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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!!!