Legend has it that Jim the Wonder Dog successfully predicted the sex of unborn babies, correctly chose the winner of seven Kentucky Derbies and the World Series, could comprehend complex human speech -- and so much more. And now, the hard-at-work Missouri legislature is one step closer to making Jim the Wonder Dog...Missouri's official "Wonder Dog."
That's not all.
Jim, who is a part of House Bill 306, is not the only famous Missouri dog one step closer to becoming a part of law here. Old Drum, who was at the center of an 1870 Missouri Supreme Court case and who apparently inspired the "man's best friend" saying, may also become the official State Historical Dog.
"We had a lot of passionate Missouri citizens make cases for the dogs," Rep. Denny Hoskins, sponsor of the bill, tells Daily RFT.
This is not the first time these famous dogs have been the topic of debate in Jefferson City.
But why have one state dog when you can have two?
As written in the proposed bill, which successfully passed out of the Missouri House this week and is headed to the Senate, Jim the Wonder Dog would be the official Wonder Dog and Old Drum would be the official Historical Dog. Hoskins says it's good for tourism, too. So really a win-win-win here (unless you are a critic who thinks this is kind of an embarrassing waste of time).
"People care a lot about dogs and it's historical," says Hoskins, a Republican from Warrensburg.
So what's the deal with these dogs, exactly?
Fortunately, the draft legislation actually includes a lot of great detail! Certainly the most poetic Missouri legislation we've read all year.
Old Drum's death was the subject of a Missouri Supreme Court case nearly a century-and-a-half ago. The dog was apparently killed when he wandered onto someone else's property and the famous closing argument of the case, known as the "Eulogy to Old Drum," included the "man's best friend" phrase.
The draft bill includes the eulogy in its entirety with dramatic quotes like this:
The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.
"The case of Old Drum...is a significant part of Missouri history," says Hoskins.
Continue for more details (and a video) on Jim the Wonder Dog and the full draft legislation, eulogy and all.