I’d like you to meet Derek, our newest addition to RTA. Derek’s a pure bred Greyhound and has accepted the position as the RTA mascot. And Yes, Derek is one of those racing Greyhounds. He’s retired now but luckily found a good home with Emily Brockman on our Engineering staff.
Greyhounds have a really interesting bloodline, actually an ancient bloodline. If you look at some of the ancient art from various museums around the world you’ll see dogs depicted that are extremely similar to today’s greyhounds. And if the pictures etched by hand on the walls of Egyptian tombs are an indication, Greyhounds must have had a significant place in ancient Egypt.
All around the world and throughout history Greyhounds have been revered. Some of the writings indicated that Arab princes celebrated the birth of a new greyhound only slightly less vigorously than they celebrated the birth of a son. A thousand years ago in England, laws were passed to restrict ownership of Greyhounds to those of the Noble Class.
Greyhounds were brought to America in the 1800s as a deterrent to jackrabbits which were destroying the crops of farmers throughout the Midwest. Their intelligence and gentle, loving nature made them very popular in the late 1800s.
The racing business started early in the 20th Century when Owen Patrick Smith invented the mechanical lure. That made racing around a track possible and spurred the growth of the Greyhound racing industry throughout the US. At its height Greyhound racing was a three to four billion dollar industry.
In the latter part of the 20th Century Greyhound racing and the wagering that goes with it started to decline and decline dramatically. In the early 90s alone, wagering dropped almost 50% in a five year period. This is similar to the decline that is being experienced in the casino industry today where the average age of a patron is over 65 years old.
But the dogs remain and are being retired and euthanized at a record rate. Unfortunately, they don’t get severance packages and they can’t be retrained to do anything else. A Greyhound runs. Runs all out for 2 minutes and sleeps most of the next 24 hours.
Well, RTA is doing something to help these animals. You’ll find a page on our website dedicated to Derek and his breed. We’ll be featuring Derek in some promotions and sending a portion of product sales to some of the organizations dedicated to finding homes for dogs like Derek.
But why do this? Well, it makes sense. Derek is a very good example of specialization. How, specializing in something makes it easy to understand and easy to use. Derek is designed for only one thing and is exceptionally good at that. Just like our Products, our Barcode to PLC gateway, our TCP to PLC gateway or our Modbus to BACnet gateway. We build products that only do one thing, do them very well and are easy to understand, just like Derek!