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Where’s John?

Yes, I am the blog fill-in. I used to be the main writer for our blogs and when John stepped in, he took it to a whole new level. John is in the process of becoming the Bionic Blogger – well his knee will be bionic at least. We wish him the best and hope he’ll be back on the keyboard in no time!

P1040399Last weekend was the opening salvo of the Renaissance Festival at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach. We have been participating in that event for about 11 years and it is wonderful for us. This show gets 80,000 to 100,000 visitors over they 6 weekends it is open and they all pass by our greyhound booth going in and coming out.

It is a big drain on the stamina of the FoG dogs and volunteers but it is sooo worth it. Sometimes it’s like a romantic relationship. . . We are so excited for it to begin and then so relieved when it is finally over!! But it generates nice donations and wonderful awareness and quite a few adoptions. Adoptions may be less this year given our meager supply of available dogs and not being able right now to send people to our open house. I am really looking forward to being in a place where we can have a weekend open house again. I want to see dogs running in the yard!!

But I digress. Ren-Fest is every Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to about 6:30 now until March 14th. We have a lot of hours to cover. This weekend is handled but I’d appreciate hearing from you if you can come volunteer one other day. We usually do 9:30 to 2 and 2 to closing shifts but we’d appreciate help whenever you could spare the time. Parking and traffic in and out can sometimes be a challenge during the day so it’s pointless to try to come for a short time. I can answer more questions if you call (954-937-9663) or email me (fogdogs@comcast.net). And yes, we take dogs there!

We also have our booth at the Pet Supermarket that needs to be handled during the same time period. We are there every other Saturday (2/21, 3/7, 3/21, etc.) from 10 to 2. It’s a neat place, very friendly and easy to work. Location is 801 E. Sunrise Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale. Call if you’d like to handle that one day or another.

Jerry and I are going away for three days the first week of March. The past few years we have gone to the Orlando Pet Expo and brought back lots of food and goodies for the kennel. It was exhausting and all our time at the Expo was negotiating with the vendors and exhibitors. This year we are going just to enjoy the show. There’s always such unique new items to see and we’re looking forward to having the chance to just relax and recharge and learn about all the new goodies.

On the home front, we are still adopting dogs, still accepting dogs and in every way, we are still a viable and active greyhound group. Don’t give up on us guys! We have hung in with some hard to place dogs over the years. Now we’re the dog that’s hard to place. We can do it, y’all. We started all of this in our garage and we’re working out of that again. No problem!! And if you are in the Sunrise area and could help with the dogs once in a while, we would appreciate it. With us doing shows on the weekends, we can use dog washers before we go and dog walkers while we’re gone. And I’d appreciate the help. We can give community service hours for much of the event and kennel work, too. if you have students that need it.

Many, many of our dogs over the years have been vetted at Welleby Vet Center. That was our personal vet when we founded FoG in 2001. We set up with Dr. Willie to do FoG’s vet work before we committed to the program. Welleby and Dr. Willie have been an important part of the FoG organization. We are sorry to tell you that Welleby Vet is currently closed. Let me try for a brief explanation….

Welleby was built by Dr. Sands who then sold it to John Willie who was working there, his first job right out of vet school. Sands held the note on the purchase for him. Dr. Willie has been our go-to vet for years. He in turn hired Dr. Karen Burlone who many of you remember and she has still been a supporter and a friend of FoG even though she moved to VCA Promenade a little while ago.

Over the years, we have used a few other vets. I have never been one to put all of my eggs in one basket. We currently also use Dr. Carl Ansara at Animal Hospital of University Drive. He is an excellent, experienced greyhound vet and we love him and all of our vets dearly. They are an amazing team of professionals. But the vast majority of our work has been done at Welleby.

Dr. Willie was just not able to keep Welleby Vet Center profitable any longer and it closed this week. At the moment, there is a power struggle going on between Willie and Sands. I am only airing this dirty laundry to explain to you that we have our greyhound people all covered. Willie has been in close contact with me and a few other of our key adopters. All of his records of medical care for all of his clients since 2003 when he officially purchased the practice, are going to be with him. A large part of the FoG records for the initial care of dogs when they first came to our adoption program is already here at the FoG offices. The only ones not here are those clients that have become regular clients of Welleby and Willie has those himself.

Dr. Willie does not yet know where he will be practicing. He had an offer that has since fallen through. Things are changing daily. Sands is trying to block his every move. I worry about the rest of the staff terribly. Jeff and Bernice have been dear friends for many years. They live nearby and Jeff has come running to help with dogs in crisis more times than I can count. He even climbed up on my roof with me to try to tarp over the damage from Hurricane Wilma! He is a very caring man and a gift to the animals. I hope there’s a vet out there smart enough to snatch him up.

If you are a patient of Dr. Willie and have questions or need to reach him, feel free to call me. Right now he is crazy busy trying to figure all of this out and it seems to be changing all the time. Please know that he and I are working together for the good of all of his clients and of course, for the good of all of his extra special FoG clients. We are all hoping this will settle down and he’ll be in a great location of his own, soon.

So on that note, I hope to see you at the Renaissance Festival if you’re coming up that way as a volunteer or as a visitor. We’re in the round-top tent on the entry road. You can’t miss us!! Come meet the dogs!

Love, Peace & Greyhounds,
Michelle