Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday Hound Blogging

We've often wondered what would cause someone to become an overlord. Aside from the traumatic brain injury that is. And the third grade education. Did these people consult a career adviser? Was there some prospectus put out by the industry that attracted them? Well, the ones who could read anyway. Do overlords go to job fairs to recruit the next generation of animal exploiters?

Most likely we'll never know because the tracks are disappearing faster than abstinence pledges on prom night.

Dairyland Greyhound Park lost about $750,000 more than it originally anticipated last year, a new audit says. The report, commissioned by the Kenosha track, said the facility lost about $2.8 million in 2007. While slightly less than the $2.85 million the track stated losing in 2006, the newly reported loss is well above the $2.07 million the track predicted it would lose in 2007 in a December filing with the state.

Roy Berger, Dairyland executive vice president, said the greater-than-expected losses are the result of one factor: "Business is lousy."

Brilliant analysis Mr. Berger. What was your first clue?

The problem, he said, is a continuing decline in the popularity of greyhound racing. Unfortunately, now, it's like trying to sell pay phones or eight-track cassettes."

Hahahahahahaha! Mr. Berger made a funny. Greyhound racing and eight track tapes. Both fads long gone out of style. Except we never took eight track cassettes out behind the barn and shot them when they quit being popular.

Over the years, Berger has blamed many of the track's woes on competition from the state's tribal casino industry, which blossomed shortly after Dairyland opened in 1990. Five greyhound racing facilities opened throughout Wisconsin at the time; Dairyland is the only one that remains in business.

Only an overlord would characterize an operation that lost $5.65 million over two years as a "business."

Earlier this year, the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe confirmed it is looking at adding a pari-mutuel betting lounge to its Milwaukee casino facility. This venture, which would likely allow Milwaukee casino bettors to wager on many of the same out-of-town horse racing events that Dairyland currently counts on to derive much of its pari-mutuel revenue, would further complicate Dairyland's challenging situation, Berger said.

Dairyland, meanwhile, asked the state last year for some sort of fiscal relief. "It just keeps getting worse," Berger said. "But Wisconsin, really, doesn't care."

Oh, poor overlord. It's got to be rough being unceremoniously dumped when you can no longer perform. On the bright side, at least no one is going to kill him, right Sadie?

Sadie is a little on the shy side and takes some time to warm up to strangers. She is active and playful in the mornings and quiets down in the afternoons. Generally, she is quiet and easygoing. She will walk right up to her foster mom if they are in the yard. She’s a lover and very sweetest dog, but also very timid. If someone has the time to spend with her she will perk up a bit. She likes having toys around, but doesn’t really play with them. She has big pointy ears and she will smile. She is a Second Chance at Life Dog from the Coldwater Prison Program. Sadie would do well in a quiet working family home with well-mannered children, 10 and up. Because she is a shy dog, she would probably do best with another dog to help build her confidence. 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 if you 'd like to know more about the good work the Second Chance for Life program is doing for the dogs, and the prisoners, go here.

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