Well, can I start off saying that this week has really tested our endurance and tolerance? It has indeed.
First, we've been treating a Greyhound since we repaired her broken heel back on Friday, July 13, 2012. She acquired a terrible infection that we just couldn't contain. The infection contained two differenct bacteria. One is the eColi bacteria and the other the Enterococcus Faecalis bacteria. The eColi bacteria was slowly responding to antibiotics whereas the Enterococcus Faecalis bacteria only responds to one antibiotic - ever and that's iffy, too. It has to be administered intravenously every day for seven days and cannot be repeated because it is so dangerous to the kidneys.
Today she looses that leg entirely via amputation. The infection continues to rage inside her foot on the bone to the extent that it has deteriorated the bone. The foot is not functional and not repairable. It looks like cottage cheese on the x-ray. And, no, there are no signs of osteo.
I tell you this was the toughest conclusion to have to deal with after all the time, effort, and money we've thrown at trying to eradicate the infection. It's a very helpless feeling because there is absolutely nothing more we can do. Pie has been a champ throughout the last six weeks and is the happiest girl I think I've ever seen. She's a flower child in diguise!
It will be a very tough day as we wait for word from the veterinarian hospital that she is awake and okay. Very tough day indeed for us, but even more so for Pie. She will come through it all with flying colors, I know, because she is just such a bright shining star herself. It's a setback, yes, but we'll all get through it.
The other "event" to occur this week is that we have found out that one of our pups in the prison in Florida appears to be blind. He had some issues at the track, which now do appear to be in line with blindness, which forced the trainer to retire him. He was a Grade A racer 3 months ago but has been declining since, hence his retirement.
He has an appointment next Thursday with an opthamologist and we hope to have a definitive diagnosis at that time. In the meantime, he will be coming home from the prison program which is another disappointment. We believe learning basic obedience skills will provide him with an awesome foundation he'll need for future learning as a non-sighted Greyhound. But he will get the same type of learning in his foster home. His foster Mom is an avid trainer of Greyhounds which will be wonderful for him. He'll definitely be in the right place!
He'll need a special forever home - one with lots of love, patience, and other Greyhounds but I'm most certain we will find that special place for him to live out his retired days!
Everyone, please keep these two dogs in your thoughts and prayers. They've both been handed an awful draw of the cards but they will persevere and will be wonderful pets for two wonderful families one day soon!
Well, can I start off saying that this week has really tested our endurance and tolerance? It has indeed.
And it's graduation day!! Another class comes home from the prison program and another class heads down. It's a wonderful day for the new adopters to finally get to meet their Greyhounds. Some have been waiting for 2 months so I know it's an especially exciting day for them!
This morning, in fact, I prepared an email to each of the seven new adopters providing some last minute details surrounding the haul, what to expect when they get their Greyhound home and so on.
The last sentence that I wrote, "You will soon wonder how you got along WITHOUT a Greyhound in your life!" made me well up with tears! For one, I cannot imagine my life without my Greyhounds in it. They are so much a part of me and I of them. I am planning a 10-day trip in September where I am most certain to experience withdrawals and hope their sitter will keep me apprised of their daily activities while I'm away or I will surely wither and die!!
As well, I derive much enjoyment and satisfaction in the small part that I do in providing families with their wonderful Greyhounds and love seeing them at Meet & Greets and events thereafter where you can visibly see how family members have embraced their new furry four-legged friends.
It is just so heartwarming and such a wonderful thing for the Greyhound as well as the family. It is why we do what we do and we love what we do!!
Today's haul is the first in three years that I will miss as I'll be heading to Gatlinburg for Mountain Hounds. I think that is why I am especially sentimental about the Greyhounds coming home today as I will certainly miss seeing them and meeting their new humans. But alas, I will survive and the cycle will continue with or with me!
The cycle which involves the newest class heading to the prison today which happens to include my next and newest Greyhound, Gwyneth Paltrow. I am especially excited to finally be able to adopt Gwyneth and give her the added bonus of the prison training before she comes home in August. I'm sure I'll be blogging about the experience "from this side" since this will be my first prison pup. It's very exciting for her and for me!!
Happy graduation to our pups today!! Now, on to Mountain Hounds!!
I just looked at our blog and am quite ashamed to see that it has been a year since I last blogged!! What happened to me? I can only say that it has been a very busy year and blogging just escaped the forefront of my mind all those months!!
Seriously, it has been very busy. We've adopted now about 125 Greyhounds and will be coming up on our third birthday in January of 2012. Those numbers are pretty good, I think. As with any adoption group, we always strive to adopt more and more Greyhounds which means more and more families are, no doubt, happier than they've ever been! These dogs make such wonderful family pets, it's ridiculous.
Case in point - I had the pleasure of spending the morning with a family last Sunday at a Meet & Greet we hosted. This family adopted their Greyhound from us a little over a month ago. At the time of the adoption, the wife was very unsure of even having a dog as part of the family due to a previous bad experience with another (breed) dog. Much to my delight, when I saw them on Sunday, she introduced him as their "third" child and "only son". They have taken to him as he has to them! It is just so incredibly heartwarming to see how these wonderful animals change our lives and how we change theirs.
Seeing and hearing stories such as this really makes it all worthwhile and reinforces to me why we do what we do.
With that being said, we have ten Greyhounds who have arrived at the prison today to start their training and ten graduates who will arrive in Atlanta shortly, all who will be dispersed to their new families or foster homes this evening. The cycle continues . . .
And finally, I promise to add "blog to SCG site" to my calendar as a bi-weekly task so I do not forget again!!
Next Thursday, October 14, we will have another class of Greyhounds graduate from the prison training program. I believe this is our sixth group to graduate and the second group of ten!! And I'm proud and happy to say that nine of the ten are adopted and have families waiting to meet them. Whoo hoo! I expect we may even have the tenth adopted by then as he is a handsome and sweet boy who will most certainly catch someone's eye soon! We also have a boy, Crenshaw Rayford nka Coby, who is very deserving of a home. He is not tolerant of cats or small dogs but is great with children and loves his people! I know his family will come along shortly!!
As in the past, when one class graduates, another goes into the program. Actually this usually occurs within an hour or so of each other. Those who graduate leave the prison and the next batch is usually waiting to enter the prison. It is planned this way so that the prisoners have little time to dwell on the one they have, most often, fallen in love with and can immediately focus on their next charge.
The first day is usually spent determining which inmate will get which Greyhound. They then name their new friend and spend the next week getting to know each other. The next eight weeks are dedicated to training the Greyhound to perform many different commands. Then the entire process repeats!!
It's quite busy when one class is coming out and one is going in as there is much to be done to prepare both groups for both scenarios. Adoptive families have been chosen and prepped, meeting places to pick up their Greyhound have been determined, vetting for the new group is in process and their travel bags (complete with everything they might need for the duration) are in process.
This time next week, two vehicles will head out to gather the ten coming home. One will meet another volunteer in Perry to pick up five and the other will drive to the prison to pick up the other five. A hauler will take the new group down from Birmingham that same morning, arriving just in time to see the current class exit. It's all very well orchestrated. Luckily for us there have been very few snafus along the way. It just takes ALOT of planning to make sure all goes well.
With all that is going on, our group will take a breather from all the "work" activities to enjoy an afternoon at Nancy G's Cafe located at 4920 Roswell Road in Atlanta this coming Sunday, October 10th from 1-3 p.m. with our Greyhounds in tow!! We'll be on the patio, yes, so if you are in the area, come out and join us. Bring your Greyhound! Everyone is welcome.
And lastly, I'll leave you with this quick recipe for some mini-muffins for your Greyhound. He or she will thank you profusely for taking a moment to make these. They will love them!!
Cheddar Bacon Mini-Muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 strips bacon, crumbled
½ cup cheddar cheese
½ cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp bacon drippings
Combine all dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, beat the egg and stir in the milk and bacon drippings. Pour egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Spoon into mini-muffin tin and bake at 375° oven for about 10 minutes. Cool completely before serving. Makes 24 mini-muffins.
Wow, it's now almost October and Fall is upon us. With Fall comes the many wonderful arts and crafts festivals that dot the Atlanta suburbs. We try to do as many as we can but being such a small group, we are limited. Last month we attended the Sandy Springs Festival in Sandy Springs and had a fabulous time.
This month we'll be at Pace Academy on the 2nd for their annual Fall Fair and then the Smyrna Fall Jonquil Festival on the 23rd and 24th plus the Whole Hawg Happenin' BBQ festival on the 23rd as well. In between the Meet & Greets, we have a fun and relaxing afternoon planned on the 10th at Nancy G's on Roswell Road as we enjoy another "Yappy Hour" with our Greyhound friends on their wonderful and spacious outside patio. On the 16th we'll participate of our first Hound Hike at Kennesaw Mountain. This should be great fun for the humans and the Greyhounds!!
October is definitely going to be a very busy month but the wonderful Fall weather just beckons us to participate in outdoor activities! It's a beautiful time of the year in Atlanta and we try to enjoy every minute of it!
I've been busy myself participating in evaluations through TDI, Inc. (pet therapy) so that we can become certified through that organization. I first took Lucy for her evaluation and I am proud to say that she passed the testing with flying colors. Actually, she and I both passed. It's definitely a team effort. I will next take Sami and hope she remains her calm self long enough during the testing to satisfy the requirements. She is still so young (3 years old) and so puppy-like but it seems she knows the environment in nursing homes is "calmer and quieter" than anywhere else so she usually adapts pretty well. I'll work with her a bit more and then when we're ready, we will pursue her certification. Being certified as a pet therapy dog will open doors for us as we will then be able to visit other facilities around Atlanta, ie children hospitals, hospices, and the like. I'm urging others in the group to seek certification as well. TDI, Inc. provides $5 million liability insurance for all of its members which is quite a perk. That, alone, is worth the time and effort it takes to become certified.
On another note, I received an email from an old high school chum on Facebook. This is what he wrote "Just wanted to say hello and tell you the things you do for animals is great !! If I was to die and come back I want to be one of your dogs." I have to say that really warmed my heart.
I responded back reciprocating as I've seen pictures of his Great Danes and how they are so very loved and cared for. It is definitely such a compliment for anyone when they hear things like that.
But the biggest compliment of all was his next reply, "actually thanks to you we joined the Mid Atlantic Great Dane Rescue so thanks !!" Honestly, that put tears in my eyes. If what I do helping the Greyhounds inspires someone else to get involved, then so much the better. I am just so proud of what we do to help the Greyhounds and hope that others might find a little bit of time in their life to help just one animal along the way. As Martha would say, "its a good thing"!