New Year Checklist

NewYearThis is an article that we re-post each year.  We have had several requests to add it to our blog again so here it is:

Since the New Year is coming, we thought it would be a good idea to make up a check list of things that would help you get through the year and make sure your hound is safe, healthy, and happy.

_____Always be vigilant and look for signs that your hound is not feeling well. Consider a medical reason for sudden behavior changes first.

_____Use heartworm/flea and tick preventative; add a reminder to your calendar monthly so you don’t forget.

_____Check gate latches daily; place a sign on gates warning contractors or visitors to keep gates closed. Lock gates that are not used daily.

_____Check fence lines for holes and depressions where a hound can crawl or slip through. Make repairs.

_____Check all doors to make sure they close correctly or do not fly open accidentally. Add a baby gate to doors where a hound can jump out accidentally (i.e., screened
doors) when you come and go.

_____Check the yard often to make sure nothing harmful has been dropped or thrown in it that your hound could eat.

_____Make sure your hound does not get too cold or hot outdoors. Be watchful for signs of distress when you are outdoors with your hound.

_____Wash and change water in water bowls daily and make sure there is always a fresh supply of clean water available.

_____When changing your hound’s food, make sure it is done slowly and wait an entire month before changing his/her diet again.

_____Check vaccination records and make sure all are up to date; add the date the shots are due on your calendar so that you can make an appointment to see your vet.

_____Check collars monthly for wear and tear and loose hardware. Replace worn collars.

_____At all times, keep your own ID tag as well as the FFGR, Inc. ID tag on your hound(s).

_____Inspect leashes often and replace leashes that have slits in them or are fraying.

_____Make sure no tags are on the D-ring that tightens the collar. Use a tag collar or place tags elsewhere where they cannot tighten the collar if they get caught in anything.

_____Check weekly to ensure the collar is adjusted to fit snuggly. Test by bringing the collar up to behind the ears. Pull D-ring to tighten collar. You should be able to place two fingers inside the loop at the dog’s neck.

_____Inspect all toys often and throw away any that are torn. Keep fiberfill from beds and toys away from your hound so it can’t be ingested.

_____When repairing plush toys, use only upholstery or breakable thread; don’t use nylon or polyester thread that, when swallowed, can be caught in the digestive tract.

_____Throw away all rubber toys that can be easily chewed up into small pieces and swallowed.

_____Regularly inspect bones and rawhides; throw away all small and old pieces; replace with new ones.

_____Keep your hound’s nails clipped; do not allow them to get so long that your hound has a hard time walking. Adhere to a schedule for nail clipping.

_____Check ears weekly to make sure they are clean; watch for scratching and pawing at the ears and head shaking (sign of infection).

_____Check constantly to make sure that any cleaning products, medications, etc. are high up on shelves and out of the way of your hound. Keep counters clear of same.

_____Put together a contingency plan NOW for boarding your hounds, etc. in case an emergency comes up and you have to leave your home immediately.

_____Consider NOW what would happen to your hound(s) in case you get sick, die, have an accident, lose your home, etc. Give the information to someone you trust.

_____Love your hounds as they love you!!!!!!

 

Christmas Newsletter

greyhounds readingWe recently mailed, via the post office, over 300 Christmas newsletters to our adopters, volunteers and friends.  This year’s newsletter was an expanded version (in color) containing eight pages of information and updates about the work we are doing.  We enjoy sending out an actual hard copy newsletter because many of our adopters do not use computers or use email to communicate on a daily basis.  We want to make sure that everyone has access to what is happening in our organization.  It also gives us all a chance to catch up with one another.

If you are one of our adopters and are reading this post and you have not received your newsletter in the mail, please contact us at 301-416-2028.  If you have moved, we may not have your correct address.  We want to make sure that all of the information in our data base of adopters is up to date.  If you know someone who has moved, please ask them to contact us so that we can update our data base and get a newsletter out to them.

We hope that you enjoy our newsletter!

 

Rainbow Bridge – WP’s Sterling (Sterling)

Sterling Best

October 24, 2005 – December 11, 2013

It’s with great sadness that we report on the loss of another wonderful FFGR, Inc. greyhound.  Sterling had been diagnosed with osteo in early December.  His adopter, Susan, pondered the possbility of an amputation but it was determined (and we agreed) that it would put him through more than he could handle given his sensitive personality.

With the harsh winter weather and snow and ice to navigate through (and the increase in pain) it was clear that Sterling was no longer enjoying his life.  Susan made the heart wrenching decision to do what was in the best interest of Sterling and let him go.

Sterling was a very special greyhound.  He had a unique personality.  He was adopted by Susan who was absolutely the perfect adopter because she embraced and celebrated his uniqueness and brought out the best in him.  Sterling, along with his greyhound companion, Annie, could be seen at every greyhound event in the area.  They loved getting out and meeting people and we enjoyed seeing them.

We will never forget Sterling’s unique qualities.  He never really liked tile floors but he conquered the fear by learning to navigate them in his own way – he walked them backwards!  He was also a master at walking up stairs the same way.  We all love Sterling because he had such a sweet and loving personality.

We will all miss Sterling more than words can describe.  But we are happy that he had such a loving home with someone who no only appreciated him but gave him the life he deserved.

Sterling, run pain free; we will never forget you.

 

Not My Dog!….The Dangers of Running Off Leash

.…….  It happens in all rescue groups.  We hear that some people will allow their grey-hound to run off leash.  They say that their greyhound can be trusted and will come back.  Even thought they are told that allowing a greyhound off leash is not acceptable, they will say, “Not my dog!”  But we also know that it is a huge gamble to allow a greyhound to run loose in an unfenced area.  We know that the day will come (perhaps sooner than later) when we will get that call that a greyhound has been lost.    This series is designed to help adopters avoid problems that sometimes occur when we don’t understand our dogs’ life experiences or what our dogs are trying to tell us by their behavior.

 Several years ago when we were busy with a housekeeping chore, one of the ten greyhounds residing at our house lifted the thumb latch on our front door and it swung open.  Before we knew it, all ten hounds were out the door and on their way for a night romp!  We didn’t panic right away because our three-acre property is fenced in and we’ve never had one hound figure out yet how to get out.  But it still took awhile to get everyone rounded up in the dark and back into the house.  Everyone was having so much fun, that not one dog responded to the squawker we were using.  We were also very lucky because all of the dogs had been wearing their muzzles (from their earlier turnout break) when they got out.  When we did get everyone back inside, we had a few scrapes and cuts to tend to and some very tired dogs!

 What surprised us so much is not how they got out and not that they ran, but how intent they were to run together and how they totally ignored our calls.  They were “in the moment” when everything else around them was tuned out – they were doing what their ancestors did.  The call to run and hunt out back was stronger than our call to get them back.

 This got us thinking about what happens when greyhounds get loose.  When a greyhound starts running, there is very little that is going to stop it, and that is why so many die on highways or are never recovered.  They are not car smart and they will keep running no matter what heads towards them.  Also, because their skin is so thin, an ordinary cut on another dog can mean disaster for a greyhound.

 Think of what it would be like if your greyhound got loose.  Some of you have had this happen, so you don’t need to have us describe the terror and worry involved.  But, sometimes, it can’t be helped.  Someone opens a gate or the dog slips out the door when you open it.  And then the rescue group volunteers spend hours and sometimes days covering territory looking for a missing dog.

 So why would anyone want to take the chance of losing their greyhound by purposely turning it loose?  Greyhounds are sight hounds. They’re bred to chase and run down prey.  They’re rewarded at the track for chasing that little animal around the track. –  so, even now though retired, they focus on running and chasing – overcoming obstacles to get to the prey.

 Greyhounds are like any other breed of dog when it comes to bonding with humans.  And this is where we can go wrong.  No matter how much your greyhound loves you and is bonded to you, you just never know when its instincts will take over and win.  Even people who have had greyhounds for years off leash can lose a greyhound to that ONE moment, that one object that will come its way and tempt the Grey into acting like it was bred to act.

 There are too many horror stories posted on on-line forums and on other rescue web sites of people who have lost their greyhounds only to find them dead in the woods or along the highways.  It’s simply asking too much of your greyhound to assume that it will always come back when you call it.  Remember it only takes that ONE time to change everything.

 Virtually ALL rescue groups have a clause in their adoption contracts (as well as in the adoption applications) that a greyhound is not to be off leash at any time when it’s not in a fenced area.  Most rescue group workers will advise other groups if they hear of a person who does not believe that leashing a greyhound is necessary.  Groups will not adopt to a person who does not agree to keep their greyhound leashed.

 Please be a responsible greyhound adopter and NEVER let your greyhound off leash.  For those who do keep their hounds leashed, please check all collars for wear and tear and replace any old collar.  A good harness is worth the price if you walk your dog every day.  Don’t take unnecessary risks with your hound!!

 

Greytdogs Store

Phoebe Christmas 1It’s that time of year!  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and it’s not too early to start shopping for those favorite hounds and their people.  Don’t forget that our new Greytdogs Store is up and running!  We have been having lots of fun adding new products.  AND, thanks to all of our new customers, we’ve been processing lots of orders!  We just added a new section called “In the Garden” and are selling our popular new metal yard art.  These pieces have become one of our best sellers at our fund raising events.  We can now mail them in time for Christmas.  Many of the products we are selling in our store are one of a kind so get those orders in early.

Remember, ALL of the money made from the sales from our store go directly to helping us find homes for our wonderful greyhounds!