Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Starburst-Day Five

We are now into day five, and we are pleased to report that Starburst is doing really well, and we are very proud of him. It can’t be easy for a greyhound that has been a racing dog for four years to suddenly land on our doorstep and have to adjust to a completely new situation. I imagine it would be like if we went to sleep and woke up on Mars. The good news is that Starburst is handling the transition like a champ. He is getting over the initial confusion and is hitting his stride(pun intended) as a retired racer. He is starting to wag his tail more and is learning that retirement really is all it is cracked up to be! He is learning the joys of good food, lots of pets, and comfy places to sleep. He is making great progress each day and he is going to be a fantastic addition to someone’s family. Please contact Denise Davis if you would like to meet Starburst.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fostering FAQ's

We know that a lot of people are considering fostering dogs, but haven’t made the leap for a variety of reasons. We thought we would answer some of the questions that we always get asked, and hopefully this will ease some of your fears.

Q) Don’t you get too attached to the foster dogs? How do you give up the dogs?

A) This is the question that we get asked the most. The answer is that a few years ago we talked about how we could help Greyhound Rescue adopt out more dogs. We had done various things such as attend meet and greets, but wanted to do more. We thought that fostering dogs might be something that we could do that would really help. We took in our first foster dog, a nine year old dog named Glazier that was returned to the group. We fostered Glazier for three weeks and then adopted him out to a terrific family that has had him ever since. We toasted the dog and the family after they left our home and it was a great day. We thought that it would be really hard to let him go, but that wasn’t the case once we met the family that adopted him. We knew that he was going to a great home and that we could now foster another dog. We focus on the fact that we are helping adopt out greyhounds and are helping spread the joy of greyhound ownership to more people. We also focus on the fact that each time we adopt out a dog, it opens up a space for another dog from the track. Opening up our home to fosters has been the most rewarding thing we have ever done. We have more fun than anybody should be allowed to have with the foster dogs. Yes, it is some work, but the payoff comes with all the successful adoptions we have had.

Q) What exactly is the purpose of fostering greyhounds?
A) Fostering dogs has two main purposes. The first is to provide valuable feedback about each greyhound to Greyhound Rescue and to potential adoptive families, so that we can place the right dogs with the right people. We can get a better evaluation of each dog when they are in a home environment as opposed to the kennel. The second purpose is to ease the transition from the track to the permanent adoptive home. All of us who have greyhounds know about their quirks, and having an experienced greyhound family acclimate the track dogs to a home environment is very beneficial to the adoptive family, especially if the new owners are first time greyhound owners. In the case of greyhounds that have been returned, it is always better to put them in a foster home, rather that in the kennel. In short, fostering increases the chances that each adoption will be a successful one.

Q How do your dogs get along with the new foster dog? Do they tolerate the new dog?
A) They get along fine. Greyhounds are used to living in packs, so another dog is no big deal. That being said, anytime you bring a new dog into an existing pack, there can be some conflict. We muzzle all of the dogs until we are confident that they are acquainted with each other and getting along. This can take an hour, or several hours, depending on the dogs. When the dogs are let out for the first few days, they all wear muzzles just to be on the safe side. We play it by ear after that.

As we think of more questions, we will post them. If you have a particular question, please do not hesitate to ask.

Starburst-Day Two

Today is day two of fostering Starburst, and our first full day with him. So far he is doing really well. Today is one of those days that make fostering so much fun, and so worthwhile. Today we get to watch Starburst have his first full day of complete freedom in his life. So far he has spent the day learning how to lounge around on a doggie bed, and he spent some time in the yard. We got to watch him run his first laps in the yard a little while ago. I have watched greyhounds run in our yard for nearly ten years, and I never get tired of watching them. When the dogs start running, I drop what I am doing and just watch. The best part about today is that Starburst won't see the inside of a crate. He will be out with us and our hounds all day. We will watch a little TV, play in the yard some more, and just enjoy the day. Yes, it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it! I am happy to report that Starburst has had no accidents in the house and has behaved like a perfect gentleman. We didn't even bother crating him last night. He slept in our bedroom alongside our hounds and did beautifully. We will be sure to enjoy every day with Starburst because I don't think he will last long. Someone is going to win the greyhound lottery when they adopt Starburst. Are you that someone? You can check out Starburst's whole history at .Below is a video of Starburst checking out the yard.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Starburst-The new foster dog

After seeing and enjoying GreyFosterMom's blog, we thought we should start our own blog for our foster dogs. We have been fostering dogs for Greyhound Rescue for nearly two years and have four greyhounds of our own. We went to the "top secret greyhound dropoff location" today and picked up our 23rd foster dog today, a beautiful boy named Starburst. He is a big boy, white with brindle patches. He turned four years old this month and is quite an impressive dog. We brought him home this afternoon and introduced him to our hounds in our back yard, as we always do. The introductions went very well and within a few minutes he wanted to come inside. We keep muzzles on all the dogs until we think they are acquainted and getting along well. Today the muzzles came off within an hour. He checked out the house and sniffed everything he could, and is already settling in after only a few hours, which is fantastic. He ate his dinner like a horse and is now snoozing next to me as I type. Sometimes you just know right away that a hound is going to be a really good one, and this is one of them. He is already going up and down the stairs by himself and will be ready for his forever home very soon.