A few weeks ago I got a Woof-Mail from Miss Pink Wold, a Golden Retriever who works with her Mom and also competes in lots of AKC shows. She wondered if I would like to interview her.
“Well, SURE!” I Woof-Mailed back. We met at her workplace, A Dog’s Life, which is a day care and training place. Since it’s a BIZness, me an my assistant just walked right in. An this bee-oo-ti-ful pooch comes trotting up for the Wag-and-Sniff, shiny, light gold coat, tail waving like a flag, big smile. Dog! was she ready for her close-up.
“Mr. BONzo, He-LOOO! I’m Pink Wold and this is my Mom, Cindy. Come’on, we’ll sit over here by our Reception Desk.”
I admit I was a little dazzled, and for a second my paws were glued to the floor. I think I said something clever like, “Umm” before my Professional Poise kicked back in.
“Delighted to meet you. This is some place you’ve got.” There was a great big room with the back half separated by a fence. Behind the fence a whole buncha pooches of all shapes and sizes were hangin’ out, playin’ around, not barkin’ or carryin’ on. There were places to exercise and rest and hydrate, too. During the interview, humans’d come in to drop off or pick up their pooches, and Miss Pink knew ’em all by name.
The only other dog on our side of the fence was a little black and white Spaniel. She came up to us, did a coupla nose bumps, sniffed a little bit then lay down to snooze. “That’s Luci,” said Pink. “She’s my big sister. She’s 14 and deaf and blind. Her sniffer works extra hard, but she still bumps into stuff, so I help her. We’re Besties! So, you wanna hear my story, right?”
“Ready when you are.”
“Five years ago, Mom’s friend’s pooch, Tory, had a 4-puppy litter – my litter. Mom’s a Dog Person, so when her friend told her there was this little boy puppy she’d like, she decided to check it out. You know how breeders usually name litters with themes, like flowers or colors, or somethin’. Well, MY litter theme was Girl Bands. I was named after “Pink.” Since I was a girl, an the runt of the litter an had light-colored fur, I figured I probly didn’t have much of a chance. But, guess WHAT?”
I cocked my ears.
“Turned out, Mom LOVES runts, AN the Pink Band, AN light gold dog coats. So, she figured it was a SIGN! Isn’t that Totally Cool Kibbles?”
“Soon as Mom brought me home, she started takin’ me to work, an I started learnin’ stuff right away, even though I was only 8 weeks old. It’s funny, Mr. Bonzo, I don’t remember EVER going to training classes or ackhully workin’. I’m glad cuz, when humans hafta go to work, they get Sad Faces. Us pooches just spend every day playin’ and playin’ an then, alluva sudden, we know how to do something. It’s a MYS-tree. For some reason, Mom calls it Playing With a Porpoise.”
“Huh? Playing with a …” I started to ask, then I’m like, “Oh, RIGHT! I get it.”
“Some of the stuff I picked up by watching. I’m very smart an well-mannered. Mom sets stuff up an I make MY OWN choices. When I do something cool, Mom showers me with hugs an says what a good girl I am. Mom gives the Best! Hugs! Ever!”
“I thought you worked here,” I said.
“Oh, I don’t think of it as work. I welcome the newbees an help ’em get comf-tubble when they first arrive. I explain how all us different sizes and breeds still see the world from the same perspective – about 8 inches off the floor. I remind ’em we’re pack animals, after all, so they gotta learn pack behavior. Of course, there’s always gonna be Crabby Aunt Fifi or Weird Uncle Bowser, but, as you can see, everyone gets along fine. That little chihuahua doesn’t see himself as smaller than the labrador. Me, I went right from my litter to here, so it just comes natural to me. It’s not Work. I come here to rest. My Work’s at home.”
“Whaddya mean?” I queried.
“That’s where I train for my AKC competitions. I’m on the road 2-3 weekends a month, got this Cool Dog Biscuits rolling doghouse when I travel. Earned my first AKC title when I was only 7 months old. Now I got a doghouseful of awards. Last month I qualified for the AKC National Agility Championships at the Georgia National Fairgrounds, a Very Big Deal! I got some Excellents, but the most fun was when Mom rented a golf cart and rode me all around. I felt like Princess Pink!”
“Can you show me what you’ve learned?”
“Sure, Mr. Bonzo, watch!” She went over to her Mom and sat in front of her, very straight.
“I don’t remember where I put my cell, Pink. Can you find it?” her Mom asked.
Pink sniffed around the room ’til she located the phone under a chair. and brought it to her Mom. Next, her Mom said, “Oh, Pink, will you hand me those brochures?”
Same thing. All very soft-mouth, with no slobbers.
Then her Mom got a buncha trash and scattered it all over the floor. “Pink, will you recycle, please?” she said. Well, I almost woofed out loud when Pink went to each piece of trash and decided what was recyclable. Then she’d take it over and plop it into the recycling bin. She got ’em all, too!
Miss Pink’s grand finale was A-Woofin’-MAZing. Her Mom asked her to sit. Then she scattered a bunch of yummy treats around Pink. She didn’t budge, didn’t even look down. THEN, her Mom put two treats on top of each front paw. Miss Pink STILL didn’t move.
I mean, I was droolin, myself, and was about to run over an grab ’em. Finally, Miss Pink’s Mom gave the go-ahead and the treats disappeared – poof!
“Woof!” I exclaimed in admiration. “HOW do you even DO that?”
She just smiled and said, “I have a good life.”
The time had disappeared as fast as those treats had. Heading home, I was picturin’ Miss Pink, talented, frenly, smart, all in one pretty pooch package. Maybe I’d get up the nerve to ask her for a pikshur for my billfold. Oh, wait, I don’t have a billfold. Sigh.