound to be quiet and still long enough to do any nail trimming. Here’s where patience and persistence pays off. When we try to calm our hounds by crooning and petting, we inadvertently send the message that it’s OK to panic and be difficult. The best way to handle squirmy and whining dog is to take charge and clip one or two nails at a time (as quickly and safely as possible) and then praise the dog for being good. Keep this up until you can do all of the nails on one paw, then move on to the next. You might even want to start by doing one or two nails a day and only remove the very tip of the nail. That way you are working too quickly for the dog to react. You can always perfect your clipping once your dog gets comfortable with being touched. Remember, if you allow your hound to control the situation, your dog will never be willing to cooperate and nail trimming time will be a job that will always be dreaded (by dog and person).

If your dog’s nails have been neglected over a long period of time, they may seem very long even after they have been cut. That might be because the quicks have been allowed to become overgrown too. The quicks are the vein inside the toenails and the part that bleeds if you cut the nail too short. You can solve this problem. The quicks can be made to recede over time by cutting the nails frequently over the course of a month. Then, once you have gotten the quicks to recede, it will be easy to keep the nails short all the time. If you noticed when you adopted your greyhound, they most likely had very short nails! That’s because they are kept very short at the track for racing. The quicks have receded way back in the nail from frequent trimming. This is actually the way your dog’s nails should look all the time for optimum health.

How short should your hound’s nails be? A good rule of thumb is that the nails should not touch the floor when the dog is standing (see photo above). If you hear clicking when the dog walks you need to get the nails shorter. Although it sounds like a daunting job, if you clip often over the course of a month, you can get your dog’s nails short enough that you can do regular trimming without much effort after that.

If all else fails and you just do not want to use the nail clippers, you might want to try a grinder. These small battery motorized tools can be bought at most pet stores or hardware stores (a dremel tool). The tool has an attachment that looks like sandpaper that is actually a stone. It will grind the nail down much like the way we file our own nails. This is relatively painless and many dogs don’t seem to mind the sound because the tools operate quietly.

If you choose to try one of these tools, just remember to use short strokes on each nail, work slowly, and keep the nails from heating up. You do not want to set the grinder down on one nail for too long. It will burn! Also, most dogs won’t react as badly if you hit the quick doing the light short strokes as you can monitor your progress better. This is a great option for dogs that have black nails. There are a lot of sources on line that provide good instructions for grinding.

If all else fails and you have a “screamer” that will not allow you to touch his/her paws (some greyhounds actually HATE having their feet touched), then a groomer might be your best bet. Pet stores like Petsmart and Petco are inexpensive and the groomers there work very efficiently. If you take your hound for a nail trim, remember to take a copy of his/her rabies certificate which is required in most grooming establishments. They will keep it on file for you. Considering the cost of vet bills stemming from poor nail care, this may be the best money you spend on your dog!