Doesn’t this weather feel wonderful after the winter we had? But we didn’t let a little bit (or even a lot) of snow hold us back. In fact, nothing holds us back from rescuing a greyhound. GFNJ responded to the crisis resulting from the closures of Dairyland and Raynham-Taunton Dog Parks. As those tracks closed, the owners assessed their dogs, deciding which would go to rescue groups and which would go on to race elsewhere. When the race-worthy greyhounds arrived in Florida, those kennels culled their packs to make room. They sent less successful racers and older dogs whose careers were over to rescue groups like GFNJ. They might not be able to win a race, but they make terrific pets. Naturally, we had to do our part. Every time an urgent call comes in asking if we’ll take a broken-legged dog or ‘just one more’ in a haul, we say “Yes.”
LYMAN PACK: L to R, Redwing, LuLu, Marcus, Isaac, Queenie, Anya, Davie, Bear, Midori Rain
(missing Milo, Basset Hound and Mustang recently deceased)
Many times this winter, I sat with 10 greyhounds, nine of my own and one foster, dozing around me by the fireplace on comfy pillows. I looked at them, thinking about all the dogs in dire need at the end of the line and waiting to be rescued. I found comfort knowing GFNJ’s enviable group of volunteers makes it possible for us to take in any greyhound. I thought about our dedicated volunteers driving long distances, sometimes in the middle of the night, to meet a hauler with dogs at risk. And I thought aboutvolunteers holding regular Meet & Greets all over NJ, NY and PA, where many people have their first exposure to greyhounds. These greyhound ambassadors spread the word about this wonderful breed and ultimately, can be responsible for adoptions. Our volunteers exchange ideas and lend their hand to our events, ensuring their success. It’s impressive to look at our Events page and see the breadth of creative events we hold - from the Scotch Bowl to reading with children in a library to participating in an Earth Day celebration.
Adoption Day events we’ve held have been very successful. Whether it was a few days before Christmas or a pleasant day this spring, our tireless volunteers make it a fun day where adopters can enjoy the beautiful country atmosphere, have lunch, talk to the GFNJ experts and fall in love with their new best friend. It’s so exciting to see a new adopter choose a beautiful new grey who spent its life in Alabama or Florida. If you haven’t been to one, I urge you to come to an Adoption Day…it’ll make you proud.
And then there’s our foster program, an important part of what we do. There’s nothing like fostering a greyhound fresh from spending up to 28 hours in a hauler, alone, hungry and afraid. Soon after the dog gets to its foster home, he starts to relax. He has a good meal and finds a warm place to sleep. In a day or so, he’s likely to be housebroken, has learned about windows, mastered the stairs and is on his way to the good life. Our foster parents can take pride in the progress. Believe me, there’s nothing like fostering -- just ask any of our foster moms and dads. Join the dedicated GFNJ fosterparents if you really want to make a difference and help a greyhound on its way to a forever home.
It’s the teamwork of our volunteers that makes it possible for us to take the top racer who breaks his leg in the last turn, the timid greyhound or the brood who only lived to give birth, over and over. It’s to our devoted team, with their undying love of the breed and selfless help that I say, “Thank you.” I’m proud of Greyhound Friends of New Jersey and proud to tell you that in 2009, we found homes for 303 retired racers -- 18% more than the year before! We’re looking forward to another successful year -- more than 70 greyhounds have their forever homes so far in 2010, so we’re on our way.
Thanks to our board members who, among so many other things, organize hugely successfulpicnics, Tricky Trays and Craft Shows, and with the help of volunteers, raise the funds we need to continue our work. I am grateful to everyone who made our Annual Letter Matching Fund Drive a huge success. Your generous donations surpassed the $10,000 matching donation.
And thank you to the adopters who chose us and who know they can count on GFNJ for ourexperience and life-long support.
Congratulations on a successful 2009! Together, we will be able to continue saving the lives of these beautiful greyhounds and make 2010 our best year ever.
When Simple Problem arrived from Massachusetts in May 2008, it was obvious that he needed special helpbefore he could be adopted. Janet Marshall stepped forward to foster this very spooky greyhound. In the 15 months with Janet, he gained some confidence and started coming out of his shell. Then, in August 2009, he was adopted by the Davis family who wanted a dog they could help. The picture of Sammy, as they call him, on the beach at Dewey says it all! The amazing transformation is why GFNJ turns no greyhound away. Just look what a dedicated foster mom and devoted adopters can do!
Fostering a greyhound is so rewarding — try it yourself.
I Love Boys
by Lynn Heiler
Like many people, I only wanted a cat-safefemale greyhound.They're smaller, which should mean something, and probably easier to housebreak, because they’re, well, girls. So my first three greys have been just that -- girls.
I assumed a male greyhound would be too big, more aggressive, more difficult to housebreak -- all the usual stuff you hear about any male dog.But, the more time I spent with male greyhounds arriving from distant tracks, the more I wondered if I’d gotten it all wrong.The boys were really sweet and seemed more lovable from themoment they came out of the hauler.Even the really big boys were looking for attention.
Then, last April, a black male came in a haul from Raynham, MA.For some odd reason, he wasn't neutered, so the next morning at an Adoption Day, I was asked to hold onto him and keep him away from the others.I spent theentire day with this boy, talking to adopters and to him.He stood very quietly by my side, and soon he was leaning on me and looking up at me when I scratched under his chin.He wouldn't take his eyes off me. "Hmmm," I thought, "He's so friendly.My girls love meto pieces, but neither of them is like this boy."Could it be that big male dogs are really this affectionate? I had never taken the time to find out.
When I heard the black male was all alone in the kennel after being neutered, (the others had gone to foster homes or already been adopted), I called and said I wanted to foster him.I didn't really want a male greyhound in my house but, heck, I have lots of dog experience, so how bad could it be?And, he probably wouldn't be with us for long since he was a foster.
The black male came into our house and within a day, I found out what “Velcro dog” means -- he followed me everywhere.I confined him to the kitchen so I could keep an eye on him, and tomy surprise, I housebroke him in about a day. When he sidled up to the sofa or a kitchen cabinet with marking on his mind, I said a very firm, “NO!” and then, “Let’s go out.”Okay, there was one mistake, but he soon realized that he’d make me very happy if he did that outside, and that made him happy.
The black male was bigger than our two girls, but when he curled up on a pillow - which we all know is most of the time - the length of his legs or width of his back didn't matter.
My two girls love me a lot, but they’re aloof,almost cat-like.They only get up to come to me when they want something -- dinner, a walk outside or a treat.They rarely just get up off their comfy pillows just to have me hug them.But the boy does…all the time, any time. He follows me everywhere. I can even lead him around by just touching the back of his head.He watches me all the time, jumps up when I say his name and practically swoons at my touch.
Needless to say, the black male wasn’t our foster very long.He’s now “Hank”, one of the loves of our lives.He’s lying on his pillow right now, and when I finish writing this and stand up, he’ll be right by my side, looking for direction.
So, I’m a believer -- I’ll have male greys of any size and color from now on.It’s pretty nicebeing worshipped by a male greyhound, and I’m so happy I took the time to find out.
The real moral of this story is – be open-minded about the gender of the greyhoundyou choose.I’ll bet you’ll find the love of your life, too.
And We Love You This Much…
by Patty Comerford
The history of the world is full of examples of great (or is it greyt?) love – Anthony and Cleopatra, the Prince of Wales and Wallis Simpson, Ozzie and Harriet.Well, here is another story to add to the legends…
Many of us love our greyhounds and show our love in many ways. My home is more than dog friendly – it’s pretty much all for them.It is filled with stuffies and dog toys – it’s hard to walk without hearing a squeak or stepping on a Kong.My living room end table is now a lovely dog crate.The house has décor by Costco – dog beds decorate every available space.My supermarket shopping cart is filled with pet food rather than people food.Grass in the back yard – forget about it!
There are lots of stories about greyhound owners buying new cars or vans for their greys. For most of us, our wardrobe consists of greyhound themed items – when was the last time you wore a tee shirt that didn’t have a dog on it?And forget owning any type of jewelry that doesn’t have four legs…
So then we come to the story of TT (Time to be True) and her people, Sherryl and Noah.TT is an adorable black and white girl who arrived in New Jersey from Florida in November 2009 and went into our Prison Program.TT is friendly, but a bit of a boss.She had gotten into a few scrapes with her fellow greys, and the recommendation when she was adopted in January was that she be an only dog.
TT headed off to a condo in Brooklyn and enjoyed life with Sherryl, Noah and two cats.She was a good girl and didn’t cause any problems.But, people beingpeople, someone in the building complained about her to the condo board.They were afraid of the “big dog”.Sherryl and Noah were told that TT had to go.They fought the ruling for as long as they could, but came to the realization that this was a no-win situation.
Sherryl and Noah came up with a plan.They loved TT and did not want to give her up.So they contacted GFNJ and this was their request:GFNJ find a temporary foster home for TT while they looked for a house.Yes, a house.A new house for TT so that she could stay with her family.
And that’s what happened.TT went in a foster home where she is doing great. Sherryl and Noah spent every spare minute looking for a house.Happily,they found one and TT should be going to her new house in June.
Now, when Sherryl and Noah tell TT how much they love her, they can start with… And we love youTHIS MUCH…
Happy endings – aren’t they greyt?
Cmon Davanti who is in our PrisonFoster Program, is pictured here with her inmate handler. Davanti isa cute little three-year-old who has done extremely well in the prison and is readyfor herforever home. She loves people and is quite social but would enjoy being an only dog,
Danaka is the cutest little girl who was relinquished to GFNJ by a family who bought her as a puppy but wasn’t able to keep her. We were happy to help them and Danaka is in our Prison Foster Program where she is doing great and is a real hit with her handlers. Danaka is just over one year old.
Movinonup Sherri is a sweet girl who came to us from Florida with a broken leg. She had surgery and is recuperating in the Prison FosterProgram. Sherri will be four years old in June. Her cast is off and she is doing great and enjoying her new found life. Won't you give Sherri a forever home?
Your Grey's First Days
by Heidi Gehret
Bringing a new greyhound home is very exciting for you and the dog. But in his case, it might be a very anxious time. Imagine being an alien dropped onto Earth, everything is new and pretty scary. We’re not saying your greyhound arrived in a spaceship, but he may feel just as lost.
Here are some things to remember and simple steps to follow to help make the transition from track life to “real” life smooth for both of you from day one. Always remember, you’re in control - be patient, calm, firm and consistent.
Remember, a retired racing greyhound has lived a very simple life:
·He has never seen children or other dog breeds and may need time to adjust.
·Greyhounds need rules. They’ve never had to think on their own. They were told what to do by their trainer and by the greyhounds in their pack. Your dog is going to need you to show him what’s right and wrong.
·Greyhounds sleep alone in crates at track kennels but with their pack around them. He doesn’t need to sleep in bed with you, nor should he. Now you are his pack and he will feel moresecure and will bond to you faster if allowed to sleep in your room at night.
·He lived by a schedule. He awoke, was turned out, and ate at the same times every day. Keeping to a schedule will help your greyhound feel secure and know what to expect.
We’ve chosen some important steps from the list of things to do to help your new greyhound make an easy transition to his new home and environment:
·When your new greyhound comes into your home, he should be given quiet time to explore his surroundings. Stay calm, he’s watching you for direction and if you’re worried or nervous, he’ll see the signs. Don’t fawn over him. Don’t invite the neighbors to meet him. Let him get used to things. Limit affection, there’s plenty of time for that.
·Recognize signs of anxiety or insecurity. If your grey is panting or pacing, put a leash on him and wait until he lies down to pet him; otherwise you will reinforce his anxiety. If he’s following you anxiously, ignore him. If there’s thunder, don’t hug him saying “It’s okay.” He’ll think showing fear is a way to get a hug.
·Children should be supervised. Give your dog time to get to know them. Children can help him make the transition. Teach your children to call the dog to them, instead of them approaching him. A dog understands that the person who gives the direction is the one in charge. If your children constantly go to him and give affection, he will think that he is the one in charge. This exercise helps your children get involved with their new dog and sends him the right message. Your child and your grey are likely to be very good friends but children need to know how to act with their new dog to keep everyone safe and happy.
·It’s your house and you have your rules. Don’t hesitate to correct your grey for counter-surfing, getting up on the sofa, or jumping on people. A calm, confident “No” or “Hey” will showhim who’s boss and that is you. Remember, he wants you to tell him what’s expected. Andbe consistent!
·Limit access to the house. Babysit your new family member so you’ll be there to teach him all he needs to learn. When you’re home, use gates if necessary to keep him confined in an area where you and your family spend the most time, perhaps the kitchen or family room. The quickest way to stop a problem is to keep it from happening. And the quickest way to form a bond with your new pal is to spend time with him, allowing him to feel part of your pack.
·Crate training should start when you’re there. Don’t put your new dog in a crate for the first time and leave for the day. Your goal is to teach your grey to stay calm in his crate. Start the training in the evening when you and your family are spending time together watching TV or helping your kids with homework. Put your dog in the crate and shut the door. If he starts to cry or bark, correct him right away. Don't let his anxiety escalate, stopping the behavior right away will teach him to remain calm and quiet in his crate. If he barks or cries again, correct him again. He’ll get the message.
·You can help all your animals get along. Walking your grey with existing dogs in your household is the best way to help them get to know each other. Your grey should not be left alone in the house with a smaller dog or cat without muzzling or crating him until he proves they can get along without problems. Also, don’t let your grey, small dog or cat run loose together in a fenced yard without muzzles. A smaller dog or cat who’s running can represent prey and get an unwelcome reaction even from a greyhound who shows affection for that animal in the house.
Remember, you’re the boss, you’re in control and it’s your new greyhound’s job to learn that. Don’t feel sorry for him, your greyhound is starting a wonderful new life and he doesn’t remember his old one. Babysit him for the first few days, keeping him near you, and watch everything he does so you cancontrol situations. Read Lee Livingood’s “Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies” and call GFNJimmediately if you have a problem or if your greyhound gets loose.
You and your greyhound will be the very best of friends and with your help it will happen very quickly and last forever.
If you have questions or would like advice on the proper way to acclimate your new greyhound, please contact our greyhound behavior expert, Heidi Gehret at 856-863-5898 or email@example.com.
AMF Peg Leg is the cutest little girl with impeccable manners. She is affectionate, likes other dogs, big and small, is in foster care with a cat, walks nicely on leash--can we say that she is just about "perfect"? This four-year-old sweetie would make a great addition to any family.
Sibbeston is such a sweet and gorgeous boy. He is in our Prison Foster Program and is ready for his forever home. Sibbeston is a big mush and loves to be loved--how cute. This boy just turned five years old and is cat tolerant with supervision. We would love to move him to his forever home or a foster home.
Mark's Callie is a cute little girl who is in a foster home waiting for her forever home. Callie will turn three in May and she is cat tolerant with supervision. She is doing great in her foster home, loves to play with the other greys and is just a joy to have around.
Crazy Fun Calendar
by Maria Lutz
No, it is not the name of a newly-arriving greyhound.It is the schedule of amazing and creative events GFNJ volunteers host to raise money for the dogs.So far this year we have burnedwinter calories with a Zumba Fitness Class & Raffle and had a blast at an incredible Tricky Tray that drew 250 people to enjoy a buffet dinner and win 150 prizes.The Acosta family wonthe Vacation Raffle and $13,000 was raised to help greyhounds come to New Jersey and their new homes.
Here are just a few of the dates to save on your calendar.Visit the website often for updates and additional outings your family will enjoy.
Our Spring Picnic will be held at Duke Island Park.There will be vendors,raffles, great burgers and hot dogs and - best of all - adoptable dogs!
“Play a Round for the Greys” – a miniature golf outing at Pine Creek Miniature Golf Course in West Amwell Township in Hunterdon County.On the southbound side of Route 31, Pine Creek offers a country club-like setting sureto please the whole family.A donation of $25 includes golf, lunch, and a door prize ticket.Space is limited so reserve your spot by e-mailing Maria Lutz at firstname.lastname@example.org
Time to move inside for another Scotch Bowl, an annual event that sells outevery year!Bowling is secondary to fun at this event, so get your tickets earlyand head to Oakland, NJ for one fabulous evening.
Bigger and better every year, the Third Annual Greyhound Gala will be heldat the Somerville Elks Club (the same location as the Tricky Tray).MagicianMike Spade is returning by popular demand with a completely new act.TheKick Back Band, with greyhound adopter Dan Del Signore, will provide classicrock entertainment throughout the evening.We are very grateful to the band and the magician for donating their time and talents to help the dogs. They are true "Greyhound Friends.”
We say goodbye to summer with the Fall Picnic at Duke Island Park.Bringa dish for the potluck lunch and enjoy the change of seasons.
December 11 & 12
The famous GFNJ Annual Craft Show & Pet Expo!The year’s most outstanding event, 2010 will see us taking over the Garden State Exhibit Center (well maybenot all of it) in Somerset, New Jersey.This easy-to-get-to venue offers room for additional vendors, Santa pictures and many wonderful greyhounds looking to get home for the holidays.Why not plan one day to shop and the other to volunteer?
You’ll see many more events to enjoy at www.greyhoundfriendsnj.org and if you have a
fundraising idea, please contact Maria Lutz at 732-521-8330 or email@example.com.
Lastly, events like this don’t happen without the help of many individuals coming together for a common cause.
Thank you to everyone who contributes, volunteers and supports the events to help the greyhounds.
Moved? Please let us know of any address or telephone number changes so we can keep our records up to date.
SAVE YOUR PRO PLAN WEIGHT CIRCLES
Weight circles from Pro Plan dog food bags help us pay our veterinary bills and buy food for the dogs in our prison foster program. Please cut the circles from the side of the bag and send to Greyhound Friends of NJ.
Greyhound Friends of New Jersey, Inc. Membership Application
Greyhound Friends of NJ Membership Dues go for the care of the greyhounds.
For an annual donation of $25 or more, members will receive a newslettersubscription and member decal; for $50 or more members will receive a newsletter subscription, decal and T-shirt; for the generous gift of $100, members will receive a newsletter subscription, decal and sweatshirt. Write your checktoday, payable to Greyhound Friends of NJ, Inc. and mail it with this form to:
Greyhound Friends of NJ., Inc., P.O. Box 4416, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034-0669.
Yes, I want to help Greyhound Friends of NJ care for the greyhounds.