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Steve Robertson

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The Mutt Race
By Steve Robertson
Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rated "G" by the Author.

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I was about eight years old when it was advertised in the paper that a dog track in Sarasota, Florida was hosting a “Mutt Race.” What it meant was that we could bring our family pets to race on the track for a prize. I was certain my wonderful pure-bread Doberman pinscher would win. Kurt was a magnificent animal and more of a sibling to me than a pet. I had gotten him when I was quite young and we were growing up together.
As things can only be when we are young, the prospect of the whole event had an aura of fantasy about it. And I was fantasizing as to the glory I’d experience when my noble pet won the race. I knew that Dobermans were one of the fastest of dogs and Kurt had blazing speed.
The dogs were to be put in the little starter cages on the track. The mechanical rabbit would be run past it and the doors to the starter cages would spring open just like they did for the real greyhound races. Ostensibly, the splendid and beloved animals would take off after it and the first to cross the finish line would be crowned the winner. I needed to train Kurt to chase the rabbit.
I went to the store and bought a stuffed rabbit. I tied a cord on it and teased Kurt with it. Then jumped on my bike and sped away, trailing the rabbet behind. At first, I couldn’t get him to pay any attention to the stuffed rabbit but, in time, he gave half-hearted chase to it. Then came the big day.
Boy was I proud. I had my glistening black and tan buddy on a nice new leash and there was no doubt to me that he was the best dog there. We were shown to a large room where we were to wait and there was also a fenced in area outside where we could walk our pets. So I walked around in there with Kurt whereupon he dutifully marked out his territory on nearly every post in the fence.
Kurt was perfect in almost every way, but he did have a propensity to strongly dislike other male dogs. I had to struggle to keep him from challenging many of them. He also was somewhat of a Romeo and wanted to stick his nose in the dank nether-parts of every female he passed. At close to 100 pounds, Kurt made me struggle to control him.
Finally we were told to take our dogs to the starting cages. My heart had begun to pound in excitement. I could see my mom, dad, and brother at the far end of the track sitting in the bleachers. I was talking to Kurt, telling him to get the rabbit and just jabbering a lot of kid stuff to him. Kurt seemed nonplused by all of the commotion. He was not used to big crowds. I got him in the cage, unfastened the leash and closed the door.
Excitedly, I trotted down the track about a hundred yards or so with the other kids to where we would line up across it to call to our pets to run to us. Kurt and I were about to become heroes!
I could see the rabbit being run around the curve behind the cages in preparation for the chase. It reached the cages and the doors sprang open. “KURT, GET ‘EM BOY, GET THE RABBIT!” I was screaming at the top of my lungs. Poor old Kurt kind of stumbled out of the cage looking befuddled. He was not in the least interested in chasing the rabbit.
Then to my consternation, Kurt trotted over to the fence and jumped easily over it. The fence was at least four feet high and he landed in the grass of the infield on the other side. Then right before my amazed eyes, right before a stadium full of people, Kurt proceeded to fertilize the infield with a pile that seemed to be the size of Cheops’ Great Pyramid. An ugly, shaggy-haired little mutt won the race.

       Web Site: Ranch Boy Books

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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 11/18/2007
well done
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 9/29/2007
Cute story; enjoyed; thanks for sharing! Very well done; bravo! :)
Reviewed by Missy Cross 8/11/2007
Reminds me of the feverish earnestness we kids always used to have for those glory dreams. And don't dogs always throw you for a loop when you least want them to? LOL I enjoyed this!

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