August 2, 2007

In Memory of Beanie

A Heckuva River Dog
by John Breyfogle, photo by Tim Cheney
This weekend, our River Relief mascot, Beanie the river dog, went to his last clean-up at the mouth of the Osage River near Bonnots Mill, MO. Beanie's been all over the state, the most loyal dog ever. On Tuesday evening, he passed away. His fishing partner, John Breyfogle, wrote this little piece about his friend:

In Memory

Beanie passed away at the Animal Emergency Center on August 31st from complications of pancreatitis. He was 13 years old. He will be remembered most as our beloved River Relief Mascot, perched on the bow of a boat — ears waving in the wind.

He was an official volunteer for Stream Team 1876 — “Alligator Cove” and retrieved about 100 pounds of “floaters”during his career — styrafoam, plastic, and glass bottles and many tennis balls. His eyesight was uncanny, both at day and at night. He once formed his own little pile of trash on the river bank.

Beanie retired from retrieving trash in 2005 because of Arthritis and weak hips. We were on the river bank one day and he just sat there — looking over the water. His expression was — “I quit”, and it was both funny and sad. He continued to wade in the river but never swam again.
Because he couldn’t swim, I felt it was only appropriate to make him a River Relief Search and Rescue T-shirt.

Beanie loved to camp, fish and boat. He was able to retrieve a hooked fish on a line underwater in the murky Missouri River. It was the most incredible thing I’d ever seen. He never got tangled in the line and never got “poked”by a catfish. Once the fish was in his mouth it became motionless — another mystery. I remember hooking a 7 pound Carp and the major battle that took place. It was difficult for Beanie’s mouth to fit around the big fish. There was much thrashing and splashing and soon the cove was all muddied-up. He never quit though, until the fish was on the bank. With great effort he carried the fish up the steps from the river, placed it in the shade and laid next to it with the widest grin I’d ever seen.

I never told many people about Beanie’s fishing, in fear that he might be stolen.

Beanie was featured on a Hallmark card in his younger years, in the pet section of the major stores. He was paid $200.00 for 5 hours of work. I kept $!99.00 and gave him 1 dollar. He was happy. He saw me through times of adversity and had the incredible ability to “make everything OK.”

One day we were driving in my old pick-up and he was sitting very close. I wanted more space — so I turned and burped in his ear. He then turned and burped in my ear, a little muffled dog-burp. I began laughing so hard, that he finally moved over.
He touched the lives of hundreds of people he met along Missouri Streams and Rivers. He was quiet, gentle and perceptive, but most of all —
he was just Beanie.....

God bless my fishing buddy.

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