Archive for February, 2012

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Super Bowl ads

February 6, 2012

Yep, another post from me today. Is the world coming to an end?

Couldn’t let the Super Bowl go by without a short commentary on the dog ads this year…

Some of you may already be aware of the Sketchers ad featuring greyhound racing. There has been internet chatter for months in anticipation, including a Boycott Sketchers campaign by Grey2K. (And yes, I signed the petition to ask Sketchers to consider pulling this ad.) Here is the much-debated ad:

http://www.hulu.com/adzone/watch/325768/adzone-skechers-gorun-mr-quiggly

Check out http://www.grey2kusa.org/boycottskechers/ for the Boycott Sketchers campaign, to see how you can still respond to this ad.

My main issue with this ad is that it makes greyhound racing look like a popular, glamourous event. Look at all those people in the stands! Look at the lush landscaping, the UNMUZZLED greyhounds, the well-kept track. This ad was filmed at Tuscon Greyhound Park, one of the very worst tracks in the country. See this video: http://www.grey2kusa.org/azVideo.html and read this story from Tuscon News KOLD: http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=13725459  Does this look like what you see in the Sketchers ad? Not so much.

Why would a company want to associate itself with an industry that has a long and documented history of killing and cruelty? They are counting on the fact that most people don’t care enough to do the research themselves. Most people will take the ad at face-value, assume that greyhound tracks are well-kept places, popular family destinations. There’s no kill truck pulling up to the back door in this ad. But greyhound advocates need to let everyone know what the real story is.

Some people have said that all the ad needed was a little PSA at the end saying “Adopt A Retired Racing Greyhound” or some such thing. While that WOULD have helped start the conversation, I still think that the ad does too much to glorify racing. If this ad is responsible for even one person saying, “Hey, that looks like fun. Those dogs look so cool racing. I think I’ll go to a track and bet on them,” that’s too many for me.

Yes, I personally know trainers who love their dogs and make sure that all their dogs get into adoption. But that’s not the whole story of racing. I also personally have received countless dogs from the track with open lesions, unmended broken bones, unbelievable cases of parasites, including a dog who died within an hour of arrival here because his lungs were so congested that the stress and heat of the hauler ride was more than his little body could handle. And no one noticed. When people think of greyhound racing, I want them to think of those dogs. Not a pretty green topiary-filled park where happy dogs run in a circle while stands full of people cheer. When people think of greyhound racing, I sure as hell don’t want them to find anything to laugh about.

So please let Sketchers know what you think of this ad, and hopefully they will not continue to air it.

For a cute Super Bowl ad featuring a dog, check out the Bud Lite ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyFWSys3TJU&feature=share

This dog is really a rescue dog, and note the PSA at the end. This is the way to do it. For every ‘like’ Weego receives on Facebook, Bud Light will donate $1 (up to $250,000) to Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, ARF.  https://www.facebook.com/BudLight

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Long-lost dog mama

February 6, 2012

Here I am! Yep, I’m still alive. Sorry it has been such a long time since I put up a new post. The new (human) children have more than settled in, so thanks for your patience in the meantime.

Whenever I have brought a new kiddo home from China, my biggest fear is how they will handle the dogs, since in the vast majority of cases, the kids growing up in orphanages there have never interacted with (or maybe never even seen in real life) any kind of dog. Let alone a dog who is as tall as they are — or taller! With Sunshine (my first daughter, adopted in 2009 at age 4), we had the hardest time. She was in sheer mortal terror for 5 days after she came home. Meaning, if she so much as glimpsed one of the dogs in another room, she would begin shrieking at the top of her lungs until it was out of sight. But on the 5th day, she woke up and decided “Okay, I’m over it.” I remember getting out of the shower and hearing her crying… I went out to see what was up, and there was Lloyd sitting on the couch with her — dogs all around. I said, “What the heck are you doing??” We had been keeping them separate, and trying to ease her into it in very small doses. He said, “She is crying because I will not let her sit on top of Brad.” And from then on she has been fine with the dogs. Her favorite is Tobey — our big, black 12-year-old who is almost totally inert and sleeps through most anything. For some reason she loves him, and when she leaves for school in the morning she will often say to me, “Mommy, you take care Tobey for me while I gone, so he not be sad, okay?”

Maisy (adopted in 2010, also at age 4) had no fear whatsoever. In fact, that child has no fear of anything. (We keep saying this will serve her well in 20 years, but for now — holy crap!) She waded right into the sea of dog faces at the gate on her first day home, saying “Ohhhh, doggies!” (in Mandarin). In addition to her generally fearless personality, Maisy had been raised in a foster family. So she may actually have been around dogs before, although we will never know for sure since at the time she didn’t have the words to tell us, and now she has almost totally forgotten her life there.

Milo and Poppy were in the middle of those 2 extremes, but on the milder side. They cried a bit for a day or two when the dogs would get too close to them, but it was blessedly minimal. Now they are totally over it, although we are still working on how to be gentle and all that good stuff.

Right now we have 9 dogs here with us…. The 8 personal dogs (Tobey, Chester, Brad, Hank, Eyore, Tigger, Boozer and Beaut), plus an “adoptable” named Mr. Peabody (aka Petey). Petey is a special case, and probably will never be adopted. He is just barely 2 years old, and never raced. He has a spinal injury that causes him to walk a bit wobbly (although he can run full-out — it just looks goofy), and also causes him to be incontinent for urine and semi-incontinent for feces. At my house he gets let out frequently and wears washable diapers at all times. MNGR’s vet says that he needs an MRI (about $1500) to determine the extent of the injury and whether surgery might help. If surgery IS an option, that would run another $3-$4K. We just don’t have the means to provide that for Pete-Feet. He is happy, and in no discomfort. He just is not housetrainable. But he is just THE SWEETEST boy around. Sunshine loves to play with him, and he loves to play with her too. He goes bananas playing with toys and running around. He also likes to snuggle, and always needs to stand with his head between your knees.

The rest of MNGR’s adoptables are in foster homes, or down with Kelly & Brad in Rochester. Kelly & Brad have been doing a FABULOUS job of getting dogs adopted! They’ve already placed 5 hounds since the start of the new year. So a big thank you to those guys for their hard work!!

Please come hang out with MNGR at a Meet n Greet sometime! The website schedule is newly updated. We are also doing the Twin Cities Pet Expo again this year at the Convention Center in Minneapolis. The dates this year are March 24-25. We’d love some volunteers, or just come visit our booth.

Oh, and if you will be out of town and need someone to watch your hounds, I have a new page on the website with info on boarding here at the “House of Roo” (aka Jen’s house).  http://www.minnesotagreyhoundrescue.org/boarding.htm

Hope everyone is having a great 2012! I’ll be trying to post more often and keep y’all up to date on MNGR’s happenings. Thanks everybody!