“The Lord has something to do with this dog” was the only way Barney Odom could explain the extraordinary powers of his bulldog Flat Nose, whose ability to climb trees brought international attention to Darlington County in the late 1980s. Odom and Flat Nose, residents of the small community of Dovesville, were featured on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on November 26, 1986, after local and regional media outlets featured Flat Nose’s ability to climb pine trees. According to Odom, Flat Nose developed his tree-climbing ability as a puppy despite Odom’s efforts to stop him. By the time he was six years old, Flat Nose was owed a kiss by Carson’s bandleader Doc Severinsen, who reportedly declared that he would do so to any dog that could climb a tree. After the Tonight Show appearance, Flat Nose became an international celebrity, performing at the Super Bowl in 1989, earning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, and appearing on Japanese television commercials. In 1998 the country music band Austin Lounge Lizards immortalized Flat Nose’s miraculous aspect in their song “Flatnose, the Tree-Climbing Dog,” with lyrics declaring: “He’s a miracle dog, climbing dog / Climbing up to Heaven on a log / Precious dog, climbing dog / Flatnose, the tree-climbing dog.” Flat Nose made public appearances until mid-1993 and died in Dovesville on December 1, 1993.
Gatling, Holly. “A Dog’s Life: Darlington Man, Flat Nose Are Bark Away from Fame.” Columbia State, June 1, 1987, pp. B1, B3.
“Death at 14 Ends Flat Nose’s Climb to Fame, Fortune.” Columbia State, December 4, 1993, p. B6.