Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

Welcome gentle reader(s). As we stand on caboose of the train of time and watch the city of summer slowly fall into the distance, before you sally forth to burn the flesh of animals and consume inappropriate portions of brewed and distilled beverages, allow us to regale you with the tale of overlord Pat Rosney.

But first a little background. Frequent reader(s) of this blog will recall the cloudless, infinite vistas of youth, now darkened and constrained by the ominous thunderheads of ever increasing entropy, disillusion and ultimate despair as the heavy weather of the uncaring universe descends upon us...erm...we mean will recall our featured guest of last week, Ms, Kath Harris, an overlord who had taken the first tentative steps away from the shadow of heartless cruelty that is the exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit and into the light of empathy, compassion and justice. Unfortunately the welcoming glow of a truly human spirit was too much for her and she scurried away back into the darkness. Well, truth be told, she was bailing because the dough dried up, but her dogs, ah, not so much.

Back to Mr. Rosney who, perhaps inspired by Ms. Harris, has come forward to declare his own attempt at a resurrection back into the human race.
PAT ROSNEY is on a high. He has two wonderful pups, Newinn Yolo and Swift Hoffman, dominating the betting for Monday's £7,500 Caffrey’s Puppy Classic final at Nottingham – a key event of the year for youngsters. But, at the same time, he also says he feels he is being made a mug of by those running and earning out of the sport. He says: “We take it only because we love greyhound racing too much. We allow our hearts to rule our heads.
 Uh. Mr. Rosney, sir? A point of clarification please. You say "we love greyhound racing too much" and that's very clear, but how do you feel about the greyhounds themselves, you know those dogs back there in the crates, the ones who are injured and die so you can love greyhound racing? Oh, you'll get back to us on that? OK. You were saying?
“But what future is there for a young trainer? Long hours for little reward. Exactly as Kath Harris said last weekend – when she explained her decision to quit Belle Vue.
We feel your pain Mr. Roseny. It must be difficult to spend all that time standing along the rail of a practice track trying to decide which dogs you'll send off to an uncertain future of potential injury and death and which you'll assign to an uncertain future of possible escape, or death.
“Kath is a good trainer who looks after her dogs incredibly well, she represents the type of person tracks need.
Oh, you don't need to convince us, Mr. Rosney. We know an industry built on the commodification of living creatures for (no) profit is best represented by a person who is not willing to subject herself to the slings and arrows of misfortune, but has no qualms about continuing to send her dogs into the fever swamp of this so called sport.
“When the leading trainers, even the likes of Charlie Lister, are losing money, what’s the point? A man who has won seven Derbys and he’s losing money hand over fist.
 Well there is no point Mr. Rosney, no point at all because it's about the money. It's always been about the money, and until the last track closes it will always be about the money. Those greyhounds that run the races for you? The one who live in those crates? The ones who get injured and killed? They're just fur covered ATM's right Mr. Rosney? And when the ATM runs out of money it's no good to anybody.
“We’re hoping for a good year, we’re lucky to have some generous and loyal owners and some fantastic dogs. That’s exciting, the upside, but at the same time, we all feel sick of being taken advantage of by the powers that be.”
 " Taken advantage of by the powers that be.” Right. Hey Ann, you got any thoughts on being "taken advantage of by the powers that be?"

I absolutely love toys, especially the squeaky ones. I am a wonderful, friendly and very inquisitive girl (I want to know about everything). I love to go for walks and do great on the leash. I love everyone I meet, including children of all ages. I am housebroken. I get along with dogs of all sizes. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here and here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the Reality Is A Harsh Mistress Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. RIAHM is a division of the Wake Up And Smell The Coffee Corporation, and wholly owned subsidy of Glad You finally Saved Enough To Buy A Clue, LLC.

Frequent Reader(s) of this blog know that the siren song of ambition lures us to the rocks of disappointment...erm...we mean know that we have often pointed out the overlords reliance on a less than clear eyed view of their vocation when they try to justify the heartless exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit. Another way of saying that is these bozos have moved so far away from reality they can't even get their mail forwarded, so as you might imagine, when we heard of an overlord stepping forward to discourse on the general suckiness of life as an overlord, we were intrigued.
KATH HARRIS is the latest licence-holder to speak out about the acute financial problems that trainers are facing on a daily basis and is threatening the future of the industry. The Bolton-based handler is so disillusioned with the situation that she has handed in notice on her contract at Belle Vue and will leave after the meeting on September 7.
Well, first Ms. Harris allow us to welcome you back to this plane of existence. Speaking as professional educational technicians, and roustabout word mongers we'd also like to comment on the word "disillusioned." We find that verbiage particularly appropriate because in implies that our dear Kath had been, heretofore, laboring under an illusion--an illusion that the wholesale misuse and abuse of greyhounds was somehow justifiable because there was money to be made, and while her sudden awakening has more to do with dollars than conscience, the end result is the same--one less overlord.
She says: “It’s a ridiculous situation. I’m working seven days a week and up to 15 hours a day and have been ploughing my own money into the business just to keep afloat. “Prize-money levels are a disgrace and costs are rising continuously and it’s all work, work, work, and stress, stress, stress.
 We feel your pain, Ms. Harris. And speaking of pain, look at the bright side, at least your bones are not being broken, or your life ended. Now there's some stress for you--know what we're talking about?
“My husband and I recently took our first holiday for years...
Good for you old girl. Tell us, did you take your greyhounds with you, or did they have to stay in their crates. You know, the ones they're in every day for up to 22 hours?
“It’s affecting trainers the length and breadth of the country and something has to be done about it before it is too late.
 Oh Kath, Kath, Kath. Don't drift away on us now. You've come so far. It's already too late. It's been too late for a while now. Let it go girl. Come towards the light.
“Fortunately a couple of people have said that they would like to put open racers with me and my good bitch Starmount Swift, who was runner-up in the Brighton Belle a couple of years ago, is booked to got to Milldean Panther when she comes in season so, hopefully, we will have a nice litter of pups to look forward to as well.
Oh crap. We've lost her.  She knows the industry is dying, but she's still going to send more dogs into it. So close. Such a shame. We were really pulling for her, huh Beat?

I am a very sweet girl. I love attention and love to play with my toys. I run around and throw them up in the air and catch them. I get along great with dogs my size but I have not met any small dogs or cats yet. I am housebroken. I am very friendly with everyone I meet. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here and here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

Oh overlords, you scamps! You rascals! We take a couple weeks off to organize our Stoli inventory and you go out and make all sorts of mischief. It's almost like you were waiting for our backs to be turned so you could go nuclear with herp, derp and D'oh. On the other hand, nuclear herp, derp and D'oh is kind of your default setting, so maybe these last couple of weeks haven't been that different. Whatever. Let's sample some of the offerings on the overlord buffet.

First up, everyone's favorite sinkhole of despair and futility, Tucson Deathcamp for Greyhounds. Stop us if you've heard this one before (and if you haven't you must have just teleported in from Ishanna V).
Tucson - It may be the worst financial news yet for Tucson Greyhound Park. The News 4 Tucson Investigators have obtained the latest financial investigation report on TGP. It says the track net's loss in 2013 was $544,000. The audit was conducted by a private firm and was part of the track's license renewal process. Other key audit findings:

-TGP did not produce a profit in the last five years
-The track does not have sufficient current assets to meet its current liabilities
-TGP cannot sustain future viability if its Florida owners don't put more money into it
 In other news, duh. TGP is to losing money as ducks are to wet feet, Kim Kardashian is to cameras and the Cubs are to last place. On a personal note, that last example pains up deeply. As young Ironici we spent many a bright and happy afternoon within the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. You should know though, that being a Cubs fan isn't about winning (in other news, duh) it's about...well, it's the Cubs man, our Cubbies. That and the futile struggle for success against insurmountable obstacles and overwhelming forces deployed against you. (Plus, no bullpen)

Where were we? Oh yeah, the heartless exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit is a travesty whose time has passed and needs to be consigned to the trash heap of history along with stocks in the town square, bleeding sick people and reading goat entrails. Everybody knows that. Oops, maybe not.
Rather than openly push for the expansion of gambling, many of those behind this effort have pushed for the elimination of live greyhound racing at greyhound racetracks in the name of "dog safety." The real goal is to operate the tracks as mini-casinos with slot machines despite the fact that the tracks were approved only for operation as greyhound racing facilities.
OMG! OMG! CONSPIRACY!  Break out the tinfoil headgear! Somebody call Agent Mulder! It's pretty obvious the the Illuminati are behind this somewhere because as the author of the piece, Mr. Jeff Kottkamp, who was Florida's 17th lieutenant governor (which he said) and lobbyist for the Florida Greyhound Association (which he didn't say)  points out, saying this is all about "dog safety" is pretty much a transparent ruse because it's pretty obvious when it comes to things that are important, "dog safety" is right up there with making sure the kennels are clean and well maintained, the track is attractive and free of unsightly distractions, and the crowds are welcomed.  So if it's not about "dog safety" what is it about? Well, to answer a question like that we're going to need someone with an astute sense of business, entrepreneurial talent and  a nose for profit. Someone like Milton McGregor.
As people nationwide bet less and less money on greyhound races, dog tracks around the country are having to find other ways to cope with that falling revenue. But in Alabama, Birmingham Race Course owner Milton McGregor says his course is at a disadvantage when competing for gambling dollars.
Ha! there it is. The greyhound exploitation industry is being unfairly hobbled in the free market. Nefarious forces are aligned against the overlords and something must be done to allow them to compete on a fair and level field. But what could that be Mr. McGregor? 
"The people in other states who I've talked to are absolutely amazed and dumbfounded that our state government hasn't done something in terms of allowing other forms of gaming for the tracks in Alabama," McGregor, the majority owner of the Jefferson County Racing Association, which operates the course, said.
Of course. It's Occam's razor. The best solution is the simplest. So to save greyhound racing we must allow people to bet on something other than greyhound racing. It's so clear now. Thank you , Mr. McGregor for your trenchant analysis.

Oh, and one last thing before we get back to our Stoli inventory--for those of you who may be seeking employment:
The Iowa Greyhound Association is soliciting resumes for a person to help coordinate greyhound racing in Dubuque next year.
Qualifications will include lack of empathy, low self esteem and inability to read the writing on the wall. Experience as a sociopath a plus. Criminal background check is required, but don't worry, we'll take what we can get.

Hmmm. What do you think Gent? We know you're retired, but do you have any friends looking for work?

I love everybody I meet. I am laid back and not afraid of anything. I will come when you call me. I am housebroken. I love dogs of all sizes. I have not met any kitties but since I love small dogs, I think I would like kitties too. I walk great on my leash. I can go up and down the stairs but I am still a little clumsy so I need a little work. I love to throw my toys up in the air and chase them around the house.
For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here and here.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

FHB is going to be taking a couple weeks off starting today. Yeah, yeah we know. You're heart broken, but look at the bright side--now you can do something useful with your time like contribute to good causes, foster, or adopt.  You're welcome.

OK, OK. You can have one picture of a skinny dog to tide you over. Yeesh you people are demanding.

This is IM Central hound Sera sending a nonverbal message to her sisters that all the couch are belong to her. Click to embiggen.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know that our journey through this life is a crumbling, treacherous footpath up the mountainside of disillusionment to the cliff of despair...erm...we mean know that we have occasionally made light of the overlords' penchant for fleeing from reality like republicans from a library, so you will not be surprised that we were immediately attracted by this headline: Greyhound racing’s days may be numbered. May be numbered? Jeez, ya think? And where do you come down on the whole sun rises in the east controversy? Well, we've never been ones to prejudge here in the marbled halls of IM Central, except when we do, so let's give a listen in, shall we?
As part of his trip to Florida each year to watch greyhound racing, Bob Feijo was making a round at the Ebro track this past Wednesday night. The New Bedford , Massachusetts resident, who was enjoying the races with his friend’s grandson, said there’s nothing like it.The kids love to watch this,” he said. “And it’s not promoting them to want to throw away all their money. They just love to watch it. They really do.
Yeah, uh say there, Mr. Rube sir? We're pretty sure the kids would enjoy watching the dogs run around in your backyard as much as at the track, and you have the added advantage of not having to worry about them witnessing a gruesome death. Just something to think about. As for the money thing, unless you're telling them they have to go to the neighbor's and ask for dinner again tonight because you lost the grocery money, they probably have no idea it is even involved.
The same organizations are at work in Florida to eliminate the sport, which they say is a form of animal abuse. But Feijo and other greyhound racing enthusiasts beg to differ. “These dogs are treated well,” he said. “There is a 95 percent adoption rate. It’s documented.”
About that documentation Mr. Rube sir. You might not want to rely on the word of a fellow whose sole purpose in life is to convince people that the wholesale exploitation, abuse, and abandonment of innocent living creatures, commodified for the purpose of earning (no) profit for the overlords. Now that we think of it though, apparently you think betting on greyhounds is something a so called sentient being should engage in, so your judgement probably hasn't won any awards lately anyway. OK, our bad.
The most recent 2012-2013 numbers show the Ebro track lost $2.63 million on dog racing when expenses were factored in, and made $2.22 million in the poker room, for a net loss of $409,834. “Our poker room has been the bread and butter,” said Rick Hess, whose family owns the track. Hess said the track is making a slight net profit when a more than $600,000 tax credit is factored in. “On paper it looks like (the track is losing money), but we get tax credits that keeps us going,” Hess said.
Umm...Mr Hess sir? Now we're not Harvard MBA's or anything like that, but it seems to us that if the only reason your track is making a profit is that the state gives you free money, you're not really making a profit. In fact, you're leeching money away from the state that could go for other more, let's say beneficial things like lunch programs for poor kids, help with utilities for seniors, mental health programs, you know, stuff like that.
The track employs more than 100 people, and had a payroll of more than $1.4 million in fiscal year 2012-2013.
Whoa, $1.4 mil! Well, that changes things doesn't it Mr. Hess? Now, let's see, about 100 people making about $1.4...OK, if we assume everyone makes the same amount--which we know isn't true because who's gonna get the biggest piece of the pie? Why you are Mr. Hess! Yes you are! Who's the big Kahuna? Who's the big boy? But let's just play all things being equal for a moment. 100 people getting $1.4 million works out to $14,000 a year, or just under $2000 a month per person, or about $300 a week for a full time position which we know you don't have because benefits. Now, if all your workers were to quit and go down to the local Walmart they'd make about $15, 576 a year which is still a little less than $6000 below the Federal poverty level for a family of four, so, like we said, leeching money away...
Tracey and Tracee Pope of Rockmart, Georgia came to the track with their young children. Tracey Pope said they have no dog racing where he lives, and the Ebro track is the reason they come here as opposed to another vacation spot like Myrtle Beach.
 OK, we're going to let that Tracey Tracee thing go because they're probably cousins anyway, but Ebro over Myrtle Beach? We bet this guy goes to Baskin Robbins and asks for a sauerkraut sundae, right Pearl?

Prince Eric: "Isn't this great? The salty sea air, the wind blowing in your face. Aaah, the perfect day to be at sea!" Oops! Wrong Disney movie!! Our beautiful Black Pearl doesn't mind. She is on her voyage to find her prince, or princess, or a whole family of them! Yo ho! This gem has been doing great in foster. Pearl is sweet and affectionate. She is curious and ready for adventure! For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here and here.