I’ve Been Around Some

by Betty Zubritsky on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 6:38pm

Not as much as some folks, more than others. This biz will keep a body on its toes, it surely will. But I pursue it because I so truly love what I do.

Not the moving part.. the working part.

I want to believe that everywhere I’ve been has had something good. Something that enriched me, fulfilled me, brought a new facet to the depth of my passion in some way. Most of them have. And while I still mourn the loss of The Woodlands, and always will, it was Gulf Park in Texas that is my shining star.

I’m reminded of this because of a conversation I’m having (as we speak) with Laura Mae, who wants to go there. I hope she gets to.

Because while we were chatting, and while I was applauding the many good things there at the Gulf, I mentioned the leadouts. They… Are… Phenominal. The story goes like this:

We hadn’t had rain in a scorching long time. The grass was crispy underfoot. If you went shoeless, you’d cut your feet on it. Not kidding. So when the sky clouded up, we were happy to see it. Till it got bigger and bigger and oh my gawd this was gonna get ugly.

We had run perhaps 2 races when it hit. The rain did not come down in buckets, it came down in flippin’ BATHTUBS! In less than 5 minutes we were up to our knees in rushing water. We could not finish the card, the track surface was gone. Kennel people needed to get all the dogs out of the ginny and back to the kennels. In a thunderstorm. Not a good scene.

I held out my hands to receive my babies, and asked if the leadouts could help us. They are not required to. It is not their job. And the judges didn’t answer me. But every one of those kids came forward and volunteered to assist. They carried dogs and they carried dogs and they carried dogs some more until every one of those frightened babies was safely in his or her bed.

I was grateful for their willingness to help, and very proud of their dedication to our dogs. They risked their own safety to get the job done. Up to their knees in rushing water, with lightning strikes all about us. Those kids are awesome, and I NEVER say “awesome”.

I believe it took 4 days to resurface the track. When we weighed in for that first card, I looked at our leadouts again. With new and loving eyes. And I thanked them, every one, as they took my babies.. and theirs.. off the scale.