GONE TO THE DOGS: I have a target on my back

About a month later Sal came in the kennel one morning.  "Got big news, got big news,"  he said,  "Meet Barry.  I just bought a puppy kennel and Barry is going to run it for us, aren't you Barry?"  Barry was a pleasant looking man.  Tall with snow white hair and a neatly trimmed beard to match.  He didn't look like a dog person.  He was much too clean, much like Sal.

"Glad to meet you Barry.  Where is this puppy kennel?"  I directed the question to Sal.

"C'mon Pam, time for breakfast.  I'll tell you everything there.  Just meet us and bring the truck."  He was already out the door and Barry smiled at me as he followed Sal out the door.  This was great.  Now I was going to have to spend an hour or two at Shoney's again.  I was getting really sick of the place.  But I was told to go to Shoney's so I had no choice.  I went to Shoney's. Barry was a really nice guy and the puppy kennel wasn't too far away.  There were only two puppies there so it really wasn't a big deal but Sal had big plans as usual.

The only time I ever saw Barry was for schooling.  Other than that nothing changed in the kennel.  Terri and I had a routine and everything was going smoothly.  That is until it was time to blow out the dogs again.  Terri had the bright idea of feeding the dogs BEFORE we blew them out.  "It will save time,"  she said.

"I don't know, Terri.  We've never done it that way."  I pointed out.  She said she wanted to do it that way though so that's what we did.  We fed them.  We gave them the milk of mag.  We went to Shoney's and when we came back to the kennel the stench of diarrhea hit us in the face before we even opened the door. 

We walked in to find that every dog in the kennel had blown out in their crates.  It was in their beds.  It was on the walls, in the floor and on just about every dog in there.  It looked like somebody had painted the whole damn kennel in that awful iridescent, slimy, green shit.  I wanted to cry.  Neither one of us was going to make it home that day. This was an all day job.

We finished cleaning in time to run home, get a shower and for me come back for afternoon turnout. Terri wasn't going to come back until weigh-in. At afternoon turnout I made an awful discovery.  Terri must have blown out the racers too because they were all a couple of pounds underweight.  If I didn't get it straightened out the kennel would be fined a massive amount of money and all the dogs would be scratched.  The problem was I was too new.  I didn't know how to fix the problem.  I couldn't feed the dogs.  It would create all sorts of problems - some of which were potentially deadly to the dogs. 

I had to call Terri.  At least I wanted to call Terri, I sure didn't want to be the one to tell Sal what was wrong.  I went to the guard shack and I called their house. Sure enough Sal answered the phone.  When I asked to speak to Terri, he refused, he wanted to know why I was calling her.  He knew I wouldn't be calling at that time of day unless something was wrong.  He forced me to tell him about the screwed up weights.

He went through the roof and started screaming at me through the phone.  Even the guys in the guard shack could hear his ranting on the other end of the line.  He told me I knew better than to blow out dogs that way and for the first time ever he threatened to fire me.  I had to tell him that Terri wanted it done that way.  "Well, you should have stopped her,"  he ranted!

THEN I got truely angry at Sal.  I had had enough and I yelled back through the phone and this got everybody's attention in the guard shack.  They started to exchange looks and started snickering with each other.  Until this point they had no idea why Sal was yelling, they just knew he was furious with me.  They finally heard me yell into the phone, "Is Terri my boss?"

"Of course she is," he answered.

"Am I supposed to do what she tells me to?"  I yelled back at him.

"Yes, you are."

"Well then, don't ever holler at me again for doing what my boss tells me to do.  If you want to make a change, then fine, I'll take over.  But until the day you do, don't ever holler at me again for doing what she says to do."  I slammed the phone down on the receiver.

The guys in the guard shack started cheering.  This was great.  Somebody finally had the nerve to tell off Sal.  They rode my ass hard as they laughed about my impending firing with glee.  They were lining up to get my job as the best paid help in the compound right in front of me.  They resented the fact that I was a girl and I made more than they did.  Not to mention the fact that for my level of experience I was really paid too much to boot.  It was the first time I ever knew of a sign being on my back in the dog business. I left to go back to the kennel to wait for Sal.

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Comments

  1. JayDee

    “If I didn’t get it straightened out the kennel would be fined a massive amount of money and all the dogs would be scratched”

    Why would there be a fine for under weight Dogs? Don’t understand that part. Do all racers have to be the same in weight before a race meeting?

    March 19, 2013
    1. damnpamn

      Each dog has a predetermined weight. The trainer sets the weight he or she feels is most healthy for the dog to race at. You have to be within a pound and a half (couple of kilos, I guess) over or under. If it varies more than that the dog is not allowed to run. The thinking is if they lost a lot of weight they are probably sick or something, It also keeps trainers from fixing races by feeding dogs collosal amounts of food to slow them down.

      March 19, 2013