As for us, we're going to be spending the day with some friends who've left various body parts in far flung corners of the world, so we thought we'd wade into the fetid swamp that is home to overlord toads and skinks a day early so the smell has a chance to dissipate a bit before the holiday. And we weren't even ankle deep before we noticed there was great excitement rippling through the turgid waters, as if all the toilets had flushed at once.
This year's live greyhound races in Dubuque started Saturday in front of hundreds at the newly renamed The Iowa Greyhound Park.After much discussion the overlords chose Iowa Greyhound Park as the new name because it's the only track in Iowa and their second choice, Oh Crap, Will Somebody Please Come Out Here And Lose The Rent Money So We Don't Have To Get Jobs, was too long to fit on the sign.
The turnout is a sign that dog racing in Dubuque won't fade soon, said one park official. "If it's fading, you're going to have to tell all the people that are standing in line now," said Brian Carpenter, racing director at the park. He said at least 400 people were at the park.Four hundred people huh? Well, let's see, there are about 60,000 people living in Dubuque, so 400 is about 0.6% of the population or about 1/6 the number of people who attend the Dubuque Fighting Saints hockey games. Oh, and about those lines? Could you point them out to us? We can't see them in this photo:
Maybe all the people who had been sitting in those empty benches got up to go to the restroom at the same time so the lines are over at the Portapotty.
"We're very excited. We're very happy," Carpenter said. "A lot of people didn't think they'd see this day of us reopening, and here we are."Well said overlord Carpenter. Courage in the face of adversity; tenacity in pursuing your goals; and a $32 million handout from the casinos to get you off their backs. It's the classic rags to riches story, is it not? Well, except wholesale abuse and cruel treatment of innocent living creatures for (no) profit is more a riches to rags story, but let's not quibble over details on such a momentous day.
Carpenter said the Dubuque track will hold fewer scheduled races this year but "little by little" he and others with Iowa Greyhound Association will build up interest in the sport. "We'll have a little bit of a lesser schedule, but we just have to get through this year, and then next year we'll build it back up," Carpenter said. "It'll take a couple of years, but we're trying to work on making a better product."Umm...Mr. Carpenter sir? We don't mean to rain on your parade, but haven't you got that backward? We mean, the first year you open is likely to be your best because you attract people who might just come out of curiosity as you are something new, like when a restaurant opens and everyone comes to check it out. After that things tend to drop off a bit, and we have to say, a drop from 400 is not likely to be a long one if you get our drift, so in a "couple of years" you're less likely to be greeting race patrons and more likely to be saying "Welcome to Walmart."
Joe Recker, of Dyersville, Iowa, said he has bred dogs for racing for more than 20 years. "A very good turnout, very enjoyable for people," Recker said. "I think this is great. I know it was a tough struggle for the Iowa Greyhound Association to get this lined up, but they made it work and I think it's going to be a good deal." Recker said other gambling venues across the region have hurt dog racing, something he said is regrettable. "We've got too much other gambling that hurt us," he said. "If it wasn't for the other gambling, this would still be the top-of-the-line deal."Yeah, uh, Mr. Recker sir? If it wasn't for other gambling you'd be the only deal. He seems a little confused don't you think Coil?
I am a very sweet. For being almost four, I’m very puppy like. I am an active boy but not hyper.I love to follow my foster mom and dad through the house. I am a little clingy but I should outgrow that once I have adjusted a little better to being in a home. I get along with dogs my size and smaller dogs but definitely no kitties for me. I am housebroken. I love to play with my squeaky toys and run in the yard. I have already learned how to go up and down the stairs. 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.