In looking at her pedigree online, I noted that of the puppies in her litter (5) only one ever raced at all. And that one pup had only a couple races under his belt. At various times during our early life together I observed that Bettina had a strange running gait. It also quickly became apparent that she was EXTREMELY stubborn. And, much to Blue’s chagrin, she could be aggressive and frankly a bit of a bully. Any of these things I figured may have been part of the determination to put her out to pasture without a single race.
After much research on the internet trying to find a lure coursing group that was within 2 days travel time, I stumbled across Granite State Greyhounds. This club conducts amateur straight racing under the auspices of the Large Gazehound Racing Association. I had heard of straight racing, but really had no idea what to expect. Still, hoping I could find Bettina an outlet before she found one for herself that I didn’t care for, I made contact with the group. The race meets were held at a location that was about 2 hours from our house.
Someone came to our rescue by retrieving Bettina’s collar which I had dropped in the tackling process. I was flat on my back with a 60 pound dervish on top of me and thus in no position to do this myself. It was around that time that I was informed that those “fancy collars” were frowned upon in this venue.
With a muzzle and coat on loan from the club, we managed to stumble our way through a full day of racing. I went there with no real expectations for Bettina’s performance. She is, certainly, not in top racing condition and we were just coming off a full winter of little to no activity. Yet as the day wore on and Bettina raced pretty well, I admit I began to harbor some small hopes for her ranking and I began coveting one of those massive fancy ribbons that they were awarding at the end of the day. I may have become a teensy weensy bit caught up in the competitiveness of it all as well, but I did manage to avoid excessive displays of joy or poor sportsmanship.
After our triumphant day at the races, we came right home and mumma ordered Bettina a proper fitting racing muzzle. I ordered one for Blue as well to perpetuate his (and my) illusion that he’s not getting older. I tried to find some racing coats to order. There weren’t a lot of places to get them and we were looking at paying between $60-$100 for a full set of 4. Mumma thinks she may have a go at sewing Bettina her racing coats. Luckily, Miss Bean can’t complain about having something homemade and really wanting something store bought to impress all her friends. Now if I can just keep myself from becoming one of those overbearing stage mummas…Tally Ho!