Paw Prints

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there!!

Love this video...especially, "I have dozens of dollars..." :) The "ornamental turtle" is funny, too. :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Race Cars Not Dogs

Headway is being made in the effort to end Greyhound Racing in the U.S.  Below is a recent article about the decline in Greyhound farms and the closing of race tracks.

Thank you to all those working so hard to make this happen.  I hope these efforts continue to work.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Adopted by a Greyhound--Part III

Boc's Wildride.
She is a black 4-year-old who was retired because of decreasing speed not injury.  She ran 109 races with her fastest time being 30.31 seconds over a 550 yard track.

By far, Roxie is the most playful of our three Greyhounds.  She loves her squeaky toys.  She is a loving and happy dog.  She is what is affectionately called a "velcro dog"--she loves to stick to you where ever you go.  Roxie's personality is quite different from the other two.  She jumps, runs circles, and barks.  Roxie is a beautifully elegant dog.  She has deep eyes--eyes to her soul.  Roxie is a thinking dog, and you can actually see it in her deep brown eyes.

We made the trip to GAP of N.E. Florida for our second round of looking for the right Greyhound.  We came to see a few I had seen on the internet that looked interesting.  As we looked individually at the Greyhounds, the ones we thought might work for us would not.  Then I saw a beautiful black Greyhound in a top crate sitting peacefully.  I went over to her and commented that she must be an old girl because she has a white muzzle.  I was quickly informed that she was only 4-years-old.  When we took her out, she was excited and quite loving.  She and our small dog, Winnie, got along fine.  Clearly, she wanted to go home with us.  Again, we were adopted by a Greyhound.

Even with our efforts to choose a Greyhound, the process is more complex and visceral than expected--each and every time.  Listening to your heart and to the adoption coordinator along with being open-minded are essential to a successful adoption.  Rather than our choosing a Greyhound, we have been chosen by three separate Greyhounds.

Each Greyhound deserves a loving home.  Many are not so lucky after their racing careers end.  Their careers end because of injury or because they simply are not fast enough.

My husband and I have recently decided to expand our efforts to promote and support Greyhound Adoption in our local community.  We hope to educate others in hopes that more Greyhounds will go to loving homes.

We are loved by a Greyhound!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Adopted by a Greyhound--Part II

Bee Bop.
Jams Butternut.
Brood bitch (6 offspring).
Red Brindle.
The fastest of our Greyhounds at 30.22 seconds over the course of 550 yds.
The most raced of our Greyhounds (she raced 121 races).
Also, unbeknownst to us, the sickest of our Greyhounds--kidney failure.

We received a call.  There was a Greyhound that needed a home.  Since we already have one, what is another one, right?  The kennel was at the home of the owners who were getting out of the racing business.  Would we at least go and see her?  This was not a casual visit.  We knew we would be bringing her home with us.

She was beautiful with a strong personality yet gentle.  We knew she and Angie would be fine.  As a general rule, Greyhounds always get along with other Greyhounds.  This is the way they spend each minute of their lives--with other Greyhounds.  I signed the standard Greyhound agreement, and my daughter and I loaded her into the SUV and brought her home.

Bee Bop and Angie got along great and seemed to enjoy each other's company.  We put their beds next to each other under a warm window, and they were like two peas in a pod.

Then the vomiting started.  All over the house.  We took her to the vet only to discover that she was suffering from kidney failure.  We put her on a special diet.  We gave her extra fluids by putting an IV needle in her back while she rested.  As her condition deteriorated, she just wanted to be quiet and rest. We continued to give her fluids from a hanging IV bag and tried to make her as comfortable as possible until the suffering was too much.

She was with us for about a year.  Bee Bop was able to live her last days in a loving home with the care she needed.  We did such a simple thing bringing her into our home, but we could tell that she was grateful to be in our home.  Those eyes.  The way they look up at you.  The windows to the soul.

Angie was very lonely after Bee Bop crossed the Rainbow Bridge, so we took an intermission--we adopted a Chihuahua/Jack Russell mix (Winnie) from our local Humane Society.  Although Angie crossed the Rainbow Bridge this past fall, Winnie is still with us and helped us welcome our newest Greyhound addition into our home.

Roxie's story will be the next installment of "Adopted by a Greyhound."
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Adopted by a Greyhound--Part I

The day we were adopted by Angie's Foxy Lady (Angie to us)
That is what I am/we are--adopted by a Greyhound.

If you have patience and are open-minded without a particular "must have" color, your Greyhound will find and adopt you.  You will know when it happens.  It is a powerful and mysterious event.

Our first experience of being adopted by a Greyhound came after much research.  My husband, 3-year-old daughter, and I went to visit the ex-racers available for adoption through GAP of N.E. Florida.  We wanted a female, and that was really the only thing we wanted.  We saw several dogs fresh off the track; they were all beautiful and friendly.  Then we were told about a white and blue Greyhound that was a bounce-back and had been there less than 24 hours.  Bounce-backs are returned for various reasons, and it is part of your adoption contract to return them if you are unable to keep them for any reason.

She was 5 1/2-years-old and ready to go since she had previously been in a family for a few years.  She was only returned because she had been digging in the backyard (not that unusual, especially when there is no shade for the Greyhound).  The wife, evidently, had had enough.  The Greyhound had basically been the husband's dog.  They had three children and a cat, so she was used to family life.  Evidently, bringing her back was very emotional for the husband.

When the Greyhound was let out of the cage, she came right over to us, looked up at us with her tail wagging, and seemed to say, "Ok.  I am ready to go home now."  It was a match.  Her name was Angie's Foxy Lady (Angie).  This was an unexpected but welcomed surprise.  We don't understand how this happened, but we fell in love with her immediately.  There was no question that she had chosen us and was meant to join our family.  Call it Divine intervention or animal intuition, whatever it was, it was real and true.  We believed we were going to be choosing a Greyhound, but quickly learned that they choose you.

She was a wonderful addition to our family.  There was no adjustment period (as is usually the case when you adopt an ex-racer).  She was our only pet for a few years before we were contacted about adopting a brood bitch directly from a breeder who was getting out of the business.
Naturally, we took her.

Her story will be Part II.

We have had this experience three times now, and we still can't explain it.
More stories and lessons learned to come.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Hidden Fears...

Greyhounds come to us with hidden fears.  We usually come across these fears through ordinary daily activities.

When we adopted our first Greyhound, Angie, we discovered her fear of flashlights.  We had to use the flashlight for something around the house (I don't remember what), and she quickly put her tail between her legs and ran away to hide.  Something about just seeing a flashlight instilled fear in her gentle heart.

This weekend we discovered Roxie's swatters.  Several flies got into the house this weekend because we had our back door open (so the dogs could come in and out at will).  As soon as my step-daughter picked up the fly swatter, Roxie ran in fear back outside.  We had a terrible time convincing her to come back into the house.  She was not the same the rest of the evening...watching our every move and trying to stay away from us whenever possible.

We have no idea what these beautiful animals have suffered at the hands of an owner and/or trainer.  All we can do is love them and show them they are safe.  Isn't that what any living creature wants?  Love and safety (and lots of good food, of course).  :-) Maybe also a warm bed, hot bath, someone or something to snuggle with, but I digress...

I believe that these intelligent dogs know what they have gained when they come into a forever home, but we must have patience and learn the good and the bad about them (Mostly GOOD, of course).  They return our love in abundance without asking for much in return.  They are excellent additions to any family and great companions for singles and couples.  When considering adopting an ex-racer, the important thing is find the right fit with your personality and expectations.  Learn about them and find a reputable adoption agency to help you.  If you aren't in a position to adopt a Greyhound, please consider giving a donation to your local Greyhounds as Pets agency.  They are always in need of monetary help.

Lots more topics and meandering thoughts to come.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Animal Athletes

We just watched Secretariat.  What a story.  Wow.

As the movie came to an end, I thought about how this horse loved to run.  I thought about how our Greyhounds have always loved to run.  They are amazing to watch.  We live on a half acre lot with a large fenced in back yard.  Our newest Greyhound, Roxie, loves to go out and play in the yard.  She will suddenly take off running around the edges of the backyard at an amazing speed.  You can see the joy she has running.  When she finishes, she just as suddenly stops, plops down, and rests.

Our other two Greyhounds ran around the yard, but never this fast.  Roxie is only 4 years old and fresh off the track.  She was retired because she wasn't fast enough not because of an injury.  She ran a total of 109 races, placed first in 11 races, and ran her fastest race at 30.31 seconds over the course of 550 yds.

Their energy is amazing when they want to run, but they are couch potatoes the rest of the time.

More on our other two Greyhounds on another day.