Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Deadly Juice (part 2)

Wayne came in the next morning and helped with the beds and sprinted dogs and took me to Shoney's for breakfast. (good trainers always buy their help breakfast) As we got to know each other, the other trainers kept stopping by the table. I was fascinated by the fact that they all knew each other. This was despite the fact that they came from different parts of the country. Of course after I was in the business a few years I learned that you never need to say bye to someone when they leave because more than likely you will run into them again somewhere down the line. The average trainer's job last about 3 months. The average helper's job lasts about 3 weeks.

We went back to the compound after breakfast and he said, "Now, this is where your training begins. From here on out, I don't care what anybody has told you before, you do things my way. Got it?"

"Got it."

"First we are going to change 2nd. turnout to after we feed. It's crazy to do turnout and then feed them. If you turnout after you feed they can go to the bathroom if they need to, they don't have to wait until we come back for 2 o'clock turnout."

" 2 o'clock. I've been turning out at 4."

"I know. That changes. From now on afternoon turnout is at 2. Then we will turnout racers and pissers at 5:30 so they can clean out before we go to the track. It's a little more work but it will pay off in the end. By the way, I give bonuses too."

Of course that brought a big smile to my face.

Then he said,"I want you to mix feed today, so I know what they been getting. Tomorrow we do it my way." I proceeded to mix the feed while he weighed the racers. He surprised me by weighing the next day's racers too. When I asked him why, he said, "If you don't weigh them the day before, then you don't know if there is a problem with their weight. If there is a problem you need time to fix it. You can do that if you weigh them the day before. You can't if you wait until the day their in. I don't want to do something drastic to get them across the scale."

After feeding, he started to go over the dogs (check for soreness and injuries and general grooming). I learned more from him when he checked that first dog than I had learned in my entire 3 months in the dog business. He also told me the secret to the "deadly juice". The "deadly juice" was his own personal recipe for linement. I was to later learn that other trainers would try to trick that recipe out of me. I never gave it to another soul - not even my husband. (afterall we were competitors in the dog business)

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