Welcome Home, Momma Sissy

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Momma Sissy recently retired from her life as a race dog and brood momma and she’s enjoying her new life as a Sanctuary dog.  She’s super sweet and will lean on us while we pet her.  She’s a big, long girl with a gentle presence and a soulful face.  Her eyes are often focused on everything and anything and she’s quite observant of her surroundings.  She’s also a champion sleeper and will lounge in comfort most of the day.  Momma Sissy stole our hearts the minute she walked in the door.  (And we can’t be sure, but we think our angels, Boo Boo and Andy Panda, sent Momma Sissy to us.)

Buttons, a Floppy Eared Greyhound Mix in Need of Rescue

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Near the end of October, we were contacted by someone familiar with the Coshocton County Animal Shelter about a greyhound mix in need of a place to go. This boy had been part of cruelty complaint and was living outside, tied to a box with inadequate food, water and shelter. He was taken from his owners and placed in the county shelter, but after 6 weeks with no one interested in adopting him, his chances were getting slim. Luckily, some wonderful volunteers were able to pull him from the shelter and provide a temporary foster home where he could be evaluated with other dogs. As soon as we learned that he was not aggressive with other dogs, we made arrangements to drive to Central Ohio to pick him up. He’s got some health issues, most related to the horrid conditions that he was living in, but we’re hopeful that he’ll be just fine in time. We can’t thank those volunteers enough for helping us bring Buttons to our sanctuary. As we write this blog, Buttons is starting to play with a couple of the retired racers! Life can be good sometimes!!!

A Senior Greyhound is a Work of Art

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We were asked an interesting question recently… “What should I expect as my greyhounds get older?”  The first things that came to mind were the age-related changes that happen sooner or later.  Increased sleep, changes in day/night routines (some dogs become more nocturnal), the need to urinate more frequently, decreases in appetite, slight weight loss, changes in behavior and cognitive abilities, stiffer movements, sagging back ends, incontinence, cloudy eyes, gradual loss of night vision, lack-luster coat, loss of teeth, etc.  But, on another level we can answer by saying that senior greyhounds become works of art.  All of their experiences over the years blend and congeal to create a whole spirit.  Seniors are often more of what they were as younger dogs … confident, sassy, snuggly, silly, or anxious, afraid, grumpy, and spooky.  Personality traits seem to be more exaggerated during the senior years and sometimes, new personality traits emerge.

We don’t always know the experiences our seniors had as younger dogs, as they often come to us as middle-aged or older dogs. We can only guess as they share their lives with us.  We hope that their experiences in our sanctuary will be pleasant ones and will color their lives in a positive way.

Heartworm Positive Jilly Bean

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We would like you to meet a very special greyhound with heartworm infection named Jilly Bean.  She came to us a couple of weeks ago and she’s been undergoing some tests to help us plan the best course for her continued treatment.  The first round of test results came back a few days ago and we are hopeful that she can make a full recovery.  Her organs are functioning normally and her blood values are within normal range.  Her physical exam went well and our vet was so pleased when she could not hear any signs of heartworm infestation in her heart or lungs and she was showing no clinical signs, like shortness of breath, coughing or fatigue.  We are thankful that the folks at Mobile Greyhound Park Adoptions caught this in the early stages and started treatment and we are honored that we can continue to provide for her medical needs.

Although heartworm infestation is relative rare in racing and newly retired greyhounds, due to the diligence of caretakers providing regular heartworm prevention, no prevention is 100% effective in all dogs.  We are learning a great deal from Jilly Bean’s case and she has reminded us to never take heartworm for granted.  (NOTE: For more information on heartworm, please check out the American Heartworm Society at  http://www.heartwormsociety.org/)

Over the next month, Jill will be give an antibiotic called minocycline that will kill off the bacteria around her heart that the worms feed on.  This drug, taken twice daily, should weaken and perhaps kill off some of the worms.  Jill will continue with her monthly heartworm prevention (ivermectin) and on May 14th, Jill will receive her first injected dose of a medication designed to kill the worms.  She will need to stay in the hospital for observation the entire day.  Jill will receive several more injections monthly and will be retested for heartworm in six months.  We may need to take some x-rays of her heart, depending on how her treatment goes.

We are extremely grateful to David and Melissa, managers at East Cherokee Storage in Woodstock, GA and Leaving Tracks, Inc. for their very generous donation that should just about cover Jill’s vet bills.

Please click here to read about our sanctuary.

 

 

Poor Spider

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Spider is a sweet, well-mannered dog that has had his share of the unexpected.  When he came to us a year and a half ago, we quickly realized that he was having problems urinating and was having multiple accidents in the house, through no fault of his own.  We suspected that he had urethral spasms, but we needed to rule out other possibilities like infections, stones, blockages and abnormalities in his bladder.   Spider cheerfully tolerated a number of tests, catheterizations, x-ray and poking and prodding.  We tried every medication available – both traditional and homeopathic – to help him, yet nothing worked.  We were able to get him some relief through canine massotherapy and were fortunate that the massotherapist was willing to teach us how to massage him to loosen up his overly tight muscles.  After months of massotherapy and glucosamine supplements, the spasm subsided and Spider was able to urinate normally.  His adoption prospects, however, were not going well.  As soon as people learned that he had spasms, they passed him over.  Almost a year after Spider arrived, his tail suddenly developed bumps.  It looked as if he was stung or bitten by an insect and having an allergic reaction.  Yet, x-rays showed that part of his tail bone was dying.  Our only option was to amputate his tail.

Spider had about 5 months where he was doing well.  We were always reluctant to list him as a sanctuary dog, because we didn’t want to hurt his chances at adoption.  But, within the last month or so, Spider has developed some new symptoms of excessive thirst and his spasms are back, along with the need to urinate frequently.  We ran every possible test to check for infection, malfunctioning organs, diabetes, etc.  Everything came back normal.  Now, we are in the middle of testing for diabetes insipidus, using hormonal eye drops.

Spider, like all of our sanctuary dogs, has a permanent place in our program, if need be.

Please click here to read about our sanctuary.

 

Old Man Stone

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Stone was about 8 years old when this photo was taken.  He is a big, wide chested boy, with a swanky gait.  He’s one of the few big boys that we’ve had that goes up and the down the stairs one step at a time.  He used to be the community “pillow” and all the dogs would lay next to or on top of him.  But, aging and arthritis has made him a little grumpy around the other dogs and he’s very cautious about getting bumped.  Pain meds and joint supplements help, but there are days when he just doesn’t want anyone else around him.  So, we do our best to give Stone his space.  He really likes the new house, as he has many places where he can rest undisturbed.

Please click here to read about our sanctuary.

Mulberry’s Diapers

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Mulberry is almost 5 years old, and has been with for over three years now, and she still needs to wear diapers 24/7.  She doesn’t mind and over the years, we’ve settled into a routine that seems as normal to us as dealing with a dog that doesn’t have incontinence issues.  We know that she’ll never have control over her bladder or bowels, but it’s really no big deal.  We use human adult incontinence pads to line her panties (we have to sew them ourselves, as the commercially available panties don’t fit her) and we buy cases of pads at a time. Mulberry has taught us that “Poop Happens” sometimes, but it is how you deal with the poop that matters.

Please click here to read about our sanctuary.

Sweet Momma Levity

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If you have been to any of our meet and greets, there’s a good chance you’ve met Momma Levity.  She’s 11 years old now and still full of life.  She absolutely loves to “work the crowd” with her smile and greets people – both big and little – with enthusiasm and joy.

We had a little scare recently when she developed a swelling near a mammary gland, but the biopsy showed it was just a cyst that did not need to be removed.  Whew!

Please click here to read about our sanctuary.

Meet Bear, A Special Needs Boy

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Call Me Bear!  This boy will always be a big, snuggly bear to us.  He has huge paws and movements that reminds us of Gentle Ben.  He came to us as AMF Set on Fire, and was recently retired because he started having seizures.  In some ways, his racing name, Set on Fire, is fitting for him when a seizure strikes, but he wasn’t answering to that name and after going through a list of possible names, he responded when we called him Bear.  So Bear it is!

Bear is an official member of our special needs sanctuary.  He could be adoptable to the right person/family, but if we don’t find the right home for him, he’s got a permanent place with us.  We adore our Bear!

Please click here to read about our sanctuary.

Pets Really Do Make Us Feel Better!

All You Need to Know About Pets Improving Your Health

Here’s an interesting article about research showing the positive effect pets have on our lives.  Please note, though, that, while very young children can benefit from certain types of pets, newly retired racing greyhounds are usually not good choices for families with very young children.  Like many other adoption agencies, we do not adopt to families with children under the age of 6.

 

 

An Eddie Munster Look-A-Like?

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As Momma CoCo goes grey (or white in her case), she’s developing the unique “look” of Eddie Munster!

Roscoe’s Cataracts

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Roscoe is almost blind.  He has no vision at all in his right eye and limited vision during daylight in his left.  Although we would love to provide him with new lenses, his advanced age, cancer, and newly developed kidney disease and high blood pressure prevent us from doing the surgery.  After some adjustments in diet, supplements and heart medications, we seem to be making strides in the right direction and have seen some improvement in Roscoe’s lab work and his overall well being.  More tests coming in the next few months, to make sure he continues to improve.

Uh Oh!!

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It’s been over 2 1/2 years since Jilly Bean came to us.  She was in the Sanctuary for a full year as we treated her for her resistant strain of heartworms.  Once cleared, Jilly moved to the adoptable list, but, sadly, the right home hasn’t come along yet.  Jilly can be challenging at times.  She prefers to spend her days in her crate, chewing on her collection of nylabones and will shred any and all bedding to her liking.  Jilly can be aggressive with other dogs and needs her personal space.  She’s very shy with strangers and rarely comes out to meet visitors.  She’s happy with us, so perhaps she is meant to stay.  We will give her another month or two on the adoptable list and if her forever home never comes, she’ll stay with us and become a Sanctuary dog, once again.

Our 60 Pound Lap Dog!

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As Momma Sissy ages, her back legs have become weaker and start to tremor a little as she gets tired at meet and greets. But, Momma Sissy doesn’t like to lay down, so we’ve taken to putting her up on our laps when she needs to rest.  It’s quite a spectacle and she’s found another way to draw folks to our table.

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And, being a lap dog has it’s perks … she can nap comfortably!

Jilly Bean is 5 years old!

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Happy Birthday, Miss Beans.  Jilly doesn’t like the camera and she isn’t fond of being groomed either.  Here’s a rare photo of her checking out the storage closet.

Happy Birthday, Mulberry!

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Happy Birthday, Mulberry!  She is 8 years old now and still going strong.  Although it’s hard to tell from this photo, Mulberry’s face is very gray.  She’s had some problems with urinary tract infections over the past few months, as her body has become immune to the small doses of antibiotic that she was taking daily to ward off infections.  But, we seem to have her infections under control now, thanks to new medications, daily medicated wipes and Vetericyn spray.

Momma CoCo’s Leg

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Momma CoCo’s “disability” isn’t really a disability at all.  We’ve come to the point where we hardly notice and she’s come to the point where nothing bothers her at all.  She can run and maneuver just as well as any other greyhound.  We happened to capture this photo when she was exploring the food storage closet (one of the favorite places of all the greyhounds here … HAHAHA).  This photo shows how her leg healed after her fall.

Has The Cancer Invaded The Bone?

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Roscoe has been limping the last day or so and we’re worried that the cancer has invaded the bone.  Thankfully, radiographs show that the tumor is still confined to the soft tissues and he no longer is limping.  We suspect that he must have bumped himself one night and was a little sore.  He’s fine now!

RIP, Momma Pepper

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Today was a horrible day.  We had to send Momma Pepper to the Rainbow Bridge.  She was 13 1/2 years old.  She was 6 months younger than our Momma Levity and passed exactly 6 months after Levity did.  Rest in Peace and Run Free, Momma Pepper.  Our hearts are aching.