Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Izzo, Our Course Dog

As the saying goes, a dog is a superintendent's best friend. Our loyal companion has lived at the course for over 5 years. She was found by Billy James, the previous superintendent in a rain soaked parking lot in Stockton. Billy and his girlfriend spent over twenty minutes coaxing the confused pup into their car. She acted like she had been abused and was extremely skittish and emaciated. As you can tell from the picture, she now has plenty to eat.

Izzo took some time to adjust to her new environment, but has become much more comfortable over the past couple of years. She used to startle very easily at loud noises and cower whenever someone pulled out a golf club, hose, or rake. That attitude has been replaced by the arrogance of a dog who sits in your way when you're parking a rough unit and jogs in front of Bert's cart during course setup.

Bert Ryan, our course setter, is nearly inseparable from Izzo. The above picture must have been taken on a cold morning when Bert had the day off. He spent some time, a few months ago, snapping glamour photos of Izzo to gain her admission to the annual Turfnet Dog Calendar. She did not make the cut, but we did receive a coffee mug with the photo on the side. Bert proudly showed off the mug during the next week at work to all the staff and probably half the members. Unfortunately, we might need a better camera for the calendar and a pure bred in exchange for this sweet mutt.

Izzo, by my best guess, is half Rottweiler and half Beagle. She was named by Billy after Tom Izzo, the head coach of Michigan State's basketball program. Billy graduated from MSU and said it was part of my contract not to change her name, since I graduated from a Big Ten rival, Purdue.

Of course her name remains the same and we are very glad to have her around. Many members also enjoy visiting with Izzo on a regular basis and know how to get her attention by carrying milk bones in their golf bag. She rarely turns down anything that is edible. Lucky for her, there are 125 acres to explore each morning while chasing down the sound of Bert's cart in the morning fog.