Rainbow Bridge – Freeride Apple (Ares)

ApplebestJune 28, 2002 – August 22, 2013

We are sorry to report that another FFGR, Inc. greyhound has passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.  We got notice from Rob and Erin that their greyhound Ares died during a dental procedure.  Although he had dentals yearly, during the last dental, his temperature spiked and he suffered from malignant hypothermia.  Ares was eleven years old.

Ares was adopted by Rob and Erin in 2007.  At the time Ares was the second greyhound that Rob and Erin adopted from our group.  They became volunteers and for several years hosted a meet and greet event at the Chambersburg Petsmart along with other volunteers.  A job move took them away from the area but Rob and Erin always stayed in touch with us.

We have missed Rob and Erin but have always known that they truly loved their greyhounds.  Ares (and the remaining greyhound Femi) made moves around the country and we enjoyed hearing from them over the years.  Although we are sure that Rob and Erin are sad to have lost Ares, we are so grateful that Ares found such a wonderful home where he was so loved.

Rest in peace Ares; you will all meet one day at the Bridge.

Crate and Collar Safety Alert

Many of our adopters use crates on a regular basis for their greyhounds.  Many greyhounds love their crates and do not mind being in them when their adopters leave home.  We recently experienced a problem with one of our foster greyhounds and we thought it would be a good idea to warn adopters of one particular hazard.

We always advise adopters to take martingale collars off their greyhound when they use the crate.  This is to avoid the collar/tag from getting caught in the crate hardware.  Greyhounds can choke to death if they get the loop on the collars stuck in the crate bars or other parts of the crate.  This may never happen, but all too often it does with disasterous results.  It is easy for forget this advice; one can become complacent over time.  If nothing happens, it does not mean that nothing CAN happen.

At our house we are diligent in every way when we get in new greyhounds.  All are crated when they first come in to our program because we want adopters who work and need to crate to get a greyhound that can stay in a crate while they are away at work.  In addition, crates are recommended for greyhounds coming off the track because it is what they are used to in the track kennels and farms.

However, at track kennels and farms, martingale collars are never used.  A plain plastic buckle kennel collar is used and only to leash the dog when it goes to race.  New adopters are given a martingale collar to use because greyhounds have little-to-no stop to their head and it’s easier for them to back out of a traditional, non-choking collar.  As useful as these collars are for greyhounds, they can also pose a hazard.

Tag Collar VelvetOur foster greyhounds wear tag collars (like the one in the photo), a form of slip collar that has no rings on it to attach to a leash and they lay flat on the dog’s neck; the ID tags attached directly on to the collar.  However, when we walk our dogs, we use a martingale collar.  Recently, we forgot to remove the martingale collar from one of our dogs after a walk and that dog got her collar stuck in the crate bar.  Had we not seen this, that dog could have choked to death.  Fortunately, the dog was frightened enough to stay still long enough for us to get her loose.  However, her collar was pulled so tight that the only way we could release her was to use bolt cutters and cut the bar on the crate.

This was a stark reminder of how quickly a tragedy can happen.  We were lucky this time.  We now walk around the crates of each dog to make sure all martingale collars are removed.

If your dog wears a martingale collar with an identification tag, make sure the tag is not on the D-ring, the ring that you attach to the leash.  In fact, if you do like having a collar on your dog in case it gets out, please consider using a tag collar – a collar that can hold an identification tag but not have any rings on it that can be attached to a leash.  There are many varieties of tag collars available on line.  And the cost is worth it if it keeps your hound safe.

Please take the time to inspect your dog’s collars.  Remove any tags that you have on the D-ring and put them somewhere else on the hardward of the collar.  Buy a tag collar.  Or, better yet, remove martingale collars entirely when inside.  You may also consider micr-chipping your greyhound.  That way you can rest assured that if it gets away, you will have a way to get it back.

Better to be safe than sorry!


Rainbow Bridge – Bob’s Tira (Tira)

Bob's Tira Face Best 2011January 21, 2004 – August 19, 2013

We lost our beloved Tira yesterday.  She was nine years old.  Tira came in to our group from Florida.  When we received her, we noticed that she swayed when she walked.  The vet paperwork that accompanied her suggested that she had arthritis.  However, we did not feel that she was diagnosed correctly – a trip to our vet confirmed our suspicions.  Tira was suffering from degenerative myelopathy, a disease that would eventually kill her.

Althought Tira spent some time in foster homes for awhile, no one stepped forward to adopt her.  Therefore, we decided that she should live with us because we fell in love with her.  She was a beautiful greyhound in every way.  The DM progressed much more slowly than usual and for that we were grateful for the extra time we were being given.

However, it was not the DM that took her from us.  She developed a problem in one of her toes and it could not be treated in a normal way.  The toe should have been amputated but with her condition it was not an option.  Tira was placed on a regiment of many medications.  Unfortunately, they did not work.  The pain she was feeling and the restrictions caused by the toe and the DM made it hard for her to get around.  She clearly was not happy.

Bill and I took her to our vet and held her while she passed peacefully to the bridge.  We will miss Tira very much.  Tira, to us, is a perfect example of why special needs dogs are so special.  Even though she did not find a home elsewhere, we were the recipients of so much love and affection while she was with us and we had a truly incredible experience with this special girl.  She enriched our lives so much.  We will always remember her and what she taught us about resiliency.  It is not about how much time they give us but it’s about making each moment we have with them special.  We wish we could convince others about this.  We were the lucky ones to have had her in our lives.

Rest in peace dear girl; we will all be together at the bridge one day.



Rainbow Bridge – Answer to Cathi (Cathi)

Cathi Running SmallMay 5, 203 – August 14, 2013

We are sorry to report that another FFGR, Inc. greyhound has passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.  We received a call from Jackie and family that their dear hound, Cathi, was diagnosed with osteo and it was too far along to treat.  Because the cancer had progressed silently, little could be done when it was discovered to help Cathi battle the disease.

Cathi was a Craiger’s List dog.  When she came into our program, she had a problem with her eye that looked quite serious and we all thought it was possible that she would lose that eye.  However, a visit to the eye specialist revealed that Cathi suffered from a rare form of Pannus and it could be treated with medication for the rest of her life.  Cathi’s Pannus was stopped in it’s tracks thanks to the correct diagnosis and an immediate start to the medication.

Cathi was a sweet and loving girl that gave back much to her family and they adored her.  It’s always hard to lose a hound, but we remind ourselves that these wonderful dogs find the right home where they are loved and valued and that is all any greyhound deserves.

The photo above is of Cathi when she first came in our program.  It has been a part of our web site since it was taken.  We all marveled at her beauty and determination.  We will all miss Cathi.  But we know that she is romping at the Bridge and meeting up with her buddies there.

Maintaining Good Dental Health

Teeth - QuincyDoes your greyhound’s teeth look like this photo?  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!

Postscript:  Our group has received a wonderful donation of 100 Nylabone Dental Health Kits.  These kits will be given out with each adoption.  We hope that this will encourage adopters to start off on the right foot and establish good dental health habits.  This is not only smart, it will save lots of money and pain!!

Rainbow Bridge – Primco Zing (Chloe)

Primco Zing BestFebruary 14, 2005 – August 1, 2013

We received a message from our adopters, Larry and Lisa, that they lost their greyhound, Chloe, to a medical emergency.  Chloe developed a very high fever that could not be managed and the realization that her brain and other organs were compromised made it necessary and in her best interest to let her go.  Needless to say, Larry and Lisa are devastated to have lost Chloe so suddenly.

Lisa and Larry adopted Chloe five years ago.  She was the light of their lives.  She was the perfect greyhound for them.  Although it’s hard to lose a greyhound much sooner than expected (Chloe was only a little over eight years old), we have to take solace in the fact that she had a wonderful life with people who loved her so much and gave her the home she deserved.

Fly with the angels sweet girl.




Rainbow Bridge – Ckb Lone Blazer (Blazer)


July 7, 2001 – August 1, 2013

We are sad to report that another one of our FFGR, Inc. family members has lost her greyhound.  Terri adopted Blazer in 2006.  Blazer was a happy and loving greyhound and he (along with Terri) volunteered at many meet and greet events for our organization.  Blazer always was a hit with everyone.  He not only was a friendly and sweet boy, but he was a funny and likable guy that made everyone smile.

Blazer became ill and quickly deteriorated; he did not overcome his illness.  While we are always sad to lose a greyhound, we know that Blazer was a happy dog and was greatly loved.  He will always be remembered (and missed) by many of us here at FFGR, Inc.

Rest in peace sweet boy; you always will be special in our memories.