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A day at the dog races

"C'mon, Yellow Dog!"

"You can't be poking the dog!"

The bartender pretty transparently hated the idea I had after not quite a whole day of watching dogs race each other in various saddish Floridian racetracks. That idea was perching crows—creatures whose intelligence and hollow bones place them in the top tier of potential fauna-jockeys—on the slim haunches of the greyhounds we had been watching; this was for the express purpose of rectifying this strange sport's most glaring weakness, which is that dog-racing looks and feels and is an awful lot like watching dogs chase each other around, unsupervised.

Since nobody, or nobody with greater cognitive juice than a dog, is calling the shots, it seems that whichever dog has the most advantageous break will finish first. Having placed itself at the forefront of the pack early, and with no strategic mind elucidating counter-strategies to its opponents—and we're talking basics, here, like, say, cutting inside on the rail and pushing the fucker wide, a move which routinely causes the outside hound to lose contact and come down as if on hardwood, whip-like legs flagellating for bite, flailing track medium everywhere, fishtailing wildly before finding the curve—the dog in the front tends to stay in the front.

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