Thursday, July 27, 2006

Death in the North East

It's been 10 days now since the Sunday Times published its article about "the Seaham slaughterer" and the 10,000 greyhounds allegedly buried in his back yard. Any progress?

Well, Newcastle pound has reported 32 greyhounds being handed in over 3 days last week. Now, the trouble with handing dogs in to the pound is that the council don't have to wait 7 days before putting them to sleep, not if it's a "voluntary surrender". Dogs can be euthanased the same day. So, as it's the summer, the traditional time for dumping your dog while you go on holiday, the pounds are full, and dog wardens are bringing new dogs in every day - no room for the surrendered greyhounds. Neat transfer of the killing fields from the private to the public sector.

There is no obligation on the pounds to record or report the earmarks of ex-racing greyhounds, so once again, the dogs vanish and the racing industry claim there isn't a problem. Council taxes go up, someone's got to pay for all the lethal injections, but it sure isn't the racing industry that pays.

Isn't it time local authorities started keeping track? The NGRC might not be too keen... How many of the 8,000 dogs put to sleep in council pounds (Dogs Trust figures for 2005/06) are/were greyhounds? I think it's time we knew.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Still a wage slave

Six months have gone by, and I still am no nearer being At Home With Herbie. I am still in thrall to a capricious boss, widely renowned as being a **** to work for (complete strangers stop me in the corridor to commiserate, and every meeting I go to, people I barely know want to speculate about his psychological failings). The trouble is, I have a mortgage, and someone's got to pay for the pig's ears.

So, Herbie languishes at home, with only my elderly neighbour for company/ devoted servitude. (It's odd, sometimes, when I overhear them together, and my neighbour is repeating the exact same phrases I use, such as "There's nothing in here for little dogs.") (Herbie is, needless to say, a large dog.)

My house is up for sale, but it's so weeny (I mean bijou, antique, full of historic character, redolent of a bygone era) (when everyone was much smaller) that I'm having trouble selling it, so Plan A, which was go live in a caravan/shed/derelict croft on the proceeds is not progressing.

There was no Plan B.

The sensible thing would be to find another job in the same line of work, but the last months with Four-Asterisks has left me worn to the bone, and determined never to put myself through this amount of elephant-poo ever again. Which means I'll never get a mortgage ever again, but I've got very little equity in the dolls'-house, so realistically I'm going to have to spend the rest of my life in a caravan.

Self-employment would be an option, if I knew what to do. I've thought about organic catnip mice, pet-sitting, selling things on e-Bay, you name it, but somehow I crawl home each night too dejected to get any of these off the ground. More effort needed. Or a plan, even. A plan would be good.

This was going to be the year I ended up at home with Herbie. His life will be short - so will mine be if I stay in this job.