Dufus was a fine looking proud little beagle whose master was my friend Gregg. Dufus and Gregg were best friends and they use to do almost everything together. One of the highlights of the year for them both was the watching of the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show and so on a cold February night in 2008, they sat together on the couch to see which breed would win.
Most of the time the winning breed was either a terrier of some sort, a poodle, or some other fluff fluff dog as Dufus called them. There was no reason why the year 2008 should be any different. And it was in this mindset that Gregg and Dufus sat with their respective drinks and snacks at hand to watch the annual show.
The show progressed on as it did every year until something showed up on the screen that made Dufus sit up straight. It was the most beautiful beagle he had ever seen. He watched intently as the beagle on the television went through it's paces flawlessly. The announcer said the beagles name was Uno. Strange name for a beagle thought Dufus. Not a regular beagle name for sure. How could a dog with a name like Uno get this far into the competition? There was only one answer and Dufus knew what that answer was. This was absolutely the most perfect beagle he had ever seen. Dufus made a decision that if this beagle did not win his division and have a chance at Best In Show, that he was going to calmly walk over to the television and hike his leg. There was no other choice. If this beagle did not make it to the finals, then the fix was definitely in.
Dufus watched closely as the judge walked up and down the line of dogs. He noticed the judge stop and look closely at Uno before moving on. After looking over all the dogs in the division one more time, the judge pointed at Uno. Dufus jumped up and down. This beautiful beagle was going to the finals.
Dufus and Gregg watched the rest of the divisions waiting for the final round. The round that would name the dog Best In Show, the best dog at the whole Westminister Kennel Club dog show. Dufus felt a stirring deep inside and he knew, he just was positive that tonight was the night a beagle would finally take home top prize. He walked over and grabbed the package of Twizzlers that he had been saving for a special occasion. If ever there was going to be a time to break out the Twizzlers, this was going to be it.
As the final round started, both Dufus and Gregg were rooting for the underdog Uno. Both of them had a little knot in their stomachs but when Uno came out onto the floor from behind the curtain and Dufus saw how wonderfully built the beagle was, his nervousness left him. There was no way that this beagle was not going to take home top prize.
The judging began. When it came time for Uno to go through the required walk, he did it so smoothly you would have thought the dog was made out of cream. Dufus slowly began to open the bag of Twizzlers. Gregg tried to tell him it may be too early to be opening that stuff up because that miniature poodle looked pretty fine out there. No way thought Dufus. That poodle couldn't carry a bone next to Uno. This whole thing was the perfect setup for a beagle to take home top honors.
Finally the judge began his final inspection of the dogs. Dufus made note that the judge stopped twice at Uno and gave him a close looking over. The tension was building inside of Dufus. to the point where he was almost whimpering with excitement. The judge went over to fill in the book and bring out the Best In Show ribbon and trophy. He walked up and down the line of hopefuls then stopped in front of Uno. Dufus stared intently at the scene. This was going to be a moment he would remember for all time. As the judge finally awarded the top prize to the beagle, Dufus went bonkers.
He was up and dancing around in front of the television. He opened up the Twizzlers and started to twirl them in his mouth while he did a moonwalk on all fours across the floor. He did every dance he could think of and then started making up little cheers for Uno. Dufus decided that from now on he would refer to Uno as Uno the Great. He ran in circles and jumped up and down on Gregg. Every time Gregg would try to get up, Dufus would jump on his lap and push him back down. This was going to be a long celebration and Dufus was determined that Gregg would take part in it with him.
When it was all over and Gregg had gone to bed, Dufus sat on the couch with a stomach full of Twizzlers and water. He had filled himself with enough partying to last until next New Years. He sat and replayed the evening over and over in his mind. What a great day for beagledom. Finally the breed of beagle would be looked upon with awe and wonder. He pictured himself walking around the back yard as all the neighborhood dogs looked at him with a new respect because he was a beagle after all and a beagle was the Best in Show at the biggest dog show of them all.
Finally Dufus drifted off to sleep but the celebration continued in his dreams, and he dreamed that if Uno could do it, than other beagles could as well. Perhaps he himself would sire a young beagle that would go to New York and take top honors as Uno had. Dufus would never forget that night or Uno.
The news on the following days was filled with news of Uno, the wonder beagle and Dufus felt like he had a new friend in Uno even if it was a fantasy long distance friend.
Dufus passed away earlier this year. But even with his passing, Dufus gave Gregg as well as many other humans who knew him the pleasure of knowing that Dufus had been able to see a miracle before he died.
Rest in Peace Dufus. You are of a champion breed.