"Pam, I have to tell you something," Danford came to me with a serious look on his face. Something he hardly ever was.
"What?" He had my attention immediately.
"I saw Terri at the track last night."
"I haven't seen her in days." She hadn't been around the kennel since the day of the blow out 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.
From that night on I 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. Luckily 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.