I love interviewin’ puppies. They make me feel young, ya know? So this week, I was totally lookin’ forward to meeting Truman Mulvey, who’s only 10 months old. I had sorta just glanced at the interview memo, and I was all ready for a little fluff ball, bouncing around my feet, doin’ all that goofy puppy stuff.
WELL, I shoulda read the fine print. When the door opened, here was this wiggling mountain of fur. My nose only came up to his chest. And his head alone was the size of two mini-Yorkies and a chihuahua, No Woof! And those PAWS! On their fluffiest day, all four of my paws wouldn’t make one of his pawprints. Then I remembered the initials on my assignment memo – “SB.” Of course! St. Bernard!
He wasn’t the tiniest bit shy. “Oh, oh, oh, Mr. BONzo, I’m SO exCITed to meet you! Here’s my MOMMY! She’s Kathy! Daddy’s at work. He’s Steve. I got TOYS! Wanna see my bed? Ooooo! What’s in that big bag?” And he jumped onto the couch and stuck his nose into my satchel to investigate.
“You gotta lotta innersting stuff in here. Is this your notebook? Mommy said you have a notebook so you can write about ME!”
He was joyful an friendly – an drool-y. He snuggled up to my Assistant and me, with slobbery puppy kisses and enthusiastic head-bumps. Then he began nibbling the edges of my notebook, but he stopped when his Mom told him to.
“I’m excited to meet you, too, Truman,” I told him. “Are you ready to tell me about yourself?” I flipped to a not-drooled-on page. This was gonna be FUN!
“YES, Mr. Bonzo. Mommy told me to be puh-LITE and not talk too fast and try to not drool.”
“Well, you’re doin’ great, kiddo,” I assured him.
“OK, well, Mommy ’n Daddy hadda nother St. Bernard before me, Humphrey, who went to dog heaven. After a while they got me from the same breeder, up in Missouri. I was just 12 weeks old when I got to fly from Missouri to New York to meet Mommy. I wasn’t scared at ALL. When Mommy picked me up at the Westchester County Airport, we were both SO exCITed. When we drove down here a few months later, my Grandma Murphy came with us. I’m her Granddog. I mostly snoozed on this big, nice bed in the back of Mommy’s SUV. We did a lotta yappin’ too.
“An, guess what? I have PAPERS and a fancy name – King George. My pooch Mommy was Fools Dream and my Daddy was Rockin’ Rosebud. But nobody ever calls us those paper names, thank Lassie! I think they’re sorta silly. So I’m Truman George Mulvey now. Mommy says Truman’s not puh-litical, it’s just a nice big name for a nice big dog. Her an Daddy call me Tru. I Googled St. Bernard and found a buncha cool stuff. See, all us St. Bernards are named for this place in the Alps (an Alp is a big tall mountain with snow on it), which was named for this human called Saint Bernard. He was a church person and, about 6,000 dog years ago, he started this place where people cud rest up when they were trying to make it across the Alps on this real dangerous road. Him and some other guys used big fluffy dogs – us – to help save people who got lost in all that snow. Cool Kibbles, right?”
“I haven’t been here all that long but I’m having so much FUN! Mommy cooks me chicken and I go lotsa places with her and … ”
Suddenly he jumped up and ran to the pool patio, nosed the screen door open and disappeared into the bushes, his Mom right behind him.
A coupla minutes later, back they came. Truman plopped back down. “Sorry, Mr. Bonzo. I got all innerstud in my story and then, all of uh sudden, Doodie Called. I NEVER do my doodie where I’m not ’spose to.”
“That’s excellent, Tru!” I said. “So, you were sayin’ … ”
“Oh, right, I don’t chew stuff I shouldn’t, either. I have lotsa toys and I chew THEM up. That’s allowed. Those squeaky toys are TOAST! Me and Mommy go to the Dog Park at 8:15 am. I’m makin’ friends in the Big Dog Section. I got three dog buddies, Tilly, Elsie and Mulligan, they’re almost big as me. They’re Burmese Mountain Dogs. Mommy says I Play Well With Others. When I meet little dogs, I scwunch wa-ay down to their level so they won’t be scared. After the park, I go to day care while Mommy goes to work.
“When Mommy’s in the shower, I lay in front of the shower door, to be close to her. Sometimes I doze off and then she gets TRAPPED. She can’t open the door cuz I’m too heavy. But I always move so she can go cook my chicken.
“Oh, an guess what, Mr. Bonzo? Mommy and Daddy are teaching me the importance of Helping Others. This year I got to be the Official Starter for the Quail Valley Charity Cup Week 5K. (A buncha humans run up the street and run back.) I even wore my very own keg around my neck, just for show. Everybody said I was adorable an took PIC-shures. It was Totally Cool Kibbles, an it helps Those Less Fortunate.”
Truman yawned a Very Big Yawn. “I’m getting sorta sleepy Mr. Bonzo. I hafta take my nap now. Thank you for writing a story about me.” He went over to his bed, plopped down, and just like that, he was snoozin’ away, making soft little puppy sounds.
Heading home, I was thinking about Truman, the 135-pound puppy, happily napping in the sun.
Till next time,