A Shaggy Dog Story

A commodities trader from the pits of Chicago, although successful at his trading, grew bored with trading and decided to seek out another line of work. Trading had become dull and boring, and he craved some excitement. He loved dogs, and, given his many years of experience in speculation and such, he figured he would do well raising and racing greyhounds for a living. So he went shopping for a kennel, and eventually found one he could afford.

The kennel owner was very much a dog person — in addition to his five racing greyhounds, he raised Lhasa Apso dogs for shows and Dachshunds to meet the demands of the many people of German descent in nearby Milwaukee. The trader wasn’t really interested in the Dachshunds or the Lhasa Apsos; he simply wanted to sell them off and focus on the greyhounds. But the owner convinced him to stick with all three breeds.

“After all,” he said, “everybody loves wiener dogs. They’re the best breed for kids, and with all the Germans up in Milwaukee, they provide a nice steady income. The Lhasas are a bit more trouble, though. You have to be careful with the grooming. You have to keep cutting their hair or they get scruffy and no one will buy them. But it’s worth it; it’s a very popular breed, one of the few you can keep in an apartment with little trouble. People pay top dollar for the fluffy little guys. But you do have to keep cutting that hair.”

So the trader decided to keep the Lhasas and the Dachshunds. True to the previous owner’s words, they were a good steady source of income. His luck with the greyhounds was not so good. Of the five he bought with the kennel, one died shortly after the purchase and two were losers; they had to be put up for adoption. The other two, while decent racers, were only good enough to earn their upkeep — certainly not fast enough to be worth breeding. Eventually, they, too, would have to be put up for adoption.

Just when the trader thought he would never regain the excitement he had in his early days in the pits, a famous Milwaukee brewer started sponsoring wiener dog races at the greyhound tracks! The trader jumped on this like fifteen teenagers on a twenty-dollar bill! He hired a groomer to keep the hair cut on his Lhasas, eventually turning that part of the business over to her and making her a partner.

He devoted full time to training, breeding and racing the Dachshunds. He became famous, at least in Chicago and Milwaukee. His combined income from the two breeds easily surpassed the money he made in the pits, and it was a lot more fun. When interviewed by a Chicago paper about the secret of his success, he replied: “There’s only two rules: first, do what you love and the money will follow. Second, cut your Lhasas and let your wieners run!”

M. Edward (Ed) Borasky

What phrase will you never hear Candice Bergen use?
“My daddy didn’t raise no dummies!”

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