Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stump: Inspiration for senior citizens

IT WAS WITH a little more than passing interest that I  witnessed the bestowal of the Best of Show award to a shaggy recovering retiree at this week's Westminster Kennel Club dog show in Madison Square Garden.  The against-all-odds winner was a 10-year-old Sussex Spaniel who survived retirement and a near fatal illness to be paraded to the winner's circle for the trophy.  The victor's name was Stump, which was inspired at some time past by the fact that he was thought to look like a tree stump.  In normal moments, that alone would have cost him points.  

Aside from the fact that I am fully charmed by dogs, mostly the mutt variety that can torment you for attention as they did to me  for more than three decades,   I am also aware that in dog years Stump has got to be around 70 years old.  That may not mean much to a passerby but those of us who have joined the septuagenarian crowd have reason to celebrate that a senior citizen like Stump could still compete - and succeed - in a world that is now pretty much in the hands of early teenagers.  

Stump's managers promise to return him to peaceful retirement, which for me has been  a non sequitur as a writer who has resisted   the peaceful languor  of an easy chair.    As for Stump's legacy, some observers are already wondering whether Michael Jordan or Hank Aaron could be inspired to return to their games.  I don't think so.  For some of us, Stump is all of the inspiration we need for a day or two.           


Mencken said...

Look for one of Stump's litter mates to accuse him of using steroids as a puppy.

PJJinOregon said...

I'm glad the elections have passed. Otherwise, we'd be forced to listen to a Stump speech at the award ceremony.