Wednesday, September 19, 2018


By Dennis McKeon

Racing greyhounds care about:

5. RAIN... They don't like it and would rather shut down their natural, bodily, digestive and elimination functions to the point of spontaneous implosion than to take the chance that by going out into the rain, the raindrops might actually erase them, or sections of them, drip by drip, so that they are left with only half a body--- or a reasonable facsimile thereof, with hundreds of see-through perforations.

4. BONES... Most greyhounds love to chew on and gradually ingest bones. The right types of bones are quite good for them, helping to keep teeth and gums clean and healthy, and providing useful nutrition. Even the most meek and unassuming among them, however, can turn into virtual snarling, ferocious, foaming-at-the-mouth honey badgers, defending their bones from kennel mates --- who are all, of course, unable to take their bone away or gobble it up when they are dozing, because the would-be honey badger and her bone, are in her crate - safe as brick houses - as are all the other honey badgers, along with their own bones.

3. WHERE THEY POOP... The vast majority of greyhounds are quite meticulous and choosy about where they leave their solid excretions, and just the right place must be found and secured, for use and reuse. The observant greyhound trainer can usually tell, after getting to know his dogs, who left what donation where, while picking up the yard. Yes, their lives as greyhound servants are just that tragic.

2. SLEEPING... Having achieved world-wide fame as "45 mile-per-hour couch potatoes" within the adoption community, greyhounds who are actively training and racing whether they are world class racers, or lowly grade Ds, are to sleeping what Mozart was to classical music.

1. BEING FIRST... This normally applies to being fed, walked, galloped, given treats, and especially when it comes time to go to the track to race. "Being first" also alludes to and is related to the Greyhound Question for the Ages:

"What is he or she getting that I'm not getting, and desperately want, no matter what it is?"

In the best case scenarios, "being first" also granslates to their performance style when racing. Most greyhounds want to be "first" when it comes to doing just about anything --- other than the dreaded, and in their minds, often fatal nail trimming.

Racing Greyhounds don't care about:

5. WHAT COLOR the WALLS ARE in THEIR KENNEL..  or whether they could use a fresh coat of paint. Greyhounds don't read Better Homes & Gardens.

4. WHETHER YOU HAVE A HEADACHE and/or DIDN'T SLEEP WELL LAST NIGHT... All greyhounds are sworn, by their dams, shortly after they are born to make as much noise as possible, barking, howling and otherwise carrying on in the mornings, when their caretakers first arrive to greet them. They receive extra credit if one or more of their caretakers happens to be slightly hung-over. If any greyhound fails to live up to that oath, they must be DNA tested to prove they aren't the result of a cross with a Basenji somewhere in their background.

3. WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE... Greyhounds are oblivious to human standards of appearance. They don't care what color your hair is, whether it is cut attractively, or whether or not your clothes are fashionable. All they care about, and what they respond to, is whether you care about them. And, the more you do, the more they will give back to you. Except marshmallows. They don't give them back.

2. WEEKENDS and HOLIDAYS... There are no columns or spaces with numbers to mark the days on the Greyhound Calendar. Each day is represented only by a photo of them. With all due respect to Julius Caesar, you are expected to be there or be square, and to cater to their every whim, regardless of what the month, number, name or the occasion of the day happens to be.

1. HOW YOU "FEEL" ABOUT WHAT THEY DO, or HOW THEY LIVE...  Whether you are a cigar-chomping, daily railbird, or a devout apostle of Peter Singer, racing greyhounds couldn't care less whether you approve or disapprove of what they do, as a matter of expressing themselves in a thousands of years old fashion. They don't care about anyone's high-falutin' ideology, or holier-than-thou talking points, or whether watching them perform hurts your feelings or fills you with inspiration. They know exactly who and what they are, and what they live and breathe to do. You don't have to like it, or approve of it. They most certainly do --- every bit as much as they will approve of having become your pet when they retire.

copyright, 2018