Fostering

Pain and Privilege

February 19, 2017
By
Pain and Privilege

Beginning on the first day of this week, I had rushed through Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with days so full that by Thursday night I cancelled my plans for the evening because my body just couldn’t move any more. Now it was Friday and – again – I was in a rush. I had to walk the dogs, pack them up, then drive from the coast of Bandon, back to my home in Coquille, in order to be on time for a 4-hour rehearsal. Reserves depleted, I honestly didn’t know where the energy was going to come...

Read more »

My Remarkable Journey

January 29, 2017
By
My Remarkable Journey

The past year had been remarkable; a roller coaster of emotion, as five amazing racing greyhounds found their way into my home and my heart. Once I decided to become a foster person for these dogs, I jumped in with wild abandon and a total lack of common sense. I also had two greyhounds of my own, Ava, a sweet, very smart red fawn, and Alex, a big red and white male, also very sweet and also very rambunctious. These two dogs filled my life with joy and wonder, especially after losing my first greyhound, Lola, to cancer. They...

Read more »

January 5, 2017
By

If you’re a greyhound owner out walking your dogs, you know the drill. Walk for a while, settle in to the zone, then stop to answer questions from someone. Repeat, repeat and repeat. Oh, I’m not complaining! Who doesn’t like to talk about their dogs? Who doesn’t like all the compliments that come our way? But honestly, sometimes, I feel I should have a pamphlet printed out to just hand to people. It would go something like this: Yes, they are soft, aren’t they? No, they’re not hyper. It’s too much effort to get off my best sofa. No,...

Read more »

New Year’s Eve and 4th of July

December 31, 2016
By

bea-in-the-sunshine

I’m sitting in front of a fire in my den on the day before New Year’s Eve, looking back over all the posts and likes and comments that have been shared on my greyhound page. Thank you so much for reading and caring about these remarkable dogs.

My little blue greyhound, Bea, is very much on my mind. Well, I’m not sure you can call a 65 pound dog little, but when compared to my red and white, Alex, who tops out at 78 pounds, she seems little in comparison.

The reason she is particularly on my mind today is that she is one of those . . . a dog that absolutely freaks out with any kind of fireworks. That means that New Year’s Eve and July 4th are absolutely terrifying to her. She will shake so hard that all four feet will come off the floor. She has occasionally lost control of her kidneys. Her eyes become dilated; she pants; she won’t eat or drink. It is heart-wrenching.

If you have a dog like this, I sympathize with you. Here are things I have found to help.

  • First and foremost, do not get uptight or nervous or panicky. They sense your feelings. Give them your strength. Give them your calm. Let them know that you are the leader; that you are not freaked out. No, this will not solve their problem, but it absolutely helps them . . . and you.
  • Be sure they are fed, hydrated and have had lots of body elimination time during the day. They will not want food or water during the noise, and they won’t want to go out. If they do go out, be sure they can’t bolt.
  • If they eliminate in the house, stay calm. They just can’t help it. Don’t add to their stress by fussing at them.
  • Give them a very quiet cave, of some sort. I have cleaned out the bottom of a closet in a quiet room and put a dog bed with blankets in it. Bea will go into that closet and definitely feels safer there.
  • If you use noise to counteract, be sure it is calming.

I know that a lot of people use calming drops, thunder shirts, etc. My experience is that none of that has worked. If it works for you, great.

My last resort (and it should be your last resort) has been talking to my wonderful veterinarian and having him prescribe a tranquilizer for Bea. I start her on a half dose in the morning, then give her a full dose around 6 p.m. when she gets her evening meal. She is still awake and functioning with this dosage but is much more calm and can even sleep a bit during the melee. I am not a big believer in medicating, but seeing what this dog goes through, and having tried everything else, I am relieved that there is a way to help Bea deal with what is a major trama for her.

I do hope all of you have a wonderful, safe new year, filled with nature’s gift to us: amazing creatures to fill our lives. All my love to all of you.

 

Hello, Sunbeam

February 24, 2012
By
Hello, Sunbeam

My morning started at 6:45 a.m. with Tanner, my foster greyhound who is recuperating from a broken leg, stealing my slippers.  That means it’s time to feed the beasts.  I staggered into the kitchen to mix various foods and medications for 3 dogs, according to their needs and conditions.  After eating I let them out, again monitoring who goes when, due to Tanner’s leg injury.  Can’t let him and alpha Alex out at the same time because they will play too rough. While Mike takes the dogs for a morning walk, I vacuum all floors (due to the dogs),...

Read more »

Tanner Puts His Foot Down

January 21, 2012
By
Tanner Puts His Foot Down

              Tanner is my foster with the broken leg.  His hock was shattered racing in Mexico.  Consequently, he had surgery to put in a metal plate and fuse the bone.  He came out of the hospital with a splint and extremely limited activity.  He had to be crated at all times, except to go outside to relieve himself. After 5 weeks, the splint came off and he was left with a slightly open wound that was healing.  He had to be in a head cone for a week to stop him from licking...

Read more »

A Day in the Trenches: From Pristine to Triage

January 12, 2012
By
A Day in the Trenches: From Pristine to Triage

    Husband Mike and I live in what was a nice, small, open design, contemporary house.  Both the house and the yard were completely remodeled six years ago.  We worked so hard for the better part of a year to transfer this outdated, over-painted rental into our dream home.  The house was redone in very pale to white colors, very light hardwood floors and acid washed, polished concrete floors.  The yard was sculpted with strips of grass, paved areas and different textured rock areas with a water feature, fruit trees, berry bushes, etc.  Truly lovely. Less than a...

Read more »

My Big, Goofy Foster

January 1, 2012
By
My Big, Goofy Foster

  After our first foster, who was with us for four months, and I might add they were the wet, muddy winter months, we went almost immediately into picking up our second foster.  That foster was only with us for a few weeks before being adopted right here in the neighborhood by a greyhound owner that I used to run into in the park.  But more about that later. When that foster was adopted, I said to Mike, “You know, I’ve got a few projects I’d like to get done.  I think I’ll wait a while before taking on...

Read more »

The Opposite of Zen, The Crumpled Crew, and Happy Holidays to you!

December 28, 2011
By
The Opposite of Zen, The Crumpled Crew, and Happy Holidays to you!

  Christmas day started so well.  Husband Mike was actually home, a situation that almost never happens.  Being a TV news photojournalist, he always works on every holiday.  He warned me before I married him so I don’t complain.  However, this year his regular weekend days off coincided with the Christmas holidays, so we were very excited about being together. Unfortunately, my girls, Lori, who lives in Philadelphia and Jenna, who lives in Napa, could not be here for the day.  So Mike and I decided to make the best of it and have a wonderful day cooking an...

Read more »

To All the Boys

December 24, 2011
By
Santa's Dress Rehearsal with Ava, Lucky & Alex

What a wonderful year this has been. It’s been full of walks in the park, a road trip with Alex and Ava, and a total of five foster dogs, all unique and all wonderful in his own way. And yes, they were all males. Some I’ve written about, and some stories are yet to come. Thank you my boys, for allowing me to be a part of your universe.   Newton:  My first love. We struggled and learned together. And it was challenging.  It was so very hard to see you move on.  But what a wonderful life you...

Read more »