Articles from the GFNJ Newsletter -
N. J. Home Stretch
(Volume 9, Issue 2- Summer/Fall, 2006)
Dear Greyhound Friends:
I hope you have enjoyed your summer as much as Gin has. He was adopted by the Dinn family in 2005 and knows how to spend his retirement. (He’s actually lying next to the pool, not floating in it.)
As we approach the six month mark of the new era for Greyhound Friends of NJ, Inc., I can only say how proud I am to lead this long-standing organization. Since February 2006 until the writing of this letter in July, we have adopted over 110 dogs into homes! I look at this figure and I am awestruck. This has only come about through the efforts of dedicated volunteers whose generous spirit continues to amaze me. “What more can I do?” or “I’ll be available this weekend if you need help” or “I can handle those Meet and Greets” or “Sure, I can foster that dog-- no problem”. All of these words are music to my ears and make an incredibly diverse and demanding “job” a real labor of love with achievable goals.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite and welcome new ideas, “new blood”, and new energy from folks who have either recently adopted or those who have had greys for a while but never thought they could help. You CAN contribute and I would love to hear your ideas and welcome you as a Greyhound Friends volunteer. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.
In addition to our adoption successes, Greyhound Friends continues to be an organization that is truly a safety net for greyhounds. Since February, we have taken in seven dogs who have broken or injured their legs while racing. Even as I am writing this, we are waiting for two boys who broke their legs weeks ago and are in dire need of help. We are very anxious to get these guys to our orthopedist, Dr. Gregory Zolton, and then into comfortable foster homes.
You’ll read inside about poor Hank who was lost for two weeks. I am so appreciative of the volunteers who looked for him every day. A very special Thank You goes to First State Greyhound Rescue, Inc., in Pennsylvania, who not only showed what groups could accomplish when they work together, but were ultimately responsible for the capture of dear Hank.
Finally, with the closing of yet another northeast track - Shoreline Star Dog Park in Bridgeport, Connecticut - Greyhound Friends not only continues to take dogs from Massachusetts’ tracks, but is also accepting some of the thousands of dogs waiting for rescue in Florida. We are so pleased to be able to help these dogs, whose futures are so tenuous.
RVing: The Next Experience
Most of us who have adopted greyhounds have found ourselves included in the phenomena of, “we need a new vehicle to transport these big dogs”. While attending my first greyhound picnic eight or so years ago, I couldn't believe all the greyhound merchandise you could buy. Someone said to me that my next greyhound purchase would be an SUV, and they were right.
After adopting Brandy, we got a Jeep Cherokee Laredo. When we added John E, we decided a full sized van would be better, so we ended the lease on the Jeep and bought a Pontiac Montana.
Two years ago, looking forward to new adventures, we bought a Suburban with a towing package. Our intention was to purchase a trailer so we would be able to vacation with our greys. Our goal is to try and attend as many greyhound events across the country as we can over the next few years.
We did a lot of research over the winter, joined a Yahoo list, “rvingwithsighthounds”, and subscribed to Trailer Life. We decided a used trailer would be substantially less expensive and read some want ads to figure out what our costs would be. We then attended an RV show in Atlantic City, found a layout that we liked and pursued a dealer who would be so kind as to actually sell us one.
So much for research! We decided to purchase a new trailer since our thinking had changed as to what we wanted inside the mobile vehicle and we thought about all the new item warranties we would be getting.
Our first trip with the dogs was to Cape May, New Jersey. It is not too far from where we live and a nice location to visit. We chose a week before school ended and not on a holiday, so that the park would not be too crowded.
We took our x-pen for the dogs to be in when outside the trailer, which they seemed to like well enough. But inside was better as long as we were inside with them. To me, it seemed that anywhere they could sleep, they could call home.
This year we traveled to Sandy Paws and returned to Cape May with an additional dog. We adopted Paul in March and he enjoyed his first camping experience in June. Later this summer we are taking them to Niagara Falls.
We look forward to attending the events at Kanab and hopefully someday Abilene and Solvang with our greys.
Irene and Len Ullmann live in Old Bridge, New Jersey with Brandy , John E. and Paul. A portion of the sale of any clock or merchandise from their website, www.houndtime.com, is donated to Greyhound Friends of New Jersey.
We were told by a trainer that Jaycee's Aida Mia's favorite position was being held like a baby.
Volunteer Maria Lutz was kind enough to oblige one summer Sunday afternoon.
Try It—You’ll Like It
You can make a huge difference in the life of a greyhound by becoming a foster family.
Our mission is to help as many greyhounds as possible and you can touch the lives of some of them as they transition from racer to companion, or offer a temporary safe haven to a dog who’s just lost his home. We, in turn, gain accurate, clear information about him that will help us find the right home. We may have a shy greyhound who needs to gain confidence from your already established grey. There might be a greyhound who has broken a leg while racing, has had surgery, and needs about six weeks in a comfortable foster home to recuperate and rehabilitate.
It is truly rewarding to watch the emergence of your foster’s personality as he adjusts to a track-free life. There’s always a need for loving foster homes. I promise you’ll get more than you give and it’s not as hard to say goodbye as you think. You’ll have done your job and know that your foster is going to an adoring home. We can help you with a crate and food if you need it.
If you would like to talk about fostering a greyhound for Greyhound Friends, please contact:
Linda Lyman at 732-356-4370, Lelyman10@comcast.net;
Terryl Jackson at 908-203-0070, firstname.lastname@example.org; or
Kathy Carstensen at 201-836-7517, email@example.com
Smart Dogs; Smarter People
There’s nothing wrong with admitting your greyhound is smarter than you are. We all have to do it sooner or later. If you are having any behavioral problems with your greyhound, please call 732-356-4370. Most problems can be worked out. Please don’t wait until you and the dog are so frustrated that you want to return him. We are going to be more help than that stranger in the park, the pet store manager, or your friend who got their greyhound last month. Please let us help. We also offer a sympathetic and experienced ear for any medical problems. So give us a call.
A Story for Our Younger Greyhound Friends
Hello, my name is Hank. I am three years old. I live in Alpha, N.J. I moved to Alpha after my racing career ended. I like my new home very much, even though I have not been here long. But do I have a story to tell you!
My owner Dave has a lovely backyard. It is safe for me to run and play. There is a fence all around it. And he put a lock on the gate.
Dave has a nice landscaper who cuts his grass. But the landscaper didn’t know that Dave got a greyhound. He didn’t know that I can run, and run FAST – 45 miles an hour. When Dave came home from work one day, he put me out in the yard to play. But the landscaper had forgotten to close and lock the gate. And that is the start of my story, and almost... the end of my life.
I decided to explore outside my “safe” area. I loved my newfound freedom; I ran, and ran, and ran, until I came to a cornfield. Wow, look at all the land - I could see for miles. This was nothing like the track! I decided that I would stay there and rest.
But later, I wanted to go home. I didn’t know how long I had been gone. I missed Dave and my new home. It had been raining a lot and I was very wet. I had found some water to drink, but I was also hungry. I thought I might look for something to eat. The plants were okay, but I wanted more.
Time passed. I had made a bed of cornstalks and I had my water hole. But still, I was hungry. I wanted to eat Dave’s food, but I couldn’t seem to find my way out of the green field.
It was dark now. Suddenly, there was a loud explosion. Lots of colored lights reflected in the night sky. I was very scared. I couldn’t stop shaking. Where was I going to hide? I ran into the woods at the end of the cornfield and I hid. I would have to find a new water hole and make a new bed and stay here for as long as it took for the noises, booms, explosions and lights to go away. I wanted my safe backyard. How would I find my way home?
Then It was daytime, then night again, then day. I thought I had been away from Dave for a very long time. I felt tired and hungry and scared. Maybe I would never see Dave again.
Then I heard voices calling my name. But I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know who these people were. I didn’t know if the explosions would start up again. I was hungry. I wanted my home back. I wanted Dave and my new people.
I had found a house at the edge of the cornfield. There was a nice man who lived there. I wanted to make friends with him, but I was frightened. Life on the run wasn’t as much fun as it was made out to be. The man had other animals at his house. I was hungry and wanted to eat their food. But I was afraid. And I was starting to feel a little sick and weak. Where was Dave?
All of a sudden I smelled a strong odor. It seemed to be coming from a box in the cornfield. I hadn’t seen that box before. What was it?
Uh oh. More people were calling my name. But this time, there were two little people, like the ones at Dave’s house. I wanted to walk over to them to see what they were doing with the box. I thought there might be food in the box. I was very hungry.
RUN! One of the small people had seen me, and he was chasing me…I thought I should run away. I tried to run as fast as I could, but my legs hurt. I had scratched them when I was running from the explosions in the sky. I scratched them on rocks and wood. And they slowed me down.
CAUGHT! I was tackled and then wrestled to the ground. One of the small people had caught me, and then the bigger one put a leash on me. They took me out of the cornfield. I was shaking. I was scared.
The people put me in a van and took me to a doctor. The people were crying. Why were they sad? They were talking about me. I thought I must have been LOST. The doctor cleaned up my sore legs, and gave me medicine. He told the people that it would make me feel better. And he called the little person a HERO. I stayed at the doctor’s office, but I felt safe then. People were touching me, petting me, and giving me food to eat.
And then I saw Dave! Dave, where were you? Let’s go home. I want my new home. I want my new people. And from now on, I will stay in my new backyard, with the gate always shut and locked!
NOTE: This story is about Hank (Cl’s Bigbankhank) and his adventures. Hank was lost for two weeks including the 4th of July weekend. Greyhound Friends of New Jersey would like to thank our many friends at First State Greyhound Rescue for their help in a frantic search to find and save Hank. Though he stayed in a 5-mile radius to his home, the search involved wooded areas, cornfields, farms, drainage ditches and town roads and highways . . . and a trip to Warren Hospital’s emergency room for stitches for one of our members. Thanks to Jen, Ellen, Sue, Jeanine, Chrissie, Denise, Deb, Greg, Shirley, Chris, Barbara, Donna, Rose, Patty, Terryl, Harry, Dave, Terri, Linda, the farmer and his daughter, the town of Alpha, N.J., and their police force, the Alpha Veterinary Clinic, and the many others we fail to mention who helped us place signs up and search for handsome Hank. Most of all we thank 10-year-old Tyler, the hero of our story. We wish Hank a speedy recovery and a happy home in Alpha.
“OH NO, MY GREYHOUND IS LOST!!!!!”
Losing a greyhound is a serious and usually preventable accident
When you adopted your greyhound from Greyhound Friends of New Jersey, there was a GFNJ medallion attached to the collar. This should stay on the collar forever. If you have discarded the tag or you have one that does not have the phone number 732 356-4370on it, please notify us – we’ll send another. But that’s not enough! Your personal tag should be attached and we are now requiring adopters to bring a tag to the adoption that minimally says “If I’m loose, I’m lost” and contain the phone number, cell phone number and possibly address of the new owner. Your greyhound should wear these two tags at all times!
Most greyhounds get lost by running through an open gate. Gates are left open by landscapers, meter readers, contractors, kids, adults, etc. The best way to prevent this from happening is to padlock your gates—all of them!! A little inconvenience in opening the gate is well worth preventing the loss of a greyhound. A quick, visual check to see that the fence is intact and gates are closed should take place each time the dog goes out.
If your greyhound does get lost, call Greyhound Friends immediately!! We have experience in finding lost greyhounds and will help you with volunteers, flyers, and Have-a-Heart traps. As embarrassing as it is, don’t hesitate – your greyhound’s life hangs in the balance. CALL!!! 732-356-4370 immediately.
Greyhound Friends of New Jersey Prison Program
Greyhound Friends of New Jersey, working with the New Jersey Department of Corrections, is celebrating the fourth anniversary of the Foster Program at the Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility in Annandale, New Jersey. This program provides rehabilitative benefits for incarcerated young adults and needed socialization and obedience training for rescued greyhounds. The only program of its kind in New Jersey for young men, the youth correctional program matches greyhounds that are finished with their racing careers with incarcerated young men between the ages of 18 and 26. Under supervision, the young inmates act as fosters to the dogs for a period of six to eight weeks, providing them with socialization and obedience training. At the end of the foster session, the dogs are awarded the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizenship Award, which designates them as ready for adoption.
In the process of fostering the greyhounds, the young men learn to care for and be responsible for another living creature – often for the first time in their lives. They learn how to train dogs in weekly classes with a trainer and receive lectures on animal related topics from guest speakers. The inmates keep daily journals about the dog’s progress and personality, which helps the young men improve their communication skills and provides useful information about the dogs to adopters.
Response has been universally positive and success is evident in both the young men and dogs. There is a waiting list of young men hoping to participate in the program, and this program offers a chance to greyhounds that would not be accepted by other adoption groups. Evaluations of the prison inmates who have participated in the program reveal young men who have matured as they demonstrate responsibility for, and kindness toward, each dog that they foster. Personal confidence grows as each dog succeeds. The cottage where the program is housed has better behaved inmates as the dogs have a calming affect on their foster inmates, non-participating inmates and guards. One young man wrote in his journal that he has learned to control his temper and has modified his behavior since participating in the program. He wrote that he knows that being part of this program is a privilege and that getting into trouble or making the wrong decisions will mean losing his greyhound.
Greyhound Friends of New Jersey, working with the New Jersey Department of Corrections, has trained and adopted 140 greyhounds to date. If you would like more information on the Prison Program please contact Sue Smith at 732-283-3889 or
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda Lyman at 732-356-4370, e-mail Lelyman10@comcast.net.
GREYHOUND FRIENDS OF NJ – THE REALITY SHOW!
In 2005, the Onyx and Breezy Foundation made a generous donation to Greyhound Friends to aid in our many programs. Their generous gift helped with our broken-legged dogs and the 37 dogs we were able to re-home after the closing of Plainfield Dog Track in Connecticut.
On July 20, Mrs. Wanda Shefts, Founder of the Onyx and Breezy Foundation, visited Greyhound Friends and brought along a film crew. Mrs. Shefts asked us to participate in a video she is making to demonstrate her foundation’s works. We spent a wonderful day at Hay Hill Kennels sharing a typical day at GFNJ.
Rose Comerford explained her work with osteosarcoma survivors. In addition to caring for her own long-term cancer survivors, Bo and Missy, Rose is fostering Della who came down with cancer shortly after losing her home. Della couldn’t ask for a more loving nurse.
Mrs. Shefts saw how we do adoptions firsthand during the making of the video. Christina and Jeremy Brandt-Young, adopted prison graduate, Mystery Man IU (aka Shadow) and look forward to jogging with their new athlete.
Allbetsareoff (aka Gracie) arrived from Florida less than a week before meeting new owners, Barbara and Dan Clinch. Clinch granddaughters, Alex and Katie, approved of the match.
We thank our new adopters for participating in the video and helping with the Greyhound Friends message of love and rescue. Other volunteers participating in the video were President Linda Lyman, discussing our history and organization overview, Sue Smith who explained how the Prison Program works, and Bill Brouillard, who talked about transporting the dogs from racetracks. Offering back up and behind-the-scenes help were Patty Comerford and Terryl Jackson.
A link to the video will be available on our website when editing is complete.
What do Boy Scouts, Libraries, Bowling, Beef and Beer have in common?
Answer: They are all some of the newer events that Greyhound Friends of NJ, Inc. has participated in over the past few months with great success!
GFNJ recently participated in a Boy Scout jamboree in South Jersey. All week the boys had been learning about medieval times and on the final day, Amy and Russ Cohen, Stephanie Marrero and Linda Lyman presented a program about the history of the greyhound and lurcher (greyhound mix) to over 250 boys, parents and scout leaders. Four groups of Boy Scouts enjoyed instructive presentations and, especially, meeting the representative dogs. This was a great way to educate young people - not only about the greyhound but about the proper, respectful care of all animal companions.
The libraries in South Jersey are becoming saturated with greyhounds and greyhound memorabilia—all a very good thing! Sue Schrock has much of her greyhound collection on display at the Deptford library with rave reviews. She, Jodi Arthur and Stephanie Marrero have given numerous presentations to children and adults at library forums about the greyhound. So far at least two good adoptions have come from these different Meet and Greets.
Nancy Bowden and Jane Lehmbeck, with the generosity of Chuck Coslet of Rusty’s Place Pet Supply Store, Ringwood, NJ, hosted a VERY successful Scotch Bowl fundraiser. Over 200 people participated with bowling, a great raffle and just plain fun!
One volunteer commented that it was the best time that she has ever had at a fundraiser—sounds like a success to me! In addition, over $3,500 was raised to help the greyhounds.
Four ladies—Karen Joncas, Heidi Gehret, Bernadette Fisher and Sherry Kilpatrick are hosting a Beef and Beer event with good food and drink, music, raffles, and an appearance by none other than Elvis with the entertainment donated by Keith “King” Gipson. This sounds like another fun evening with good friends for a good cause -- the greyhounds!!
These are just a few of the “different” types of fund raising events, community service and education involving Greyhound Friends of NJ. Thanks to those folks who make these events possible. Thinking about new events? Some folks are: A little greyhound told me that Chris Griffith is planning a Longaberger Basket Bingo as a Fall event.
Contact us if you have an idea for a fundraiser or your community could use a formal introduction to the greyhound.
GFNJ's 10th Annual Craft Show & Pet Expo
GFNJ's biggest fundraiser of the year will once again be held at the 4-H Building on Milltown Road, Bridgewater (across from North Branch Park). The dates are Saturday, December 2nd from 9am to 4pm and Sunday, December 3rd from 10am to 4pm.
Highlights include: - our raffle, which has gotten bigger and better each year - wonderful vendors - Santa photos - holiday bake table - GFNJ adoption table - and much, much more!!!
LEASHED PETS WELCOME!!!
Your help, as always, is greatly appreciated. Tell friends, family, co-workers and neighbors about the Craft Show. In the next few months we will be looking for volunteers to assist at the show – it’s a great way to help out GFNJ and enjoy yourself at the same time.
We are collecting raffle prize donations. We request that the raffle prizes be boxed and clearly marked with the name of the person who made the donation and the approximate value of the item.
If you have any questions about raffle prizes, please contact
Terryl Jackson at email@example.com or 908-203-0070.
If you would like information about being a vendor at the event, please contact
Chris Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want information about the Craft Show & Pet Expo in general, please contact
Patty Comerford at email@example.com or 732 566-2226.
Greyhound Friends Tribute Cards --- for Every Event
Whatever the occasion, Greyhound Friends Tribute Cards are a perfect way to express your sentiments and support a dog in the kennel. Celebrate a birthday or anniversary, or send your sympathy to a family whose pet has gone to The Rainbow Bridge. A photo of a rescued Greyhound Friends dog and your personalized message will be sent to the recipient. Cards are $10 each. To order please call Patty Comerford at 732-566-2226 or e-mail at PAC173@aol.com. You can also order cards at www.greyhoundfriendsnj.org.
GFNJ's Annual Fall Picnic/Greyhound Planet Day
Come join GFNJ on Sunday, September 24, 2006 from 11am to 3pm
at North Branch Park in Bridgewater, NJ.
Greyhound Planet Day is a time chosen each year to honor the Greyhound and its relatives (Galgos, lurchers, etc.) throughout the world. The purpose of this international event is to raise the public's awareness of the wonder and magic of Greyhounds as pets, educate others on the current status of Greyhounds around the world and to honor those Greyhounds who have left us already.
- available dogs will be at the picnic, so you can come and meet some beauties to adopt (only approved adoption applications or prior adopters for whom we have conducted a recent vet reference check will be able to adopt at the picnic). Please contact Linda if you have any questions or wish to be approved to adopt - Lelyman10@comcast.net or 856-751-5134.
- pot luck lunch starting at Noon (soon there will be a link on the Home Page to see what others are bringing to the Pot Luck Lunch).
- the Blessing of the Hounds at 1pm.
- Therapy Dog International, Inc. certification testing will be available. The fee is $15.
Please see the requirements at: http://www.tdi-dog.org/tditesting.html.
- collecting old collars, leashes and pet medications to send to the Spanish galgos. For further information on the plight of these Spanish greyhounds, please go to: http://operationscooby.org/index.htm.
- collecting used ink jet/laser printer cartridges and old cell phones.
- collecting raffle prize donations for the upcoming Craft Show & Pet Expo (12/2 & 12/3/06). We request that the raffle prizes be boxed and clearly marked with the name of the person who made the donation and the approximate value of the item. If you have any questions about raffle prizes, please contact Terryl at firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-203-0070.
Don’t forget—GFNJ is continuing to collect empty print cartridges or old cell phones!!
What a successful fund-raising event!! Your collection of those old, worn out cell phones and ink cartridges has added up to over $1000 in much needed funds for Greyhound Friends. We are continuing to collect these items and would be happy to get them at the September picnic or you can make arrangements with a local contact person. Some great ideas are to contact your employer, local businesses, libraries, veterinarian offices, etc. and ask them to save those cartridges--ink jet and laser. You can visit the website for more details or contact: Jodi at Jodiscritters@aol.com or 856-547-8360 or Sue at email@example.com