Thursday, May 17, 2012

Skechers in a little trouble? Karma?

Karma is something, huh?
Remember the debate about the below Skecher Super Bowl commercial.


The debate was involving the glamorization of Greyhound Racing.  Greyhound Rescue and Protection organizations were asking for a ban on the commercial.  Grey2K USA organized the boycott at some 300 Skecher U.S. stores, including a rally outside their store in Tucson.  They were hopeful that the company would hear the concerns and realize their mistake by withdrawing their promotion of dog racing.

Now, fast-forward to today, Skechers USA is in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after they determined that their claims about Skechers "Toning Shoes" are false.





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Friday, May 11, 2012

Interest Wanes in the Once Popular Greyhound Racing

Good News!


It’s a warm, breezy late-spring day, one on which you want to be outside to enjoy the weather before summer and its oppressive humidity arrives.

It was days such as this that the grandstands at Naples Fort Myers Greyhound Racing & Poker in Bonita Springs used to be packed.

But crowds who watch and wager on greyhounds have declined dramatically over the past two decades.

On a recent weekday, there were fewer than 200 people outside watching a race. Most patrons were inside, huddled around TV sets, poring over the Daily Racing Form’s workouts, bloodlines and past performances and watching horse races simulcast from around the country.

Others inside the poker room were focused on their cards. It’s doubtful any even heard the call of the greyhound race under way less than 100 yards away.

Greyhound racing and the city’s greyhound track on Bonita Beach Road — opened in 1958 and once an economic, tourism and entertainment hot spot for all of Southwest Florida — isn’t as relevant as it used to be. Many believe it’s a sport and form of gambling locked in the past, something for only a handful of die-hards, curious tourists and grandparents to enjoy with their grandchildren.

“Years ago, it was the place to be,” said Robert Sharkey, a Bonita Springs resident. “You’d put on a jacket and go meet friends from North Fort Myers for dinner inside the clubhouse.”

Bonita Springs Mayor Ben Nelson first stepped foot in the track when he was 7.

“It really was the only thing to do in town besides going to the Wonder Gardens,” he said. “I remember Old 41 being backed up for miles — in both directions — with people waiting to pull into the lot. It used to be packed every day.”

In 1990 — before the Florida Lottery, horse racing simulcasting, poker rooms and casinos — paid attendance at the track exceeded 786,000 for 422 races. Last year, with 406 races, the track’s attendance was 162,283, according to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation’s division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.

Betting dropped from $73.6 million in 1990 to $9 million last year.

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Release the Hounds

New homes, new families help greyhounds enjoy life after the racetrack

“There’s nothing like walking two or three dogs in a hoop skirt and a corset,” says Joanne Johnson.
She would know, having recently returned from a weekend of doing just that at the Georgia
Renaissance Festival. She volunteers for The Hounds of East Fairhaven, a group that performs
at festivals throughout the Southeast, in full period garb, promoting adoptions for greyhounds as
well as other “sighthound” breeds, such as borzoi, whippets and Ibizan hounds.

Through her work with Greyhound Crossroads , finding good homes for greyhounds has been
Johnson’s passion for the past decade. “Ever since I adopted my first greyhound,” she said, “I
just fell in love with the breed.”

Greyhound Crossroads, based in Greenwood, has been around since 1997, providing foster
homes for more than 1,000 retired greyhound racers, and working to find permanent homes for
them in the Carolinas and Georgia.

After adopting her first greyhound more than a decade ago, Johnson immediately volunteered
to foster dogs, and is now the Greenville representative for Greyhound Crossroads.

The organization, which also has representatives in Easley, Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle
Beach and Augusta, S.C., as well as in Charlotte, N.C. and Augusta, GA., is the longest-running
greyhound adoption group in the state. Greyhound Crossing describes itself as “pro-greyhound,
racing neutral and anti-abuse.”

The racetracks aren’t necessarily the bad guys, Johnson explained.
“We like to work closely with the tracks, with the trainers, and with the individual racing owners,” she said. “They’re taking good care of them and working very hard with us.”
Some of the greyhounds’ previous owners and trainers pay up to $80 to transport a dog to his
new home, or pay for spaying and neutering, or make other generous donations, Johnson said.
“In most cases, we’re taking a valuable athlete worth thousands of dollars from somebody who’s done their best to take care of the dog in the best way possible so they could be a successful racer,” she said.
Greyhound Crossing has no kennels, Johnson said. “We rely on a great network of foster
homes to take in the dogs and work with them and teach them how to be in a house.”
The dogs have a lot to learn before they’re ready for their adoptive homes.
“A lot of our dogs have never been in homes before,” Johnson said. “ They've come straight from the racetrack. So we need to teach them how to walk on shiny floors, because they don’t have many of those at racetracks. We teach them how to go up and down stairs. Basic house manners. And usually they learn so fast. It’s just amazing that within a few days they can make that transition from living in a kennel to living in a home.”
Most of the dogs come from tracks in Florida, and have retired relatively young from racing.
“We usually get them when they’re between 2 and 5 years old,” Johnson said. And since greyhounds typically live between 12 and 15 years, “they’ve got a lot of good years left when we get them.”
Some of the dogs in the worst shape, Johnson said, are the rescue dogs the group finds at
shelters or accepts from families who are unable to care for them.
“Usually, if a greyhound turns up in a shelter, the greyhound community will go to the shelter and get the dog and adopt it out ourselves,” she said. “Greyhounds are very unique, just like all breeds are unique. I know a lot about greyhounds, and the adoption community knows a lot about greyhounds. And the Humane Society and groups that handle more breeds of dogs may not know as much about each specific breed that they’re handling. We believe that we’ll do a better job of placing that dog and educating the owners about this specific breed, because we just deal with this specific breed.”
Detailed knowledge of a specific breed is the philosophy behind several breed-specific dog
rescue and adoption organizations in the Upstate and around the country. Locally, FootHills
Golden Retriever Rescue in Greenville and Carolina Poodle Rescue in Greer are two groups
providing breed-specific services. Nelly’s Nards in Liberty handles St. Bernards, and Ararat’s
Doxie Haven works with purebred dachshunds.

For example, those unfamiliar with the breed may not know that greyhounds have larger hearts than most dogs. “Not even all vets know that,” Johnson said. Greyhound Crossroads has a network of greyhound specialist veterinarians, and provides support for other vets.
Joanne Johnson, who works with Greyhound Crossroads, walks her three dogs and three foster greyhounds. 

New greyhound owners are also often surprised to find out their dogs aren’t speed demons.
“We call them 45-mile-an-hour couch potatoes,” Johnson said. “They’re sprinters, so they do a 30-second race at the racetrack once every three to five days, and that’s it. I wish I could exercise that little and look as good as they do. They’re the supermodels of the dog world.”

For more information about Greyhound Crossroads, visit www.greyhoundcrossroads.com .
And for more information about this article read Journal Watch Dog

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London Mayor Asked to Stop Greyhound Racing


London Mayor: Voted Against Considering A Re-Introduction Of Greyhound Racing As An Option For Walthamstow




On Tuesday 8th Mat Waltham Forest Council approved a housing scheme for the site of the former greyhound track - The Stow - but the final decision rests with London Mayor - Boris Johnson, who has favoured the rival plans of pro-racing millionare Bob Morton. Announcement of the final decision is expected the week begining Monday May 21st.

As well as the concerns of the greyhound racing industry - regarding numbers of greyhounds - injuries often sustained on the track - and welfare, Boris should also be aware that the industry, sustained on the inherent abuse to greyhounds, is in a welcomed and long-term decline.

With yet more trainers leaving the industry 'in search of an alternative and worthwhile living' and news of recenthousing plans for Wimbledon greyhound track, whos racing manager, Gary Mathews, spoke out in January with not subscribing to 'the misguided view held by those from another planet that greyhound racing is currently enjoying a renaissance - its not, simple as!'

Even pro-racing Ricky Holloway of the campaign to re-open The Stow has clear concerns on the financial viability of greyhound racing in the UK.



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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Daddy is HOME!!!!


I get excited when Daddy comes home! I miss him!
I couldn't capture how his tail was beating me from wagging so hard.  Made it hard to steady the camera.  I love how Derby runs to greet us when we return home. There's no better greeting than from man's  (and woman's) best friend!  He even knows the sound of the engine, so there is no excitement when the UPS or Mailman pulls up. 

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Let's Play

My former foster Mommie took this picture. 

I'd rather chase a cat or squirrel!!!



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Monday, May 7, 2012

Seven

Derby's handsome former Foster brother, Seven, from Never Say Never Greyhounds




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Derby's First Long Distance Trip

What? Why are you  packing my cage and pillow?


We're going on a car ride!!!  I love riding in the car!



We packed Derby's favorite pillow, blanket, and his cage. He had his own suitcase with his food and treats, and a cooler with bottled water, and some chicken liver.  In the picture above he is laying on is pillow with his cage underneath.  Derby loves car rides.  In our Ford Expedition, there's enough room for our bags and for Derby to stretch out and enjoy the sights, and he did.  It was a five hour trip to Gulf Shore, Alabama.  We stopped twice for potty breaks, and he loved the new smells and sights.  Tony, his brother and I traveled, so I split the second roll of seats, I sat in a seat, and flattened the seat next to me to he could stretch out next to me.


Are we there yet?


Once we got to the hotel, we set up his cage first, and that was the first place he went to once we got to our room.  We wanted the first floor, but got the second floor.  The elevator was really loud, so he wasn't too happy the first two trip in it.  But after that, he understood, and took it with stride.  He even went up and down the stairs.  Why I can't get him to do that at home is beyond me.

The visit to Gulf Shore was for a wedding on the beach.  When Tony left the room, Derby didn't like that too much.  So he would either lean out the cage staring at the door or lay at the door with his favorite blanket, waiting to hear the click from the hotel door key.  

When is Daddy coming back?

Being the weekend, many of the accommodations for the weekend were full.  Especially the ones that allow pets.  But the Econo Lodge, has a suite for us, and only asked for a returnable $20 pet fee.  Derby was so popular there.  People loved him, especially the kids.  Many had not seen a greyhound up close, and they were so shocked at his friendly nature, namely women.  Derby seems to be attracted to the high pitched voices women use when they talk to him, as if they were talking to a baby.


Five Star accommodations, LOL.  AAA gave them two stars.



It was a great trip. The rooms were fine. Derby did well on his first long distance trip.  When we pulled up to the house, I immediately took him out to potty.  Once he was finished, Tony was still unloading the car, Derby jumped right back in as if we were going some place else.  Once he got into the house, his cage was set back up as it was before, his pillows were placed in all their usual places, and he curled up and fell asleep.
 Grey Love to you all. xoxoxo



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