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Michelle’s Happy Tales Report
9/4/18 Mostly Happy Tales From Inside And Around The FoG Kennel.

Ready, Set, Hurricane!

This is the area where the dogs run out from the back door of the kennel, down the side of the house and out to the yard area. This is another angle taken a couple days later when things were dryer.

So most of our readers have been in Florida for a while and I’d like to think that they are always prepped for a storm or – given this time of year – for a hurricane. But it doesn’t hurt to review things a bit.

FoG was using the kennel in Hialeah when Wilma went through. Thank heaven for those strong, cinder block buildings down there. No one was hurt but we lost a lot of fencing and the office was trashed. It was quite a challenge to get back to normal but we got through it. Then Irma last year did a real number on our fences but we have recovered. The trick is to be ready. Not just with the supplies but mentally. Speaking as a Floridian, if you get your supplies and make your home, family and neighbors ready, the rest is up to nature. Prep and prayer are all you can do.

South Florida greyhounds are generally aware of the strong thunderstorms we get and we just don’t tell them that this is anything different. If your dog doesn’t like “normal” storms, you may want to make a “safe place” for him. Chumlee likes our walk in closet for storms so we just put a dog bed in there for him. Some of the others like to be with us when there’s a storm. That’s okay, too. But hurricanes are a different animal and preparation is critical. Sure you will go to a lot of trouble filling the gas tank and maybe boarding up (LOVE our storm windows!) and then nothing happens. But it’s that one storm you don’t bother with that will get you. So…

Remember to include the dogs in your hurricane prep. Depending on the storm consider:

  • An extra bag of dog food – and cookies. If stores get trashed, they’ll worry about laying in human food way before they bring in dog food.
  • Check that your dog has ID tags with your current info. If needed, use luggage tags or tape with your phone numbers and address. And get ID tags soon!
  • Maybe tighten up that collar just a smidge.
  • Review your dog’s microchip registration. If your phones or address have changed, did you update the chip? (I have microchips here at the house and readers if you want to check yours.)
  • Include the pets when you lay in bottled water. They don’t need “spring water” so you can always fill up a couple empty jugs from the tap before the storm – or even the bathtub.
  • Have a small supply of Benadryl (generic is fine) just in case. Don’t give it to the dog unless you know he’s going to have a meltdown and you are definitely staying where you are. Then it’s easier for him (and you) if he sleeps through the storm. A half tablet will calm a dog if you give it early enough. If they’re already panicked, you’ll need a whole one. But if you have to move out quickly, you don’t want to have to carry a knocked out greyhound.
  • Think about your dog when you put together a first aid kit. That co-flex, stretchy wrap that sticks to itself is a huge help for quick bandages for dogs or humans. Put gauze over the injury and then co-flex on top so the stretchy part doesn’t stick to the wound.
  • Try to set up a quiet place for the dog and don’t be afraid to break out the crate. If he’s crated, he won’t bolt out the door if he panics.
  • Be sure to have a photo of your dog (full body & a head shot) on your laptop or phone. If you lose the dog, it will help you show people who you are looking for. You might even want to make up a lost dog poster now to have on hand. Things happen even when the weather is good.
  • Broward County has an animal friendly hurricane shelter but you have to register for it in advance. We know this because Jerry volunteers at that shelter with his ham radios. Believe me, if there’s a greyhound in there, Jerry will take extra good care of him. (I don’t have any info on Dade.)

Here’s hoping that this year will be peaceful and safe for all. If there’s anything we can help with, let me know. We’re here for the dogs – – and their owners – – no matter what.

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,