News from American Greyhound recapping January and looking forward to February.

January by the Numbers
We kicked off 2018 with  12 new arrivals; 9 entered TGIE and 3 went straight into foster care.  We also had  14 adoptions in January.
A Valentine of Unconditional Love


This Valentine's Day you can help a very lucky family by giving them the gift of unconditional love; a greyhound! We are taking a long trip to Daytona, FL next weekend and welcoming a new group of greyhounds into retirement. Our foster homes will make sure they get a head-start on what it means to be a pet and companion in a home.
 
American Greyhound is always looking for foster homes to host these new retirees while they wait for their forever families to come along. All veterinary and medical care costs are covered by the organization and we will supply you with a kennel and any other supplies you may need for your foster. We ask that you provide a roof over their head, a couple of meals per day, and and some love. We still need foster homes for the upcoming Daytona haul as well as a haul to Alabama in early March. Fostering a greyhound can be whatever kind of commitment you'd like it to be. Whether you'd like to foster just 1 greyhound or 100, we want you as a part of our fostering team!  Thinking of adopting a(nother) greyhound? Fostering is a great way to see if a particular hound is the right match for your family and home. We call this "fostering to adopt", and it is a great way to contribute to the fostering mission as well as finding the right hound for your family.
 
If you have questions, concerns, or would like more information about fostering, please send me an email: foster@americangreyhound.org . If you are ready to jump in, visit our website to see some adorable fostering testimonies and fill out our fostering application: https://www.americangreyhound.org/foster-greyhounds/
 
Let's show Daytona what American Greyhound can do by filling our hauler to capacity next weekend. We can't do it without you!
 
Nicole Graves
Foster Coordinator  
10 Ways to Protect Your Dog's Feet in Cold Temperatures

1. Check Their Paws Regularly
This is probably an obvious tip but one that folks sometimes don't consider often enough. While it's important to take your dog out on daily walks, it's just as important to check their paws regularly to ensure that the pads are crack and abrasion free. Gently but firmly grasp their paw in your hand and visually inspect their pads for any injuries or abnormalities. Next, press down gently on the pads with your thumb and make note of any pain or discomfort this action might register with your pet. Don't forget to check between their toes for any lumps, stickers, cuts or discoloration as well. Just like with humans, the importance of maintaining proper foot health for your pet can't be stressed enough.

2. Toughen Up Your Dog's Paws
Toughening your dog's paws is in your pet's best interest. This can easily be accomplished by walking them on cement or pavement regularly. Be aware that rough, uneven surfaces like blacktop (aka asphalt) with courser edges and sharper contact points can lead to sore paws, so start out with even pavement like sidewalks for the first month or so before graduating to the rougher stuff. If you notice your dog limping or a change in their gait after making the transition, inspect their paws for injury and lead them back onto smoother pavement or grass. Over time the gradual build up of thickened skin, much like callouses on human feet, will develop.

3. Keep Paw Hair Trimmed
Some dogs have patches of hair sprouting from between their pads and toes. You can liken it to the thatches that tend to grow out of the ears of elderly gentlemen or the crazy caterpillar eyebrows they sometimes get. While it can be humorous and rather endearing with old men, on dogs it should be trimmed back in winter months to keep snow from sticking and turning into clods of ice which end up clinging to their toes and feet. This is a good way to help avoid frostbite, a serious cold weather malady for both humans and animals.

4. Moisturize Your Dog's Paws
Keeping your dog's feet moisturized can help prevent cuts, cracking or peeling of the paws. This is a common occurrence with humans (think cracked and bleeding heels), and dogs are no strangers to it either. For dogs with toughened paws and those exposed to harsh weather this is especially true. Minor injuries like raw or bleeding skin can leave your dog's paws open to more serious problems. Moisturizing creams and salves can work wonders, but a product like  Bag Balm made specifically for pets will work even better. This moisturizer has been around for over 115 years and gets rave reviews from anyone who has tried it. It soothes cuts, scratches, skin irritations and paw abrasions, and the best part is you can get it almost anywhere. If you're not familiar with it, it comes in a green tin and it will last seemingly forever.

5. Try Paw Wax To Add Layer Of Protection For Dogs' Paws
The cool thing about paw wax is it can quickly and easily be applied to the pads of your dog's paws any place or time it's needed. It protects them from cold and harmful surfaces they're likely to come into contact with when playing outside during the winter. This is different from a moisturizer in that the wax also creates a barrier to help protect your dog's feet from clods of ice forming and potentially harmful chemicals like road salts they might come into contact with. Originally developed for sled dogs, if you and your pet go out frequently in the colder months,  Musher's Secret Paw Wax is a really good solution for anytime your dog needs some extra paw protection. 
 
6. To Melt Ice, Use Safe Paw Non-Toxic Ice Melter
If you're going to use chemicals or salt for slippery porches, steps and sidewalks around your home, consider using  Safe Paw Non-Toxic Ice Melter instead. The concentrated pellets cover twice the area of rock salt and will not irritate pet paws or skin. It comes in a time-release formula that helps prevent re-icing for up to three days and it's safe for children, vegetation, and concrete brick and stone. This pet-safe product offers a win-win situation for homeowners with pets.
 
 7. For Serious Protection, Consider Using Dog Shoes
Dog shoes can protect your dog's paws from injuries in relation to heat and cold. The problem is not all dogs will wear them. With a little patience and persistence, though, you might be able to get man's best friend to cave and finally give in. Having a Frenchie that bucked the trend but eventually relented, I'm fully aware it can be done - and there will be some  great video and photo ops in the meantime. Once they do get past them, they'll pay them very little mind and be a lot more willing to let you put them on. They're really not that expensive, so it's worth giving them a try, even if they never get used to them. Dog shoes like  Ultra Paws Rugged Dog Boots that have rubber soles offer extra protection, but you need to make sure they are a comfortably snug fit, or the weight of the rubber sole could make them flop around when your dog tries to walk in them. 

Note: Many if not most dog shoes and booties are secured with Velcro around the ankle. During the course of activity these paw protectors will eventually slip and sag, creating a gap between the booty and the paw itself. This can create flopping, which leads to instability and difficulty walking. You'll be inclined to want to tighten the straps, but be conscious of the fact you can tighten them too much and cut off your dog's circulation. This is not something you want at anytime, but especially not during warm and cold weather extremes.

 8. Reusable Rubber Dog Booties Can Be A Good Option To Shoes
Pet owners looking for moderate protection for their dog's paws should consider thin-rubber dog booties. They're a great fix for summer and winter applications when it comes to keeping your pets safe and comfortable. Besides offering some protection from heat and cold, brands like  Protex PawZ Dog Boots can provide superior wetness protection too. They're like small balloons or paw prophylactics that can be reused and conveniently disposed of when they're worn out. The nice thing about this type of dog booty is that (due to their snug fit) they tend to stay up better than other forms of wearable paw protection, and they're also said to give wearers valuable traction. Be aware, though, that in order to avoid injury you should be very careful when trying to pull them up over your pet's dewclaw. The only drawback is that thin-rubber paw protectors like these may not keep feet quite as warm as other types of shoes, boots and socks for dogs.

 9. Doggy Socks Offer Some Protection
Knit socks are another workable solution for brief exposure to cold winter weather. They're perfect for drafty homes, dashing to and from cars and trucks and running outside to answer the call of nature. Many brands come with skid-proof soles, which will make it easier to walk on ice. Like dog shoes, not every dog will tolerate wearing socks. If you're not sure whether your pet will or not and you don't want to waste the money first, try baby socks (if you have any) and see if they work. Or you can throw caution to the wind and buy these super  cute dog socks.  As with all animal footwear, you should keep an eye on your pets while they're wearing them, as some dogs will be tempted to lick and chew them off their feet.  There are also  waterproof doggy socks that are thinner than dog shoes that may work well for your pet.

10. Wash And Check Paws Carefully After Exercise
Be sure to check your dog's paw pads after each outdoor walking session for signs of damage or injury and wash them whenever chemicals on the ground are suspected. If you do see a problem after exercise or your dog is limping/acting strangely after running around, have him or her seen by your veterinarian at the first possible opportunity. If time is an issue for you, you can save time through multi-tasking by washing and moisturizing their paws at the same time as your visual inspection.

These 10 tips will help your dogs stay relatively safe and uninjured from the dangers of ice, snow,  frigid temperatures and freezing cold. Remember, be sure to keep a close eye on your pet to  check for symptoms of a cold and to protect him or her from any other cold-related issues like frostbite or overexposure. Just like  dog summer safety tips, these cold-weather precautions for avoiding freezing paws can help keep your pet happy and healthy all winter long.
Winning Hearts is Just Around the Corner

This years "Winning Hearts" benefit auction, our 8th annual, will be held on Saturday, April 28th, and that's just around the corner.  We have an awful lot to accomplish before then and we hope we can count on your help again this year.

First off, we'd like you to mark your calendars so you will be sure to be there that evening.  It's such a wonderful night; you really won't want to miss it.  Again it will be held at the Avalon Manor located at 3550 E. Lincoln Highway, Merrillville, Indiana.  Again, start time for the silent auction will be 5:00 PM Central, with dinner and the live auction set to kick off at 7:00.  We will be utilizing on-line bidding again this year, so you'll want to bring your cell phone and make sure it is fully charged.  Like always, we'll feature 3 open bars with all of your favorite beverages, a delicious dinner served to you right at your table, and an experience you'll not soon forget.  Almost everyone has a wonderful time and leaves with a smile on their face.  Make plans now to assure that one of those smiling faces is yours!

Next, we need your help in filling the auction tables.  For those of you who have attended, you know what a wide variety of items we offer.  Art work, sports memorabilia, dog related items, trips, unique, one-of-a-kind experiences, jewelry, furniture, services, sporting event tickets, gift cards, tickets to the ballet or the theatre, meals, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.  Seriously, the items offered in our auction have been nothing short of astonishing.  We had a grill that looked like a  V-8 racing engine last year, in 2012 we had a proclamation signed by the Governor of the state of Indiana proclaiming 11/12/2012 as "Adopt a Greyhound Day" in Indiana, We've had trips to Vegas, trips to the Keys, a rocking motorcycle handcrafted by one of our supporters, corn hole boards crafted by another supporter, and the list goes on and on.

We're asking you now to put your imagination to work and find us the next wonderful item to include in our auction.  Maybe you or someone you know owns a weekend getaway you'd be willing to offer up as an item, maybe you have a special skill or talent you'd like to offer as an item, maybe you own art that would make a popular item, or jewelry, or maybe you know a business owner willing to donate a special item, or maybe you'll want to cash in your credit card points and turn them into gift cards.  Put that "grey"matter to work and let's make 2018 our biggest and best to-date.  If you have questions about the appropriateness of some item you have or know of, please call Auction  Co-Chairs, Jeff Coggins at (219)771-0892 or Christina Robbins at (219)730-1356. We've both got a few of these events under our belts and we can help you with acquiring items and helping to turn those items into dollars to help American Greyhound continue its mission.

Also, it's not too late to become part of our auction committee.  It's a wonderful opportunity to be a part of an event with a legacy of success.  And, I can tell you that there is no better feeling in the world than you will feel on April 28th at around 9:30 PM when the results of your hard work come in.  To be part of that wonderful feeling, contact Christina at (219)730-1356, we'd love to have you on board.

 Look for more information about the auction in the coming weeks.   And, look for our gift card drive set to kick off later this month.

We're looking forward to seeing you on April 28th, and we know that when it's all said and done, you'll be smiling ear to ear!
Michigan City Saint Patrick's Day Parade

American Greyhound will once again be participating in the Michigan City Saint Patrick's Day Parade, and we would love to have you join us. The parade takes place on March 10th. We will be lining up on Washington Street at 11:45 AM. Judging takes place at noon, and then the parade is at 1 PM. Dress yourself and your dog in green, and come join us for a fun time! Click here to see the city's Facebook event.


Missing Links

Many folks who have seen me pull off my shirt and jump into Lake Michigan on New Year's Day have accused me of being the missing link.

I'm not, and that's not what we're talking about here anyway.

We're talking about hyperlinks to relevant greyhound and dog sites on the "Links" page within the "resources" menu tab on our website.  When our previous website first went live, we had a very nice collection of links that could take you to just about any website a greyhound lover would want to go.  And, our intention was to continue to improve upon that list, add the links that we learned about which would be interesting to our people, and remove those links that went "dead" or really were no longer appropriate.

However, as often happens, we got distracted and didn't keep up with the links as well as we would have liked.  Some went dead, some were no longer appropriate, and we didn't really add enough new ones.

Well, as bad as we feel about it, that website is in the past.  Now is the time to start getting the links in order on the new website.  And, we'd like to ask for your help doing it.

If you know of a website that would be of interest to your fellow greyhound owners, please let us know.  We'd love to add it to our resources page. 

And, what's more, we'd like to back-link our page to theirs if possible. To continue moving the number of dogs that we do, we need to spread our message far and wide, and, having our link show up on the websites of like-minded sites is a wonderful way to do so.

So, if you have a link you'd like to see us add to our website, contact our webmaster, Tony Neetz  at website@americangreyhound.org and he will be sure to get it added to our site page.

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