Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo beagle Arnie's quirks include a taste for cash

LARGO — Arnie is a dour 10-year-old beagle known for his eccentricities, not the least of which is a propensity to eat hundreds of dollars in cash.

Seven years ago, the dog devoured $150 that Largo residents Corey and Hope O'Kelley had left out on a coffee table. The money was a gift from Hope's father, and the couple managed to recover $100 intact after it had passed through Arnie's digestive tract.

A long time went by after that. Arnie, known to his human companions as "the weird one" — possessed of a misanthropic bent at odds with the affectionate manners of the O'Kelleys' other dog, Hoover — lived his own, quiet life, immersed in whatever thoughts eccentric, money-eating dogs like to think. In contrast to most members of his sociable breed, he disdained human contact, except with Corey, his original owner.

Then, last week, his hunger for greenbacks reasserted itself. Hope was given $300, again by her father, for swimming lessons for the couple's 3-year-old daughter. The money was inside an envelope, inside a wallet, inside her purse, atop a kitchen table.

Sometime while his owners were sleeping, Arnie overcame the limitations of his small stature and lack of manual dexterity to remove the money and eat most of it. On awakening last Friday, Corey discovered $25 strewn about; the rest was gone.

"The purse was open. The wallet was open," he recalled. "I realized pretty quickly that it wasn't as funny as I thought it was."

After following the dog around for a week, he realized he wasn't going to recover the money in easily usable form. The bills he found in Arnie's stool appeared to have been shredded before being eaten, a tactical evolution from Arnie's unsuccessful effort to destroy that hundred bucks seven years ago.

Hope said she was "shocked" by Arnie's Houdini-like extraction of her father's money. "He must have been able to smell it," she said. She is unaware of any particular resentments the beagle might be harboring toward her dad.

It's a long shot, but the O'Kelleys are trying to wash the tattered cash and piece it back together.

Arnie, meanwhile, has accomplished all this largely with impunity.

"We're kind of used to Arnie being a little bit strange and doing kind of quirky stuff," Corey said. "We scolded him, but you know, (dogs) don't really know."

That's speculation, of course.

Nobody knows what really goes on behind Arnie's wide, sad eyes.

Peter Jamison can be reached at pjamison@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4157.

Largo beagle Arnie's quirks include a taste for cash 08/16/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 16, 2012 10:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. A historic Tampa family saves a historic Tampa home built by an ancestor

    Human Interest

    The Knight family has replaced their roof and people are celebrating.

    The Peter O. Knight historical cottage, located in Tampa's Hyde Park neighborhood, is seen Thursday, July 20, 2017. The cottage fell into disrepair in recent years, but the Knight family stepped up with financial support to help stabilize the structure.
  2. Miami woman, 74, admits to voter fraud. Does jail await, or will she go free?

    State Roundup

    MIAMI — An 74-year-old woman pleaded guilty Monday to filling out other people's mail-in ballots while working at Miami-Dade's elections department.

    Gladys Coego
  3. In Twitter rant, Bucs' Gerald McCoy says he's unappreciated

    Bucs

    Gerald McCoy is feeling underappreciated again. He says somebody has crossed the line this time. He's speaking out and suggesting he might be gone "soon enough" from Tampa Bay.

    Photo Illustration RON BORRESEN   |   Photo by LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 
Gerald McCoy may be upset that Ronde Barber said a defensive leader “has to have a huge personality’’ like Warren Sapp’s. Monday, Barber walked that back.
  4. Bigger ships carry Georgia ports to record cargo volumes

    Economic Development

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Bigger ships arriving through an expanded Panama Canal pushed cargo volumes at Georgia's seaports to record levels in fiscal 2017, the Georgia Ports Authority announced Monday.

    The Port of Savannah moved a record 3.85 million container units in fiscal 2017, the state said, benefiting from the larger ships that can now pass through an expanded Panama Canal.
  5. Photo gallery: Nine years later, library attack victim Queena works at learning to walk again

    Blogs

    Slowly, Queena Phu is learning the act of walking again through exercises in locomotion, strength and balance.
    She practiced her steps once again Monday afternoon with trainer-technician Mike Lopez at the nonprofit Stay In Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center near the University of South Florida.
    Queena …

    Activity based exercise trainer George Palang, 33, and trainer technician Mike Lopez, 22, help Queena Phu during physical therapy at the Stay In Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center on Monday, July 24, 2017, in Tampa, Fla.