GONE TO THE DOGS: Sal sinks to a new low

"Pam, I have to tell you something,"  Danford came to me with a serious look on his face - something I hardly ever saw on him.

"What?"  He had my attention immediately.

"I saw Terri at the track last night."

"I haven't seen her in days," I said.  She hadn't been around the kennel since the day of the blow out.  I had been working the kennel alone for days but I hadn't mentioned this to Danford or anyone else.

"She had a black eye."

"A black eye!  What happened?"  Alarm bells started ringing in my head. I knew what had happened before he even said anything and I thought I was going to be sick.

"I don't know.  She didn't mean for me to see her.  She was getting out of the car and into the dog truck while I happened to be walking by.  Do you know what happened?"

"No, Sal hasn't said anything about her being hurt."  I didn't know what else to say.  I knew he had beaten her up because of the whole weight thing and it was my fault for telling him about it in the first place.  Sal had been a complete prick for days.  I felt terrible. I just looked at Danford.  I could see in his eyes that he knew that Sal had done it.  He just didn't know if I knew about it.

"I gotta go, Danford."  I turned away and went to my kennel.  I crawled into a crate with Zorba and we lay there together with my head on his chest. I loved that dog and he loved me.  He always made me feel better when Sal was too much to handle.  I stayed there until it was time to load the racers.  I met Sal at the track as usual.  He wasn't in the mood to talk and I wasn't either.  I managed to avoid him for the rest of the night.

Ever since the night of the blow-out, I had basically worked alone.  I never saw Terri.  Sal would tell me what he wanted done and if I needed help, Barry would come in.  I did not see a turnout off for weeks and a whole day off was a distant memory.  Then one day Sal came in and told me Barry had a heart attack and was in the hospital.

On top if everything else I had to take care of Nameless and Shameless.  Those were the two puppies at the farm.  I had named them because nobody else seemed like they even cared if they even had names.  The names stuck because they seemed to fit their personalities.  Especially Shameless, she was a mischievous little sucker.

I asked about Barry everyday for three days.  Not with any great concern, just the general way you ask about a coworker who is ill.  On the third day Sal told me that he had died.  I didn't think anything else about it and I never asked about Barry again.  The puppy farm on top of the kennel was too much for me to take care of.  I was ready to quit.  Happily Sal came in one day and told me he was sending Nameless and Shameless to a farm in Kansas.  I was glad.  I needed a break. 18 hour days, 7 days a week gets old real fast...I don't care how much you love your job.

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  1. JayDee

    Wow … heavy shit!

    March 19, 2013