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

December by the Numbers
In December we had 7 adoptions and 4 new arrivals (all lurchers).

This makes our 2018 totals 101 brought into AG, 13 hauled for other groups, and 118 adoptions.
Polar Bear Plunge Wrap Up




American Greyhound, Inc., celebrated one of its oldest traditions-the Polar Bear Plunge-for the twelfth time!
 
Since 2007, American Greyhound volunteers have been ringing in the New Year with an icy dip into Lake Michigan. With the official air and water temperature in the 30's, waves several feet tall in some places, and wind speeds in the 20's at times, the rush to the water's edge happened faster than usual as these brave souls rushed into Lake Michigan and even more quickly rushed back out to the water's edge and their towels!  The swim was still said to be cold.
 
Whether you jumped in, donated online or in person, you helped give greyhounds a brighter new year to look forward to on their journey to their forever homes. Another huge thank you goes to the Old Town Ale House for opening your doors so early to accommodate us and for donating all of the tips from our fabulous Warm Up Party!
 
Best Wishes for a Warm and Wonderful 2019 and we can't wait to see you next year!
Building Update

We'd like to give you a quick update on the progress of our building and what to expect in the coming months.

Late in December we received the mechanical, plumbing and electrical drawings for the building for our review. You may recall, that one of the hold-ups we were facing was the delivery of these drawings. Which held up design of our septic system. Which, of course, held up approval of that septic system by the state of Indiana. Which also impacted our ability to proceed with a construction loan to get the whole ball rolling.

We did a thorough review of the drawings, asked a lot of questions, received an equal number of answers, looked over them a bit more, asked a little bit more, and finally gave them the go-ahead. As someone who has worked in construction and the trades his whole life, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on this sort of thing, but I was both overwhelmed and impressed with the level of detail.

They've now been sent to the engineer so he can complete his septic design.

We'll keep you up-to-date with progress as we go along.
Well Deserved Thanks


One thing I've learned over the years is that you cannot say "Thank You" anywhere near enough. And, while we try our best to say thanks, we are going to do better.   And, to start out the new year and set a precedent I intend to carry all through 2019, here's a big, over-due thanks to a couple of very talented ladies whose efforts made our 2019 calendar one of the best ever.

Photographer Heather Egolf and Graphic Designer Melissa Washburn have done a wonderful job of portraying "our" dogs in this year's calendar and the result is outstanding.

Heather, on very short notice, took over the photography and did a wonderful job. The majority of the photos were shot at the property where American Greyhound will be building its shelter. We were hoping for a "Before and After" effect. This year's photos shot before construction begins, and next year's calendar capturing "Our" dogs, with our shelter coming out of the ground in the background.

This was Heather's first opportunity to "shoot" our calendar and I hope she is as happy with the results as I am. Later this year, once the "Winning Hearts" auction is complete and we've determined what dogs will be in it, she'll be taking on the 2020 calendar, only this time she won't be on such a short schedule to complete her work.

Melissa has been designing our calendar for five years now and each year seems to be better and better. And, we always seem to put Melissa in a trick bag as far the schedule for completing the calendar as well. But, each year when she gets the calendar on short notice, she turns out a gem.

I cannot thank these ladies nearly enough for the fantastic job they've done on this calendar.   I really have turned out a winner. Melissa and Heather, thank you so much.
Trouble in Dogtown


Very often (certainly more often than I'd care for), we will be contacted about a dog being returned. And, when we inquire as to the cause of the return, much of the time we'll hear about behavioral issues that had been going on for quite some time, often years. When situations like these come up, I often think first, "I really wish they would have contacted us so we could have helped remedy the situation and maybe save the relationship", and second, "we need to do something about getting the word out to our adopters that we are available to help."

I know we emphasize at adoption time to please call us if anything were to come up, but many times we never hear about issues until the dog is coming back. Many times when behavior has been out of control for an extended period of time, the chances of saving the relationship between dog and owner are greatly reduced, for a couple of reasons. First, the owner often develops a sort of resentment towards the dog for all the messes, lost sleep and damaged property. And, second, obviously this pattern of behavior has become second nature to the dog.

However, this doesn't have to be the case. While we are not professional dog trainers, American Greyhound does have a number of people who can help you correct some of the more common behavioral issues that are common with the greyhound breed. And, we have had a good deal of success in these matters.

Obviously, most often people just don't want to bother us. And, I would assume that with most shelters and multi-breed rescues, providing "service after the sale" just isn't something that is expected or done, so I assume that is a reason we don't hear from them. However, as we DO want to assure that everything is peaceful and happy in the new home, we need to do a better job of communicating our willingness to help out. And, we mean it. We work hard bringing these dogs into our organization, fostering them, vetting them, finding them homes and the million other things that are a part of the process. So, it's just as important to us that we assure that they and their owners are happy and everything is going smoothly in their new home.

So, whether you have only recently adopted your hound, or if you've been a proud member of the greyhound cult for some time, if you are having some behavioral issue, PLEASE, contact American Greyhound as soon as you can. Often, the bad behavior will require something very simple to correct it (I think many people are amazed) and the correction will occur almost immediately (they are amazed about that too). At our web site, www.americangreyhound.org , click on the "Contact Us" tab and a pre-formatted e-mail contact form will pop up. Fill it out and submit it. You will be contacted in short order. If you need faster assistance, please contact Jeff Coggins at (219)771-0892.

We want all of our dogs to live happy and fulfilling lives. Bad behavior is often a sign they are not. Likewise, we want happy adopters who spread the word about what wonderful companions greyhounds make (we receive a lot of messages from people looking to adopt who have heard great things about their friend's greyhounds). Adopters enduring bad behavior from their hounds aren't spreading the same message.

Note: As we state in our adoption contract, American Greyhound will always accept adopted greyhounds that need to be returned, no matter where they came from. This article is in no way intended to dissuade adopters intent on returning a hound from doing so nor is it any way passing judgment on anyone for any decisions made regarding these issues.
Greyt Readers Champaign Established as Permanent Program


The Champaign Public Library has invited American Greyhound to continue its Greyt Readers partnership! The group meets on the fourth Thursday of the month from 6:30-7:30 pm. During the program, children practice their reading skills with our very patient hounds.    If you'd like to get involved with Greyt Readers- Champaign, please email Sarah Laufenberg at  slaufenberg@americangryhound.org  .

Upcoming dates:
  • Thursday, January 24 @ 6:30pm
  • Thursday, February 28  @ 6:30pm
  • Thursday, March 28 @ 6:30pm
  • Thursday, April 25 @ 6:30pm
  • Thursday, May 23 @ 6:30pm
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