Storm Warning – Take Care

We all live in an area that is going to be hit hard by Hurricane Sandy if all predictions are true.  Please take special care to make sure that your hounds will be safe.  If you have a fenced in yard, please be aware that heavy winds can knock down fences and blow open locked gates.  Please take the time to make sure that everything is as secure as it should be and do not open any doors to let your hounds out until you have looked to make sure that your fence and gates are intact.  Be aware that heavy winds can also blow open doors to your house and cause damage (and let hounds escape).

This will be a challenging time for hounds that have problems with thunderstorms (and even those who generally do not have problems) because the excessive force of winds  may make everything that much worse.  If your hound is thunderphobic, please DO NOT allow him/her to go out in a fenced in yard during this storm.  Please use a leash.  Many frightened greyhounds can do amazing things and some have been known to jump over fences.

For those leash walking, please make sure that all collars are in good shape and adjusted properly.  Keep all walks short and take special care to make sure that you have a good hold on the leash.

Take all the necessary precautions to prevent any problems with your hounds.  Please remember that if you do lose your hound, we may not be able to help since we often lose all services in our area during regular storms and you will not be able to reach us.  We will not be able to get out to help search for missing hounds in high winds and heavy rains.

PLEASE take the time to heed this warning.  Please be cautious and careful.  We want everyone (including our hounds) to get through this challenging time in good shape.  Stay safe.

 

Protection for You and Your Hound

Based on our previous post about what might happen to you and/or your hound(s) if you find yourself in a dangerous situation while walking, we would like to follow that up with a recommendation.  We seldom, if ever, recommend a particular product or advocate that adopters use certain products.  However, because of the number of reported cases and incidents that we hear about occuring with loose dogs and dog bites, etc. we feel that it’s time to help our adopters.

If you are checking on your local animal control ordinances (we hope you are), also take the time to learn what is acceptable for protecting you and your hound if you find yourself in a dangerous situation..  For instance, in many communities it is illegal to use pepper spray and stun guns.  In the case of pepper spray, you might also risk hitting yourself and/or your hound if it isn’t used correctly.  If you carry a stick, club, or even use your shoe to fend off an animal approaching your hound(s), you might be prosecuted for animal cruelty.

One product that is relatively new on the market and is legal is called Spray Shield Animal Deterrent Spray. This spray is legal in most communities because it is made from a natural ingredient (citronella) that is not harmful to animals or people.  The advertisement for the product states:

  • Citronella spray formula offers humane way to deter aggressive animals
  • Just as effective as 10-percent pepper spray, yet without harmful side effects
  • Highly effective in stopping low- to medium-level aggression; safe to use indoors
  • Carry when cycling, running, or walking; ideal for kennel staff and mail carriers
  • Contains approximately 12 1-second sprays at a range of up to 10 feet

This product can be purchased on line very easily.  It may be worth the time and effort to buy this type of a product and have it ready in case that it is needed.  Many of our adopters have recommended this product to us.  We hope that the information in the post as well as our previous post will prevent anything from happening to you and your hounds.

 

 

Important Advice – Please Read

When we place greyhounds in to homes, we try to cover everything in terms of how to help a dog get settled in to a new home; what to expect; what to do when a problem arises, etc.  But we have overlooked something very important!

Recently, many muncipalities have been tightening up their animal control laws because of the number of aggressive dog problems and/or because of dog bite problems.  Sometimes these laws are so sweeping, that they can cause huge problems for people and their dogs.

Recently, we read a report (on another greyhound forum) about someone who was leash walking her three greyhounds in a community with leash laws in place.  A man was also walking his small dog unleashed and allowed his dog to run over to the greyhounds.  The man insisted that his dog likes all dogs, but before the owner of the greyhounds could do anything, the greyhounds attacked the unleashed dog and injured it badly.  The dog died a few days later from the injuries.  One would think that the small dog owner would have been at fault because he was not complying with the local leash ordinance.  However, the three greyhounds were seized as vicious dogs and the woman who adopted them had little recourse than to give them up.

Fortunately, to make a long story short, the greyhounds were spirited out of the municipality to save their lives but may never be able to go back home again.  If you think this story cannot be true, think again.

We advise any adopter reading this message to take the time to review your local animal control ordinanances and make sure that you understand them.  You may be surprised to learn that if your greyhound bites you or a family member and you have to go to a doctor or hospital for care, your dog could be removed from your home and euthanized.  That is, even if you know that it was not the dog’s fault and even thought you still want to keep your dog.

Too many times laws are enacted out of frustration and/or anger at a particular situation but end up having consequences far beyond anything anyone expected.  We all know that greyhounds are one of the least aggressive dogs; to get a bite from a greyhound is very unusual  But it happens.   If it does, call us first.  We will try to help.

If you have to leash walk your dog(s) or if you just like to take walks with your dog(s), please do not assume anything.  Make sure you understand what will happen in your community if your dog bites someone or attacks another dog.  Also, please do not assume that because you have a cat safe dog that this will never happen to you.  It does not make a difference at all.  It all depends on circumstances, the other dog(s) and the situation at the time.

Please be careful!  We love our greyhounds and want to protect them from any harm.

Rainbow Bridge – Norman’s Woe (Norman)

April 2001 – October 2012

Another one of our FFGR, Inc. hounds has passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.  We received a communication from Jackie and Kurt Schumacher telling us that their beloved hound, Norman, had to be put down.  Norman was one among the first group of greyhounds that came to us after we established our organization.  When he arrived, he had a physical problem with his foot.  He had suffered a broken toe and because it would not heal, his toe was removed and the vet broke the nearby toe and twisted it so that he would have balance when he walked.  It made Norman’s foot look like a lobster claw and many people would not consider him for adoption because of that.  Those people did not know what a wonderful hound they had passed up.

Jackie and Kurt saw Norman’s photo on our web site and asked about him.  It did not take them long to decide to adopt him (in early 2006).  Norman’s foot never was a problem after that.  He and his greyhound house mate, Mimi, had the most wonderful life with Kurt and Jackie.  Norman was deeply loved.  Although we love all of the dogs that pass through our organization, we have to admit that Norman was a special dog to us.  He was loving and sweet and funny and was nothing at all like his racing name.  He was the type of dog that made us want to hug him and not let go.

Athough we are sad that Norman’s time had come and we all had to say goodbye, we are sure that he had the best life any dog could have.  It makes saying goodbye a little less sad.

Rest in peace, sweet Norman; you will never be forgotten.

The Danger of Open Gates

You may be surprised to learn that almost ALL of the loose hound reports we’ve had over the years are because of open gates!  One would think, logically, that people who have to leash walk their dogs might be more susceptible to losing a hound while on a walk.  But all of the statistics that we’ve compiled since we’ve established our organization suggests that open gates are responsible for most of the runaway hounds.

It’s time for another reminder for all of our adopters to watch for open gates.  In the past several weeks, we’ve had two incidents where hounds have escaped through a gate that was left open or not properly latched.

 In one instance, late at night, an open gate led to a hound escaping and running in a neighborhood near a busy street.  The owner, who was quite distraught, called one morning telling us that his hound had been loose all night and their efforts for retrieving her were fruitless.  We started making preparations to get our “loose hound” program in gear when a short time later the adopter called us to tell us that his hound was back home.  It turns out that a neighbor found the hound but she had no tags on and the neighbor did not know who to call.  Fortunately, someone else in the neighborhood told the good Samaritan neighbor who the hound belonged to and she walked the hound back home.  Fortunately, the hound suffered no problems from this adventure and the sleep over at the neighbor’s house was uneventful.  This hound was micro chipped as well.  The adopter put our FFGR, Inc. I.D. tag and the microchip tag back on his dog.

 Recently, another dog got out of a gate that had not been latched properly.  This also was an upsetting call because the adopter lives near a very busy highway.  But fortunately, a neighbor found the dog in his yard and called us.  The dog had been wearing only our FFGR tag with our phone number on it.  We were able to unite dog and adopter in this case within a few hours.  When we spoke with the adopter about placing another tag on the dog, we were told that the dog was micro chipped.  The person who found the dog did not want to call animal control and was happy that he had a phone number to call.

 We realized that even though a dog is micro chipped, it’s a good idea to keep the micro chip tag on the collar as well as the FFGR identification tag.  It’s still a good idea to add a tag with personal information on it.  Even it people do pick up a micro chipped dog, they still may end up having to call animal control and having the whole process of getting a dog back home delayed.  This could be avoided by using additional tags.

 We know that we will undoubtedly get more calls about escaped dogs.  Please do a fence inspection and make sure fencing is in good shape.  Check all gate latches to make sure they work properly.  Replace worn latches.  Lock gates or at least put a carabiner through latch holes to secure them.

It is also a good idea to place a sign on gates warning people that a hound is inside the fence and to please keep the gate closed.  These can be ordered on line.  They do not cost a lot and it’s worth every dollar to have the peace of mind that your hound will be safe inside your safely secured fenced in yard.

DON’T ASSUME ANYTHING!  The majority of dogs escaping from open gates get out when the adopter opens the door to let their hound(s) out and sees all too late that the gate is open.  Make sure all gates are closed before letting dogs out.  This will only take one moment but might save a dog’s life.

Outjo’s Story

Some might consider it fate.  For all of her life, Maggie dreamed of traveling to Africa.  At the top of her bucket list.  Dreams of Victoria Falls, herds of elephants, prides of lions, the Great Migration. 

 Out of nowhere, the opportunity came to go.  One day, she thought that she would never, ever get to see the legendary African plains; the next, the chance to go was presented to her on a silver platter.  She was on her way.

 Now comes the fate part.  Maggie traveled to Namibia, a beautiful country filled with wildlife and safaris.  She was beyond happy, gobbling up every experience she could in the short time she was there.

 Then she met Outjo.

 Outjo is actually a small town in the northern part of Namibia, a sandy, arid part that is as isolated and desolate as they come.  Maggie and her family, on their way to one of Namibia’s national parks, decided to spend the night in an RV park near Outjo. 

 They settled in and started to explore their surroundings.  Like a lot of places in Africa, there were groups of “street dogs” at the park, begging for food where they could get it and simply trying to survive.

 Then she met the dog who has come to be known as Outjo, in honor of the nearby town.

 Maggie saw Outjo lying on the ground, not moving, totally swollen from some sickness.  She, who loves all animals, couldn’t bear to see this little dog suffering and tried desperately to get him help.

 The only answers she got were either silence or a curt “That is Africa.”  She simply couldn’t accept that.

 Maggie and her daughter Katrin scooped up the seriously ill little mutt and tracked down a veterinarian close by.  At first, the vet did not want to take Outjo in, but Maggie and Katrin insisted and the vet finally agreed.

 It turned out that Outjo had “tick fever” and that if Maggie hadn’t brought him in, he would have surely died.  After a week of treatment, he was perfectly healthy.

 You would think that would be the end of it, that Outjo went back to his RV park and Maggie went back to America…you don’t know Maggie.

 She and Katrin decided that Outjo needed to come to America.  To make an already long story shorter, through an almost superhuman effort of dealing with African bureaucracies, Outjo showed up in Maryland.

 If I could get into Outjo’s mind, I would think that he figures that he died and went to doggie heaven.  He is LOVING life.  He is an incredibly playful, but well-behaved dog.  He hasn’t once messed in the house and, for a “street dog” he sure seems like he’s very used to living in a house.  I think that he was dumped at this RV park by his former owner, but Maggie swears up and down that isn’t possible.  Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

 The vet in Namibia guessed that he is about 7 years old.  He weighs about 30 pounds and is healthy as a horse.  Outjo (I think that is such a neat name!) will make a GREAT pet!  And, if you adopt him, think about the great story you get to tell about how your little African dog made it to your home!

 Outjo can be adopted through FFGR, Inc.

To a Black Greyhound

To a Black Greyhound

Shining black in the shining light,
Inky black in the golden sun,
Graceful as the swallow’s flight,
Light as swallow, winged one,
Swift as driven hurricane–
Double-sinewed stretch and spring,
Muffled thud of flying feet,
See the black dog galloping
Hear his wild foot-beat.

See him lie when the day is dead,
Black curves curled on the boarded floor.
Sleepy eyes, my sleepy-head–
Eyes that were aflame before.
Gentle now, they burn no more;
Gentle now and softly warm,
With the fire that that made them bright
Hidden–as when after storm
Softly falls the night.

Poem by Julian Grenfell (1888-1915)

Our littermates, Paige and Paris are still waiting for the forever homes!  These girls are wonderful and it would be great for them if they could get a home together.

 

Health and Nutrition – Vet Checklist

We often get calls from adopters with questions and concerns regarding health issues they are experiencing with their greyhounds.  Since we are not veterinarians and cannot diagnose medical problems, we offer this advise to adopters regarding their vet visits.

First, before you leave your vet’s office, make sure that you have something in the way of a diagnosis.  Make sure that you understand what is being described.  Your vet should be able to determine, based on a medical exam, tests done and the concerns you expressed, what might be wrong with your hound.  Sometimes vets speak in general terms or even in technical terms and if you are left with some question or are confused, you should speak up.  Don’t leave until you have some idea of what you are dealing with.

Second, make sure that any medications prescribed are explained in detail.  Why is the medication being prescribed?  What is it supposed to do?  Are the instructions clear?  How long should it be taken?  Although most prescriptions come with instructions and other information on the bottle, etc., you should get a full explanation for why the medication is necessary and what it is treating specifically.

Finally, what is suggested as a follow up?  Should you come back to have your hound checked again; are you expected to call with a report on how your hound is doing?   What happens if the medication does not seem to be working?  What happens if your hound has a bad reaction to the medication?

You should never leave your vet’s office without feeling that you have had all of your questions and concerns addressed and that you have a clear understanding of what happened at your visit.  Too many people feel intimidated and do not ask the important questions.  Any good vet will be happy to spend the extra time talking to you about your hound’s health.

 

Big News! New Greytdogs Store

We are pleased to announce that we have a brand new and very much updated Greytdogs Store!  For years we’ve been selling greyhound related items on line; our little store had always been successful.  However, because we have been able to increase our inventory of items to sell (thanks to our wonderful volunteers), we needed to find a way to sell everything.  We searched for a solution and found it!

Our new, much larger store makes it possible for us to sell many more items on line and it provides a much better service for our customers.  We’ve launched it at this time of year just in time for holiday shopping.

If you are searching for something different and unique, take a look at our new store.  You will certainly find what you are looking for there.  Here is the link:

http://greytdogsstore.webs.com/apps/webstore/

Remember, ALL proceeds benefit our hounds!  Happy Shopping!

 

Events – Yard Sale a Success!

Thanks to all of the wonderful volunteers who worked so hard, our September 29 yard sale was a GREYT success!  We sold many many items that had been donated by our supporters, volunteers and adopters.  Because of the efforts of all of our supporters (and the public) we made nearly $1,100!  All of the money that was made during our sale is profit and it will help our organization make it possible to find more homes for greyhounds once they come off the track.

We thank all of those who worked hard to make this endeavor such a success.  ROOOOOS to all of you!