Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Retired Greyhounds Bring Happiness

In the past several years, articles have appeared that show Greyhounds in a very positive light - as therapy dogs.  Articles have told of Greyhounds helping autistic youth, helping veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and learning American Sign Language (ASL) to work with deaf children. It is a testament to the breed’s sweet temperament, intelligence, and their desire to work which proves that Greyhounds can be excellent therapy dogs, visiting hospitals, seniors’ care homes, and other facilities, where their long legs make them just the right size to lay a head on a hospital bed or nudge a hand.

In March 2012, I read an article by Stan Pawloski titled, Retired Greyhound Brings Happiness to Autistic Youth & Family. The article was very well written and it highlighted the Hagmaier family and their adoption of Iruska Opal. Here's an excerpt from the article...
Nearly a year ago, the Hagmaier family walked into a Pittsburgh area adoption kennel for retired greyhounds. It was love at first sight. The Hagmaiers -- Jeff, Shelley and son Mike -- saw several greyhounds during their visit but none of them caught their eye like Iruska Opal.  “We saw her last, but she made a big impression on all of us. On the way home, we talked about all the dogs but Opal stood out for us,” Shelley Hagmaier said. “The next morning we called the kennel to let them know of our decision to adopt Opal.”  No one was more excited about adding Opal to the family than 11-year-old Mike. “Mike is a high functioning autistic – Asperger’s Syndrome. He is gifted with a brain for details,” Shelley said. “He remembered the fact Opal had black freckles.”
The Hagmaier's son, Michael, has Asperger's Syndrome - an autistic disorder. To everyone's delight, Mike and Opal hit it off immediately.  They connected. As a result of that connection, Mike helped implement a policy for the dog’s safety and protection and Opal has helped form a bridge between Mike and the outside world.

Hero in Uniform - photo courtesy of PBKC
The most recent article was read just today in the Palm Beach Post News. Published on Memorial Day weekend, May 25th, it is titled, Retired Kennel Club Greyhound Will Help Veteran of Afghanistan Adjust to Society.  

It's a heart warming article that talks about a coordinated effort between Greyhound Pets of America - Florida Southeast Coast, Palm Beach Kennel Club, and Service Dogs 4 Servicemen, Inc (SD4SM).  The founder of SD4SM, Sara Donadei-Blood, said greyhounds are the perfect breed for service dogs. She was inspired to pair retired racing greyhounds with veterans after watching how helpful they were for her grandfather, a retired World War II veteran, while growing up.
Ms. Donadei-Blood said. "They're perfect because they're so calm."

One person commented on the article, Eric_NM.  It is suspected that Eric_NM may be the Grey2K board member, Eric Jackson, who is a Psychology lecturer at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.  If it is NOT Eric Jackson, we extend our apologies.  The quote is
"Once again we hear about greyhounds forced into servitude. First by the racing industry, now by some lonely "ptsd" suffering soldier."
Nice to know what a cowardly person thinks about our servicemen, those men & women, husbands & wives, fathers & mothers... those servicemen who have put their lives on the line for this country and of whom many thousands paid the ultimate sacrifice. I'm guessing that this person, more than likely, never put on a uniform or served anyone other than themselves.  This disdain is an affront to ALL servicemen & women and it should NEVER be tolerated!

Greyhounds as service dogs are a win-win situation for all concerned - most especially the dogs.  However, the racing greyhound naysayers...  the Grey2K USA trolls... are condemning this outstanding effort.  They really have no soul... no heart... no compassion.  They are beyond clueless...  they are mean spirited and evil.

Here are some additional links to articles on Greyhounds as Service Dogs, including providing a life saving service to other dogs - as blood donors.

Other Matters - The missing Schedule O 
According to IRS regulations if you answer NO to Part VI, Section A. Line 8 on the 990 you are to explain the NO on Schedule O. GREY2K USA’s 2010 990 form, Part VI, Section A. Line 8

8. Did the organization contemporaneously document the meetings held or written actions undertaken during the year by the following?”
A) The governing body
B) Each committee with authority to act on behalf of the governing body.
GREY2K USA’s answer – NO.  

Yes, they answered, "NO".  Yet, I can find no explanation of the NO on Schedule O, as required. The copy of the 990 form, which is available on GREY2K USA’s website, is missing the REQUIRED Schedule O.  Of course, this only raises questions such as,

Why no minutes?  

Why is the Schedule O hidden from public inspection on the GREY2K USA website?

Please write your Congressmen and respectfully request that Grey2K USA lose its tax-exempt status for offenses such as the missing IRS forms.

Yours in greyhounds....

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

By Dennis McKeon

BREAKING NEWS!!!...Greyhound Racing Now Legal in Forty Nine of Fifty States

I was just funnin’. It’s not really a newsflash. It’s simply a fact. Greyhound racing is legal in 49 out of 50 states here in the good ol’ USA.

Those of us who have been following the war on Greyhound Racing, which has been waged by various groups of fanatical animal rights extremists for nigh on 5 decades now, might not actually realize that. Despite what greyhound racing’s most hyperbolic and bellicose antagonists, such as Grey2K, tout in their well-rehearsed and contrived talking points and press releases.

While they would have us believe that greyhound racing is a felonious activity in most states, true to form, they have deliberately obfuscated the fact that greyhound racing is perfectly legal in every state of the Union but one. What they neglect to tell you, where there are laws that might imply to the casual reader that greyhound racing is indeed against the law, 

is that it is WAGERING on greyhound races that has actually been made into a criminal activity, everywhere racing is supposedly banned

Most of these states never sponsored greyhound racing in the first place. The “bans” on wagering on it were instigated mainly at the behest of the well-heeled horse-racing lobby, long before Grey2k even existed. The horsey-set generally prefers to have a monopoly on sponsoring events where the money gambled comprises their earnings.

This brings to light an interesting and crucial difference between reality and the garden-variety propaganda of Grey2k and their co-activist, co-radical drum-beaters and pot-stirrers.

Grey2k and their sugar-raddies at the HSUS (the uber-extremist and deceptively named Humane Society of the US, which has nothing at all to do with your local humane society) like to tug at the public heart strings by implying that they “help the greyhounds”. According to Grey2k, the best way you, concerned citizen, can help these greyhounds, is to go to their websites and give them money. Little of this money, if any, however, will be used for hands-on welfare of those greyhounds who they are supposed to be helping. Au contraire. Grey2k is not a humane society, a shelter, or a greyhound adoption group. They are a political lobbying group.

Political lobbyists, to refesh our memories, are the people from whom even the most wiggly and waggly politicians will slip and slime their way through a metaphorical sewer pipe to distance themselves in the public’s eyes.

Billboards, All Links Go To Grey2K USA
The latest fund-raising chakra-eruption to have emerged from the oh-so-concerned-for-the-greyhounds meditations of Grey2k, is to help the greyhounds by having the donation givers pay for billboards which will advertise the Grey2k website.

You read it right---billboards. Billboards which will direct you toward the donation-extraction interface of the Grey2k website. Now how clever is that?

No, these billboards will not be edible by greyhounds, they will not be designed to shelter greyhounds, and the greyhounds will not be able to play "keep-away" with them.

So, in a most “Rube Goldberg”, convoluted but self-perpetuating fashion, this is how Grey2k intends to once again “help the greyhounds” with your money. As a point of information, Rube Goldberg was the guy who made all those amazingly complex contraptions you see in old movies, which perform very simple tasks. Those of us who remember the Ideal board game of Mouse Trap, can truly appreciate the ingeniousness of this latest ploy by Grey2k to “help the greyhounds”---it’s so much more fun than simply making a donation to a real greyhound adoption group. And, I'd venture a guess, so much more profitable, long term, for Grey2k.

Lest you think I am being too hard on them, I’d like to see them take it a step further. We all know how cruel and abusive greyhound racing is purported to be by these always open-handed but seldom open-minded, self-described greyhound advocacy groups like Grey2k.

They are utterly convinced of this, despite having no empirical experience whatsoever in greyhound racing. They refuse to even consider trying to achieve any consensus-building with Greyhound Racing, which might be of benefit to all parties. They have always, and without reservation, engaged and promoted their brand of slash-and-burn advocacy---greyhound racing must be destroyed. That is a matter of historical fact. It’s either their way or the highway---and while you’re out there on that highway, please keep an eye out for our Grey2k billboards, and send us some money.

So, for the sake of critical thinking, let’s take them at their word. They want to protect greyhounds from the injury risks that racing exposes them to. Roger that. They want to protect them from the alleged abuses that a career as a racing greyhound supposedly imposes upon them. Got it.

NOTRA-LGRA, courtesy of All About Greyhounds
Now let’s also ask them where they stand on the multitude of greyhounds and other breeds of dogs who are actively engaged in amateur racing, as well as open field and lure coursing.

These greyhounds also compete in risky and competitive racing, whether against one another or against the time clock. They are all subject to and occasionally suffer the very same injuries as racing greyhounds. As a matter of fact, many of the dogs that compete in these events are retired racing greyhounds.

Are these dogs somehow unworthy of the same concern and protections from injury and potential abuse as racing greyhounds? Why are Grey2k and their supporters not “helping” them? Why is State-regulated greyhound racing so much more heinous and unacceptable an activity than is amateur, non-State regulated racing and coursing?

Why do they choose to persecute and vilify greyhound racing professionals employed in racing with Pari-mutuel wagering, but not greyhound racing and coursing amateurs and hobbyists, where there is no wagering?

Should not genuine greyhound advocates also take up the cause of greyhounds who are subjected to the same training and racing, athletically induced stresses and hazards as those greyhounds involved in professional racing?

Where is the outrage?

Where is the concern?

Where is the heart-rending, hand-wringing, billboard-erecting sympathy for these dogs?

A perusal of the Board Members of an activist organization called Stop Predatory Gambling, reveals to us that one Carey Theil, Executive Director of Grey2k USA, also happens to sit on that Board of Stop Predatory Gambling.

My, my, my…what a coincidence!

Then, lo and behold, when we skip over to the Grey2k website, we see none other than the Reverend Tom Grey, who is listed as a Grey2k Board Member, and also as the Field Director and spokesperson for Stop Predatory Gambling.


Yet another astonishing coincidence! I’ll be right back, I’m just going out to buy a few lottery tickets. This simply must be my lucky day.

Reminder to self—send Rev. Grey and Mr. Theil an email and ask them what they suppose the odds might be against something like that.

Comment By Grey2K Lies

Remember...  Carey Theil continually states, "Grey2K USA has no position on gambling."  Yeah... right...  I was born at night, but not last night!  When pigs fly...

Yours in greyhounds...

Friday, May 18, 2012


A bit of greyhound history focusing on the 1977 American Derby and what stands to be lost forever if Grey2K USA (Grey2K) is successful in its efforts to outlaw greyhound racing.
There is a lot of history associated with greyhounds and greyhound racing. There are some great dog names- Downing, Dutch Bahama, Real Huntsman, Oklahoman... All that history is in danger of being lost as the "old timers" retire and pass on... if Grey2K USA succeeds in destroying greyhounds, greyhound people, and greyhound racing.

Here is a post that Dennis (A.K.A. "Rockingship") posted on Global Greyhounds on October 3, 2003 on a thread entitled, "The State of the Stud Business the Next Three Years":

"Don Cuddy always said that Downing was the fastest 550 yard dog he ever saw, and he saw a lot of them. There were a select group of greyhounds of whom he always spoke reverentially....Downing was one of them. Downing was called "Handyman" because he was always by Jim Frey's side as a youngster--always "handy".

As a racer, he was intolerant of other greyhounds, except for Chito, who, for some reason, he liked. Chito himself was a good grade A at Revere at the time. And he was Downing's turnout partner during the time Downing campaigned in New England.

I remember one day after the morning's festivites were nearly over, there was a telephone call to the kennel. I could hear Don's voice faintly from the kitchen....."....oh Jay-sus.....when did it happen?"....I heard some homilies and some condolences, he said goodbye and hung up.

".......well, he's gone". I could see in his eyes that Don himself was now somewhere else, in his own mind.....watching a long red brindle blur accelerate into the first turn as if he alone were not subject to the burdens of gravity, and unfazed by the shackles of his own flesh...Downing's only real competition, if the truth be known, was his own mortality.

These are my personal recollections of Downing's Amercian Derby win.....

And guys...I remember Downing's American Derby .....he was a prohibitive favorite....after making the switch to the other side, he had literally run away and hid from the best dogs that the country's elite kennels might offer up as competition---or as sacrifice----it hadn't really mattered..........

He was a sharp breaker, and an astonishing turn runner-----and though nearly 80 lbs, and as long as the Kansas horizon is wide----he could literally run "under the rails"....and accelerate into, through and off the turns----and if, by some stroke of serendipity, you found yourself ahead of him, on the rail and in his way----he would put you over the rail to take his line.

So the ONLY way he could lose, was if he broke down, or if he missed his break.....and you know what?...... he missed his break----missed it by a mile....and he came out with his nose in the dirt, stumbling---nearly falling----and the entire field easily out-trapped the fast-trapper.

There was a collective gasp from the incredulous crowd. Luckily, the 2 lane had not quite closed up on him.

Gifted athlete that he was---in the blink of an eye---he somehow, miraculously, managed to right himself----and exploded through the hole which had remained open to him.

He had seized the lead before they even hit the turn, and drew off to a commanding advantage as he poured it on---like a soundwave.... through the stretch, around the curtain turn, and past the toteboard-----his speed was enthralling, unlike anything I had ever witnessed----it thumped right through your chest, and took your breath away... like the music of a runaway locmotive......yet due to his early miscalculations and exertions, he was pretty much spent at the top of the lane....all alone.......and all done.....

He had lost his action, and his stride was shortening with each diminutive leap forward...and at precisely that most desperate of moments----that sobering, split-second before the shattering of every illusion---- the great stayer---Malka---had begun to uncork her prodigious run.....which was as deep as the Pacific...and at once, as powerful and unfathomable.

The insurmountable lead was shrinking fast now, to about 6 lengths entering the final straight---- and Malka appeared to have caught the jetstream itself, as she zeroed in on him----with Downing laboring mightily, just to keep a straight line----the deafening roar of the 12,000 or so spectators, who had come to see a legend his own and their own time... lent an air of unreality to the whole, desperate spectacle...

And time itself had become glacial, as it they played out that age-old struggle.....and... with the one, impossible, outrageous, colossal surge ---Downing lunged for the wire....the ghosts of Real Huntsman, Oklahoman and On the Line were awakened from their eternal reveries by the sheer genius of rightly bear witness to this galvanizing moment, for once and for all time ... as Malka, a burgeoning, bursting tidal wave now ----bore down on him, cresting, from mid-track to his flank.... closer and closer she rolled.....

That he managed, somehow, to hold on---by a dissipating 3/4 of a length or so---was the true measure of his faultless courage and his supernatural greatness....Malka was past him a couple of jumps after the wire, and clear by 3 as they ran up to the curtain.

It was the only moment in his life---the very instant when he had actually grasped his immortality----- that he had ever appeared to be mortal ."

I searched long & wide for video of Downing's 1977 American Derby and I could not find any. However, I found the little gem below that encompasses much more of the American Derby history... It gives a run down of all the winners, to date. You see, when greyhound racing ceased in New England, the American Derby ceased. It was last won in 2007.  Happily, after that hiatus, the race will once again be held this year. Yeah!!!!

Grey2K and its minions love to crow that they are succeeding in shutting down the "cruelty of greyhound racing".  They are not shutting down anything that is cruel. They are destroying history and destroying people. That is what they are so proud of...  destruction & hate.

Retired greyhounds make such great pets because of how they are raised. If it weren't for greyhound racing and the people to whom these dogs are constantly exposed & socialized with, the dogs would not be what they are.  Greyhounds are what they are because of racing...  If racing goes away, then so will the dogs that we all know & love.

Remember, extinction is forever.

Yours in greyhounds...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Roots of Anti-Racing Activism, Part 2

Part 2 of the article, The Roots of Anti-Racing Activism, which explores how anti-racing activism hurt the early years of greyhound adoption and how it hurts the breed.
Part 1   (If you missed it...)

By Dennis McKeon

Continuing our trip back into the roots of slash and burn, anti-racing activism, we have seen how hate-mongering, ignorance and demagoguery undermined early, formalized adoption, back when it was a novel concept. I’m sure that anti-racing activists felt that their ends justified the means, and that their inane jackrabbit crusade and profoundly despicable mis-characterizations of the greyhound were preferable to the death of thousands of crop-destroying vermin each year.

1930's Rabbit Plague, Kansas
However, once the great jackrabbit advocacy had resulted in significant successes, it essentially ran out of steam—there was a significant void that needed to be filled within the coffers of those activst organizations.

Greyhound racing management had proven to be pretty much entrenched in its own importance as a vital contributor to local and state economies. It boasted several thriving, individual fifedoms, all across, up and down the country. Blue collar workers within those fifedoms were universally kept busy 15-18 hours a day, taking care of the greyhounds in their charge. The anti-racing cabal members sensed yet another opportunity to enrich themselves .

But there was a slight problem to overcome. Since the public now believed that racing greyhounds were all unexploded time bombs of viciousness and of the most brutal and savage aggression imaginable, something had to be done to re-cast the greyhound. Since they had unabashedly and thoroughly demonized him, it was impossible for them to portray the greyhound as who he actually was. That being, a canine, like any other, but who happened to be a purpose bred athlete steeped in prehistoric antiquity—perfectly capable, in nearly all cases, of adapting to traditional pet roles in retirement. Apparently, there was no money in working hand in hand with those in the industry who had already demonstrated a sincere commitment to macro-scale adoption. No—-that would never do.

Greyhounds, Whippet, Farmer & Hare - c. 1890
A sensation needed to be created. The public must be made to forget entirely the centuries of oppression that greyhounds had heaped upon the poor jackrabbit, and the brutality that was thus engendered in the breed—–which only a few years ago, was sounded as a clarion call and warning to the unwitting public.

The greyhound as “oppressor” had to somehow become the greyhound as “victim”. He would undergo this metamorphosis in the media---changing almost overnight, from the “big, bad wolf” to a pathetic object of pity--- without a mention of who had villified him in the first instance, at the advent of his original coming out, and thus contributed to his further victimization.

The villains in this new narrative, were to be the greyhound racing supply side and working class—many of whom were staunch supporters of, if not involved in hands on actuation of the seminal adoption programs that had been undermined by these same slash and burn activists and advocates.

It was quite a stroke of genius, and continues to be a cash cow—or should we say “bitch”, to use the parlance of the greyhound world.

Fortunately, adoption and racing has finally evolved to where individual groups with and without satellite facilities cooperate with the management, the supply side and the racing working class, to the betterment of the racing greyhound—-and where ideology takes a backseat to empathy and welfare. Not a perfect scenario, but light years evolved from what things were only 25-30 years ago.

Unfortunately, slash and burn activism and glacial ignorance of the racing greyhound are still with us, and still threaten the future well being, and the very existence of all greyhounds. And, unlike greyhound racing, it’s a growth business.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Grey2K USA - No Position on Casinos? Grey2K Lies...

"GREY2K USA has no position on gambling." by CTheil (April 2012)

"Well that simply isn't true. As I have said about five other times here, GREY2K USA has no position on gambling. Please refer to other comments." by CTheil (April 2012)

"I will also say, again, that GREY2K USA has no position on gambling. You are mischaracterizing our work, and you know better. At this point it's pretty clear that are simply trying to defame us, with knowledge that what you are saying is not true." by CTheil (April 2012)

"GREY2K USA has no position on gambling. We are a non-profit organization that passes laws to protect greyhounds and phase out dog racing. You know this, Elaine, but apparently don't care that your accusations are false." by CTheil (April 2012)

"We have board members that support gambling, and board members that oppose gambling. GREY2K USA has no position on gambling." by CTheil (April 2012)

"Further, GREY2K USA has no position on gambling. You are right that I personally volunteer for several other non-profit organizations. The volunteer work I do in my personal life has no relationship to GREY2K USA." by CTheil (April 2012)

As the above comments show, Carey Theil (Executive Director of Grey2K USA) continually states that "GREY2K USA has no position on gambling..." If that's the case, and it isn't, then why does Grey2K have on its BOD the Reverend Thomas Grey, staff member and senior advisor for Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation? Why does Carey Theil serve onthe BOD of the Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation? And, why did Grey2K USA, a group that is actively lobbying to outlaw greyhound racing, making donations to groups such as "NO CASINOS"?

Why?  Because Grey2K USA does have a position on gambling.

In an article titled, "Betting at Miami-Dade pari-mutuels down as slots vote nears" in the South Florida Business Journal in Jan 2008, the following quote appears,
"Anti-gambling coalition No Casinos Miami is urging voters to reject the ballot issue. Its members include the Christian Coalition of South Florida, the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling and greyhound rights group Grey2K USA."
Just because pains are taken to keep an agenda hidden, that does not mean it does not exist.

Yours in greyhounds...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Classic Example...

Another example of the lies told by the anti-racing, animal rights factions with regard to greyhound racing. The blogger, Ironicus Maximus, portrays Spanish Galgos as NGA racing dogs.
There's an anti-racing blogger that goes by the name Ironicus Maximus (IM). He's a talented writer and he tells excellent, fictional stories that he attempts to pass off as the truth. His blog post of yesterday is a classic example of fiction.  Why?

First off, Ironicus is using graphic photographs of Spanish Galgos, portraying them as abused greyhounds here in the USA.  This is an insult not only to the good people in racing but it trivializes the plight of the Spanish Galgos. The Spanish Galgos suffer greatly at the hands of men in parts of Spain such as Andalusia.

The greyhound aka Galgo is native to Spain and it was, at one time, called the Gallic Hound (from Gaul). In Spain, the Greyhound was used for hunting in lumber camps and hunting of the hare in field open, where the dog chases the piece without human intervention after a chase. This type game, which now has a sports event, in the past was an act of social prestige in which hunting was an excuse to show who was the best specimen holder.

Spanish Conquistadors as they brought with them their Greyhounds to hunt game in the New World. The first mention of the use of coursing dogs appears in the journals of Bernal Diaz del Castillo, who chronicled the Cortez expedition. It seems that a greyhound, name unknown, was busily hunting game when the time for the return to the ship arrived. When the hound could not be caught, Grijalva, the contingent's leader, ordered the errant hound left behind. The hound was joyfully reunited with the explorers at a later date, as recounted by the historian Gomara, She greeted them wagging her tail, jumping from one to the other, and later went into the woods that were near and returned bringing hares and rabbits.

In recent years it has become more common to keep the dogs as pets. In the USA the dogs have become quite popular to keep because of their usual characteristics: clean, quiet, well mannered...
They adapt quickly & well to life in a home as pets, many even live with other animals such as cats. In this country, in general, the professional racing people are actively participating and helping out in adoption by transporting dogs; holding dogs on farms & in kennels until an adoption group can take them; getting dogs vetted; etc.  They do much more than they receive credit for. In fact, instead of getting credit, the racing people are continually made to look like villains by people such as IM through their out & out untruths.  Like I said, yesterday's blog is a perfect example.

I don't know a single person in or out of racing that is not appalled by the treatment that the Spanish Galgos receive. Too many of the Galgos are animals that have been abused or have been abandoned because they are not successful hunting dogs. The less fortunate are killed - hung from trees, poisoned, and / or thrown into wells. Of the rescued dogs, many are adopted in countries other than Spain, however, they are increasingly becoming more appreciated in Spain as pets.

Flying Hound, Rachel Hogue Photography
Personally, I have no problem with greyhounds being used for hunting. That is their traditional purpose. However, I do have a problem with the dogs not being treated right - regardless of country.  Racing greyhounds are treated well.  If they weren't, they would not be able to do what they do with such athleticism. A starving dog cannot fly... A starving dog can barely stand, if it can stand at all.

Secondly, another photo used in yesterday's IM assault on the truth was one of a noted abuse case in New Mexico - the starved greyhound, Fever. This case was highly publicized within the greyhound community 12 years ago in February 2000.

At that time, a black greyhound, Fever, was surrendered by her adopter to Greyhound Companions of New Mexico (GCNM), an anti-racing group. When Fever was surrendered, she weighed 28 pounds when she should have weighed in the 60 lb range! Heart wrenching does not begin to describe Fever's story.  Like I said, it was all the news throughout the greyhound adoption community. However, Fever was not starved by anyone associated with greyhound racing.  Fever's abuse came at the hands of a woman who had adopted her not but 18 months or so before she was surrendered to GCNM.  In the twisted logic of IM & the AR's, Fever's abuse was caused by greyhound racing.

Thankfully, the woman who did this to Fever was indicted for extreme animal abuse by a Grand Jury in Albuquerque, New Mexico in July, 2001. She entered a 'no contest' plea to "extreme cruelty to animals". 

Abuse is wrong.  However, so are falsehoods. Racing greyhounds in the USA are not abused. There have been instances of abusers involved with greyhounds and those people have been prosecuted. To portray the current state of greyhound racing with the Spanish Galgo situation not only diminishes that situation, but it diminishes the writer.  After all, if they lie and portray Spanish Galgos as NGA racing dogs, what else will they lie about?

Yours in greyhounds...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Boyfriends... Boyfriends... Boyfriends...

By Betty Z.,

So where was I? Oh yes... Boyfriends.

Boyfriending on the farm isn't quite as simple as it is in the race kennel. There, I had my hands on my dogs pretty much all the time. All... Day... Long, and in a variety of situations. Turnouts and sprints and schools and weigh-ins and rub-downs and groomings, so Boyfriends were fairly easy to detect early on. Here, while I still enjoy most of those activities, my duties expand my horizons a bit. So I not only have the youngsters in the kennel to consider.... there's fielders too. And babies of assorted ages. Oh dear, oh dear, there may be an awful lot of Boyfriends around here.

Reactabond Rebel
It probably goes without even saying, the studlies are Boyfriends automatically. They insist on it, and I'm helpless to defy them. Just something about the swagger in them knocks me quite loopy, and I just can't resist a studly. We have 2. Thankfully, there aren't more than that because my Boyfriend list would be all filled up and I need room for several. So Alex (the black one) and Red (the ... um... red one) are Boyfriends just for being Daddies. My rules, I can make 'em up any way I want. It delights me to touch them, these fine big boys. They delight in being touched. And while both of them are stunningly beautiful and perfectly charming, I may be leaning a little (in my twisted and utterly without reason preferences) to Red. Somewhere in his name, I think there's a Rooster. If there isn't, then he must really wonder why I call him Cock-A-Doodle. In a silly cartoon voice. His back is as broad as a coffee table. Seriously, if he'd stand still for a moment, you could lay out a cheese tray on him.

And plates and forks.

And a wine decanter with 6 glasses. This guy would be the very center of the party.

But the Boyfriend list goes on (and on and on ...) so let's see what we have here.

Bino (rhymes with Deano) is big. Wait, he's BIG. I've no idea what he weighs, and he certainly isn't carrying too many pounds for his stature. Nearly as tall as my darling Big Tay, but with a very different look to him. More chiselled perhaps, with a finer face and a broader chest. I'd set this youngster up against anything the AKC has for looks alone. And if you've been paying attention to my Boyfriend criteria, looks don't matter to me most of the time. BIG, however, does. And he is. He's also sweet and charming. And he's BIG. Just makes me smile to look at him.

Now sometimes, a Boyfriend decides he is one. Hey, I'm new here and I'm open to suggestions. The time I spend outside with my dogs is a useful tool in Boyfriend selection. Ah, yes, and they use it equally well.

While I have been keeping the peace, I often find a face under my arm. "Hi honey, you're a good boy. What's your name?"

"Luciano" his muzzle tape replied. Smile, cuddle, go along and play now honey. But soon he is back with a nudge and an upturned snout. Since I have absolutely zero Italian accent, saying his name comes out sounding ridiculous. I tried shortening it to Lucien. Hm. Not what I'm after. So he's Lucy. Actually, he's "Looooo-Seeeee", and he thinks it's mighty fine. Dogs are not much encumbered with gender specific names. I Love Lucy.

I've only spent 3 days here, and on my first field expedition, I found a litter of just plain sweeties. They didn't rip me to shreds much, and most of them are smilers. Big silly grins that just make me double over in grins of my own. One of them is Corleone. Dark fawn with a mask, and a white snippy on his nose. He ignored his breakfast completely to spend time with me. Silly boy. "Go eat honey! You're cute and I love you, but don't be stupid!" Nope nope nope, gonna play with you. Smile.

He melted me.

So is anybody counting? Day 3, and it looks like Cock-A-Doodle (and Alex, of course), Bino and Lucy and Corleone. 5 Boyfriends in 3 days.

This is gonna be great!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yadda... Yadda... Yadda...

I was never a great fan of the TV show, Seinfeld. However, that is where I first heard the phrase, "yadda yadda yadda". It seems so appropriate in describing the continuing diatribes by the anti-racing, animal rights, anti-gambling faction. Why? Because they pick at minutiae, small & trifling matters, giving them import well beyond what is deserved.

Rachel Hogue, a photographer who also works in greyhound adoptions, posted a photography article on the Huffington Post. The article was about how to take pictures of fast moving objects and the objects she chose to photograph were racing greyhounds. That's all it took!

The "Anti's" got on there and took an article about photography and started attacking Rachel and any others, primarily folks from the greyhound adoption community, who took the time to try and set the record straight. And, when those jibes were countered, they roll out the meager list of those people who have been banned from greyhound racing for violations. That short list includes some vile bastards, not the least of whom is the convicted animal abuser, Ronnie Williams.  (By the way, the Anti's always neglect to mention that Williams was turned in by folks in racing.)  The Anti's do NOT discuss ideas for improvement or positive events; they ONLY discuss people who were banned from racing & convicted of crimes - Yadda Yadda Yadda.

So, what are the Anti's and their minions yammerin' about?  Same ol', same ol'....  "crating is cruel", "crated for 20-22 hours a day", "steroids", "killing puppies" and a wide variety of other untruths - Yadda Yadda Yadda. They also equate animal rights as being the same as animal welfare - Yadda Yadda Yadda. They are getting desperate.

I have to admit, they've now rolled out a new "truth", which is anything but. The AR's are now stating that greyhounds & greyhound racing are the cause of the dreaded cancer - Osteosarcoma (OSA). They are stating that greyhounds have the highest incidence of this disease out of all dog breeds.  They even say that Dr. Couto states that greyhounds have the highest incidence of the disease out of all the dog breeds.  When, in fact, Dr. Couto cited an unscientific survey conducted on the email list, Greyhound-L, which indicated that approximately 22% of greyhounds were afflicted with bone cancer.   The overview of that survey even states that it is NOT SCIENTIFIC by any means.

According to several reputable veterinary sources, OSA is the most common bone tumor found in large & giant breeds of dogs and according to the Animal Cancer Trust, "Irish Wolfhounds, Great Danes, Rottweilers, and German Shepherd dogs seem to be at particular risk."

I find it despicable that AR's are using a terrible disease - a disease found in all large & giant breeds of dogs including showbred (AKC) greyhounds - as a tool towards ending a sport that is the sole existence for the greatest portion of the bloodlines of the greyhound breed, but it is so typical of the Anti's.

They create issues where there are none - Yadda Yadda Yadda!

Recent studies have implicated viruses as a trigger for the disease. Other studies seem to implicate a lack of oxygen in specific cells.  And yet, another study, seems to implicate genetic predispositions to it.  At this time, there are many theories being investigated as to what causes OSA but a definitive cause at this time is unknown.

For more information on OSA and other health issues in dogs, please visit:
You know, the thing is.....
Do your homework!
Do your own research!
Do not take any one person's word as being gospel.
Educate yourself and you & your dogs will have a much better relationship.
Dyno-Mutt's Mimbari

Yours in greyhounds....

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Response to Status of the Greyhound Breed

By Dennis McKeon

Great article. The truth is, that the greyhounds most people know are the physical and spiritual manifestation of the inputs and feedback of racing. Period. Once racing is gone, they'll be gone. What will be left, if anything, will be racing greyhound effigies.

You see, there are thousands of people who profess to love and care for greyhounds, and who demonstrate that by keeping them as dearly beloved and well treated pets. It's a beautiful thing.

What I wonder, is how many of them have ever taken the time to reason through this: from where and how did these wonderful dogs emerge? That greyhound that you adore had to have had some sort of origin and background. If he's an NGA racing greyhound, well then he is just one member of an entire population of greyhounds. Whatever it is you love about him---and maybe even what you don't love about him---is a cause and effect of his background, and the vast and diverse genetic wellsprings of the racing greyhound population. You can take the dog away from the population, but you can't take the population away from the dog. You can't have phenomenal and uniquely beguiling pets, without a vital, vast and uniquely engendered population. The two are dynamically interdependent upon one another. Greyhound racing, and the dollars it generates, are the only thing that supports a realistically large, genetically diverse and functional greyhound population. Amateur racing is fantastic, but it won't ever replace the genetic treasures that will be lost forever, once macro-scale racing is gone.

Which female family of greyhounds is yours from? There are at least 46 of them that have emerged as crucial genetic contributors to the population since the advent of track racing. Which ones would you prefer to see fall into the eternal abyss, once the breeding population has contracted to levels that cannot sustain them? Which ones should we keep? What exactly is it about your plan that makes it so much more desirable and better for the breed's long term prospects than racing? As a matter of fact---what exactly is your plan? How will you manage and preserve the greyhound population?

I'm always amazed when people object to anyone "making a profit" from racing their greyhounds---as if somehow the greyhounds would be better served if one didn't make a profit, and instead lost everything they owned, so that eventually their dogs felt the sting of poverty, too. Profit is what makes the world go round, and what puts a short shelf life on bad caretakers, and what has given us the luxury of indulging ourselves with and basking in the reflected glory and beauty of this irreplaceable breed.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Status of the Greyhound Breed

A new documentary film about greyhounds and greyhound racing called Greyhound: Racing Into The Light, is being made by Bill Buchanan.
A producer/director of documentary films, Bill Buchanan, is making a documentary film about greyhound racing titled - Greyhound: Racing Into The Light.  Mr. Buchanan's stated goal is to present a film that is neither pro nor anti racing... a film presenting the facts and views from both sides. Needless to say, skepticism abounds on both sides of the fence.

Most recently, it came to light that David Wolfe, National Greyhound Adoption Program (NGAP), was one of the people with whom Mr. Buchanan has spoken. As one person has said, "David Wolfe has a really bad (and well-earned) reputation, and anyone whose name is linked with him tends to be tainted by association."  The general consensus among those closely involved with greyhounds on most levels is that Wolfe is a snake, the lowest of the low. And, because of Wolfe's reputation, rumors started flying and people were jumping onto the Bash Buchanan Bandwagon.

I must admit that I am skeptical that Buchanan can pull off his pet project. But, I'm willing to give him a chance.  I feel it is IMPORTANT that those on the Pro-Racing side of the fence, NOT lower themselves to participating in the Carey Nation's favorite game - people bashing based upon rumor, distortion, and personal feelings. People bashing based upon facts is something different.  There's a saying that has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin, "Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see."  We really don't want to emulate Grey2K's founders now, do we?  I'm off my soapbox now.

Back to Mr. Buchanan, Elaine S. contacted me to tell me she left a comment on his blog with regards to the comment,
"I would appreciate hearing from people involved in greyhound racing no matter how directly or indirectly you may be and from those opposed to greyhound racing. Who knows, perhaps the frank and open discussions between the warring parties GREYHOUND: Racing Into The Light will present will help them find a little common ground."
Here is most of the post Elaine S sent to me...
"Yesterday, I left a comment on the blog for the film, Greyhound: Racing Into The Light.  I flat out told Bill Buchanan that the two sides will never meet - Grey2K & Racing. I also sent him my phone number and stated that he let me know if I could be of any help to him. 
As you know, I breed AKC greyhounds and my last litter was the result of an AKC sire & an NGA dam, which I purchased. I suggested to Bill Buchanan that my view on the racing matter is totally different and emphasized that I firmly believe the racing bloodlines are needed to keep the greyhound breed alive & genetically diverse and I gave him a brief rundown of the current state of show bred greyhounds, as it appears to me, and what I believe will happen if greyhound racing is banned.  
One of my greatest fears is that if Grey2K and the anti-racing advocates have there way, greyhounds will become extinct. They don't believe it because they believe that greyhounds will always be bred, but who will be breeding them? There is no reason for the racing people to continue breeding them if they cannot race. It could possibly be the death knell for a wonderful breed."
Elaine's comments to me got me thinking. What would happen to the breed if Grey2K is successful? So, I did some digging. I want to know if what she fears is a true & possible result.  Here's some of what I found...

In the AR's Own Words
It is a known fact that Grey2K and it's minions continually state that the breed will not "go away" or "suffer" if greyhound racing is banned. Common sayings denying that the breed would be in trouble would include:
"Greyhounds have been around since before racing and will be around if racing ends."
"Will greyhounds become extinct? Not for many years if at all...definition of extinct is when there are less than a 1000 specimens - In all honesty I don't think it will happen."
and, the most used...
"Greyhounds are one of the most ancient breeds of dogs known to man and have existed in their most current incarnation for centuries. Greyhounds existed before the creation of dog racing and were originally bred in the Middle East for hunting purposes. Greyhounds thrived long before dog racing and it seems certain that they will do so after racing no longer exists."
All of these are assumptions by the AR folks.  We all know what the word - ASS U ME - means, if not, we should.

Anyway, here are some facts that I discovered in researching this post.

Facts & Figures
An article in the Jan 27, 2012 issue of Dog News by Laura Quickfall titled "Breeds at Risk of Extinction in the UK" on page 67 states, "A breed is deemed to be at risk of extinction when it numbers less than 300 puppy registrations per year". The show Greyhound registrations with the Kennel Club in 2011 numbered fourteen (14) puppies. The breeding number is DOWN 78.5% from the preceding year. It's my understanding that in the UK, racing & coursing bred greyhounds CANNOT be registered with the Kennel Club. So...  the Kennel Club population is definitely at risk.

The official figures for greyhound registration, which were garnered from the Australian Kennel Club site, indicate that in 2009, 18 Greyhounds were registered. In 2010, there were 50, and 2011 there were 16 dogs registered. There were approximately 26 Australian show pups bred for the years 2009 - 2011. There were 4 born in New Zealand beginning of 2010 or 2011.

There are 173 recognized breeds in the AKC. On the AKC website, there's a list of the popularity rankings of the various breeds. In 2001, Greyhounds were ranked at #123. In 2011, Greyhounds were ranked at #140 - the breed has dropped 17 places.

The highest number of AKC Greyhound litters bred in somewhat recent history was 22 litters, which if they averaged 8 pups per litter would be 176 puppies - not enough to maintain a healthy gene pool, especially when one takes into consideration that some of them will be castrated.

It's fair to conclude based upon the numbers that the show population of greyhounds appears to be in serious trouble with fewer than 200 pups registered in the USA, Australia and the United Kingdom. From where will the show breeders get fresh genetic material?

If Grey2K is successful in its effort to shut down racing worldwide, it is safe to say that well bred, racing bred dogs will pretty much cease to exist - except for those kept by hobby breeders and those who would breed them indiscriminately.  The greatest portion of a relatively large gene pool will cease to exist and to me, a greyhound aficionado, that is frightening.  It will be disastrous for the breed.  The greyhound, as we know it, could easily become an extinct breed.

A couple of months ago, Absolut vodka released an ad which show robotic greyhounds in 2049. If Grey2K and that organization's buddies - HSUS, PeTA & ASPCA, have their way, it is not inconceivable that our future will not have greyhounds, or any other breed, in it.

There's a book titled “Animal Rights vs Nature” written by Walter E. Howard back in 1990. Dr. Howard was a biology professor at the University of California at Davis for 43 years. His Ph.D. was in vertebrate ecology with an earlier degree in Zoology. He wrote more than 430 publications and circulated reports on animal welfare, ecology, behavior, population dynamics, and management and control of wild animals. This is a gem of a book and it has many wonderful quotes.

Many times, we have heard from the Carey Nation how they want to "end the cruelty of greyhound racing, end the suffering of the dogs."  Dr. Howard makes this wonderful statement,
“The only way to abolish pain and suffering to all animals is to eliminate (exterminate) these species.”
So, where will YOU be getting your next greyhound?  Where do YOU stand on the racing issue?  Do you support Greyhounds or do you support a political agenda?

Yours in greyhounds....