A Star is home; Yuki's orientation

Winning Star is now Noel Star with a new home.

Star with her new family
The happy family: Pat, Nico, Star and Andrea
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Star, who turned 8 years old the day after she arrived at the Friends of Greyhounds kennels three weeks ago, landed Wednesday in her family home in Hialeah with her new name. She was adopted by longtime FoG volunteer Andrea and her mom, Pat. She also has a canine sibling, Nico, a senior chihuahua mix who will help Star get adjusted to her new life as a domestic pet.

Star and Andrea met at Miami International Airport as Star was being loaded onto the FoG van shortly after her arrival from Macau. Star was the hound who rode loose in the back of the van with me tucked among the crates of the other four arrivals. I held onto Star's leash to steady her as she snuggled with Andrea, in the front passenger seat. Andrea decided during the ride that she wanted to adopt Star.

Star enjoying a snack
Andrea sent this photo of Star enjoying a snack on her new bed in her new home with her new toy close by.
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Star's new brother, Nico, has been with Andrea and Pat since Andrea found him as a stray on New Year's Eve 2010. He was welcomed as a permanent family member after the women were unsuccessful trying to find his owners. They think Nico is about 14 years old.

Andrea has some experience with greyhounds, having volunteered with FoG and other groups and being a part-time pet-sitting pro (wigglewaggletails.com) for several years. But Star is the first greyhound to become part of the family. Andrea was really excited about welcoming Star into her life. The only real hurdle was a question of whether Star would be amenable to sharing a home with a small dog such as Nico. But the two dogs' first meeting Wednesday went exceptionally well and those fears were all but erased. Andrea and Pat will keep a focused eye on the two for a few days to make sure they stay friendly. But most all doubts have been erased.

Star's departure leaves two adoptable boys remaining in the FoG kennels. Speedy and Victory King are enjoying their transitional lives there but they both still would love to become part of a permanent family. Please contact Michelle or Jerry to arrange a visit with those two guys. The hounds would love the opportunity to plead their cases with you. Visit friendsofgreyhounds.org for contact info.

YUKI'S ORIENTATION: Just as I was putting the wraps on this post, Shawn called to give me a great update on how Yuki is adjusting to her new life.

Yuki and Shawn
Shawn teaches Yuki about selfies
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Yuki, who went home with Shawn on New Year's Eve, got her first leash walk this morning around her neighborhood in Davie after a couple of orientation days in the house and her smallish fenced yard. Shawn said Yuki was fascinated -- Fascinated with a capital F -- with everything she saw out in that wide-open world.

Realize that this might have been the first time this girl from Macau ever was out in such an open space. Shawn says her ears stayed in high-alert mode for most of the walk. Ducks fascinated her. People fascinated her. Passing cars fascinated her. Dogs on leashes across the street fascinated her. Everything was brand new to her, and she was checking out everything.

Shawn said Charlie has been setting a great example for his new sister. Yuki has been watching how Charlie eats and naps and generally goes about his business during the day and is learning to follow his lead, Shawn said.

Yuki checks out elevated bed
"Charlie, what's this? How do you float in midair like that?"
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And Charlie was there to give guidance for her first walk. Yuki appeared a little overstimulated by a duck or a passing dog or something a couple of times but calmed down quickly with verbal cues from Shawn and immediately looked to Charlie for guidance. Shawn said Yuki at first saw the familiar concrete on the sidewalk as her toilet. But by the end of the walk, she learned from Charlie that grass is much preferred for that kind of activity.

Shawn said Yuki definitely knew the purpose of her leash -- she was great with it and enjoyed her new adventure immensely. And with Charlie's help, she's quickly figuring out the finer points of enjoying her new domestic life.

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Highlights

FoG's Macau dogs making themselves at home

Dusty has a house guest

Gotcha, Speedy

King, Speedy want a piece of your heart