Barney, my beagle buddy, accompanied me on 2,700 remote shoots for WISH-TV from 1991 until 2003. I have no video evidence of these adventures, but who could forget them?
In his first few segments on TV, Barney’s chewing, howling and digging amused my audience but not my wife.
“Does he have to be bad at home, too?” she asked me.
A local vet specializing in bad behaviors offered to take Barney for a day or so, to try to curb these destructive habits. I agreed to this if Dr. Sampson would do a follow-up session on my show from my front porch. While the good doctor explained Barney’s training, the naughty hound dug up an entire rose bush in our landscape bed, splattering the vet with mud. This episode is on YouTube.
Search and rescue
If anyone suggested an idea for a segment involving dogs, I was all ears (and nose). In l996, a hunter wanted to demonstrate how his hounds could track a raccoon scent. Here’s what I did. After he spread a scent on the ground, I followed behind with some pepperoni. The two aromas separated after 50 yards, one going toward a tree and the other ending at a picnic table where I had deposited the tasty treat. When we released all the dogs, the coon hounds followed the coon scent and Barney parted company with them, ending up with a nice, meaty breakfast. That was live TV, one take, no do-overs.
For about the zillionth time, Barney scurried out a door during a live TV segment. He was on the loose in Greenwood. I called the police and asked them to keep an eye out for the little miscreant. Forty minutes later, a cruiser (with lights and siren on) arrived at my remote location. There, sitting next to the officer, was Barney ,,, in two sets of handcuffs. According to the officer, Barney got into a Kroger and was caught with a barbeque chicken in his mouth. He got arrested! For stealing a chicken.
They kill ants, don’t they?
Barney would eat anything. It’s a beagle trait. One night, I heard rustling in the kitchen and discovered Barney chomping on an ant trap. Barney extricated two traps from under the fridge and was enjoying their sweet flavor, the poison dripping out of his mouth. I rushed him to the animal emergency hospital. The veterinarian led us inside.
“He ate ant traps,” I stammered. “Will it kill him?”
“Oh, Mr. Wolfsie,” said the doctor, “they don’t even kill ants.”
And now, my television stories have come to an end. Thanks to everyone for watching over the years.