2017 Inductee – Main Creek’s Designer Edition, “Armani”
Owner/Handler: Mike and Paula Wallace
534 Champion Points
Legendary Status Champion
2 Super Major Championships
7 Major Championships
Sired from Mark Sweeney’s, Main Creek’s Gun-n-Gauge and Duane Busters, Cedar Hill Jessie, the yet unnamed puppy had no idea the greatness he was destined for.
A trip to the BDC World Championships in the fall of 2008 would forever change the path of Armani, as well as Paula and I. As fate would have it, Duane had brought the remaining 4 puppies from the litter with him to the event. I knew they were there. However I had little interest in adding a “short-tailed dog” to the string of English Pointers we already had. Paula on the other hand had other ideas. I returned to the truck to put some things away and opened the back of the truck and there to greet me was a 4-month old liver and roan short hair. My comment of “what is this?” was answered with “his name is Armani isn’t he cute?” Determined that this was going to be short term I answered, “he is” and went about my day. As I shut the door and walked away, Jerry McCarthy yelled from a couple trucks down “Wallace you are screwed”. The weekend went on and Armani spent most of it in the back seat of our truck. When Sunday came and it was time to leave we said our goodbyes and headed back home without Armani. The next 2 hours of silence found us returning to Guthrie Center, IA to pick the dog and find peace again in the world.
Over the next 6 years, Armani would prove how wrong I was to have wanted to leave him behind. With little training and an average handler, Armani was a force to be reckoned with. With his cannon of a nose, he won the puppy stake at the Invitational at a little over a year old and the wins just kept piling up from there. If there were birds in the field, he was going to find them and find them with both the style and grace of the competitor he was. Armani lived for the hunt and was, for the most part, all business, although he would get sidetracked by the occasional Meadowlark or butterfly, but that is what made him who he was.
Armani ran with and against some of the best dogs and competitors on the circuits. His ability to hunt with anyone showed on more than one occasion. He won the doubles division at the Classic with Bing Wesner and Ken Neese on the first and only time they ever took him to the line as a team. He finished 5th at World Championships and 2nd at the National Championships with Bernie Birkenholz. No matter the player, he just did his job and did it well. Many players had their picture taken with Paula and her dog.
Armani finished as High Point dog in Region 4 on 2 consecutive years, finishing 5th and 2nd in the Dog of the Year standings as a whole. Anywhere he went this big dog with an even bigger heart stood a chance to win. In one year alone, Armani amassed 5 major wins and over 220 championship points and was well on his way to Legendary Status before he turned 4. For all his greatness he did have a bratty side. At each tournament on finals day, he had to ride in the cab of the truck rather than the trailer with the rest of the dogs. He and Paula would share a muffin and talk strategy for the day ahead. It was something they did each and every time on finals day. Once at Nationals, Bernie and Armani had made the finals. Paula took Armani over to Bernie and told him, “we just shared a muffin, he may need a drink” Those of us that know Bernie can only imagine what was running thru his head. Bernie took it like a champ, but before he walked away he told Paula “dogs don’t eat muffins.” It must have worked as Armani and Bernie finished second that day behind Craig and Jack Heim’s dog, Ralphie.
It is hard to put into words 6 plus years of memories and this is just a snap shot of what we shared together. Some lights burn brighter than others, and as a result don’t last as long as we would like. But the memories both good, and bad, last forever. For that we are thankful.
Some state that dogs are unable to love unconditionally. I personally do not believe that. I saw it first hand, that dog loved being with Paula, from every trip to Starbucks, or the lazy afternoon naps, you could always find one with the other, never far apart.
Today, March 16, 2017, Armani enters the BDC Hall of Fame with 2 Super Major wins, 7 Major wins, 534 Champion Points. A Legendary status dog in such a short amount of time, Armani will forever be remembered.