Foxi’s Story

Never “Ant”icipated

For those of you who have been around a little while, you may remember Ant.  She was a very shy, very small black female that we fostered last summer (Fostering During A Pandemic Part I).  Ant was adopted after spending several weeks as a foster in our home.  The funny thing is, Ant was never intended to be our foster.  You see, back in the spring, when COVID really started to hit hard, all the tracks in Florida temporarily closed.  However, given the uncertainty of when they would reopen, and the fact that racing would be banned in 2021, many tracks decided to permanently close.  This meant that there were hundreds of greyhounds in the racing circuit that immediately needed homes.  As our group was monitoring the situation and communicating with the key stakeholders that coordinate the dogs that come to us, we knew we had to act.  We had to act fast and we had to go big.  Therefore, we decided to bring up as many dogs as feasibly possible.  I asked every single foster home I had.  Our group put out flash emails.  We asked kennels here to help out.  It was a Herculean effort, but we did it.  In a matter of two months, we managed to bring up over 60 greyhounds to Indiana.  We completely took every single spot on two separate hauls.  It wasn’t easy, but it was necessary.  And I am very proud to say we did that for our dogs.

The flip side of bringing up 60+ dogs in two months means that I had to do a lot of maneuvering to get dogs into homes.  Some dogs could only stay a week or so in a foster home.  Some dogs could go in a kennel, while others couldn’t.  And some dogs went into a home, only to discover that it wasn’t a good fit, so I had to put the dog in a different home.  Such was the case with Ant.  Ant was assigned three different foster homes before she finally came to our house.  So while she wasn’t originally destined to stay with us, we were very happy that she was here.

Ant had a mysterious stare that may have been a result of her shyness.

A Heart Can Break Even After They Leave Our Home

Ant was a bit harder to adopt than most other greyhounds.  She was terribly shy and didn’t “show” well.  Every time we would take her out in public, she would try to hide – which meant showing her off to potential adopters was tough.  However, we got word that there was a potential adopter out there looking at Ant.  He had just recently lost his first greyhound in a tragic set of events, and wanted a playmate for his female greyhound.  Everyone agreed that we would try it out.  We knew that Ant took time to adjust to a new home, and he was up to the challenge.  Within a week, he sent a text and told us that Ant wasn’t going anywhere.  She had found her home and she was staying.  We were thrilled.

Our favorite pic of Ant

Fast forward roughly six months and I got a devastating email.  Ant, renamed Annie, had passed away.  She was only 2 years old and it was a suspected stroke.  I cried.  She didn’t deserve that.  Her life was cut way too short.  Her adopter did everything he could, but unfortunately, she just didn’t make it.  It was devastating for us, but I couldn’t even imagine how her family felt.  To lose two dogs in such a short period of time was just too much.  But then a weird thing happened.  I got an email from Mary, our group president, stating that she suspected that it was some sort of genetic issue.  I didn’t quite understand how she knew that.  Just then, a lightbulb went off in my head.  One of Annie’s littermates had contacted us on Instagram.  Immediately, I knew I had to reach out to warn them of the potential genetic issue.  I spent nearly two days trying to find them on Instagram when I finally did.  I sent a DM notifying them of Annie’s fate and told them that they should have their dog, named Phil, checked out.

“I was afraid you were going to say something like that” is what I got in return.  My heart sunk.  “Phil suffered a stroke about a week ago and is struggling.”  I was stunned.  I had no words.  After talking for what seemed like hours, I contacted Mary to see why she thought it was a genetic issue.  She stated that after Annie’s passing, she contacted the kennel in Florida.  They informed her that another littermate, a male, had passed away shortly after his neuter surgery.  However, knowing what we all knew now, they suspected it too was a stroke.  Immediately, I started thinking about the other littermates.  There were eight registered dogs in the litter.  Where were they?

Finding Foxi

We were able to easily identify two dogs that went to a group in Michigan.  Both Mary and I immediately contacted them.  They let us know that they did, in fact, have the two dogs.  One was adopted and one was still in foster care.  Thankfully, they both were ok and appeared healthy.  We told them about all the issues in the litter so that they could best care for their two dogs.  They thanked us and let us know that if they had any more information, they would pass it along.  Unfortunately, there were two more dogs that we couldn’t account for.  However, there was one more dog in the kennel.  Her name was Foxi.  Immediately I said I’d foster her, but Mary knows me well.  She knows that if there is any dog that needs help, I’m usually the first one to jump in.  She was already making plans to bring Foxi to us.

Floppy ears and a giant smile says it all!

Foxi arrived on a Tuesday evening, in a special transport.  We were not risking putting her in the back of a hauler where she could not be monitored.  Therefore, she arrived in a minivan with another special needs greyhound named Bolt.  Immediately, we figured out that she wasn’t the shy greyhound that her sister Annie was.  She was much more outgoing and friendly.  We let her eat, go to the bathroom, and we took her home.  We don’t know what the future may bring for Foxi.  Her brother, Phil is continuing to improve day by day.  We have consulted with Dr. Couto (the foremost greyhound expert here in the US) regarding the entire litter and unfortunately, there’s not a lot he could advise us on.  We are not sure if the strokes were due to clots or bleeds, and the treatment for the two is completely opposite.  We suspect that it was a bleed, as the sire of the litter was a known bleeder.  However, for now, we just monitor.  Our group has labeled her as special needs, as she may not live a full life.  But for as long as she’s here, she’ll definitely live a very loved one.

One last thing – Annie’s adopter did end up adopting another greyhound from our group.  She is a very special dog who deserved an even special adopter.  You may even know her.  Her name is Ace (We’re Fostering Our Fiftieth Greyhound!!).

So much has been said about Foxi’s ears, Her and Callie are thinking about starting a club for Greyhounds with unique ones.

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