By DAVID BRASCH
GROWN men do cry and no one will ever blame them.
Mick Patterson broke down the day early in March when he had to put down He Knows Uno the Primo Uno-Honeymoon\’s Over dog who won 34 races and $477,000 making 24 Group finals.
But for Mick, none of that mattered.
He and wife Lillian just loved that dog like no other.
A lump had developed on the dog\’s shoulder and it grew ‘pretty quickly’, to the stage Mick took him to local vet Jack Summerville knowing it ‘got to be the time’.
\”He got pretty dottery on his hind legs,\” said Mick.
Whelped in 2008, He Knows Uno won the Group 1 Brisbane Cup and Albion Park Gold Cup, was second in the G1 Golden Easter Egg and Mick always loved the fact he won the Australian run of the year highlighting just what an amazing dog he was.
No one who was on the Northern Rivers the night he won the Grafton Cup in track record time will ever forget it.
\”He really was the people\’s dog,\” said Mick. \”People still talk about his win in the Grafton Cup. I remember Tony Brett had a runner in the final and he said to me he was glad he didn\’t win the race because he might never have got out of the track that night.
\”People who had never been to the races came to see him race that night.\”
He Knows Uno and Mick Patterson endeared themselves to everyone.
\”We raced everywhere and took on the best,\” he said. \”He totally changed our lives. He was just a really, really good dog.\”
Upon retirement, He Knows Uno became the house watch dog.
\”He had plenty of cheek,\” said Mick. \”No one would come into the house yard with him there.
\”I remember when we would kennel him on race nights. I had to put his race night bed over his head or he would attack the dog in front of him. And, then he would turn on the dog behind him.
\”He never once looked like fighting in a race, but that was just him at kennelling time.\”
Mick and his mate both had a pie every day of their lives.
\”Who is going to share a pie with me now,\” said Mick and promptly burst into tears. \”We\’ll get over losing him, but it will not be easy.\”
Mick was right about never shirking the chance to take on the world.
He Knows Uno\’s Group feature race campaign included: 3rd Ipswich Cup, won Brisbane Cup, 5th The Temlee, 4th Qld Derby, 2nd Easter Egg, 2nd Bulli Gold Cup, won Flying Amy Classic, 2nd Winter Cup, 4th Perth C up Consolation, 5th Topgun, 2nd Ipswich Gold Cup, 4th Brisbane Cup, 6th Globe Memorial, 4th Zoom Top, 3rd Big Dog Cup, won Albion Park Gold Cup, won AWM Distance C’ship, 5th National Distance, 5th Chairman\’s Cup, 6th Sydney Cup, 3rd Dillon Memorial, 3rd Bold Trease, 7th Zoom Top.
During his career he became the eighth highest stakes earner at the time.
He Knows Uno was not the greatest greyhound ever to race in Australia, but he was among the very, very best.
Anyone who saw the determination the dog showed in his races, storming home from well back in the field to win Group 1s, chase down superstars, break track records and generally endear himself to all those who watched in awe at his ability, will know what Mick Patterson went through when he had to put his dog to sleep.
\”I\’m pretty upset,\” said Mick on the day it happened in an understatement of just how his emotions at he and Lillian\’s loss was affecting them.
Just who will share that daily pie with Mick now?