Tales, tongues wag as dogs have their day | Greitens makes Old Drum state historical dog, Marshall’s Jim Missouri’s official wonder dog
WARRENSBURG — A crowd approaching 200 gathered in front of the statue of “man’s best friend” on the city square Friday, June 23, to witness Gov. Eric Greitens sign legislation designating Warrensburg’s Old Drum as Missouri’s historical dog and Jim the Wonder Dog as Missouri’s wonder dog.
Before signing Sen. Denny Hoskins’ bill, Greitens read the “Eulogy to A Dog” delivered in 1870 by Sen. George Graham Vest to a Johnson County jury.
“If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege,” Greitens read to the quiet crowd, “than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.”
After hearing that eulogy, jurors voted to support Vest’s client in a $50 claim against the man who ordered Old Drum shot.
“One hundred and forty-six years later, I say it’s time for us to make Old Drum the state historical dog and make Jim the state wonder dog. What do you say! Let’s do it,” Greitens said to cheers and applause, and after putting his name to the law, he announced, “We did it, guys.”
“Governor Greitens, this is quite a day,” one of Jim’s supporters, Donna Huston, Marshall, said.
Huston thanked Greitens for signing the bill and said she is pleased Old Drum and Jim received recognition on the same day.
“We are very honored to share the title with Old Drum as the historical state dog and Jim the Wonder Dog as the state wonder dog, and I’ve got to use the word ‘state,’” Huston said. “As Senator Denny Hoskins said, it’s certainly going to help tourism and economic development, and not only in Missouri, but all over the nation.”
She said across the nation there are pet owners who love their dogs.
“It all comes down to, really, a dog is a man’s best friend,” she said.
“It’s a great day for man’s best friend,” former Sen. David Pearce, a longtime supporter of the legislation, said. “Senator Hoskins – he kept pushing this bill in the House and also in the Senate, wouldn’t give it up, and we’re here because of that. He put a lot of work into this.”
The bill becomes law Aug. 28.