Monday, February 25, 2008

The Breakout

Coming to you straight from the scene of the crime, this is Bettis, the crime dog. Okay, maybe it isn't as catchy as McGruff, but I'm not Irish, so that name didn't really fit me! Anyway, I have to tell you what my foster sister, Jelly, did today while my mom and dad were away. As you can imagine, I am in charge of making sure things are going smoothly when my parents go to work. I even have a doggie door to make sure the squirrels and cats don't mess with anything in the yard. Well, Jelly and Bean are really well behaved, so I don't have much work to do. (Don't tell my mom and dad this, but they are better behaved than I am. Boy do I hope they don't read this...). Anyway, Bean is like Goldilocks in a way. He doesn't want too much space when his people are away, but he doesn't want to be put in a crate (lots of pups actually like those) and have too little space! So, my parents compromise and when the last of them leaves, they give Bean a space that is just right. He spends the day in our bedroom with a baby gate so he can still see us if he gets lonely (yes, we all sleep in one bedroom, but I am thinking about asking for my own one of these days). Well, Jelly wanted to go in there, too. So finally, dad gave in and let Jelly stay with Bean in the room. Apparently, Jelly had some ulterior motives. I knew I was going to be in trouble for this one, but mom came home to three dogs greeting her when she opened the door. (I broke my little white, fluffy cousin, Skippy out once when everyone left us at home alone so I figured I would be the likely suspect). Anyway, it's a good thing that mom is smart enough to look at the baby gate and tell which way it fell, so she guessed right away that it wasn't my fault this time. Just to make sure, I waited at the gate outside to tell her but I don't think she knew what I was saying. I don't think it is really fair, though. No one got in trouble because mom said that Bean would have liked his little space better, but that she doesn't mind getting many greyhound hugs and kisses when she comes home from work. That's a good thing because Jelly, Bean and I have lots of hugs and kisses to give her when she comes home. Well, I better go check on Jelly and Bean. I think they are doing what they do best which is sleeping! Check back and see if they have found homes. Someone is going to get really lucky if they get to have these two. I barely have to watch them at all!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bean sings the blues for his forever home.

Hi there, this is Bean again. I have been at my foster home for several weeks now and I am very sad that no one wants me (even my font is blue). My foster mom and dad say I can stay until my luck gets better and they really love me a lot, but I know that there are other dogs still in the kennel waiting for foster homes. This is why sometimes I get my foster dad to play the piano and my foster brother, Bettis, to sing the blues with me. The song I am singing in the video below goes like this:

"I'm so bluuuuuuueee, that's why I roooooooo. I want a hoooommmmme- to go home with youuuuu. I'd be so happy if Jelly came, tooooooo, but forever is what I want from youuuuuuuu."

Friday, February 22, 2008

How not to fail fostering 101 when you see things like this!

As a greyhound foster "mom", I get asked a single question often- "How do you give them up?" So, in the best way I know how, I am going to tell you the secret of not failing fostering 101 while bragging a bit on my current fosters (Yep, Jelly and Bean are still here and as you can see are very settled with each other)! For any of you with multiple greys, you understand the concept of playing the hallway game. You know, the one where you walk down the hall with all of the greys walking in front of you, but they keep stopping to turn around to make sure you are still with them? Unless you have a new house with handicap accessible hallways, you probably now realize that hallways are built with a standard measurement of two greyhound bodies wide (3 if they are newly off the track dogs that are still thin). Armed with this knowledge brings us to RULE #1 of fostering and not failing- Set your limits before you bring the foster dog home. My hubby and I established our limit to be no more than 2 dogs in the house at a time. We have broken the rule 3 times (Ginger and Fancy- 2 littermates; Mischief and Nan- who had been together for 3 years; and now Jelly and Bean- who have been together almost 7 years). RULE #2 of fostering and not failing- Inform the rescue group president of Rule #1 and your established limit. This helps because every time you have one that really tugs at your heart strings (See Jelly and Bean in the picture above), she (Yes, Denise, I am talking about you!!!) will refuse to let you adopt the dog because she knows you will not foster anymore! RULE #3 of fostering and not failing- Okay, if you read my profile, you will know I am a retired Marine. To survive Marine bootcamp, you have to play mental games with yourself. Otherwise, you go insane. Believe it or not, this is the same technique you must apply to fostering. The mental game is to do a little math and realize that adopting this one (or two- See Jelly and Bean above) greyhound will help only this one greyhound. If you continue to foster (which can not happen once you reach your established limit), you can help many more greys find their forever home. If all else fails, get a house built with hallways in the standard measurement of your newly established limits of greyhounds! (Does anyone know a contractor that builds in terms of greyhound measurements?)

Now, I said I would brag a bit on Jelly and Bean. I have already mentioned they are the perfect dogs, but I definitely have more to say about them. Jelly is a solid, unchanging dog. This is good because her only vice is that she believes every stuffed animal in the house is hers and will take the human's stuffies as well. She will wash your face with kisses if you let her and will roach to get her Belly rubbed (Rule #1, Michelle, Rule #1). Bean is what I call a success story. We started him on glucosamine because he is almost 10 years old and was a bit stiff. I think it is working as he started a race in the back yard yesterday and ran an entire lap! He was grinning from ear to ear! He is such a happy, well-adjusted dog and is just a sweet, cuddly guy. (What was rule #3 again?) I am going to stop typing now and go call Denise to enforce rule #2 or I just may lose on the fostering and not failing game!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Jelly Beans for Valentine's Day?

Not Jelly Beans, but Jelly and Bean for Valentine's Day! It is now time for me (their foster mom) to talk about these two wonderful pups. I have to say I was a little tentative about taking a senior pup and I was even more weary of a senior that was deemed "spooky". I have now realized the error of my thinking. Jelly and Bean were truly returned through no fault of their own. They have NO behavioral issues (except for the occasional stuffed animal thievery). They do not counter surf, they are house broken, they play well with my grey, don't try to get on any furniture and they settled in within a week. Bean is the senior of the two. He is almost ten and was deemed "spooky" by the previous owners. While Bean is a little nervous, he will try things, he just needs time. He gathers strength from his buddy Jelly and will eventually get used to anything if he is treated patiently. When he first arrived, any gesture (like touching his collar) that indicated he was going to be drug into doing something would result in him yelping. Petting him even gave him some fear. Within a week, the yelping stopped and he realized he would no longer be hurt and can be treated just like any other senior. He is a bit stiff in the mornings, but he still likes to play. If you look below, you will see he had 19 teeth removed before he arrived, too. Again, this seems to have had no effect except to produce a giant toothless grin when he is happy!

As for Jelly, she is a bit chubby for a greyhound, but a truly wonderful girl. She loves to cuddle and give kisses. She loves to play with stuffies and will steal stuffies if left in her line of site. She has soft, silky fur and is very much a couch potato. She does love a good game of fetch with her stuffies, though. She could easily be an only pup, but truly loves her humans to be around. She provides a great boost of confidence for Mr. Bean. Jelly has one drawback. If put in a hectic social setting, she does not do well with dogs she does not know. Kept in a pack of about 3-5 pups, she is just fine, though.

I realize that many do not want to devote their lives to seeing a greyhound through their golden years, but Mr. Bean is truly worth it. He has been through a lot in the past few weeks and he has been a champ. Won't you consider giving him the best years of his life?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Beans are good for you!

Hi there, This is Bean. I figured I better get on here and take a turn telling you about me. My sister wrote some crazy things. I can't believe she laughs at me! I am what they consider a "senior", but I have to tell you I am young at heart and I love EVERYONE! My foster family had a little shindig last week and I greeted every person and dog that showed up. What a great day. I just love a party! At the end of the party, I got to show off my lovely singing voice when my foster dad played the piano for a bit. Like was said earlier in this blog, I lost 19 teeth. Those were pretty disgusting, huh? They hurt pretty bad, so I wasn't the happiest dog in the world then. Now, that they are out of my mouth, though, I love to lay on my bed, basking in the sunlight, and chew on a rawhide. Yes, I still have enough teeth to chew on rawhides, thank you! My foster mom does tell me that I have very good manners. I don't countersurf, I don't get on the furniture, and I am housebroken. I don't growl or bite, either, and I am very good on walks. I love to be petted and scratched and I love to eat!!! I am starting to wonder if my "senior" status is going to hold me back from a home forever. I like my foster home, but there are other dogs that need to come here, too and there is only so much room. It really isn't my fault that my family gave me up in my golden years. Please think about me and my sister, Jelly (I would really like to have Jelly with me, too. She gives me lots of confidence!), when you are considering a greyhound. I promise to give you the best years of my life and the best of yours, too! Remember, Bean(me) is good for you!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Superbowl Sunday has gone to the dogs!

What happens when a professional photographer volunteers to take a picture of rescued greyhounds on Superbowl Sunday? You end up with a house full of greyhounds and Superbowl Sunday has gone to the dogs.

Today Paul Ebelein, a professional photographer, volunteered to take pictures of retired racers that have found homes. As you can see by Thunder on the left, he does amazing work. 19 greyhounds and 3 pups that thought that they were greyhounds showed up for a day of fun and photographs. Armed with squeakers, squawkers, toys, and treats, we desperately attempted to get the dogs to lay and "smile" for the camera. Thunder and Sophie took the award for the most seasoned professionals while the party girl Delila just wanted to party with no photos of her fun. Jelly wanted to boss everyone around and ended up muzzled a lot of the day and Bean, who is supposed to be shy, became the official greeter. Girl Bear had the biggest smile of all and Tiffany just wanted nothing to do with it. Austin, the non-grey, took the prize (along with Sophie) as the most well behaved on the photo platform. All in all, it was a fun day that ended well before kick-off. Let's hope the success of the photo shoot is shared by the Giants!! Email me for Paul's information if you would like to have a photo shoot of your pup!