Yapping with puppies is always fun: They’re so energetic an curious an happy. Recently I yapped with Solaris Anderson-Searle, who’s only 18 months old. He’s a handsome, very golden Golden Retriever, an he looks like he’s all grown up – but he’s still a total puppy between the ears.
Me an my assistant knocked, an TWO Golden Retrievers an a lady answered. One of the pooches was on a leash and was super wiggly. They wore snazzy matching green collars, an they looked like each other ’cept the one not on the leash was getting white around the face and wasn’t as wiggly. I cleverly surmised that the wiggly one on the leash was Solaris.
“Good morning,” I said. “I’m Bonzo, and this is my assistant.”
We exchanged Wag-and-Sniffs and the pooch on the leash said, “I’m very pleased to meet you, Mr. Bonzo. I’m Solaris Anderson-Searle an THIS is my uncle, Gabriel – he’s famous – an this is my Mom Sheri. My Dad’s Adam. Mom put my leash on me cuz I keep forgetting to Not Jump Up. There’s so much stuff to learn an I get excited when we have compnee cuz I LOVE compnee. So I forget.”
“No worries, Solaris,” I said. “It’s great to meet you all. Can’t wait to hear your story.”
We sat down in the living room and Solaris’ Mom took his leash off. Both pooches gave my assistant a buncha frenly nose bumps. “So, Solaris,” I said, “tell me how you got your Forever Family.”
“K. Mom an Dad got me at the same breeder as Gabriel, out in ColoRAdo. His Daddy is my Grandaddy. He’s Mom’s first dog an I’M her second dog. So, guess what, when I was just 8 weeks old I got to fly AN ride a tram AN a car to get here. It was SO fun. I wasn’t scared or anything!”
“Way to go, kiddo!” I said. “I’m thinkin’ Gabriel was already here, right? So what was it like when you first met?”
Gabriel, who’d been lying on the couch, winked at me. “Yeah, here was this wiggly little fluffmuffin, getting’ in my face, all slurpy, an I’m like, ‘Oh, for Lassie’s sake, another dog. Yech!’ But it turns out he’s a pretty cool pupperoo. Now it’s like I have a little brother, an Mom says we’re like peanut butter an jelly.”
Solaris was really intrested in my notebook, and kept bumpin’ it with his nose as he spoke. “Yep. Gabe teaches me lotsa important stuff. Like We Don’t Destroy Our Toys; an our crates are The Best Places in the World; an where to Do Our Doodie an where to not; an what couch to sit on. Oh, AND Diggin’! Gabe taught me all about Diggin’! I LOVE diggin’! In the sand, an all over the yard, an the flowers … an …”
Glancing at their Mom, Gabriel hastily interrupted, “Ummm, hey there, Solaris, let’s not get into that, how ’bout …”
To help change the subject I asked, “So what do you do for fun?”
In between notebook-bumps, he said, “We need a whole buncha exercise, so we run with Dad. He’s a RUNNER, you know. But I have a Hip Thing so I hafta be careful. I’m not s’pose to jump – at all. I hafta go to a spe-shuh-list this month an he might hafta do a pruhSEEDure when I’m a little older. So I can’t do a-jill-uhtee training like Gabriel.”
“Soggy Dog Biscuits!” I sympathized.
“Me an Gabe like goin’ for car rides. In the back seat we each have our own side an No Crossin’ Over. We’re gonna go up to Ohio to visit Dad’s folks. Gabe says they live on this lake with this super ponTOON boat. (He says pontoons are big, fat float-y things.) Mom an Dad an Gabe go every year. I’m goin with ’em this year. I can’t WAIT! I love swimmin’. An campin’! An squirrel chasin’. But we don’t get to do that much cuz most of ’em aren’t dumb enough to hang out in our yard. Since we’re, you know, BIRD dogs, we love chasin’ birds on the beach, ’specially pellycans. Never catch ’em, though. I also have a shell collection. I bring ’em home from the beach.”
“Wow! That’s Pawsome! Got any pooch pals?” I inquired.
“Oh, sure! Riley Schmidt, she’s a hound. Remus is a marina dog; an Goldie. Her sister Ruby’s from Thailand, which is way around on the Other Side. Me an Gabe also have cat sisters, Lua an Nikki. They’re probly in their room. Lua’s a rescue and she has Issues, so we got Nikki as her Emotional Support Cat. I sometimes snatch their toys and toss ’em around, just for fun. Cat toys are my favorite. I like cats, Mr. Bonzo, but I don’t really understand ’em. They get grumpy for Absolutely No Reason At All.”
“I hear you,” I said.
“Oooo, and look at THIS toy! It’s a squirrel house.”
He brought over a soft brown cube with holes in the sides an three stuffed squirrels inside. He held it between his teeth an flipped it vigorously back and forth an the squirrels went flying out.
“I also have a lobster house. Wanna try?”
“Thanks, but I’d better keep takin’ notes.” I said.
“I’m doing Serious Stuff, too. See, Gabe is a famous Therapy Dog. He goes all over making people feel Much Better, specially when they’re sad or lonely or stressed. An I’m learning how to do that, too. Mom’s an Official Trainer with Best Behavior Pet Training, an she’s startin’ to take me places, too. She takes me out by myself sometimes so I can Develop My Own Personality. I’ve already earned my Canine Good Citizen and Good Community Citizen certificates. An I helped Mom foster three Humane Society puppies. I love doin’ that. We had Pebbles the Pit Pup over Thanksgiving, and I really wanted her for my little sister. We had the Best Time together, but Mom said a really great family wanted to adopt her.”
Heading home, I was thinking about Solaris, and all his puppy exuberance and enthusiasm, and wishing we could hold on to that when we got older. I always wanna be excited for whatever’s next, don’t you?
Till next time,