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Photos From the Greyhound Gathering

“Oh, I Meant to Tell You” featuring Big John McLaughlin

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — Short movie by the late Harry Lupu about meeting people on the beach while walking his adopted greyhound.

Greyhound Gathering at the Hound House

Saturday & Sunday, March 16 & 17, 11-3 both days!
Bring the dogs to hound around with one another. You know they miss it!
Where: FoG House – 2621 NW 105 Lane, Sunrise, 33322 Backyard!

Freeway’s Spring Round Up Picnic HERO HOUNDS

Freeway’s picnic is set for Saturday, May 4th in Dunnellon, FL at Rainbow Springs State Park. This is our 3rd year at the Park and most folks return to sit around and relax, visit with old friends and make some new ones. We work hard to make this day (weekend) fun and relaxing so folks can spend more quality time with their hounds. Our web page and Facebook page both have the Spring Round Up Picnic HERO HOUNDS…you can share from there or use the following if it is easier. Thank you so much for your support.

Michelle’s Happy Tales Report
3/4/19 Mostly Happy Tales From Inside And Around The FoG Kennel.

This blog is an odd assortment of FoG’s greyhound “hot topics”. I get emails and phone calls every day on these subjects. The rumor mill is running hard and fast. So – Let’s clarify a few things – – in no specific order –

1. There is no dumping of racing dogs in this area. There are rumors that the kennels are killing dogs rather than give them up for adoption. In this area I am certain that rumor is absolutely FALSE!! Many owners and workers love the dogs, too. We have not heard anything credible about dumping dogs.

This southeast part of Florida is impacted by the Miami track (aka Flagler Dog Track and/or Magic City Casino), the Hollywood track (aka Mardi Gras and/or Big Easy Casino) and in a lesser way, by the Naples Ft. Myers track which is actually located in Bonita Springs on the West Coast but owned by a partnership of the same people as the Miami and Hollywood tracks. Miami and Hollywood both stopped running as soon as they could. They both have on site casinos and they are happy with that.

All of these owners and partnerships and managements are in a state of flux and have been for a few months so some of my information may be out of date or may change. Basically, Broward and Dade counties make money from their casinos which were approved by the electorate a few years ago. Casinos make money. Dog racing loses money. Disconnecting racing from the casino business works well for them so they stopped racing pretty quickly. Hollywood’s last racing season ended April 2018. Miami has been closed so long I couldn’t even find a date!! A couple weeks ago, they announced that the Naples/Ft. Myers track would be demolished at the end of this racing season. And imagine how excited the developers were when Florida Kennels became available!!

2. Friends of Greyhounds is still here. At this time, we do not have any greyhounds available for adoption. Jerry and I picked up our first dogs in November 2001 and the kennel was empty February 2019. It was a great trip. Hopefully it was good for our karma. Approximately 2400 (my paperwork isn’t up to date) dogs found homes with our help. We are very proud of that and we are very grateful for all the people who helped us along the way. But for now we are ready to enjoy our retirement. The organization will be semi-active for a while just so we are here for any returning dogs that may need us. We know that things happen in families and we will always be here for the greyhounds. We still have the kennels and bowls and yard and I love to dogsit so I get to play with more dogs!! Retirement is taking on a whole new look. If you have questions or problems and think I can help, please feel free to call. We are still here for the dogs.

3. There are still Greyhounds that need homes. Locally, we are friends with Elite Greyhounds based in Loxahatchee. Run by a family from their horse ranch, they have a great setup with a large kennel. They are getting dogs from Palm Beach Kennel Club and from overseas. If you are looking to adopt, I strongly recommend you start by looking there. Sonia knows what she is doing and she will help you find the right dog for you. Visit: www.elitegreyhounds.org She stays busy so her dog listings may not be up to date. Just call and arrange a visit.

Our nearest track that is still racing is Palm Beach Kennel Club. They run year round, 15 races a day, 6 days a week and they have a high dollar clientele, simulcasting of horseraces, and a busy poker room. If you are looking to adopt a greyhound, http://adopt-a-greyhound.org/directory/list.cfm?usState=171 this link will take you to a complete listing for the state. (Don’t be frustrated by the listing. They add new groups as they are created but many of the entries are for groups that are already out of business.) And I even discovered another entry on the Florida list with our phone number on it and they are in the panhandle!

4. We do not need any additional volunteers. Volunteers have been a great help for our kennel for many years. (Our first student volunteer is now an Attorney!!) We love them and we are grateful for all they have done for us. But we only have house dogs, sometimes a few boarders, and potentially, a return or two. We appreciate the offer but we do not need any student volunteers at this time.

5. Be sure to watch for information about gatherings and play times. Greyhounds need to visit with other greyhounds sometimes. Keep your name on our email list and we’ll let you know about upcoming events. I’m hoping to do a gathering here at the house soon but we have a few projects to complete first.

PS: Kiss your dogs for me – Michelle (& Jerry, Chumlee, Yahtzee & Joy.) And wish a happy retirement to Jinx, our big black cat who has personally cat-tested a whole lot of your dogs for us!! He had the toughest job in the kennel.

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle

Michelle’s Happy Tales Report
2/24/19 Mostly Happy Tales From Inside And Around The FoG Kennel.

Empty Kennels!

Last week I walked out to the kennel and it was empty. As a garage/ laundry room, it was still active and full. Jerry’s tools are still there and the washer was temporarily quiet but the dryer was humming away. There are long shelves on the wall, full of “things” both in and out of boxes. There is a two-story kennel which is still full of blankets and toys and extra dog food. There is a wire crate set up but it is used as a work table for the seeds and nuts Jerry puts out for the birds and squirrels in the back yard feeders every day. But there are four walk-in dog kennels built from chain link fencing and they are empty. Now that felt really weird.

It has been years since there was not a single dog in the kennels! When Jerry and I decided to help greyhounds get from the track to homes, the very first thing we did was to stash our extra “stuff” in a rental storage area so we could build kennels in the garage. (Eventually, we put a small shed in the yard to get out of the rental area) It took a couple months to get everything set up but we wanted to do things right. Our first adoption, Mohican Snickers, a very cute brindle girl, was delivered on November 4, 2001. We were on our way!!

In 2003 Florida passed a law that dog tracks had to have an official adoption group so Flagler and Hollywood offered FoG the position. They gave us use of a kennel building complete with office, kitchen, kennel workers, dog food and a kennel already full of dogs in the Florida Kennels compound in Hialeah. Now instead of only having four or five dogs for someone to look at, they had 40 to choose from!! It was a complete turn around for us and we faced a steep learning curve. Our first year there, 2003, we did 105 adoptions. Now, bear in mind that Jerry and I were both working full time and we ran dogs to vets and did adoptions and events on the side. We had a signup sheet in our garage for noon walkers!! Our volunteers were awesome and they made it work. We could never have done it without them.

And it did work. We are so proud and happy to have made a difference in the lives of just under 2400 of these beautiful, loving dogs!! And those dogs have made a difference in the lives of a lot of people. Jerry and I are very, very grateful to all the people and dogs who completely changed our lives. We never envisioned this but we have loved (almost) every minute of it!

The kennel had not been empty til now and it kind of feels weird but it also feels right. I even turned off the secondary air conditioner! We will still be here if a dog needs to be returned or you need help in any way. Things happen and we understand. It may be for any reason from doggy behavoir to an owner’s illness, but we will be here for the greyhounds. And I am hoping to do some dogsitting, too. Dogsitting lets me play with even more greyhounds than just those here at the house and that leaves Chumlee more chance to nap!

Kiss your dog for me! We’re here if you need us.

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle

Charlie

Charlie (formerly “Dunnit All” ) receiving recognition from the Miami Dade Fire Department with his mom, Fire Captain Shawn Campana. Together they have been working on a program to use dogs to help relieve stress in crisis situations.

Me and Charlie hamming it up
Charlie on stage
Commissioner Sally Heyman insisting I schedule a meeting mid March with her office to discuss the program, she loved Charlie!

LOCAL 10 INVESTIGATES – With greyhound racing ending, hundreds may need new homes

Advocates fear politics could put adoptions in jeopardy
By Louis Aguirre – Anchor/Reporter

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. – Sonia Stratemann has dedicated her life to rescuing retired greyhound’s from Florida’s race tracks. She has taken them in when they’ve grown too old to compete or after they suffered a terrible injury, rehabbing them until she’s able place them in a loving home.

Click Here To Read This Article

Michelle’s Happy Tales Report
2/4/19 Mostly Happy Tales From Inside And Around The FoG Kennel.

Good news – we have an adopter for Speedy, our older (but smaller) black dog!! He’ll stay with us a little longer just so King is not all alone in the kennel. So who among you would like the honor of adopting the LAST Fog-dog??

King Displays Some Attitude

Victory King is a handsome, sleek, strong boy with a great, happy personality. He’d be here in my home if it wasn’t for the cats. Yes, he is looking for a home without cats or small dogs. He is seven years young and very sweet. Although he is from Macau, he has learned English quickly and very seldom barks. He is healthy and smart and playful. He’ll make an awesome addition to your family!

I hope some of you will give us a call and come meet King. He will make a wonderful house-dog and we will still be here to support you and the dogs. We aren’t going anywhere. Jerry & I have adopted out roughly 2400 greyhounds through Friends of Greyhounds. I had a few helpers doing home deliveries off and on but the vast majority of the dogs, we delivered ourselves. I even drove dogs in the van to other groups in other states. The deliveries were the very best part!

All those dogs had a lot in common. They come out of the kennels with no idea of what’s coming next. Their whole world is changed and all they can do is wait to see what the future holds and to trust us that everything will be all right. After the deliveries, we still have that obligation to be there if the dogs’ need to come back or the families need some kind of help. We will honor that obligation until our last grey gets up to the Rainbow Bridge.

So come meet King soon. He’s so excited about his future. I’ve tried to explain it to him but I don’t think he’s really gotten the idea of what “home”, “house” and “family” mean yet. If you’d like to be the one to teach him all about that, please give me a call or drop me an email. King will make a great house dog.

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,

Michelle

Black Dogs Need Love, too!!

Adoption groups around the world have known about the problem but now someone has given it a name and brought it forward. Black Dog Syndrome (BDS) is also referred to as the BBD (Big Black Dog) problem. FoG has seen it for years in our own adoption kennels. King and Speedy, who are living in the kennel now are like so many other black dogs in shelters, having already spent more time waiting for new homes than lighter-colored kennelmates generally do.

BDS was studied by graduate students at The George Washington University. (In other words – it’s not just MY opinion!!) They concluded that BDS occurs in shelters and rescue groups throughout America and affects black dogs, as well as cats. It is possible that there may simply be more black pets in the shelter and rescue population. However reports from across the country illustrate the problem, and multiple national organizations have long recognized BDS as an issue that adversely affects the adoption rates of black pets.

What is Black Dog Syndrome?

In a survey, Petfinder member shelter and rescue groups reported that most pets are listed for 12.5 weeks on Petfinder, whereas, less-adoptable pets (such as black, senior, and special needs pets) spend almost four times as long on Petfinder. Research showed that Black Dog Syndrome may be caused by a combination of:

  • Size
  • Unclear facial features
  • Dimly lit kennels
  • The “genericness” of black pets
  • Negative portrayals of black pets in books, movies and other popular media such as the black dogs in Hound of the Baskervilles, Harry Potter, The Omen, and even on the common “Beware of Dog” sign.
  • Black cats are readily associated with witches, superstition, and bad luck.
King (Gold collar) & Speedy (Red collar) are waiting for homes!

So what you can do?

Display your love of black pets proudly to demonstrate that there is nothing wrong with them.

Encourage friends to look past their first impressions of a black pet.

Tell people about BDS! It’s generally an unconscious prejudice and most people will move past it once they are aware.

Remind people that their parents were right:- personality is more important than appearance. It’s just as true for pets as for people!

And Remember – Black dogs need love, too!!

Thank you to the Petfinder.com site for compiling this information!!