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    Posted byadmin on Wednesday, April 06 @ 21:55:13 EDT
    Contributed by admin

    Most people call me Coach Weber.

    I am a greyhound owner and community leader.

    I coached football at Immokalee High School for 14 years and was a teacher/coach in Lee and Collier Counties for 26 years.

    I would like to comment to a guest column regarding greyhound racing.

    I am looked upon as an honest, hard-working leader of young men. I usually don’t get involved with public opinions but I can no longer sit back and listen to the exaggerations of Grey2KUSA.

    I have owned racing dogs for the last 12 years and raced most of them at the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track and loved every minute ot it. Since my retirement two years ago, I have gone to the track a couple of mornings a week to help work the dogs. Watching a young pup work in the morning is like watching a receiver learn to run a route correctly in football. You know when the light bulb goes off in his head and he "gets" it. It is rewarding to see.

    In my 12 years at this Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track I have never seen a dog mistreated. They are turned out four times a day for exercise, in addition to being worked in mornings or racing in a race. Each dog has a racing weight, and he must maintain a certain weight range or he will not be allowed to race. All dogs must have full shot records or they cannot run. These are checked by state officials.

    Besides regular worming, dogs are sprayed for ticks and fleas. In these economic times, these dogs are probably taken care of better than many people’s personal pets. I am amazed at how much love these dogs receive from kennel owners and workers, jumping and running when they get close to them. These people are with these dogs every day of the week.

    In my 12 years as an owner of dogs, I have probably petted out 20 dogs, as far away as Nova Scotia. A lady from New Jersey recently wrote me a beautiful letter to thank me for the wonderful retired greyhound she received from me.

    The National Greyhound Association spends thousands of dollars a year helping organizations pet out greyhounds. Yes, there are a few serious injuries as with any athlete. Everything possible is done to help these injured animals. During all racing performances there is a veterinarian at the race track.

    After the worst recession in modern times, greyhound racing is still a very popular spectator sport in Florida. I personally know attendance was up at the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track this year over what it has been during this recession. This track has been here for over 50 wonderful years and I hope it will be here another 50 years.

    Remember, race horses and greyhounds are both bred to race and they both love to run. These are two wonderful entertainment venues for residents and visitors to Florida.

    Thiswas printed in naplesnews.com

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