With Collie Show In Town, Tulsa Expo Center Ready For Severe Weather

Friday, April 15th 2011, 12:25 am
By: News On 6

Emily Baucum, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- There was a doggie dilemma inside the QuikTrip Center Thursday night. Nearly 1,000 dogs and their owners are in town for a national Collie show.

4/12/2011 Related Story: Get Reacquainted With Collies At Tulsa Expo Center

It's special treatment for one special dog named Judie.

"She is a survivor in more ways than one. She's had two close calls with death." Alisa Pesek, Judie's owner, said.

Alisa Pesek remembers the day all too vividly.

"It was in southern Nebraska. The tornado that destroyed Hallam, Nebraska, was the tornado that hit our place," she said.

Pesek lost her house, kennel, and best friends.

"We lost six collies," she said. "They didn't die initially but they died from their injuries afterward."

Judie lived. Perhaps that's why Pesek feels such a strong bond with a dog.

"Here I am tearing up. It's still kind of raw, still," she said.

They're now a team, competing for blue ribbons at Collie Club of America show, with a little help from new friends. With storms brewing outside Pesek's got one eye on the competition and the other on their shelter.

"What's going to happen if something does develop? Where would they put us? What would happen?" she asked. "You know, you just kind of wonder. And you look at this building and there's no pillars."

Show organizers say they are aware of the severe weather threat. Luckily, the show's being held in the QuikTrip Center which is typically used for a tornado shelter. The plan begins with getting everyone, and all those dogs, into the bathroom.

"There's two or three sets of them on each side of the building," Anne Cross, show organizer, said.

Building management would use the intercom system and word-of-mouth to guide people to safety.

"We were given two pieces of information about where we would evacuate to or move to in the building," Cross said.

The show must go on, but Pesek says for her Judie and the rest of the brood, safety comes before the show.

"You get so attached to animals because all of them just have their own unique personalities," she said.