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Update for our Friends – 5/19/14

What a Memorial Day bash! We adopted out seven dogs in one day and two more on Sunday. It was such a pleasure to see so many of you back at the kennel. We just wish it had been for better reasons. We started this process with 59 dogs and we think they are all going to be fine. By Sunday afternoon, there were 5 that were not specifically spoken for. But our two groups that have committed to taking a load of dogs had each left slots unspecified so that they could help with our “leftovers”. Unless adoptions fall through, we will not need to foster dogs. Paperwork starts tomorrow! (UGH!!)

The food was great – so many desserts! – and we loved the visiting but our friends at the track so distrust us that they posted a uniformed guard with a marked security car right outside of our shop door and he watched our every move and guarded the gate that leads to the kennel to make sure none of us hardened criminal types tried to go back to the kennel without our official license. At first I was furious about it. It sure drove home the tracks’ divisiveness. We really don’t think we deserved that. But eventually I just felt sorry for the little guy! Talk about caught in the middle.

Open house has taken up our weekends for so many years, Jerry and I won’t know what to do on Saturday and Sunday mornings! But this week we have to work on moving out the “stuff” from the kennel. Sales in the gift shop were just awesome but there’s still a lot of nick nack stuff around. And every time we move something, we find something else. We’ll probably post a lot of the bigger pieces on Craigs list and try to sell them on the weekend. Desk, benches, upright freezer, showcase, so much stuff! There’s a new group in Palm Beach that is aimed at helping a few “broken leg” dogs and we’re going to help them get set up as much a we can. I’m taking a big load of bleach that was donated to us by Dade Paper to the Wildlife Care Center as they use tons of that stuff. Nothing will go to waste. And a lot of the real dog-handling equipment will go into storage to be relocated in our new kennel when we get it.

We’ll be at the kennel on the weekends to play in the yard for a while yet if you want to come down and bring the dogs. There was a delay on a haul that was supposed to leave the Sunburst Project kennels in Ebro so we are not able to take any dogs to them until after May 31st. The dogs we are sending to the Texas group are going to Ebro to rest up and then move on to Texas. And another load of our dogs will go to Ebro right after those leave. So we may have all of the dogs out of the kennel around June 6th.

Our dogs will be alright. I think you know that by now. But we are still worried about the ones that will be “flunking out” for the next race season. We placed about 300 dogs from the Florida Kennels compound last year. Where are this year’s dogs all going to go? Who is going to vet them and care for the broken ones? Or aren’t they doing that? I know they say the industry is dying. But it’s a slow death and there are dogs being washed out of the lineup every day. There are years of racing left and that’s a lot of lives..

So, we’re not quitting. Jerry and I have decided to make every possible effort to find a couple of acres of agricultural land in the Broward (preferably) or Dade area. We’ll set ourselves up with a house and kennel building and keep FoG in business. First step is to find some land. Two acres or more should be fine. With a small house would be awesome. We’d add a sturdy, cinderblock kennel for the dogs with some office/ laundry/ storage and feeding kitchen area and maybe in/out runs for the dogs to make the dog walking easier. (We’re not getting any younger!) We can have some nice fenced area and still have our greyhound gatherings on weekends. We think that about 20 dogs should be a good size for the two of us to handle (physically and financially).

We have had a generous offer from one of our adopters. She will donate a 4-acre plot she has in an undeveloped equestrian neighborhood in Ocala to exchange with anyone who has a couple acre plot in this area that is appropriate for us. Isn’t that awesome! Tell your friends!

So we are all looking. This area has two tracks and only two adoption groups. We can’t turn our backs on it or locate too far away. I know this is the hi-rent district but this is where the dogs need help. And years from now when all the greyhounds are adopted out and gone, a kennel like we envision could be used for many other breeds of large dogs. Big dogs everywhere of every breed are difficult to adopt. A kennel like that would never go to waste.

I hope you will join in our dream and help us make this kennel a reality fairly quickly. Keep in touch through our Yahoo Group and Facebook and as we get this program more organized and make more progress, we hope you’ll take the journey with us. Come run with the greyhounds! Weekends at the Hialeah kennel for a little bit more now – – and weekends at our own kennel for the years to come!

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle

2 Comments

  1. Katherine says:

    I am so happy to read that you guys are planning on sticking around for the dogs. What you do is such a great thing, my heart goes out to you. I’ve been reading these weekly blogs every week since around the time I adopted Braska Danica and I have always felt, even through a screen, how much you guys care about what you do. It’s about the dogs, not the politics! I will continue to follow your story and tell as many people as I can. :)

  2. Jenn Gitkin says:

    Michelle…you and Jerry are truly two of the most amazing people I know!!! Jimmy and I and our family will follow you anywhere! I hope you find a place to lay down new roots soon. We are going to bring Jack to visit his sisters this weekend, and we look forward to seeing you wherever you end up for many years to come!!! If you need help with ANYTHING, we are always around!