Saturday, February 16, 2008

Arnold Palmer

This image of Uno, the overall winner at the latest Westminister Dog Show was borrowed from Kay's blog, White Noise Insanity. (Did I just say borrow? More like poached I guess. I certainly have no plans to return it when I am done.)

Kay was thrilled a beagle has finally gotten it's due at the biggest dog show in the World. Seems this victory of Uno's raises the status of beagles from the hum drum world of hunting dog and cute pet to the high end of the dog kingdom, the runway. Where it's all about how you look dahling. Regardless, the once pedestrian beagle must be taken seriously now. The judges have spoken. Expect an uptick in beagle sales at higher prices.

Kay went on to refer to the intelligence of some dogs compared to other dogs. How some breeds are quicker on the uptake and need shorter learning curves. Okay fine. Enjoy the moment and fool yourself one breed is smarter than another. I responded that after many years of living with these animals, no breed or even mixed breeds seemed much brighter than the kitty poop cookies they all love to pick out of the litter tray. Pretty much about as dumb as they come. I love em, but they are stupid for the most part.

All of this reminded me of Arnold Palmer.

"Gee Mike, why would a beagle remind you of Arnold Palmer?"

Well, I'll tell ya.

Arnold Palmer was and still is considered by many old golfer farts as the greatest golfer of all time. To his fans, there will never be another one like him. The Michael Jordan of the links. Well maybe the Gretzky of the links would be more appropriate. (Didn't mean to play the race card here, but I guess the Michael Jordan reference would be better used when considering Tiger Woods)

My oldest brother idolized Arnold Palmer. To him Arnold was as close to perfection as possible in this game of drivers, irons, and stroke counts. So of course he named his new beagle pup, Arnold Palmer Macrum. Arnie for short.

Arnie is long dead now. His lifespan coincided with the tail end of his namesake's golfing career. The last 12 or so years Palmer dominated the game. But when Arnie the beagle was alive, he managed to carve out his own little kingdom. He was a champion in his own right.

His one true talent besides being cute was his almost savant ability to locate the one can in the neighborhood that was stocked the best, open it and chow down on the cream of the neighborhood garbage. Oftentimes, the only part of Arnie the neighbors knew well was that cute little butt and tale sticking out of one of their cans at the end of the drive.

There was no trash can Arnie could not get into. If it was outside, he would have his way with it. Neighbors even tried the cans with locking tops. But to no avail. Arnie would just knock em over and keep pestering that can until it opened and offered up last night's dinner that had not made it to leftover status. He was a local legend. My brother always had a new Arnie exploit to relate.

Arnie was not picky. Pretty much anything went down his gullet. Vegetables, chicken bones, moldy meatloaf, moldy bread, the occaisional sock, or tasty plastic tidbit. It was all good.

But every genius or natural has an achilles heel. While they may be super stars in their chosen field, there is always some quirk or failing that brings them back to Earth. Arnie was no different. Arnie did not know or maybe care to turn off the eating machine once his belly had been filled. He would literally eat until there was no more food or he collapsed.

One day when my brother,nephew, or niece,went out and called Arnie home. He did not show. This was not out of character for Arnie. He marched to his own tune, especially on that one day a week everyone put their garbage out for pick up. The day stretched on and still no Arnie. He usually checked in at least by noon. So they hit the streets and looked for him. Checked all his usual haunts, but no Arnie.

Early evening (and this is one part of the story I am hazy on) they either located him, or he finally made it home. Regardless, Arnie was not too moblie and definitely not feeling well. It seems he had found the mother lode of all garbage treasures. Someone had tossed out what had to be 50 pounds of spaghetti noodles. And Arnie, when faced with such a delectable mound, had done his best to eat all of it.

My brother told me that when he first saw Arnie, the poor dog's belly was so swollen, it almost touched the ground. There were spaghetti noodles hanging out of his mouth and undigested noodles hanging out of his butt. The dog was literally chock full of spaghetti noodles.

So whenever I hear the name Arnold or see a cute beagle doing beagle things, I always conjure up this image of my brother's dog, Arnold Palmer Macrum, literally busting at the seams with noodles coming out of both ends. Imagine if you will this mindset as I watched Uno the show stopping beagle strut his stuff in Westminister.

This post is for you Arnie. A champion among champions. For never backing down to the challenge of a well filled garbage can. And though you are gone from this world now, your exploits live on in our memories. Thanks for brightening my day ya dumb ass dog.

The Daily Winter Sucks update:

~Sun's out. Wind's out. Temps damn cold. But the sump worked all night. Dry basement and my mood seems to be in for a better day than yesterday.

~Don't tell my wife, but I fell off the roof yesterday. Trying to break up the brick hard snow cover and well, I got a tad too energetic. At least I had time to set up the landing.

~Yeah, it's gonna be a winter to remember.


KayInMaine said...

For the record, it wasn't me who originally said beagles are the most stupid breed in the dog kingdom. That was the response I was hearing online and on the radio after Uno won the dog show. I'm with you! All dogs are smart no matter what breed they are. The way they're brought up too helps with this.

I love my beagle mix. He's the best ole doggie a girl could ever ask for. :-)

A Midnight Rider said...

RYN about canal riding. I'm really looking forward to the tour.
BTW, I'm in Freeport every Thanksgiving weekend. Your shop pretty close?

Anonymous said...

I'm laughing at Arnie because my beagles are the same way. we had to put the garbage up on the countertop to keep them from getting into it and then they figured out how to climb onto the counter using the stools. so we took the stools away. Yes, Beagles will eat untill the pop. Ours once got into the fridge (it was open a hair) and ate an entire pizza and a fried chicken. he was swollen like a beach ball. Herbie.