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Showing posts from April, 2017

Randy's new home

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Dusty again got to spend a couple of hours with Uncle Jerry and his dogs as Michelle and I took another drive to western Miami -- this time to deliver Randy to his new family.

Ric and Janelle and their two kids, Lucy and Austin, are going to share their large townhouse with Randy. The big red boy has a nice wraparound backyard with a great water view. Inside, he'll have plenty of room to roam. It'll take him a few days, maybe a week or two, to learn how to get upstairs. But when he does, he will have his own personal bedroom, which he graciously will share with Lucy's dollhouse.
Michelle and I missed Austin. Lucy was really excited to welcome Randy, as were her parents. Looks like Randy has found himself a great situation to learn to become a family pet.
A busy week ahead: Doc goes out Monday to a greyhound-experienced home in Wilton Manors, and Michelle heads to Orlando on Tuesday to pick up a couple of more dogs. Wednesday, I'll begin a pet-sitting stint in Plantati…

Dusty meets her match

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A lot of comings and goings at Friends of Greyhounds right now with new guests coming into the kennels and several greyhounds leaving for permanent homes.

The flurry started with Ralph and Nadine going to new homes and Kango going out on an audition in Cutler Bay earlier in the week.
Ralph returned to the Sunrise kennels today to get a microchip and to make his adoption official. A short time later, former guest Molly appeared at the permanent residence, where she'll be staying for a few days while her family takes a vacation.
Dusty and I showed up a couple of minutes behind Molly for our volunteer shift giving noontime walks to the guests -- and to meet a couple of new arrivals Michelle picked up Friday in Hialeah.
And that's when Dusty met her match -- Stormy, a shiny 3-year-old black female who could pass as Dusty's twin sister. Look closely: You can tell them apart by noting that Stormy has very little white on the end of her tail, on her nose and on her feet.
Stormy …

Dusty goes shopping

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Dusty watched and waited patiently all morning as I assembled my new no-tools TV stand that arrived in a box from Amazon.com Thursday night. Morning is usually her time, when we get out for a long walk or a run in the park or something.

But it's getting a little harder for us to stay out long, what with the thick, humid airs of summer starting to arrive here in South Florida. And besides, that long, heavy box was propped up in the corner of the entryway calling my name for attention.

As expected, that 20-minute easy-assembly piece of furniture ended up taking about three hours. Oh, the TV stand went together quite nicely and very easily. But one thing led to another, of course -- while we're here, let's adjust these TV legs; let's move those speakers over here, no over there; might as well empty these storage boxes and start arranging the display; on and on and on.

And for the entire time, Dusty was settled into her Serta bed about three feet away watching for the sli…

Kango gets a home visit

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Another day, another visit for Dusty with her buddies in Sunrise as Michelle and I drove south again, this time to introduce Kango to a prospective family.

Kango, in case you don't remember, is a special-needs dog in the Friends of Greyhounds kennels. He took a nasty tumble in a race in December and suffered a skull injury that is robbing him of his sight.

Janine and Rick and their daughters, who took in former FoG guest Bullet the Blue Sky a little more than a year ago, are considering adding another greyhound to the family. Janine is an avid reader of John's Happy Tales Report, the FoG blog, where she learned about Kango. She called FoG last week and asked if she and Rick could drive to Sunrise from their home in Cutler Bay to meet him.

Michelle talked to them a couple of more times, and they decided it would be better to have Kango come to their home to see how he would react to the environment -- and how Bullet would react to him.

Kango is a sweet, friendly dog with a grea…

Delivering Nadine

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Dusty got to spend a couple of hours this morning with her friends over at the Friends of Greyhounds residence. Her visit with Mitzi, Chumlee, Yahtzee, Joy and Uncle Jerry was relaxing and uneventful as far as I know.

At the least, it kept her occupied for awhile as I climbed into Michelle's van for a ride-along to deliver Nadine to her new home in Kendall.

This is the second time I've gone with Michelle on a home delivery, and it's such a kick. It gives me a chance to bond one last time with a dog I've gotten to know at the FoG kennels. And the excited greeting we get from the new family when we knock on the door is the best -- after all, what we're delivering is much more highly anticipated than a big box from Amazon.
Nadine's new parents are a retired couple who recently lost their beloved greyhound and were ready to start fresh with a new youngster. Joe wasn't home when we arrived, but Angela was there to greet us and show everyone around. Once we got …

Dusty hangs with buddies in Boca

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Dusty is one tired greyhound.

First was the three-day trip to Tampa Bay. Then she had a day of total confusion as strangers came into her home to remove the monstrous entertainment center and I rearranged everything else to create a new living room.
But Sunday was not a day of rest for the weary greyhound.The day started with both of us getting soaked, caught too far from home on our morning walk as the sky opened up in a sudden downpour. 
Dusty enjoyed a nice, relaxing towel massage once we got home. And then, she found herself dashing through the rain again to get loaded into the Kia Koach for a 30-minute drive north to Boca Raton to help out at a Friends of Greyhounds meet-and-greet at the Pet Supermarket at Westwinds of Boca.
Dusty's always thrilled to go to any pet shop for a bit of window-shopping. But she was ecstatic when she walked into Pet Supermarket and saw Randy and Doc snuggling with customers in the main aisle, with Michelle seated behind holding the leashes.
It wa…

A visit with the grandparents

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Dusty is back home, resting up from an exciting couple of days visiting her grandparents over on the state's Left Coast.

I don't know who gets more excited about seeing each other -- Dusty or the Sharps. It's a pretty close call. Dusty goes into her head-bobbing, tail-whirling greeting every time one of them appears in her line of sight. And both Mom and Dad break out into a huge smile every time they see her.
It was Dusty's second visit to the grandparents' home, the first since Christmastime. She was a little cranky Wednesday evening, probably because her daily routine got all out of whack. But I got her out Thursday for a short pre-breakfast workout at nearby Northeast Park and Paw Place, and she felt right at home for the rest of the visit.
Dusty got to spend a bit of time in dog heaven Thursday evening, when a couple neighbors stopped by to meet her. Mom and Dad love to show the girl off to their friends.
She had a great couple of days. She got to spend quite…

The Dusty trail

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Dusty and I will be off on a road trip Wednesday. We're heading to Largo, in the Tampa Bay area, to visit her grandparents for a couple of days -- and, most importantly, to make some adjustments to Dad's Roku.

I'll be doing all the driving while Dusty kicks back and takes in the scenery from her tricked-out Kia Koach.


What's up, Doc? What's up is that Doc, a sleek little marble-faced brindle boy, came to Friends of Greyhounds on Monday as a new kennel guest, bringing the roster up to eight -- seven boys and one girl.

Jerry and I helped Michelle test the newer guests yesterday for their cat-tolerance. Doc passed the test, making him a good candidate for prospective adopters with small animals already in the home.

The two red kennel guests -- big beauty Randy and small, muscular Nadine -- passed with flying colors. Bashful Casey didn't get the test. Ringo was brought in for his turn, but he was so freaked out by the tile floors that we couldn't get him to foc…

Easter greetings from Michelle at FoG

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Michelle over at Friends of Greyhounds sent me these Easter pix to share just as I was finishing up my earlier post.




A not-so-relaxing visit to the farmers market

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It's nesting season for burrowing owls, and they were out all over the place this morning at Tephford Park. Dusty and I had a nice peaceful walk among the owls nests and the passing bicyclists on the west end of Cypress Park Greenway as our Plan B after what turned out to be a terrifying visit to Tamarac Veterans Park.

Most Sundays, we'll head to Veterans Park, adjacent to Gary B Jones Park for People and Pups, for the weekly Tamarac Community Farmers Market and take a long walk on the east end of the Greenway. Dusty loves all the smells coming out of the farmers market -- especially the distinctive aroma coming out of the big barbecue smoker that is always there.

One thing Dusty doesn't like is small kids -- they're too aggressive and unpredictable for Dusty's taste. If she sees one walking in our direction, she'll pull away in the opposite direction as far and as fast as her 4-foot leash will allow. She wants no part of them. She loves meeting new adult frien…

Good Friday at Friends of Greyhounds

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Dusty and I got over to Sunrise today to give the Friends of Greyhounds residents and guests their noon walks while Michelle and Jerry were away taking care of other business.

Michelle delivered PJ to his new home a couple of days ago, which means we're down to seven in the guest quarters. We've had as many as nine and as few as three in the kennel since I started volunteering in July 2016.

The newest guest in the kennel is Nadine, who arrived about a week ago. This little red beauty is buff. She's the only girl in the kennel at the moment.

Ralph is the veteran of the crew. He's been a guest of FOG for about six months, and he's ready to find a family. Ralphy, as I call him because of his pronounced Roman nose, is a strong guy with a big personality. He's extremely friendly, loves human interaction. He's about as assertive as a greyhound can be, so he's not looking for a home with smaller animals. But if you have another bigger dog or two or some space h…

Dusty's romp in the park

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Not too many things in the world Dusty likes more than a romp at the dog park. I like to get her out for about 30 minutes a couple times a week to let her burn off some energy. It's still easy to get outside in some pleasant weather in the mornings before the sun gets too intrusive.

I used to buy cheap tennis balls for her. But I've discovered she loves those squeaky rubber spike balls -- even though the squeakies don't last for more than about three minutes. After those things die, you can hear the air making compression sounds inside the ball when she chews on it. But she doesn't mind -- she loves chewing those things, and the balls themselves seem indestructible.

Supposedly, the spikes massage her teeth and gums and provide some dental-health benefit. I dropped a link to one for sale at Amazon.com at the end of this post. You can also find a variety of them in a basket near the checkout counter at PetSmart.
She has a couple of those things rolling around the townhou…

About Dusty and me (Part 2)

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When a racing greyhound suffers an injury, like Barts Moondust did in a race in Miami last August, her handlers generally drop her into a kennel for a couple of days to see if the injury heals on its own. If it doesn't, the owner retires the dog and in most cases leaves it up to the handlers to dispose of her.

Her injury was really bad -- obviously enough that her owner gave up on her immediately. I don't know the chain of events between Aug. 13, when she hobbled through her last race, and Aug. 15, when a Friends of Greyhounds blog post says she landed in the FOG kennel in Sunrise, FL.

I had been volunteering at FOG for just a few weeks at that point. I reported for duty one day after Aug. 15, and Michelle pointed out the new arrival -- a young, gorgeous shiny black dog in the end kennel with a blue soft cast covering the lower part of her right hind leg past the hock and down to her toes. Michelle told me she had just come out of surgery and that the wound was pretty badly in…

About Dusty and me (Part 1)

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Dusty is a retired racing greyhound who found herself in a shelter with some nasty pain in an ankle shattered during a race at Flagler Dog Track in Miami one day last summer. Everything she had known for all of the 2 1/2 years of her young life was gone. The kennel, the other greyhounds in the shelter, the people tending to her, the food she was being given, the routine, the three-legged hobble, the surgeon's table, the anesthesia, the nasty pain were all really strange and confusing.

It was just a short time after all of that weird stuff started happening to Dusty when I met her. I had started doing volunteer work at the Friends of Greyhounds kennel in Sunrise, FL, last July. I started going there a couple of times a week to turn the dogs out into the fenced yard for their noontime bathroom breaks, removing their empty breakfast bowls from their kennels, refreshing their water buckets, doing whatever easy chores Michelle might need done. Whenever time and weather permitted, I wou…

A great day at Flamingo Road Nursery

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Dusty is sound asleep now, wiped out after another great gathering at One Last Cast BBQ at Flamingo Roads Nursery. It was a glorious day for what was probably the final Friends of Greyhounds outdoors gathering of the season.

Some of the regulars were there -- Jerry B. brought Slinky; Mike had a grumpy Andy on his leash; John and the family brought Creepy, who's always a hit with the regulars. We also got to see Bambi and her parents. We saw several others whose names haven't burned into my little brain as of yet. And our hosts, Michelle and Jerry of Friends of Greyhounds, brought a couple of the kennel dogs, rambunctious Ralph and beautiful Randy.

Everyone always has a good time at these gatherings spending time with longtime two- and four-legged friends. And it's always a kick when random nursery visitors and their youngsters stop in to meet and say hello to the greyhounds.

Not sure when the next FOG gathering will happen. With summer fast approaching here in South Florid…