03.31.06

3:41 a.m.

Mufasa

Mufasa

I’m still rummaging through my old stuff. I came across this photo of my favorite greyhound of all time. I had actually planned on adopting him when he retired. Unfortunately, I never got the chance.

His name was Mufasa, and when you said, “Mufasa, Mufasa, Mufasa” he would twirl around twice then sit and stare at you. He was a personable dog and most of the handlers liked him, but he had a thing for me. He would spot me in a room and then try to pull whoever was holding him towards me. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with him, too.

His trainer was an asshole (one of the few that I’ve ever had to deal with in this business), and didn’t treat his dogs very nicely. The state had investigated him twice, and I believe he’d been fined both times.

I hated him.

Mufasa was a young dog, but he was already worth plenty of money as a stud because he’d won every regulation race he had run. I had spoken with Allen, his trainer, and told him I was interested in adopting him down the line when his racing days were done. He was an ass and told me I’d never be able to adopt him because he planned on “breeding him to death.”

Anyway, on October 11th 1997, Mufasa was slated to race and was the favorite. It was raining quite hard which made the track really fast and sloppy. He was wearing the red number 1 in the 14th race, and he came in first effortlessly. Or at least it seemed that way on the replay.

After the race I received a call in the paddock that one of the dogs was down. This happened occasionally and usually wasn’t anything to worry about. Some dogs were prone to cramping and would have to be carried back. I didn’t think anything of it.

A few minutes later, the word spread that it had been Mufasa who had been injured. He had been the one that collapsed at the end of the track; it was more than just a cramp. It had been a heart attack; he never got back up.

I was devastated.

I still remember everything about that day. It was the first time I began to lose my faith in people.

Allen wasn’t sad about Mufasa dying, he was angry. Angry that he wouldn’t get to breed him. Angry that he wouldn’t get to race him anymore. Angry that he wasn’t going to make any more money off of him. He refused to take Mufasa’s body claiming he was worthless now. He left it lying in the middle of the hallway.

I sat down next to Mufasa’s body and just held him for more than 15 minutes. No one bothered me. I cried so hard. Just thinking about it makes me cry.

I still miss him.

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