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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,