WHEREVER YOU GO IN TEXOMA, YOU COULD RUN INTO TWO FAMILIAR FACES ON A MISSION AGAINST CRIME-...DEPUTY ARTIE WOODS AND HIS BEST FRIEND MCGRUFF.
NO BONES ABOUT IT...THEY MAKE QUITE THE CRIME FIGHTING DUO...ARTIE SAYS MCGRUFF IS GREAT ABOUT GRABBING THE ATTENTION AND THEN IT'S HIS JOB TO TEACH PEOPLE OF ALL AGES HOW TO TAKE A BITE OUT OF CRIME.
WE RECENTLY CAUGHT UP WITH ARTIE WOODS AT THE CAMP FIRE SUMMER CAMP...THIS MONTH'S SPIRIT OF TEXOMA AWARD WINNER WAS SERVING UP SNOW CONES DURING THESE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER.
NEARLY 27 YEARS AGO DEPUTY ARTIE WOODS CONVINCED THE SHERIFF TO BRING MCGRUFF TO TEXOMA.
Artie Woods says, "After we got the puppet,the costume and the tapes we started rolling...it's kind of like a snow ball it started at the top of the hill small and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger so I've spread out alot."
MCGRUFF SHARES KISSES WITH THE YOUNG AND YOUNG AT HEART...WAVES FROM PARADES...
Woods says, "If they see me out somewhere or something happens a little bell might go off and say what was it he said, "Oh yeah stay away from strangers, be good, don't do drugs."
ARTIE IS ALSO KNOWN YEAR ROUND AS THE SNO CONE MAN. HIS SNO CONE APRON SAYS TAKE A BITE OUT OF CRIME...AND THE PATCH ON HIS UNIFORM READS ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF...ARTIE SAYS IT'S ALL ABOUT TEACHING KIDS TO DO THE RIGHT THING.
Woods also says "The better decisions you make the smarter you become the more you are going to be able to accomplish. We want them to accomplish a lot because we are depending on them."
AND ARTIE SAYS HIS METHOD OF GETTING THAT MESSAGE ACROSS IS NOT AS DIFFICULT AS TEACHING AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS...
Woods says, "By constantly working with them and helping them we are going to be able to make a difference. To reenforce we don't tell them anything new a lot of times, it's like a lightbulb you gotta turn them on."
AND THIS DUO HAS DONE JUST THAT IN SCHOOLS, AT SAFETY FAIRS, CLUBS, FAIRS AND WHEREVER KIDS GATHER.
MCGRUFF HAS EVEN MADE APPEARANCES OVERSEAS...ARTIE SAYS HE LIVES BY THE EXPRESSION "HAS DOG AND WILL TRAVEL!"
Woods comments, "I have just been extremely fortunate to have a good program and the freedom to do with it what I wanted to."
ARTIE SAYS REGARDLESS OF HOW HE DELIVERS THE MESSAGE.
HE JUST HOPES WHEN KIDS GET INTO A PICKLE, THEY REMEMBER WHAT THEY'VE LEARNED FROM ARTIE AND MCGRUFF.
"Hopefully we've helped make a little bit of difference out in our society today."
AND EVEN AFTER NEARLY THIRTY YEARS AS PARTNERS IN CRIME PREVENTION ARTIE STILL THROWS MCGRUFF A BONE EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE...AS THEY SPREAD THE SPIRIT OF TEXOMA.
ARTIE SAYS EVEN ADULTS LEARN FROM MCGRUFF.
THE PAIR OFTEN TALKS ABOUT TOPICS SUCH AS NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH GROUPS AND IDENTITY THEFT.
OWENS AND BRUMLEY FUNERAL HOMES CONGRATULATE ARTIE ON THIS LATEST AWARD.
IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO TRULY HAS THE SPIRIT NOMINATE THEM NOW.