14 Dec


Depicted here: An Arno Wannabe, perhaps auditioning for a long-overdue Arno biopic.…


circa March 1939

Not fame, not fans, not his newest part are
nearly so much of a problem as one determined
Schnauser who nearly landed his master in jail.

■ When Mr. Errol Flynn adopted Arno
into his heart and home, he little knew
how much trouble he was borrowing!

One day his life was serene. He was
master of his own soul, captain of his own
ship, boss of his own household. There
were no strings on Mr. Flynn’s friendships,
his goings-and-comings, his general behavior.
Life, for him, was singularly free
of complications, He was the living,
breathing example of what people meant
when they spoke of a “free soul”.

Then Arno turned up and since then
life hasn’t been the same for Errol.

Errol may be the great Hollywood star,
the man who pays the income tax, the
guy whom the girls mob. But it’s Arno
who is the real boss of the Flynn menages.
He expects, and receives, a certain deference
from the servants, the milkman, the
bread man, the Fuller Brush man. If
anyone rings the doorbell, Arno is right
there to pass inspection on the visitor.
He may, and then again he may not, permit entrance.

A time or two Errol has been forced to
sneak important visitors through the side
door. Subterfuge galls Mr. Flynn, but he
is forced to admire Arno’s uncompromising
stand where his personal opinions are
concerned. After all, Errol himself does
his own thinking — and why deny Arno the
same right.

When Mr. Flynn first came to Hollywood his adventures
in the far-flung corners of the earth were given considerable
publicity. That venturesome quality is like the measles —
awfully easy to catch. With it goes a keen sense of justice —
of right and wrong. Of what’s fair play and what isn’t!

Arno is not the only one in the house who has determined ideas
about nearly everything!

Once, when Errol went on location,
Arno was sent on a visit to the home of Flynn’s closest friend.
A cocker-spaniel happened to be the lord of this green pasture.
Arno resented the indignity of sharing attention with a long-haired,
floppy-eared comrade, by going on a hunger strike.

He bayed at the moon and made faces at the sun, and
absolutely refused to have any truck with the ambulating,
friendly cocker. All day long Arno sat in injured solitude,
not even nosing the ground sirloin which was especially prepared
for him. (Errol is kinda choosy about his food, too).

Again and again Arno asked himself — “What have I done to deserve
this? I have been loyal. I haven’t had more than one fight a day for a
week. I haven’t chased the neighborhood cats. I have been most careful
to use the proper comfort station, but here I am banished from the sight
of the only person I care two hoots about! Is that fair?”

The hosts began to get a bit worried when Arno’s hunger strike extended
to two days. They opened the door to the wire enclosure, and made clucking
noises to coax him out. Silly creatures, Arno thought to himself, as if he
couldn’t break prison with his own brawn and brain if there had been a chance
of finding Errol. He wasn’t dependent on a door for an exit.

On the Dodge City set rehearsing with Flynn, Arno,
the gourmet, toys with his evening steak.

Arno, the sportsman, in
hot pursuit of goldfish.

Arno, the prodigal, begs
forgiveness at dinnertime

Arno might be a Houdini, for all the problem
that chains and ropes present to him. Not long ago,
when he was on vacation with Errol in Florida, they
stopped at a very snooty inn. The haughty clerk gave
Arno the fish-eye and announced that no dogs were allowed
in the rooms. It was finally agreed that Arno would be
tied up in the basement.

Arno, however, had other ideas. By what legerdemain he
slipped the chain from his collar, and found his way,
as true as a string, to his master’s room is still a mystery
for Sherlock Holmes. Exactly five times he was returned to his
own quarters, and securely fastened. He was acquiescent and placid
while the humans scolded. But the moment he was left alone, off would
come the rope, and Arno would trot up the six flights and scratch at
Errol’s door for admission.

The management finally admitted defeat. The Governor of Illinois
didn’t have his dog in his suite; a duke from England, a minor
King from Europe, and an important ambassador did not have their
dogs in their suites. But Arno, the problem child, took matters
into his own paws, cut red tape with his teeth and spent what was
left of the night in his accustomed sleeping place — at the foot of Errol’s bed.

With Arno for an example, it’s no wonder that Mr. Flynn’s quality
of perserverance is becoming a matter of comment. (Note how long
and devotedly he worked at archery to become expert for his part in Robin Hood.)

As a general rule, Arno is snobbish and haughty with other canines.
They are so much dust beneath his feet, and recently that attitude and
Anger rose in Arno’s breast. He would show these people
how a gentleman and a scholar can solve a problem.

That night he set to work with fury in his heart. The locked
door was a challenge. For hours on end, he dug deep beneath
the wall. And long before the birds began their daily vocal
lesson, Arno had a beautiful escape tunnel completed. There
it was for all to see. And when his hostess came to look at him
and to greet him cheerily, he was sitting belligerently in the
exact center of the pen, with his eyes on the tunnel, as if to
say— “I m staying here of my own free will. If I had wanted
leaving, I could have done a little digging long before this.”

Neither Errol nor Arno hold with conventional restrictions
or rules. One of these days Errol will dump his Fame in the
waste-basket, pick himself up and go off to places unknown,
to follow his fancy and his inclinations. To Errol even a
great career isn’t worth the spiritual imprisonment it imposes.
That will suit Arno right down to the ground. He doesn’t much favor routine either.

— Tim


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