Rainbow Bridge – PS Hey Ovadare (Dory)


November 24, 2004 – January 27, 2014

One of our long time ambassadogs has sadly passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.  Dory had a short bout with osteo.  Dory was adopted by Dan in May 2008.  She was a very shy dog and it took an adopter like Dan to give her just the home she needed.  Although she was shy, Dory learned to go to many meet and greet events that Dan hosted from the time he adopted her.  Not only that, she accompanied him to large regional events such as Greyhounds in Gettysburg, Greyhounds Reach the Beach (Dewey Beach), Grapehounds, etc.  Although she was always on the shy and quiet side, she got around a lot and it was clear that she enjoyed her outings with her house mate Kopper.  We all enjoyed seeing her.  And she loved Dan.

Everyone who knew Dory loved her.  She was such a beautiful girl.  She went on daily walks with Dan and Kopper and had lots of full time company with Dan at home.  She had the kind of life we all wish for the greyhounds we place.

We all feel that Dory left us way too soon but we are happy that she had such a wonderful home where she was loved.  She will always be in our hearts.

Happy (?) Tail!

It happens more often than you might think and when it does it is terrible!  Most of us are familiar with happy tail.  But many new adopters who experience it are at wits end trying to deal with it.  We often bring dogs in from the tracks with happy tail and some of the dogs arriving with this condition take a lot of work and attention to correct.  When the injured tail is wagged, blood can splatter all over and be hard to clean up.

Happy tail is an expression that is used to describe a wound that results when the end of a greyhound’s tail breaks open (mostly from hitting it against something) and bleeds – profusely.  Dogs that are friendly and wag their tail a lot are usually the best candidates for happy tail – thus the name.  However, sometimes a dog can get its tail caught in a door which opens up a wound.  Like a head wound, bleeding can be quite bad because the skin is thinnly stretched over the tip of the tail and the blood vessels are right at the surface.  It doesn’t take much to break the skin open on the end of the tail.  Once this happens, it’s extremely hard to treat because a greyhound’s tail is so skinny and tapers out at the end and constant bumping against nearby surfaces can keep the wound open and bleeding.  Although bandaging the tail is the best approach, once the tail wags again the wrapping can be thrown right off unless it’s wrapped correctly.

Once a dog’s tail breaks open, it can heal if the wrapping is successful and hard surfaces are kept away from the tail, but what often happens is that, once healed, the tail gets wagged and then breaks open again.  This is a vicious cycle that seems to have no end for some dogs.

The only way to treat happy tail for some dogs is to amputate a part of the tail so that it is not so thin at the end.  Usually this is a last-resort kind of treatment but it does happen a lot.

The trick, of course, is to learn how to bandage the tail so that it stays on even if the tail is wagged vigorously.  Some veterinarians are skilled at wrapping a tail but even at that, once the bandage is removed, it’s up to the adopter to keep the tail from hitting hard surfaces again.  It is appropriate to note here, that happy tail can indeed heal and never come back.

We found a very good web site that provides great information for wrapping a happy tail. We are including it here for information.  You may want to bookmark the site in case happy tail invades your house!

Here’s the link


Rainbow Bridge – Dana’s Dynomite (Katrin)

Dana's Dynomite BestAugust 13, 2002 – January 10, 2014

We at FFGR, Inc. are sad to report that another one of our adopted greyhounds has gone to the Rainbow Bridge.  We got notice from Jim and Maureen that their beloved greyhound, Katrin, had been diagnosed with advanced kidney disease and that she was too sick to go on.  Maureen and Jim adopted Katrin in April of 2010.  At the time Katrin was a Craiger’s List dog because she was a senior.  She raced a long time and had 248 races to her name!  Jim and Maureen were wonderful adopters who loved Katrin and gave her the best life possible.  They always kept in touch with us and reported many times that Katrin was the best greyhound they ever had.  They did not worry about how long she would be with them – something that seems to be rare these days.  We appreciate wonderful adopters like Jim and Maureen.  We feel sad at Katrin’s loss but we are gratified that she had people in her life who cared about her and cherished the time they had with her.

Run free at the bridge sweet girl……

Six Ways to Really Annoy Your Human Companions

The following is from a blog that we follow.  It is written by Rufus, a retired racing greyhound.  Rufus has a lot of interesting things to say – he is one of our very favorite greyhounds!  He has given us permission to re-post from his blog.  If you enjoy this, you can follow Rufus by going to this link.

Rufus AnnoyingOkay, houndies, listen up. It’s payback time!

1. Don’t just pee on a fire hydrant; walk around it so as to get the leash caught in all those places where they put that heavy lubricating grease on the caps and valves. Your peeps will freak out!

2. Make sad eyes at them while they are eating, then slowly slink away to lie on your bed. This will induce severe guilt feelings, causing them to bolt down their food and get your dinner ready pronto. They may even add a little extra, just because you look especially hungry. Then when they call you to eat, feign indifference.

3. Make them walk fast to keep up with you; then suddenly stop and turn your body sideways into their path while you calmly sniff at something. They almost always fall for that one!

4. When they give you a cookie, make sure you let large chunks of it fall out of your mouth onto the ground. Then pretend you didn’t notice, and ignore their frantic attempts to direct your attention to the yummy pieces lying right at your feet. You get bonus points if they end up bending over, picking them up, and feeding them to you.

5. When crossing a busy street with your human companion, stop halfway across and give yourself a classic “whole body shake”. Or better yet, sit down in the middle of the road and scratch your ear with your hind leg. It never fails to annoy!

6. When scouting for a place to deliver a fragrant package, if you feel it’s going to be a real soft-serv, try to choose one of the following locations: in the middle of a sidewalk; on top of a low ornamental shrub on someone’s front lawn; on wood-chip mulch; or on a nice bed of dried pine needles (guaranteed to punch dozens of holes in any plastic bag used to clean it up)! Much hilarity ensues.

The best part of all this is that there’s no downside: Even after doing these things, the annoyance will fade. You’ll be forgiven and they’ll love the heck out of you just the same!

Commentary – Greyhound Adoption

We decided that the beginning of 2014 would be a good time to add a few posts to our news blog that explains our work and philosophy.  While all of this is explained on our web site, we feel that many people do not take the time to read all of the information we provide prior to submitting an application to adopt.

We hear the criticism from some people who make comments like “It’s harder to adopt a dog than a child” or “I don’t want to give up my life to be approved to adopt a dog”.  These types of comments will always exist in the animal adoption world.  People do seem to resent it when they are turned down for adoption.  But we can certainly say without reservation that we do not turn people down because we have the power or choose to turn people down just for the sake of turning people away.  How would it benefit us or the dog if we turned good people away?  There is always a good reason if we do not approve an adoption application.

We receive applications all the time that disturb us as we read the answers to our questions.  With all the experience we have had over the many years of placing dogs, we can recognize a potential failure when we see one coming.  Many people start off by making demands that would give anyone pause.  Perhaps people see a dog they want and they treat the process as they would if they were buying a car or plasma TV.  They look for the dog that appeals to them (after searching around various organizations) and then try to make that dog fit into all of the variables in their home.  This may work, but it also may not work.

For those people who work full time, some consideration must be given to how long a new dog should be left alone during the work day without a bathroom break and how that dog will react to suddenly being left alone when it has had dogs and people around it all its life.  To think that it is all right to leave that dog alone all day is not logical.  Just because the neighbor’s dog or the family dog is fine with being left all day does not mean that a new greyhound will also be fine.  We have to teach people that they have to change their way of thinking.  Some people are not receptive to our advice.

Some people think a dog should walk into a home and it will fit in without a problem because it has been fostered.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Just as a human has to get used to a new job or a move to a new home, a dog also has to go through a period of adjustment.  It is frustrating when an adopter resists our advice about how to help a dog fit into its new home.

Of all the “demands” we get, cats are at the top of the list.  It always amazes us how people with cats will apply to adopt a greyhound and place the entire burden on the greyhound to get along with all of the cats in a home.  In fact, it’s not unusual at all when we ask the question “Under what circumstances would you return a greyhound?” that the response is,  “If it doesn’t get along with my cats.”  The cats may have been there first, but why would anyone want to bring a dog in to that home setting to disrupt the cats there?  Why adopt a greyhound, a dog that has been trained to chase that lure around the track?  We are still working on this one.

Although we place dogs in homes without a fenced in yard, there is a different  level of commitment due when a dog has to be leash walked during the day (and night) to relieve itself.  People often do not understand the time it takes to walk a dog long enough to have it do its business on a leash.  This is one big factor that causes problems that we hear about often.  Combine this with a stretch of bad weather and you have a recipe for great frustration and hair pulling.  We warn people in advance but it’s obvious that much does not sink in.

We try hard to match dog with humans.  That is the reason why we work so hard.  We do care and that is why we try to be honest with people.  We are being irresponsible if we don’t make people think about what they are getting into.  We do not place dogs on a lick (excuse the pun) and a promise and keep our fingers crossed that it works out.  We may seem difficult to work with to some people, but when we established our organization we never intended it to be anything else than for the well being of the dogs.  It is what they deserve.  We hope that people coming to us for a dog know what we are all about and are ready to make that commitment.




Winter Safety Tips for Greyhounds

gandyinsnowWinter is here and unlike the last two years, has settled in with a vengeance.  Already, this winter, we have seen much more snow and ice and have experienced much lower low temperatures.  While most of us who have greyhounds know that they need special care in the winter, we still want to send along some advice for keeping your hounds safe, warm and healthy.

Since most of our greyhounds (or at least we hope ALL) greyhounds are indoors most of the time, they are not used to going outside in frigid temperatures and their thin skin and lack of thick fur makes them more vulnerable to the frigid temperatures that winter brings.

Frostbite – Even though greyhounds have a fur coat, it is extremely thin and will not protect them from extreme elements.  Most greyhounds cannot endure temperatures below freezing for more than 10 to 15 minutes. Greyhounds left outdoors can get frostbite and even freeze to death much sooner than other breeds of dogs that have heavier coats. Signs of frostbite include pale skin that is cool to the touch, with decreased sensation in the affected area. If you suspect frostbite, gently warm the area with warm – not hot – water and then take your greyhound to your veterinarian. Once an area has been frozen it becomes more susceptible to cold and frostbite.  The bottom line is:  do not allow your greyhound to stay outside long enough to put it in to any jeopardy!

If you have to go out for any length of time, please put a coat on your greyhound.  Our rule of thumb is that, if we need a coat, our greyhound needs a coat.  There are many coat makers around and it’s very easy to find them on the internet.  If you cannot afford a coat but need one, please contact us immediately.  We keep a stack of donated coats that we’d be happy to share with you!

Antifreeze: Although most people are aware of the fact that antifreeze is toxic to dogs, veterinarians still report that it continues to be a wide spread problem.  We are sending along a reminder to keep garage floors and driveways clear of antifreeze spills and do not allow open containers of antifreeze anywhere near where your greyhound travels.   If you suspect that your greyhound has been exposed to antifreeze, contact the ASPCAPoisonControlCenter or your veterinarian immediately

Snow and Ice:  Everyone who has adopted a greyhound knows that they LOVE to run in the snow!  They can run with abandon and sometimes can get hurt badly if they skid, fall and/or run into objects.  Make sure that your yard is clear of items that cannot be seen in the snow but tripped over when a greyhound runs fast.  Remember, a greyhound can reach up to 40 miles per hour in a few steps.  It takes much more for them to slow down than it takes for them to get up to speed.

Because a greyhound has such thin skin, everyone knows how easily they can cut themselves.  One hazard that we run into a lot involves snow that melts and re-freezes.  When the greyhound walks on this type of surface, they can get cut easily when their weight causes them to fall through the coating of ice that’s formed over the snow.  If they run, the cuts can even be bad enough to warrant stitches.  Watch for these types of surfaces and keep greyhounds from running.  Or better yet, leash walk your greyhound when these types of surfaces exist.

Ice/Snow Melting Products – If you don’t have a fenced in yard and you leash walk your greyhound, you already know that they can step in a lot of stuff outside, from salt to sleet and snow to mud. There is not much you can do except to avoid areas where there is a lot of salt.  If you use salt to melt your own driveways and sidewalks, check to make sure that you are buying products that are safe for dogs.  Once you bring your greyhound inside, take the extra time to clean and dry off paws.  At that time look for cuts or abrasions and treat them.

Check fences and gates – More greyhounds are lost in winter than any other season because it’s so easy for them to lose their sense and perspective during a snowstorm if they get loose.  Check gates more often to make sure the wind hasn’t blown them open; it is a good idea to walk your fence line to check for openings or areas where sections could be blown down.  Losing a greyhound in the dead of winter is a recipe for disaster.

Be cautious when outside in the dark – Since there are fewer daylight hours in the dead of winter, many people have no choice than to be out with their greyhound in the dark of the morning or at night. Keep your hound closer than usual and make sure all leashes are in good condition and collars are properly adjusted. Be careful when crossing streets and alleys that your greyhound is close to your side and easier to see. Use reflective gear so both you and your hound are easier to spot.

 We hope that all of our adopted hounds stay safe and warm!