This week I didn’t do my usual yap with one of you poocheros cuz I wanted to have your ears to share some dog stuff, an I know you’ll unnerstand.
See, my Mom, Jennifer, got me when I was just a fluffy little furball an, even though I have lotsa cool kibbles pooch pals like you, she was always my Total Best Friend. An I’m pretty sure I was hers, too.
Anyway, I don’t know whether I mentioned this before, but my Mom was my Official Assistant when I first started writing this column a buncha years ago (seven in people). But then she got real sick, an she couldn’t do it anymore. So finally, in 2014, I hadda get another Assistant. She was OK, but, you know, it just wasn’t the same, an she gets tired too quickly when we play ball.
Mom was in the hospittle a lot, but whenever she was home, I stuck by her like glue, slept right next to her. At night, if she needed help, I’d go running. She called me her “First Responder.” She was real brave and helped me be brave, too. But last month it was time for her to go to Heaven. I stayed right there next to her, close as I could be.
I know she’s all better now, but I miss her all the time. I don’t think I’ll feel like snuggling’ for a while. I know you pooches unnerstand. Some of you have lost your human, too, although mostly, we go to Dog Heaven first cuz of dog years bein’ shorter.
I hadda take a break from writing my column, but now I wanna share a liddle about me an my Mom. She had another Springer Spaniel before me, Coco, who wrote the original column, “Island Dog,” with Mom as Assistant. Then Mom and Grandma and Grandpa decided to get another Springer Spaniel, cuz we’re so fabulous and cute, and they picked – ME. You can see how cute I was from the pickshur, right?
I was totally stoked when I found out my new home came with a Buddy, but Coco wasn’t that thrilled at first. About half an hour into our first meet-an-greet she said, “Hey you.”
“Me?” I asked, timidly.
“Yes. You. Isn’t it about time you went back to wherever you came from?”
It was a liddle bumpy for a while, but she ended up being a wonnerful big sis, and taught me the ropes. Or tried to.
When she decided to retire from journalism, she made me her intern and she started grooming me (see what I did there?) for the job. I even got to be featured in a special series called “The Picture Perfect Guide to Raising the Perfect Puppy.” Well, Mom always said (and Coco agreed), “while the pictures may have been perfect and the guide may have been perfect, Bonzo was not perfect.”
I know that’s hard to believe, but as a pupster, I guess I did get distracted a lot. I didn’t do my homework, I daydreamed in class and, as Coco said, “as far as learning to walk nicely at a person’s side, all I can say is he had better not spot a bunny.”
I guess I can’t really argue with that. But, in my own defense, bunnies are pretty irresistible. Plus, I knew how to “Sit!” Had that down pat.
So, finally, Coco an Mom felt I was ready to start writing the column. Woof, was I nervous. My very first innerview, back in 2010, was with our next-door neighbor, Maddy Hustead, an her humans, Jayne an Bob. I had a terrible case of Shaky Paws an kept dropping my notebook, but Mom was right there by my side the whole time an I got through it. I ackshully had a liddle crush on Maddy, as I recall.
After a few columns, I got to really enjoy it, meetin’ all you poocheroos and learnin’ all kinds of cool kibbles stuff. I remember Rocco Priziton, the leader of the 32963 Doberman Gang, who woof-mailed me about the newest members, Doberman puppies Kobi an Raina Richardson, an their puppy pal Chancey, a liddle rescue retriever mix who was made an Honorary Dobie an got to join.
Then there was Leo the Lab and his little adopted brother, who happened to be the first “designer dog” I’d ever met. His name was Osito, which means “little bear” in Spanish, and he was a Pomchi (Pomeranian/Chihuahua), a groovy little dude.
Then there was Fisher Badger, who had the coolest name EVER. Fisher was an Australian Shepherd and had been all over competing in agility championships – a seriously pawsome pooch.
When I wasn’t working, I’d hang out with Mom. One of the funnest things we did was go to the beach. Mom’d always bring my ball and we’d play Fetch for hours. I am Really Good at Fetch. I’m not ready to go back to the beach yet, though, cuz she won’t be there. It takes time, I think.
Now, missin’ my Mom, I think about something Coco told me shortly after I started writing the column, an she knew I’d be OK. We were curled up on our mats an she told me she was getting ready to go to Dog Heaven. I was sad and scared until she explained: “Us dogs are here for a liddle time to show our humans unconditional love, loyalty and how to be better versions of themselves. Then, when we have done all we can, it’s time to move on.”
I think it must be the same with humans. My Mom taught me to be brave an frenly an polite an always Think of Others, cuz that’s how she was. When it’s time for me to go to Dog Heaven, I hope I can leave the same kind of legacy my mom did.
I miss you so much, Mom, an I’ll do my best.
Till next time,