February 15, 2012

One year ago today James Campbell ran into a burning racing kennel at Derby Lane and rescued every one of the dogs entrusted to his care. Today this is what he posts:

“Today is the one year anniversary of my kennel catching fire at Derby Lane.
It’s the day I felt strength, fear, sadness, happiness, sorrow, and pride at the same time.
I still wonder why I was able to save all my wonderful babies.
Michelle and I were supposed to go back to Naples that night. At the last minute we decided to stay in St. Pete for the night. How was it possible that decision was made?
What made me answer the phone in the middle of the night?
I have thought about all these things for a year now, I cannot even begin to have the answers.
What I do know. Is how lucky I am to have the people around me that day to help get the greyhounds to safety.
I know the pain and sadness just thinking about what could have been. The happiness and joy knowing how it turned out.
The sorrow for losing almost everything. The peace knowing the most important part of my kennel was saved that night.
I was so proud that day. Not of what I did, but of my dogs. They gave to me their faith and trust to me. Their unwavering love and commitment to me. They never knew they were in danger. They only knew I was there to protect them, They knew they were safe.
I want to thank all the people who helped that early morning.
I want to thank the strangers who extended helping hands.
Those who were had no idea who I was, and decided to help us rebound from this.
The kind words and encouragement of these people provided the strength needed.
You can not even imagine what your kindness has done for me.
I will never forget our first racer back on the track following the fire.. Backwood Johnny romped to an impressive victory. He brought goose bumps and tears as he cruised down the stretch that day.

I still get emotional thinking about that day. It’s no longer sadness and sorrow. It’s become happiness and joy. Despite everything that was lost, I gained so much more.

Feb. 15 might just be another day to you.
It’s the day my daughter said to me… Daddy you’re a hero, you saved 46 lives.

It’s the day I will never forget. “