Doggone unusual

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 14, 2006

SUFFOLK, Va. – Rodney Arrowood has quite a little pack of Jack Russell Terriers n “My little herd,” he calls them.

Because they are his “children,” the tiny dogs are, of course, extra special.

“They’re really intelligent. They’re loving little dogs,” Arrowood said.

And it goes without saying that they are “definitely spoiled.”

But in this case, even an outsider can see just how unique Heide, Silver Bullet, Buddy Budweiser 8 and Potter really are. In fact, about 200 outsiders have called wanting to buy Buddy Budweiser 8 when Arrowood tried to sell the pup.

That is because the Terrier, the youngest, but biggest of the four, has a figure 8 on his side formed by patches of brown on his white body.

Buddy Budweiser 8 was named after the Anheuser Bush beer and sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who drives the No. 8 NASCAR Nextel Cup car.

Arrowood decided to keep the now 7-month-old dog because he is a big NASCAR fan himself.

Arrowood went so far as to contact Anheuser Bush officials because he thought Buddy would make a great mascot for Earnhardt. They agreed, he said, but they couldn’t take him up on the offer without breaching contracts with other advertisers.

But that is only part of the story.

Buddy’s parents, Heide and Silver Bullet, have their own quirks.

Heide, 2, so named not because she yodels, or was born in the Alps, but because she had habit of hiding herself or other objects as a puppy, has a distinct mark of her own.

The long-haired Terrier has a perfect black heart near her right rear leg. And to top that off, she was born on Valentine’s Day n Arrowood has the papers to prove it.

Silver Bullet 5 (Yes, he’s named for Coors Light. After all, beer and NASCAR go together like hotdogs and baseball)

has, on his side, a tan squirrel chasing a nut. The image is turned a bit sideways, but once pointed out, one wonders how it wasn’t seen before.

Arrowood said the images on Silver Bullet and Buddy Budweiser were visible right away, though at first Buddy’s 8 looked like a pair of sunglasses (and still does, at first glance).

“Everybody noticed it,” he said.

Little Potter, also affectionately known as Potter Pooh, was the lone dog without a symbol, until one day Arrowood’s son (a human one) noticed that the black mass on her back, with her longer hair, resembled the shape of the Grinch.

They all have different personalities to go with their shapes, “But they all want to be loved,” Arrowhead said.

Now Heide is pregnant and Arrowood can’t wait to see what this litter will bring. He plans to sell all of the puppies, unless one pops out bearing a certain other popular number.

“It’d be nice to have a 3,” he said, to represent the late Dale Earnhardt’s NASCAR number. “I’d have to keep it.”

The bottom line, though, shape or no, the dogs are his family and like to sleep at his feet every night.

“I wouldn’t trade none of them for nothing.”

(Ashley McKnight-Taylor is a Staff Writer for the Suffolk (Va.) News-Herald, a sister publication of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. She can be reached at