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Tom Alderman

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Stump, the Geezer -- A Shaggy Dog Tale

Posted: 02/12/09 01:52 PM ET

Geezers of America, rejoice. There's a new icon for you and his name is Stump -- Stump, the Dog, and he has validated your remarkable status. Stump, of course, is the shaggy, droopy, drooling Sussex Spaniel who padded off with highest honors at the recent Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, considered the Academy Awards of doggie competition. Stump is 10-years old, around 70 in human years, and a senior member of AARP -- the 'P' standing for Pooches.

While his pedigree is AKC pristine, his situation does not suggest blue ribbon. He almost died five years ago from a serious medical condition. He came out of retirement to do this competition. He didn't train for it at all. He drooled when he got on camera. And he's called Stump because has stubby legs and looks a lot like a tree stump. Anybody relating to this?

Yes, we know 50 is the new 40, and 60 is the new 50. But 70? This is the geezer zone, like it or not. Can you imagine any 70 year old with Stumps' characteristics competing for a job in America today? Yes, you can. Especially when you realize this senior bowwow also won Best-in-Breed at Westminster, the Sporting Breed that is, which means he out-ranks all those young whipper-snappers in the physical exertion and skill category.

Clearly 70 is the new 60. But it's not about your date-of-birth or any other arbitrary number. It's about how you carry yourself in the ring. Geezers, take heart from a droopy, drooling old dog. You, too, can be best-in-breed and show.