Well, here we are once again looking at the north end of a south bound year. And what a year it has been for the overlords. A year of ups and downs, and by that we mean every time they would come up with something new to keep them out of the labor pool, reality would come along and knock it down. Let's take a whimsical trip back through 2013 shall we?
The year didn't start out so well for overlord Ricky Holloway who, in a rare moment of lucidity, realized that he was about as popular as a Big Mac at a Vegan convention, and what's worse even the other refugees from the workforce in the greyhound racing industry looked down on him. Now when people who also suck a living out of the suffering death and injury of innocent living creatures think they're better than you, well that's just got to hurt.
February brought information on the (wink wink, nudge nudge) regulating bodies of the racing industry who, unfortunately for them, drew the attention of the fourth estate. It was here that we met Arizona Department of Racing Director Bill Walsh, known in the industry as wishy washy Walsh. Mr. Walsh was the subject of a report by the local paper that pointed out, not to put to fine a point on it, he was a total, complete and abysmal failure at his job. In fact, the report concluded that his performance as overseer of the rules and regulations of racing would need to improve dramatically in order reach the level of total, complete and abysmal failure. Rory Goree, a Commissioner on the Board headed by Mr. Walsh opined that the report was politically motivated due to the fact that dogs were continuing to get injured and die at the track.
March rolled around and the fickle finger of fate having ficklely fingered old Billy moved on to Texas and it turns out Mr. Walsh was a trend setter because the dogs in Texas were getting the same level of care as the dogs under his jurisdiction--which is to say, not much. Now this wouldn't have been cause for much comment in the overlord world were it not for the fact that some animal rights wackos went and let the cat--or perhaps the greyhound--out of the bag by going and making a report about it. That did not sit well with Gulf Greyhound Park General Manager Sally Briggs who put pen to paper to explain that all those facts and statistics and evidence purportedly discovered by the animal rights wackos were simply not true because SHUT UP! Overlords everywhere applauded to cogency of her argument.
The poet wrote that April in the cruelest month, but when you're an overlord it's hard to tell because cruelty is your career, and if you're unlucky enough to be a greyhound, well let's just say when they make you come back and race after you're dead it just doesn't get much worse.
May brought another harsh lesson to the overlords which, simply stated is don't let your alligator mouth write a check your hummingbird butt can't cash. It seems Sarasota Kennel Club Director of Racing Thomas Bowersox was queried by the local new outlet on the number of dogs he was injuring and killing each year due to the fact that he was a heartless bag of semi-animated horse feces. In response Mr. Bowersox issued a challenge to the animal rights wackos at Grey2K to come and inspect his records so they could see for themselves that not only had no dogs ever been injured or killed at his track, all the dogs who had ever raced there had gone on to lives as pets of rich people and were now lounging next to their private pools along the Costa del Sol. You know what happened next. The wackos said they'd be on the next plane, but Mr. Bowersox said that wouldn't work for him because he had a dentist appointment that week. OK they said, how about next Tuesday, but darn it all, it turns out Mr. Bowersox is going to visit his sick momma in Cleveland and won't be back until 2017.
June seemed to mark a turning point in relations between the overlords and those who were tasked to watch over them when three "trainers" who had been caught neglecting or abusing dogs, or as they say in the industry, just another day at the office were "reprimanded." We are shocked we tell you SHOCKED to find abuse in the greyhound racing industry the board of judges wrote. This will not be tolerated they declared, especially when we can't cover it up. When asked what the reprimand entailed, a spokesperson for the board said no one was sure, and that they'd only used the word because it "sounded all legal and stuff."
In July the state of Florida realized that, not only were the overlords sucking their tick like existence off the backs of innocent animals which they used and discarded like yesterday's fish wrap, they were also sucking a fair amount of funds away from their fellow citizens prompting Michael Glenn, general manager of Palm Beach Kennel Club, in what turned out to be the second moment of lucidity the overlords had in 2013, to exclaim that "it's a dying sport and I'm a leech on the neck of society. Oh, if only I'd finished the third grade perhaps I could have fulfilled my dream of becoming a greeter at Walmart."
August sadly marked the passing of friend of the blog and top Arizona overlord Tom (This place in the Taj Mahal of greyhound tracks) Taylor who was unceremoniously put out to pasture by the owners of the track. Tom remarked he was thankful that, unlike the greyhounds, he was given a gold watch at retirement, not a lethal injection. It is not known what became of Tom's sidekick and Number One, former track Vet Joe "Needles" Robinson (Wally's College of Veterinary Medicine and Truck Driving School, class of '95) who was last seen driving around Tucson in his pickup truck asking people out walking their dogs if he could give them a shot.
In September the brouhaha caused by publication of overlord care priorities first started in Texas found its way to West Virginia (Motto: Hey. We Could Have Been South Ohio But They Wouldn't Let Us) with a report detailing the injury and death rate at state tracks. Like Gulf Greyhound Park General Manager Sally Briggs before him, this prompted Sam Burdette, a dog breeder and the president of the state greyhound association to point out that the injury rates complied from state records were not really injury rates because SHUT UP! Overlords everywhere applauded to cogency of his argument.
But the year was not to be filled with unrelenting set backs and failures for the overlords because October brought forth a hero, one Harry Findley, the millionaire (for now) savior of greyhound racing. This guy is the Steve Jobs of the greyhound industry. He's the walking talking embodiment on innovation, imagination and business savvy. When asked what he was going to do to bring success to a greyhound track that had seen nothing but failure when operated as a greyhound track, he replied: "They have certainly shown it can only be run as a greyhound track and I’m their man.” Overlords everywhere applauded to cogency of his argument.
Events swung to the philosophical in November when the City Council of South Tucson was asked to determine if a law they passed, but never enforced could be, well, not enforced. This was cause for great deliberation and reflection on the part of the City Council. Not because of the fact that a law never enforced really isn't a law at all, but because the whole thing had become public and now everybody knew the City Council was only good for keeping the donut shop across the street in business.
Which brings us to December and the close of a year that has not been kind to the overlords, and if this is any indication, 2014 isn't going to be much better, but then Karma's a bitch ain't it Cloud?
This sweet boy loves his toys! Cloud is a fast learner that strives to
please. He's playful, obedient, and will lay with his head in your lap
and get his ears scratched for hours. You will not be able to resist this
beautiful red-fawn boy!Frequent reader(s) of this blog should make better new year's resolutions...erm...we mean will remember that on of our traditions here in the marbled halls of IM Central is that we follow the last featured dog of the year from track to couch, so you'll be hearing from Cloud again in the coming weeks. 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.