Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday Hound Blogging

Well, here we are on the north end of a southbound year, and while most use this as a time to pause for quiet reflection we prefer to lose ourselves in the traditions we've developed here in the marbled halls of IM Central. No, not that tradition, These traditions. Well, truth be told, we're equal opportunity traditionalists, so while you enjoy meeting the last hound of the year, we'll be practicing our Russian. As they say in the motherland, "Moio sudno na vozdušnoy poduške polno ugrey."

And many happy returns.

Oh, wait, we almost forgot another tradition. What Friday would be complete without a visit to our favorite evolutionary dead end, The Overlord. Seems they've become somewhat reflective as well. Let's listen in:

“Greyhound racing is not in a growth mode. It is flat,” said Larry Baldwin, Naples-Fort Myers general manager. "And by flat I mean dying a slow and painful death."

Statewide, attendance is dropping and tracks are cutting back on the number of live dog races. The track in Tampa eliminated racing altogether in favor of a year-round poker room. "We figured the best way to get people out to the greyhound track was to do away with the greyhounds," Baldwin said.

“With the track in Bonita, we’re kind of in a wait-and-see mode for what to do next,” said Izzy Havenick, vice-president of Southwest Florida Enterprises, which runs that track and one in Miami. "We're waiting to see how many places will open up in the Walmart greeter training school, although personally, I'm thinking about a career in real estate. I think that's where the money is."

“I don’t see the future as too bright, but with the advent of new games — and if we are allowed to have those new games — it could perk up,” said Barbara Hecht Havenick, president of Southwest Florida Enterprises. "Anything that's not greyhound racing will help greyhound racing."

“The company and the family that owns the race track is very committed to greyhounds,” said Juan Fra, director of pari-mutuels and card rooms for both the Bonita and Flagler tracks. "Which is why we're doing everything we can to distract people from greyhounds. It's for their own good really. The more people know about greyhound racing, the more they hate us."

Yeah, well perhaps in the coming year you can work on that, but your future is looking much brighter, right Mr. Shortpants?

Mr. Shortpants has just arrived so we really don't know much about him yet, except that he raced mostly in the south, West Virginia and Alabama. As a public service we will keep you informed about his progress through the medical exam, fostering, and hopefully finding a forever home. Good luck Mr. Shortpants. Things are looking up, can you tell by the look on his face? 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.

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