Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog will recall how the lilting voice of youth brought forth on the spring scented breeze of hope and promise is now the razor winter wind of age and disappointment mocking our dreams...erm...we mean will recall back a few years ago when we opined on the decision by Eastern New Mexico University (Motto: All Our Majors Come With Fries!) to exploit a couple of greyhounds because that was their team name, and since their teams generally suck gravel through a straw they had to give the people some reason to buy tickets.

Well, to be fair we have to say that the football team went 7 -3 this year but that was mostly due to playing such stiff competition as the Air Force Academy JV team. We should also point out that they lost to the   University of the Incarnate Word (The What?) which, we understand, is a convent.

But back to our story. So president Steve Gamble (PhD, Angeline's College of Facial Massage, Class of '75) OK'd storing a couple of greyhounds on campus somewhere and trotting them out in front of a bunch of drunken fans from time to time to try and distract attention from what was happening on the field. Now, at this point you might think we are going to refer to president Gamble as an overlord. After all, he's engaging in overlord behavior, bringing a couple of innocent living creatures on campus to be marketing tools like free key-chain give aways, or 20% off coupons for the local tanning salon, and we would like nothing better than to do so. Unfortunately, president Gamble isn't smart enough to be an overlord. Say what you will about the overlords (and goodness knows we do) they at least know enough about greyhounds to recognize potential and can tell when a dog just isn't suited to their needs. Gamble, apparently isn't even that aware because one of the dogs he caused to be conscripted to the University never made it as a mascot.

So time passes as time often does and now the two original greyhounds have gotten to that age when they need to be dumped on someone else because they are no longer useful to the university. Perhaps president Gamble can reflect over these past years, and the ethics of animal exploitation. Perhaps the experience he has had opened his eyes to the fact that greyhounds are unique living creatures with rights and needs that supersede his desire to have a cute little conceit accompanying his sports teams. Perhaps president Gamble is dumber than boiled water on the moon. 
Nicknamed Deuce and Trey, the puppies will replace the male half of Vic and Tory, a pair of rescued racing greyhounds who were brought on as the school mascots in 2009.
"We think getting puppies is better than getting older dogs," said Yvonne Tillman, a member of a group of students called Hound Handlers who take care of the school’s mascots. "That way we'll get more years out of them before we have to abandon them like Vic and Tory. Sort of like buying a new car instead of a used one. You expect it will last longer before you have to junk it out."

The original Vic has been struggling with arthritis and vision difficulties while Tory never took to the mascot role. "That Tory would freak every time we brought him into the stadium," said Vice President of Student Affairs Judith Haislett. "It was kind of funny except he would pee all over the place and shiver like it was 40 below. Never did figure out what his problem was. And as for Vic, well, he's starting to cost us money now so it's time for him to move on. We're not a school of Veterinary Medicine here you know."
The mascots live in a house on Cherry Street, and have two student roommates who look after them while they are home. During the day, the hounds will be on campus, and Hound Handlers will handle them from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday.
 "We figure if we set it up right the dogs will never have a moment's peace," Haislett said. "And since their handlers are all students there will be a constant turnover of people so they won't be able to get used to those caring for them, but that's OK because most of the people caring for them don't know anything about dogs anyway,"

“It is nice to be recognized with the dogs, and you get to tell the community about the dogs. Everyone thinks it is super cool,” Tillman said. "Well, except the people who think exploiting innocent living creatures for something as trivial as a third rate sports program at a minor university in the boondocks of New  Mexico is even worse than making them run around a track for a couple measly bucks."

Hmmm....mascot or racer. Which would you rather be Daisy? What's that? You feel like you've been used by others enough and you just want to be somebody's pet? Sounds reasonable, but stay out of New Mexico.

I am a very sweet, playful, and overall good dog. I love to play with my toys. I do really well when I go for car rides. I haven’t tried to go up and down the stairs yet so I’m not sure about them. I am housebroken. I love to go for walks and I don’t even pull on my leash. I need a little coaxing to go in my crate but once I’m there, I’m fine. I love the two other Greyhounds in my foster home. I have seen little dogs through the fence and I am fine with them but I would have to meet one in person to see how I get along. I cannot live with kitties. I love everyone I meet and I’m not afraid of anybody. 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.

Cloud update: He's playful, obedient, and will lay with his head in your lap and get his ears scratched for hours.

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