LaDonna Miller | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

LaDonna Miller 
Member since Oct 20, 2012


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Re: “Greyhounds put in harm's way so racino can prosper

I wanted to address the arguing over greyhound training. It seems most people who have posted on this topic know little to nothing about what/how it is actually done. As far as "training the greyhounds to run" , you don't. They do it naturally. They are an ancient breed of rabbit hunting sight hounds. It has been in their genes to run as they do for centuries. What a Trainer does, essentially, is maintain a healthy diet, which contains meat, Purina dog chow, rice, pasta, oatmeal, bran, and some kennels put in a few more or different things, some use fruit or green beans, some use yogurt. It really depends on the trainer. You (as a trainer) are also responsible for maintaining the overall health of your dogs, insuring they get the propper vaccines, ensuring any sore muscles are taking care of and rubbed down, trimming toe nails, cleaning ears, ensuring that your kennel does not have a parasite problem.
You also take the time to socialize your dogs, and yes, I have had "spooky" dogs before, but one thing you must understand is like people each and every dog has its own personality, some may be more shy than others and some may jump right up and knock you over just to kiss your face. Personally when I have a "shy or spooky" dog, I spend more time with them, it helps get them to open up some. Some of them become very people oriented, while others are fantastic with me, but shy up when they see a new person. What you must also consider is that dog has been with the same kennel of people for a long time. That is that dogs family and when you adopt them, you are a stranger, they need a period of adjustment, also they are not used to things in a house like a tv and tons of nic knacks and bobbles, When they see those things it is a bit overwhelming.
Also, you will never see me say "rescue", you adopt them from me, my dogs do not need rescued. Never have i mistreated one of my dogs. I love them all. I cry everytime I walk one to the adoption kennel. It isnt a totally bad cry, but if you can try to understand it is sad and happy all at the same time. I am sad because I will not get to see that baby again but i am happy knowing they are going to be someones pet. The GPA chapter here does a wonderful job at screening the adopters to ensure they can care for the greyhound and understand the breed. They also work with some groups out of state, both racing supportive and racing opposed t help adopt our babies out. And yes they are babies to us, they are a part of our family, just as the people who work in the kennel with me are family to me as well.
And as for some people training their dogs on living lures, you do realize they are not your typical house pet, right? They are hunting dogs. Beagles hunt rabbits too, are you going to tell the associtaions and owners of those dogs not to do it? Coonhounds, well doesnt the name say it, they hunt raccoons, do they need to stop too? Or how about Retrievers and ducks? Oh and then there are the people who hunt deer. How many other animals can you think of that hunt? Do they all need to stop? It is their nature, should they be forced to turn against it?
And you know, im not trying to say that every person who has ever been in the business has been a perfect kennel operator, there is bad in every business, but we get them out. We do what we can to ensure that if someone is abusing or neglecting their dogs they are pput out of the business, fined, and imprisoned. They also have their parimutual license revoked and are banned from being able to own/ train racing greyhounds.
There are a lot of so called "facts" that are stretched and manipulated to insure that the general public believes racing is a horrible thing, when in fact it is not. It is people and dogs working together doing what they love. the dogs love running and the people love working with the dogs. someone stated that the word "Athlete" pertains only to a person, to me and all the trainers I know, wether they are racing trainers, agility trainers, show trainers, horse trainers, they consider their animals athletes.
As far as my dogs performance at the track and what I try them to do there, I train them where to stop when the race is over, I do not train them to chase the lure, I do not train them to run, that is all a natural occurance. They love it and i love them. My heart races with them every time one of my babies races around the track, I cheer for them and celebrate with them even if they come in last place they went out there and tried and I am proud of them, no matter what. I can look at any one of my dogs and tell you everything you would ever want to know about them. I know their favorite treat, I have recently learned that a lot of them have quite a taste for pop tarts via my 2 year old sharing hers with them, yes I have children, they are in my kennel daily. they love the dogs every bit as much as I do and my dogs love them as well. I can tell you what dog isnt feeling well and I can tell you what dog is on the top of his/her game. The greyhounds that are retired or just never made it running stay in my kennel until the adoption kennel has room for them or they are adopted. they are not put down because they were too slow or they had an injury. If they do get injured, Im not trying to say it never happens, but as it happens in racing it also happens in football, hockey, nascar, all other sports, they are taken care of, they are taken to the vet, they are spoiled rotten until they are healed and can be adopted. What most of you seem not to get is that you take a very miniscule number of things that are negative and have happened and blow it up like it happens daily.
Unfortunately some people are too narrow minded to try to see the big picture, they are sheep that have to believe whatever someone who looks or sounds important has to say, because you know no one in a position of power EVER lies, right? What I am trying to get across, is until you have been in some racing kennels, until you have gotten ALL the facts, not just the ones some people want you to believe, dont judge racing, dont judge me, take the time, learn the truth.
I know there will be some people who read this who will attempt to tear me apart and bad mouth my character, I have heard it all before, but when you can come in my kennel and see how my dogs are with me, how happy they are to see me, how happy I am to see them, until you can experiance the joy I feel everytime I open that kennel door, the pride I feel when I see a dog I have trained go out on the track for the first time and try their best even if they loose, until you have tears run down your face from seeing the beauty and determination of a dog you are schooling at the track the first time, dont judge me, dont judge my business.

Sincerely,
LaDonna Miller

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by LaDonna Miller on 10/20/2012 at 3:25 PM
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