Every so often we are sent stories of incredible dogs who rely on a diet of FirstMate or KASIKS to help improve their overall quality of life. When the FirstMate team learned the story of Apache, a retired greyhound, we couldn’t help but share it with everyone. Now that Apache’s digestive challenges have been addressed he and his Pet Parents are helping to give back to their community
Born in 2013, Apache spent the first year of his life living in Kansas before moving to Palm Beach, Florida to compete at the race tracks. Apache soon saw success as a professional athlete; with a top speed of nearly 70 Km an hour, he successfully placed in the top three for 23 of his 57 races. Tragedy struck in the fall of 2015 when Apache’s leg broke during the heat of a race; his career was over less than a year after it began. Apache’s owners nursed him back to health and placed him into the greyhound adoption program to help him find a new home. A temporary foster home in Prince Edward Island was selected for Apache, and in January of 2016, he began his 3,350km journey from sunny Florida, to the midst of the maritime winter in Canada.
A New Start
Not long after his move to P.E.I. Apache soon found his forever home; his transition from Palm Beach to the cold Canadian winters was a bit more of a challenge. Like most greyhounds, Apache’s body type was not suited for colder weather, so it took a little time and several warm coats to get him acclimatized to his new home. Having grown up in a kennel along with his siblings and spending his life at the race track, Apache wasn’t accustomed to many of the challenges that come with living indoors. From gaining the courage to use a staircase, to navigating across a hardwood floor, many of the household challenges most dogs grow-up being aware of, Apache experienced later in his life. Despite this, Apache overcame any obstacle in front of him, much to the amazement of his new parents.
Apache’s new owners noticed that Apache was struggling to put on weight, but increasing the size of his meals seemed to have little effect. Having dropped from 80 pounds to just 64, his parents took him to the Atlantic Veterinary College, who after several tests, suggested that the weight-loss was a result of stress. They predicted that it would take a year for Apache to finally settle in, but his parents soon feared that he might not have a year left in him due to the increasing weight loss. After some research, his mom determined that Apache’s issues came from his diet. Apache’s parents we recommended several dog foods to help cure his bowel problems, but to no effect. Once his parents learned that retired greyhounds require less protein and fat in their diets, they took a trip to a local Global Pet Foods, where they were recommended KASIKS Wild Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. Apache’s condition quickly improved; both his parents credit his KASIKS diet to Apache’s return to health.
Apache soon found himself entering the workforce once again; this time as a therapy dog. Both Apache and his mother are certified under the Saint John’s Ambulance Therapy Dog Program. Apache’s natural ability to calm those around him has made him a popular visitor at local senior’s homes, as well as at the University of Prince Edward Island, where he helps to relax stressed, homesick students. It wasn’t long before Apache received several other certifications from Saint John’s Ambulance; nowadays he also visits children and individuals with special needs.
Apache’s story is one of perseverance, having overcome the shock of moving North, he continually impresses his parents with his compassion, intelligence, and empathy in his new career. While Apache has retired from his days as a racetrack dog, he’s proud to be participating in the Saint John’s Ambulance’s “See Spot Read Program”. Apache wears his Saint John’s Ambulance scarf with pride, helping those around him overcome their anxieties and fears. The FirstMate team couldn’t be happier that our product helped play a part in Apache’s incredible story, and we wish him all the best in his new career.
You can follow Apache’s adventures on Facebook.