Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the It's Never So Bad It Can't Get Worse Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. The INSBICGW department is a division of the When It Rains It Pours Corporation, a wholly owned subsidy of If It Wasn't For Bad Luck You'd Have No Luck At All, NA.

 Now, if you're an overlord you've probably gotten used to being a social pariah. People crossing the street when they see you coming, covering their children's eyes, the petitions from your neighbors demanding you move, all that stuff is pretty much par for the course at this point. But there was always one place you could go where people didn't get up and move away if you sat down. One place where you could be pretty certain no one was going to fling a flaming bag of dog poop at you. One place where you could be with people as heartless and unfeeling as you were, and that was the track. It was your oasis, your respite from people with souls, your calm from the storm of disgust that rained down upon you everywhere you went, if you ignored the cries of the injured and dying greyhounds all around you that is, but that was never a real problem for you was it? Well, Bucko, we don't mean to be the bearers of bad news but...
Of the 21 greyhound racing tracks left in the United States, 12 are located in Florida, all are losing money, and many track owners want out of the business.
 We know what you're thinking: "Where's the loyalty? All these years we exploited innocent living creatures for money until we used them up, then threw them away like yesterday's newspaper, and now, just because the track owners aren't making any money they want to toss us out into the streets? Is there no justice?" Yeah, it is a puzzler. In an industry that puts profit ahead of everything else--even life if you happen to be a greyhound--we really don't know where attitudes like that come from.
But in order for the money sucking tracks to fade out for good, it will take the State House and Senate agreeing on a bill that will officially untie the tracks from profitable poker rooms and rescue thousands of dogs who advocates say, are living as hostages.
"Money sucking tracks?" Oh come on, that's just piling on right there. We mean, it's almost like you are saying the overlords are parasites or something. Well, OK they are parasites, but still, have a little decorum will you? And what's with rescuing dogs that are "hostages?" What about the overlords? Don't they need to be rescued too? Aren't they hostages? Oh sure they went into the business willingly and they get to go home at night, plus they don't die as often as the greyhounds who were born for the singular reason of making someone else money, but still, other than that...
“We lose money on live racing. It would actually improve my bottom line if we stopped racing,” said Pat Biddix , partner and general manager of the Melbourne Greyhound Park.
Ouch. That's got to hurt. It's like Mr. Biddix walked up to an overlord and said "You're a loser, dude. Why don't you get lost?" OK, it's not like overlords haven't heard that before, starting with their third grade teacher when they repeated for the fourth time, but when it comes from the guy whose moral fiber is only slightly more firm than overcooked linguine, it's got to give you pause and maybe cause you to reflect over your life choices.
Biddix is in favor of the decoupling bill because he wishes to keep and grow his business with profitable forms of gambling.
Now Mr. Biddix, it sounds like you're saying greyhound racing isn't profitable.
“The truth of the matter is it’s time to quit racing dogs. What we’re doing is a little bit barbaric, we know that,” Biddix said. “For us, decoupling means stop running a business that has been losing money for about 11 years. That’s not right. We should have the right to get out of it.”
Truth? Hey come on Mr. Biddix, if there's one thing the overlords don't need right now it's truth. By the way, how can you be a little bit barbaric? Isn't that like say yeah, he makes Attila the Hun look like Mother Theresa, but he likes flowers, so it's all good.
Coming from two very different sides of the issue, Carey Theil, executive director for Grey2KUSA and Biddix both agree the best way to keep the decoupling bill from falling on deaf ears is for the public to speak up.
Hey, there's an idea. The public should speak up for the dogs because they can't speak for themselves. What do you think Dauntless? Sound like a plan?

HMS Dauntless the Magnificent! A fine looking fawn. He actually looks like a "fawn"! He is tall and lean, majestic, just like the ship he's named after. Dauntless is just an all around happy guy! He gets so excited when someone visits him or gives him attention he will wiggle and wag his entire body. He thinks the world is an adventure and he would love to share it with a family. He does great with understanding what you want him to do at the kennel. He is doing great at the kennel but he has not been in a foster or a home yet , so he will need to adjust to that. He is very smart and wants to please and he adores people! Plus... Canine Blood Hero... Ask why that makes me special! For more information about these dogs, 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, September 19, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog will recall the deep, cool lake of days in which you swam in your youth now that you look upon the barren shores of the now and feel the desiccating wind of time on your face...erm...we mean will remember overlord extraordinaire and friend of the blog James "Barney" O'Donnell. When last we looked in on James "Barney" he had gotten himself in a bit of a pickle with the local Gendarmes due to his creative approach to complying with state regulations and his rather loose interpretation of required vaccinations.

"Well, I'm sure the Vet would have signed the forms if he hadn't up and died," James "Barney" told reporters at the time. And as for the anabolic steroids, including testosterone, boldenone, and androstenedione, how am I supposed to tell that stuff apart? Have you seen the print on those little bottles? Who can read that? I'm 84 years old, you know. My eyes ain't what they used to be."

OK, that is a point James "Barney." And since the retirement plan for overlords is only slightly better than it is for the greyhounds, in that you get to live, we understand why you're still trying to suck a couple bucks off your fellow senior citizens instead of playing Bocci Ball and flirting with the ladies who still have most of their teeth at the local retirement community. Still, rules are rules and if you do the crime you have to do the time, right  Department of Business and Professional Regulation?
Since 1995, O'Donnell has been charged with nine public (noncriminal) complaints, including animal abuse. He's been either reprimanded or fined three times, according to state records.
Ouch. This isn't good James "Barney." We understand that being a serial screw-up is the price of admission to a career as an exploiter of innocent living creatures, but here on the outside where people with hearts bigger than raisins live it's not commonly considered a positive trait. We're afraid you're about to feel the hammer of justice come upside your empty overlord head. "DBPR, what say you?
On July 3, the state renewed O'Donnell's license to race dogs for three more years.
We're sorry James "Barney," but you brought this on yourself. Now you can look forward to a few years of saying "Welcome to Walmart" until you finally...wait, what?
Three years after the allegations of forgery, the case status remains "open." The steroid case was closed with no action taken. According to Carey Thiel, president of the animal-rights group GREY2K, this is caused by a lag in the system that's unique to Florida. In any other state, he says, an investigation would take about two months...
"In most states it's innocent until proven guilty,: Thiel said. "In Florida it's innocent until everyone either dies or moves away."
Tajiana Ancora-Brown, director of communications for the DBPR, chalks the lag up to due process. "The timeline is dependent upon the Administrative Procedures Act and other external factors," she says.
When asked to detail those "external factors" Ancora-Brown said, "Well, the staff is drunk most of the time. Add to that the fact that they don't really know where the tracks are because they've never been to any of them and it gets to be a real challenge."

Yeah, we see your dilemma. Still you're kind of letting us down you know? If the state won't step in and do its job where are we to turn?
O'Donnell's reputation has been ruined. He's been banned from working at Mardi Gras Casino in Hallandale Beach, for instance, as well as at Best Bet in Jacksonville.
Oh that's just piling on right there. We mean, when you're such a lousy overlord that even the other overlords don't want you around anymore it's time to start that new career as a returnable can and bottle collector.
On July 3, the state renewed O'Donnell's license to race dogs for three more years.
Right. We forgot about that. So the overlords don't want James "Barney" around, but the state says he's good to go. Looks like somebody has some 'splainin' to do, don't you think boys?

 Have you ever wondered the effect Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum had on Alice when she sees them in a forest? Twins are very close and seeing that greyhound style is delightful. Clyde & Omar were littermates and have been together for most of their nine years, so wherever you find one, the other one is usually close, doing the same thing whether it's keeping you company while watching TV, asking for some much appreciated TLC, or enjoying the yard outside. And do they ever enjoy the cooler weather as they can help their foster brother survey the property from a shady spot and keep those pesky rabbit neighbors under control! Then rattle those leashes and they are more than ready to head out and keep you company on a walk - you never know when one of those neighbors might actually be The White Rabbit! Clyde and Omar are true "make you feel good" boys, gentle and affectionate, just being with them is enough to make you smile - perhaps even like a Cheshire Cat! Canine Blood Heros...Ask why that makes them special! For more information about these dogs, 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, September 12, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

Ah, free enterprise. The vitamin that makes America strong; the steel in her steely gaze; the jaunt in her jaunty step; the pot of gold at the end of her rainbow; the catcher in her dream catcher; the awe in her awesome; the wind in her sails; and on president's day, the wind in her sales. Get it? Sails and "sales?" We crack us up.

Anyway, the point is that here in these United States we believe that a man (if you're a republican) or a woman (if you're virtually anyone else) should be able to pursue their fortune free of intrusive government regulations. Let the chips fall where they may, we say. With great risk comes great reward and the only drawback we see is that the word entrepreneur is French. How that happened we haven't a clue. We blame Obama. And no class of entrepreneurs (for lack of a more manly sounding word) epitomizes that can do spirit; no group of plucky adventurers rises more to the call; no collection of ne'er do wells, felons, and other unsavory characters more epitomizes these qualities than the overlords. Now, frequent reader(s) of this blog will recall that acquiescence is the balm of age...erm...we mean will recall that the overlords have long railed against the onerous hand of government regulation bearing down on them like a paperwork run away train. "Set us free," they cry. "Let us fly." "Cut this albatross of government from around our necks." And there has been no more eloquent champion of the overlord desire for freedom from government than Sam Burdette, president of the West Virginia Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association.
Representatives of thoroughbred and greyhound breeders told West Virginia legislators Wednesday that cutbacks in state subsidies of racing purses are devastating the racing industry in the state. “For all of us, it’s been disastrous,” said Sam Burdette, president of the West Virginia Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association, discussing cuts in racing subsidies, the most recent being a 10 percent reduction enacted during the regular session.
Right on Sam the man! Speak truth to power. Demand the shackles be cut, the chains undone. You tell them...wait, what?
Burdette provided members of the Joint Standing Committee on Finance with charts comparing total greyhound racing purses at the Mardi Gras racetrack for the first week of September in 2010, 2012, and 2014, showing how they’ve fallen from $98,041, to $84,839, and down to $61,721 this year. Meanwhile, he said, the share of weekly purses going to greyhound owners has fallen from $34,685 in 2010 to $18,161 this year.
OK, so if we're hearing you right Sammy, you're saying the state needs to give you more money or you'll have to stop having races that nobody comes to. That about right?
Burdette said it takes a minimum of $3,000 a week to operate a greyhound kennel — and only three of the 17 kennels racing at Mardi Gras reached that amount last week. “Only three of 17 kennels made enough money to exist,” he told committee members, adding, “Most of you understand you cannot run a business on less than $3,000 a week, and that’s the result of this legislation.”
 Well, you certainly have made that very clear, Sammy, and we understand completely. Our question though, is why is the state responsible for keeping your overlord butt afloat?
Sen. Clark Barnes, R-Randolph, noted that the management of the state’s four racetrack casinos were conspicuously absent — both at Wednesday’s interim meeting and during legislative debate on the 10 percent purse subsidy cut-back this spring.
“What I see seriously lacking here today and throughout the legislative process are the tracks themselves. I don’t see the tracks going to bat for you guys,” Barnes said. “Rumor has it, they would like to get rid of it.
 Umm...Senator Barnes sir? Are you sure that's just a "rumor" you've heard?
Barnes said afterward it appears the casino management would not be upset if racing became unsustainable because of repeated funding cuts.
Yeah. That's what we thought.  So, to recap: The people don't want to see innocent living creatures exploited for (no) profit; the track owners don't want to keep reaching into their pockets to keep the overlords out of the labor pool; and the legislature is tired of pouring money down a rat hole so the rats can keep up the wholesale abuse and neglect of helpless greyhounds. That about cover it Nebulosity?

I am a very laid-back and calm boy. I am very subdued. I am gentle and sweet. I am getting more confident and learning what home life is all about. I am housebroken. I ride great in the car. I love to go for walks and I am a very good boy on the leash. I love to run in the yard and play. I am good with dogs of all sizes. I don’t like being by myself so I need to be in a home with another dog or with someone that doesn’t work. 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, September 05, 2014

Friday Hound Blogging

We're coming to you today from the Cry Me A River Department here in the marbled halls of IM Central. The CMARD is a division of the Talk To The Hand Corporation, a wholly owned subsidy of Get Over Yourself, LLC.

Frequent reader(s) of this blog will recall the freshening breeze of youth that once blew across the bright fields of promise and has now become the desultory wind of disappointment pushing crumpled dreams across the blighted landscape of relentless entropy...erm...we mean will recall that for the last few weeks we have been featuring come to Jesus stories of various overlords who, at least to a degree greater than they did before, have become dimly aware that the wholesale exploitation of innocent living creatures for (no) profit is not the path to fame and riches they were led to believe it was. This week we bring you the story of the overlords in West Virginia who seem to be running out of people willing to prop up an industry that died long ago.
The arrival of slots in the 1990s was a jackpot for West Virginia’s fading dog-racing industry. As in many states, lawmakers here allowed new casinos to open only in conjunction with existing dog and horse tracks and steered a cut of their winnings to purses at the track. “It was kind of a golden age after that,” said Sam Burdette, head of the West Virginia Greyhound Breeders Association.
Ah, those were the days, Sammy boy you are absolutely right. Casino operators so greedy they'd do just about anything to get at the rubes, and legislators so scruple free they'd agree to enable that greed as long as they could get at some of that sweet, sweet campaign cash. What a time, what a time.
But now, an explosion of casino gambling is strangling the greyhound industry that it once rescued. The bettors have largely migrated to the faster-paced gambling inside; the dogs are running in front of mostly empty stands, and the marriage between the bing-bing-bing and the bark-bark-bark is heading for divorce. “We’ll be done in a couple of years if nothing changes,” said Harvey Maupin, 50, a longtime West Virginia greyhound trainer who races at both of the state’s dog tracks, in Charleston and Wheeling. At one time, he and his wife, Loretta, operated two kennels with a dozen employees. Now they are down to two workers and are about to let one go.
 Oh the humanity! Oh rending of garments and tearing of hair! How can this be? How can a so called advanced civilization allow this to happen? How will Walmart handle the influx of applicants to greeter school? We feel your pain, Harv. Of course it's not the same as a broken leg on one of your dogs, and at least you're not going to be electrocuted by a malfunction on the track, but hey, it's all relative, right?
“People want instant gratification these days,” lamented Burdette, a retired civil engineer who raced dogs as a sideline before becoming head of the greyhound lobby. “It’ll take you half an hour to lose $50 at a racetrack. You can do it in five minutes sitting in front of a slot machine.”
Yeah, uh Sammy? We understand that you are trying to convince people that greyhound racing is something supposed sentient beings with souls should engage in, but we're not sure telling them they'll lose money slower doing it is the best approach. Just spit-balling here.
“I honestly think they’re working against us,” said Rod Monroe, who raises about 100 dogs on a farm near Wheeling. “I think they want to make it hard for people to come out to see the dogs.”
What Ho! A dastardly plot is afoot! It's elementary Watson. Tracks are disappearing like spit on a hot griddle all over the country, and the world. Obviously someone is behind it. We blame Obama.
Danny Adkins, a senior executive of the company that owns both the Charleston casino and another in Hollywood, Fla., published an op-ed with Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle that called for allowing casinos to get out of racing on animal welfare grounds. Adkins, in an interview, said he does not consider the racing itself to be cruel. But as the money dries up, he said, it’s fair to ask whether kennels can still afford to provide the dogs with proper care. In the op-ed, he cited the case of a kennel that falsified vaccination records to cut expenses. “When we were making millions of dollars, they were making millions of dollars,” Adkins said of the kennels. “Now I wonder how they’re paying for it.”
Umm...Mr. Adkins sir? We don't mean to be impolite or anything, but we think if you reflect on what you just said for a moment, you'll find you answered your own questions, and the answer is they're not paying for it. It's kind of obvious.
“He didn’t think greyhound racing was inhumane when he was making millions from it,” said Charleston-area trainer Tim Byrnes.
Now, Mr. Byrnes, we understand you're upset with the prospect of having to go out and find a real job and all, what with your lack of marketable skills and such, but if you'll just calm down for a minute you'll see the Mr. Adkins still doesn't think the commodification of innocent living creatures for (no) profit is inhumane. What he is saying is that in an industry based on money, money is the only thing that matters and when the money dries up people start to notice things. What about you Daisy? When did you first notice there was no money in racing?

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.