Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Hound Blogging

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.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog will recall the promise of youth turned ashen over the years and now blown about by the desultory winds of time...erm...we mean will recall that when we last looked in on the overlords of West Virginia (Motto: We thought East Kentucky was taken) they were explaining their state of the art medical procedures and training methods because you know these dogs are highly trained athletes who have enormous amounts of time and money invested in their development and in order to perform at their best they must continually receive top notch care plus we love and respect the breed and think of them almost as members of the family. Well, if by members of the family you mean like children of your wife's first marriage who never really accepted you and go out of their way to make your like difficult with their constant disrespect, insolence and even though you bend over backwards to get along with them are noting but spoiled brats who should have their pampered little fannies blistered until they have to eat dinner standing up for a week. That kind of family.

Which brings us to today's chapter in Care And Feeding of the Racing Greyhound for Profit (because why else would you want one of these flea bags around?)
The State Racing Commission revoked the license of a Mardi Gras Casino dog track worker for alleged greyhound abuse earlier this fall. Cory Fisher admitted to pulling a greyhound down by the collar and pushing its head in a rough manner on Oct. 23, according to ruling issued by the State Racing Commission. Surveillance cameras allegedly caught Fisher abusing the dog in the paddock area of the racetrack.
"What you call 'abuse' we call standard training protocols," Mr. Fisher told the Commission. "These dogs are not pets," he continued. "They've never been thrown a ball, or given a toy, or allowed on the couch. They have no frame of reference for that experience, so to them being choked and having their faces jammed into the ground is just another day at the office."

We don't know about you Mr. Fisher, but if we worked in an office where our boss tried to choke us it would probably be an indication that someone should call Human Resources. Come to think of it, if our boss locked us in a closet for 18 to 22 hours a day, fed us diseased meat and, at our retirement party tried to give us a lethal injection instead of a watch we might want to have a word with the union Steward too.
Fisher told the commission that he was having a bad day, according to the ruling.
Mr. Fisher, seriously. If you're an overlord you aren't having a bad day, you're having a bad life.
Grey2k USA, a nonprofit dedicated to ending dog racing released a study on greyhound racing injuries in September, finding that 4,700 greyhounds were injured at the state's two dog-racing tracks within the past five years. More than 1,400 of those injuries were catastrophic, career-ending injuries, according to the study.
"Yeah, but those are injuries that happen on the track," Mr. Fisher said. "It really doesn't count when we hurt the dogs off the track, does it?" Mr. Fisher is having a bad day and he takes it out on the unfortunate unit who happened to be closest to him. Kind of gives a whole new meaning to therapy dog, huh Dew?

Are you looking for a care free girl that can let the wind blow through her ears (check her in a car with a moon roof!) and is still respectable enough to introduce to your mother? An independent girl but still VERY affectionate? A girl with the usual talents , yet also adventurous enough to try new things, such as a cake walk and walking off with the first prize? Beautiful Dew just might be that special lady to add to your life. She is in foster, doing great with house rules and has been enjoying her retirement. Come meet this special girl. 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, December 13, 2013

Friday Hound Blogging

Occasionally we here in he marbled halls of IM Central have been taken to task by the overlords due to the fact that we refer to them with the rather pejorative term, um, overlords. "Just get to know us," they say. "We're just like everybody else." Well, if by everybody else you mean purveyors of cruelty, spreaders of suffering and connoisseurs of the comodification of innocent living creatures for profit, but let's not quibble over definitions because this week we are going to accept their challenge and meet an overlord.
Kennel operator Brad Boeckenstedt, of Bellevue, said eliminating the requirement for greyhound racing would have wide-reaching consequences, noting that Iowa is home to more than 60 greyhound farms. The industry has created more than 1,000 jobs in the state, he said.
Well, Brad, normally we would take issue with your use of the term greyhound farm as if greyhounds were a crop, like corn that you planted and harvested for profit, which now that we think of it is sort of what you do, only with conscious, living breathing animals. Animals capable of feeling pain, hunger, cold, you know stuff corn doesn't do. But like we said, this is meet an overlord week, so instead let's focus on the 1000 jobs your industry created in the entire state of over 30 million people. What's that, like about two Walmart's worth. Pay's about the same too, huh?
“Our family is greatly invested in our community and in the greyhound business,” Boeckenstedt said.
Again, not to put too fine a point on it Brad, but wouldn't it be more accurate to say your community is invested in you, to the tune of about $4.5 million since 2009? Now, you might say that's not so much over those years, because the Racing Association spent that much just last year to subsidize your kennel and the other overlords who race in Dubuque, but when you think that $55 million has come the way of the overlords in the time since you quit actually turning a profit instead of going to, oh we don't know, soup kitchens, rent and heat subsidies for poor folks, you know, charity? You can see how we might come to the  conclusion that not only are you not invested in your community, you're actually a drain on it.
“This is something when this was brought about, they couldn’t get slot machines without greyhound racing. It’s kind of sad that they want to get rid of us now that they have slots.”
Oh Brad, that's just not true. They don't want to get rid of you because they have slots now, they want to get rid of you because you're a money losing leech on the community that makes a business of killing and injuring innocent animals as you exploit them for profit, which really doesn't exist anyway so you expect the people to take money away from worthy causes and give it to you. That about sum it up,  Willie?

Willie was born pleaser! While he might initially appear shy and a little timid... Give him a minute to get to know you. Best to brace yourself , this boy is big into leaning... add a couple 'good boy's and rub his ears and he will be in Heaven! He is willing to sit next to you while watching the TV, keep you company while slaving over a hot stove, offer moral support while doing the dishes... Whatever you need! He is even willing to commit to your New Years resolution to walk more- unless it's cold... not if it's cold! Then he's committed to keeping a spot on the couch warm for your return. He�s picked up really quickly on house rules. People pleasers R Us! 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, December 06, 2013

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog understand the futility of expectation...erm...we mean will recall our previous discourses on the state of Florida and its ongoing deliberations to decide what to do with the overlords. (Our suggestion: full ride scholarships to Walmart Greeter School, with a side fund set up to hire the inevitably needed tutors). In the mean time however, those in the sunshine state who have been afflicted with scruples have been attempting convince the legislature to improve the life of the units so devotedly cared for by the overlords as long as they're winning but hey this is a business you know we can't be responsible for what happens when the units are no longer profitable even though we love them dearly and think of them as members of the family oh say have we reminded you we'll need that subsidy again next year?
Animal activists in Florida are calling for measures to protect greyhounds in the state’s large racing industry. Last month, sixteen animal protection organizations sent a letter to the Florida House and Senate Gaming Committees, calling for the passage of two greyhound protection measures. The letter asked lawmakers to pass a greyhound injury reporting law and to eliminate a state mandate requiring gaming facilities to hold live dog races.
Well, we certainly don't see any problems with that. We mean, the overlords have been telling us for years that greyhound injuries aren't really injuries, they're random anomalous events, and as for eliminating state mandates, well the overlords have been arguing for the elimination of state mandates concerning the care of the greyhounds since the first jackbooted bureaucrat stepped foot on the track and said, "Hey. Quit killing those dogs." Should be a no brainer, right Jack Cory, lobbyist and a representative for the Florida Greyhound Association?
“It would cost the state $22 million dollars in direct revenue,” Cory said. “Hundreds of millions of dollars in indirect revenue, thousands of jobs, and we’d put over 8,000 beautiful greyhounds at risk.”
When asked what he meant by "indirect revenue" Mr. Cory explained that "You have to pay somebody to kill the dogs when we don't want them anymore, then somebody else has to dispose of the bodies. I mean ten years ago Robert Rhodes was getting $10 a pop for helping Florida tracks control inventory, so you can imagine what the going rate is today, and in this economy a job's a job, right?"
He said saving the lives of greyhounds requires more than filing an injury report. “Having a politically motivated reporting process does not stop the injuries on animals or athletes whether it be on a football field or a baseball field,” Cory said.
Wait. Greyhounds play football and baseball? Well no wonder they're getting hurt, they aren't wearing pads, or batting helmets. Criminee  people, what do you think Mr. Cory is, a miracle worker?
“These race tracks really have become poker rooms that happen to have dogs running around in circles with no one betting on the dogs,” Theil said. “A report that just came out by a company called Spectrum showed that in 2012, Florida’s dog tracks lost 35 million dollars on greyhound racing while at the same time, turning in a profit of 39 million dollars on their poker rooms.”
"What's your point Theil?" Cory asked. "If it wasn't for those poker rooms making so much money, you think they could afford to subsidize us like they do? You obviously don't understand the first thing about running a business."
Jody Houston, the Outreach Coordinator of Goldcoast Greyhounds Adoptions said she disagrees with GREY2K and believes the organization may have other interests in mind. “They do suffer injuries,” Houston said. “They are going up to 45 miles an hour. If they trip or if they have a pile up, they get hurt. It’s quite a bit close to the numbers of injuries from professional football or professional baseball.” Houston said.
Ha! See? We told you. If the overlords would just get the dogs pads and batting helmets we wouldn't be having this discussion. Hey Jasper? What size you wear?

Hugs and kisses! Hugs and kisses! I'm gonna get me some hugs and kisses! And treats! I'm gonna get me some hugs and kisses and treats!! And love! If you are someone that enjoys some four-footed company, well, I'm the one for you! I excel at chilling out and being close at hand -wherever you might be. More than one in our family? I would check on each of you (best done by laying my head in your lap). You might be fooled into thinking that's all I'm good at. Rattle a leash or show me a toy, and you'll see how much life there still is in THIS "seasoned" boy! Walks are the best! I love to meet folks and make them feel good. At least, I guess that's what they feel when I lean on them. They call me Velcro dog! what's Velcro? Just LOVE people! Yep, that should do it! Come and get me! 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.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Hello, Office Of Government Responsiveness. Please Hold The Line Until Pigs Fly

Well the holidays are upon us once again. That season of peace and joy when we try to set aside our differences and listen to the better angels of our nature; when we pause to reflect on what is truly important, what really lasts and what actually matters.

We know this because people are being stabbed at Walmart, not to mention beat up, trampled and arrested.

Gives a whole new meaning to the war on Christmas, huh?

Which brings us to the subject of this little missive: Perplexity. It seems some of the people who are first on their block to get the manger scene set up in their front yard next to the 30 foot, lighted flagpole flying the stars and stripes 24/7 are also the ones bopping their fellow christians over the head to get them to let go of that flat screen. This is odd. We're told America is the most medicated nation in the world, but apparently those drugs aren't going where they're most needed.

And that's not all that's perplexing us about christians. Enter Rick Santorum. This guy's been a christian since Jesus was a corporal.  Now, as far as we know, he's not out concussing his fellow shoppers, but he does seem to want to bogart all the birth control.
Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum (R) on Sunday insisted that President Barack Obama was imposing his beliefs on corporations and preventing them from exercising their “right” to deny women contraception coverage in health care plans.
 Now, we know that "corporations are people too" but we also know, as Baron Thurlow in England is supposed to have said, "They have no soul to save, and they have no body to incarcerate" so why are you so concerned with their ability to exercise their "beliefs" Mr. Santorum?
“I mean, the idea that the First Amendment stops after you walk out of church, that it doesn’t have anything to do with how you live the rest of your life, I don’t know very many people of faith that believes that their religion ends with just worship,” Santorum explained. “It ends in how you practice and live that faith.”
 See what we mean? Mr. Santorum apparently believes that after services Exxon walks out of the pews, pausing to congratulate the Reverend on an inspiring sermon, then heads out into the day to what? Dump fracking fluid all over the countryside?

Perplexing. Which brings us to Tom Brower whose idea of spreading Christmas cheer is to find homeless people and smash their stuff.
“I want to do something practical that will really clean up the streets,” he explained to Hawaii News Now as he showed off his property destruction skills while sporting an Armani Exchange hat.
 And in true What Would Jesus Do fashion, Mr. Brower explains his incredible act of selflessness during this time of tolerance and brotherhood:
Noting that he’s “disgusted” with homeless people, Brower told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser about his own personal brand of “justice”: “If I see shopping carts that I can’t identify, I will destroy them so they can’t be pushed on the streets.” Brower has waged this campaign for two weeks, estimating that he’s smashed about 30 shopping carts in the process.
 We feel obligated to note that those shopping carts most likely belong to some poor corporation somewhere, no doubt busily singing in the church choir while Mr. Brower roams the city like some unbalanced Don Quixote, tilting at...well, let's just say tilted and leave it at that.

Of course the homeless factor in here somewhere as well, but since they have neither lobbyists, lawyers nor politicians, it's not like they are actual, legal people you know? With rights? Not like Hobby Lobby or something.

We mean, talk about persecution...
Can a company deliberately exclude health insurance coverage of the morning after pill for its employees, in the name of freedom of religion? That’s a question the US Supreme Court could take up on Tuesday when it decides whether to hear a case pitting a chain of craft stores against President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. The Obama administration is challenging the refusal of Hobby Lobby Stores to underwrite coverage for certain contraceptive methods. The family-owned chain based in Oklahoma says it manages its business “in a manner consistent with biblical principles.”
Hey Mr. Brower. Hope none of those carts you smashed belonged to Hobby Lobby. As we recall one of those "biblical principles" was eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. Just a heads up.

See this is perplexing us because until people like Rick Santorum and such came along we didn't realize  the government isn't allowed t to spend tax money on stuff you don't like. We've been wondering whom to call and say we don't want our tax money spent on blowing up Afghani children, but would prefer it went to some more constructive purpose, like, say replacing the shopping carts Mr. Brower busts up, or even better, getting apartments for homeless people. Can't seem to find the number of that particular department though.