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The FoG is still Rolling!

I know that my “silence” has worried a few of you. I honestly did not realize I had gone so long without giving an update for the website. I am sorry. I have been talking to and emailing many of our people and I knew John was writing his wonderful blog and my updates just kept getting postponed. So let’s make up for lost time.

Please know that I am working every single day on the future for these dogs. Our home in Sunrise is our current base of operations but we are working on a new location and Jerry & I are hustling every single day of the week.

10553500_770750286278608_8950079589864840125_nWe are working adoptions from our home. Lelys and I drove Atascocita Fain and Atascocita Johan to Jacksonville where they are happily napping with Beverly & Robert. Of course Lelys posted great photos on Facebook. I hope you saw them. Don’t pay any attention to the video of me singing with the radio. (They tell me I can’t fire volunteers. Darn.) AtascocitaGabby finally went to her new home and I’ve gotten great pix of her napping in the shoe closet. Romeo (Chicks Love Me) is in a great home in Boca. And we have an app on Cindy Cee (Abby) as well as a potential (meaning I’ve gotten the call but not the paperwork) app for Benny of Ruckus. His delivery will have to be next month but we’re happy for him.

We have two dogs staying with adopters who live near the house. Both are older girls and the people have room to let them be part of the family until their real family comes around. And the foster parents are nearby. So if anyone is interested in Keltie or Yammy (Como Se Yama), I can get them easily. We needed the room because we have more dogs coming in tomorrow! (Stay tuned!)

But the big focus of our lives lately has been the need for a new kennel location. We want a place where we can live on site and care for the dogs. We’ll be able to see adopters any day or time we choose. When we started all of this, I used to write up notes about the perfect kennel compound we were going to build. I have lots of information about what I wanted in the space and on the property. But when we were offered the Hialeah kennel, it allowed us to adopt out lots of dogs right away and we tabled the idea of our own compound. That ride is over and we have dusted off our dreams.

Because of the economic atmosphere, those big dreams had to be adapted but we can still do a lot of it. We’ve been looking at property and the best options seem to be in Southwest Ranches. We’ve found a property with a good sized yard and a huge “rec room” that can be made into a kennel. We’re figuring on 25 dogs or so. That’s enough for us to give you choices and not kill ourselves or rile up the neighbors in the process. We will live in the house and there’s room for an office area, a shop area and a little room that will be nice den for people and possible new dogs to meet and get to know one another. Everything is under one roof so there’s no running out in the rain to get to the office.

And it will have something special. I have always wanted there to be a “little cottage in the back for someone to take care of the unwanted dogs”. Well this property has a “mother in law” suite and we will be able to make that our Senior Sanctuary. When we get the property, we’ll tell you more about that project but for now, we can say that our older or broken dogs will have a real home. Jerry Berlin has agreed to come aboard as our live in caretaker for these very special dogs. And in case you don’t know it, he also will be co-conspirator with our president Jerry in the ham radio room. And he will act as our in-house computer operations center manager. He’s already planning the in-house computer network so I can pull up data on the dogs from anywhere!

It is beyond exciting! I can’t begin to tell you our plans. But it’s going to take a village. We will need everyone to help with this purchase and with turning a house into a kennel. But we’ll have our own dog park and places for greyhounds to play anytime. We will need someone with the expertise to fill in a swimming pool. We’ll probably want to get an architect in there to double check that the changes we need to make aren’t damaging anything critical – and maybe to second guess our design ideas. We’ll need kennels and fencing in the right places. We’ll need to add some dog food prep area so we’ll need some cabinets installed and plumbing. There are no appliances in the house kitchen so those will need to be installed. We’ll definitely need help MOVING! And so will Jerry B. And of course, Jerry the President will need his riding lawn mower! There are so many details but nothing can happen until we put together some MONEY.

Start saving because we’re going to come knocking pretty soon. The doggies need a new home. We can do this! You’ll see! Make sure you are on our mailing list. Go to the bottom banner on any page of our website and find the yellow box. You can sign up in there. I’d rather have you sign up twice than get lost in the shuffle. Join our Facebook for more updates from Lelys.

The dogs will have their own place to play. I just can’t wait. Can you?

I want our blog to end on a happy note but I cannot close without mentioning the passing of a wonderful man, Bill Sharpsteen, founder of Gold Coast Greyhounds has succumbed to cancer. He is out of pain and he is now up there caring for greyhounds. Bill was a jovial, unassuming guy that we met in 2008 when he took a few of our “D kennel” dogs. He lived in Clearwater in a two story condo building with no elevator. He was on the ground floor but when we delivered the dogs, a small flurry of people descended on his condo and everyone left with one dog, many struggling to quickly teach their dog to walk upstairs! He had no kennel. He had volunteers. And every weekend and some evenings, they were over at the neighborhood pet store telling people about greyhounds. It was so neat. And he didn’t have a dog of his own. They were all his dogs but the condo would only allow you one dog per unit so if he had committed to one dog, he couldn’t have been the “backup” for all the others. That always amazed me.

He loved baseball and good food (BBQs was his hot button) and he ran a real business so that he could run the business he loved, Gold Coast Greyhounds. He took care of the non-profit paperwork and spun off Gold Coast Groups to Orlando, Gainesville, Sarasota and probably more that I can’t remember, and of course, his own group in Clearwater. In the past couple of years, he and I developed a regular routine of meeting in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel in Ft. Myers. I’d bring him vetted dogs for his group so they could move them more quickly. Our dogs got to be fostered instead of being in kennels. I kinda think some of them were spoiled a bit, too. I loved those trips and my visits with Bill. His groups will be a strong legacy for him and he can watch from above with great pride – probably from a Cracker Barrel rocking chair! He had a great life and has so much to be proud of. But he definitely will be missed by a lot of us.