Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday Hound Blogging

And now for something completely different. Instead of featuring a single homeless hound this week, we here in the marbled halls of IM Central would like to direct your attention to a whole class of needy needle noses, namely seniors.

A lot of seniors are females, like Grayce, who after they help the overlords make a few trailer payments are returned to the farms as breeding stock. When the overlords think they've pretty much gotten all they can from the dog, to show their gratitude they unceremoniously drop them without as much, as they say, as a how dee do. Sort of like if you worked at the same company for your whole career and at your retirement party, instead of a gold watch your boss kicks you in the butt and slams the door in your face kind of gratitude.

Oh, and no pension.

Some of the males are returned to the farms to act as studs too, so it isn't just the girls who get to go back to that palatial living that marked their early years. Of course since their job now is to be a sperm donor, even the modicum of attention they got in the racing kennel is reduced, so we might describe life on the farm as somewhat less than stimulating vis-a-vis having anyone pay attention to you. Still, greyhounds being the breed they are, they keep a good humor and when they finally do get a chance to go to a place where they are actually cared for, they can be very appreciative, like Batman.

Because the overlords don't care what the dogs look like as long as they run fast enough to convince the rubes to drop two bucks on them, they don't suffer from some of the inbred ailments other pure breed dogs have, like hip displasia or choroidal hypoplasia, or some other such inherited disease. That means that a racing greyhound, once he or she has escaped the benevolent protection of his or her overlord can live to 12 years or beyond in good health, like Bugsy.

Then there is a category of dogs that have been in homes, but because of the economy, their owners can no longer care for them. It is a truly sad situation when a dog that has been part of a family for years has to be given up. Unlike the overlords, people who adopt greyhounds tend to see them as more than a means to an end and losing them is like losing a member of the family. Well, it is losing a member of the family. That's what happened to Merlin.

Seniors that come into the adoption system face an added challenge because most people looking to adopt are looking for a younger dog. Being a citizen though has its advantages. These dogs are usually calmer than the youngsters, and if they're coming from a previous home, they're acclimated to pet life. One drawback though is that the seniors tend to take a little bigger piece of your heart right away. Well, "drawback" might not be the right word, and it's not like you have a choice anyway. We mean, come on. Look at that face. You really think you can hold something back? What are you? A republican?

Allow us to elucidate. Roland G. Hound III, Gent., aka Rollie came to the marbled halls when he was a little over a year old, having washed out of race school and manifesting no traits that the overlords wanted to reproduce in any other unit. Mrs. IM thought he may have suffered from a doggy version of ADD because he was constantly into things, most of which had nothing to do with his responsibilities as a pet. In fact, for the first two years we had him everyone thought his name was No No, Bad Dog.

Through all this Rollie remained blissfully unconcerned with appellations, or limits and spent his days appreciating the bouquet of scents left by passers by, or in wholehearted pursuit of whatever caught his eye. This caused no end of consternation amongst the rabbit and squirrel populations, but over the years a kind of uneasy truce developed. Well, actually what happened was they just learned to stay out of the yard. For his part, Rollie never did sign the treaty.

Then about three years ago, Rollie was diagnosed with Wobbler's Syndrome, and had to have back surgery. This slowed him down somewhat and it was shortly after that he discovered the joys of lying in the grass on a bright summer day and watching the world go by. Oh, it wasn't that he couldn't still spread chaos around like hats at a hair club for men meeting, it's just that he realized he had built up The Rep and didn't have to work so hard at it anymore. He had crazy dog street cred, if you know what we mean.

So Rollie went into kick back mode. His biggest decisions were whether to lie in the sun, or the shade, and which of his humans to send for a treat when the mood struck him. Life was good. But life is also short, which brings us to the point of this little tale. Tuesday, at the ripe old age of 15, amongst family and friends, Rollie peacefully passed away.

Roland G. Hound III, Gent. aka Rollie
1994 - 2009


James said...

I am so sorry to hear about Rollie. He was a lucky pup to find his way into such a home where a grey could just be the dog he was meant to be. Thanks for giving that to him and to all the other greys you work so hard for. Rest in peace, Rollie. It sounds like you were a great hound.

Michelle Young Cuenant said...

You and Missus IM sure are the bees' knees, giving so much love and written attention to this beautiful breed gone homeless due to the barbarians of the human race stuck on Greyhound gambling. What a miserable life locked into cages for eternity merely because they are graceful, fast and beautiful to watch and what miserable humans, forcing them into this non-ending slavery unless an adopter steps up to the plate.
You and millions like you are so well-respected and appreciated, words just don't convey.
Another of your dear pals gone but so loyal to the friend who keeps keeping on.
If I knew more than your phantom name, I would entitle he or her by it. You always make my day.

Anonymous said...

"No, No ,Bad Dog" hit the lotto with you guys. "Couch Mine" was in seventh heaven 14 years ago.
The Greyhounds must be climbing all over the cages, waiting for you. Give us an update.