Four years ago, local golf pro Kirk Lucas of McLean and his two young daughters strolled into Home Depot and walked out with a new pet. It just so happened that the SPCA , the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was holding an event at the hardware store. They had brought some pets to Home Depot hoping some shoppers might bring a pet home with them.
Lucas adopted the dog, which is part beagle, part cattle dog, and named him Skip. They quickly formed a bond, with Skip accompanying Lucas pretty much everywhere he goes, including to work, which in Lucas’s case is a golf course. “He got acclimated to people hitting golf balls and sort of the whole golf lifestyle, and then he started going everywhere with me. So, if I go to Home Depot, I’ll take him. Or if I go to Tractor Supply, I’ll take him – all the places where dogs are somewhat welcomed. And I just never put him on a leash. I never needed to,” Lucas said. Lucas reports that Skip has become a fixture on the golf range, an official golf range dog. It’s a perfect way for a dog that doesn’t like to be cooped up to spend his day.
Skip has developed quite a routine as Kirk’s sidekick and constant companion. Every morning and evening, Kirk takes Skip out for a run. During the day, while Kirk gives golf lessons, Skip does his own thing. At 11 o’clock, when the maintenance workers eat lunch, Skip wanders over to hang around with them. “He’s figured out how to con some lunch out of people. So 11 o’clock, it’s, go con the maintenance guys into giving me some lunch, which they happily share with him,” Lucas said. To Skip’s delight, there are two maintenance dogs that Skip plays with. After lunch, Skip comes back to the range and “He’ll greet everybody and just kind of hang out at the range while we hit balls. It’s just sort of something that he’s accustomed to, golf, so he doesn’t get in anyone’s way,” Lucas said. Skip has acquired something of a fan club, with kids from the summer golf camp particularly fond of him.
According to Lucas, “On the days where he doesn’t come to the course, he’s very unhappy. He just loves it.” And it sounds as if the golfers miss Skip when he isn’t around almost as much as Skip misses being part of the action.