This week, I learned about another breed I’d never heard of. I like learnin’ new stuff, don’t you? Anyway, Leo Devine’s his name, an he’s a Shiba Inu (Shee-buh Eee-new), one of those cool Japanese breeds. Sorta liddle, real good posture, short coat, nice happy face, dark eyes an pointy ears that make him look like he’s always payin’ attention. Sorta remains me of a fox, ’cept foxes don’t have big ol’ grins like Leo does.
He trotted right up for the Wag and Sniff. “Welcome, Mr. Bonzo. I’d like to introduce my grandmom and granddad, Papa John an Nanny. Come’on in.”
“Delighted to meet you all,” I said.
We got settled. “Did you ackshully come from Japan?” I asked Leo.
“Oh, no. I came from Long Island. See, Papa John an Nanny’s son Anthony got me up there as a present for his daughter, Alexandra. Us Shiba Inus are kinda rare, so we’re pretty SPEN-sive. But I was the runt of my litter so I was on SPESH-shull. I was havin’ lotsa fun but, then, Alexandra GRAD-choo-ated. I had met Papa John and Nanny a coupla times, so I wasn’t worried when they ’dopted me.”
“Was it hard to get used to Florida?” I wondered.
“Ackshully, it wasn’t. Papa John an Nanny love me to pieces an I have zillions of toys to play with. (When I was liddle, I usta hide their shoes. I never ate ’em, but I’d just put ’em in secret places. Now I hide my toys instead, which is much better, cuz Papa John an Nanny don’t hafta find ’em before they go out like they do with shoes.)
“But toys aren’t my totally favorite thing! Me an Papa John’s Totally Favorite Thing in The Whole World is – FISHIN’! I didn’t even know what a fish WAS ’til Papa John taught me. They don’t have FEET! Didja know that? An they can hold their breath forEVER! Ever since I saw ’em swimmin’ around in all that water, I always check my water bowl just in case.
“Me an Papa John go fishin’ up in Long Island, on Montauk. It’s Way Cool Kibbles! Whenever Papa John catches a fish, I get So Excited! I get all Barky and Bouncy. The fish flops around, an I nose bop it a liddle, just playin,’ but I would NEVER bite it. Papa John says we Catch an Release, which means we throw it back in the water so it can go home. I always bark goodbye.
“I also love playin’ on the beach. Up there, there’s lotsa baby lobsters runnin’ around. They’re fun to play with, too. They’re real quick liddle guys.”
“Do you swim?”
“Woof, no! I don’t like getting’ my paws wet! I just run around on the shore. We gotta lotta friends up there. Down here, too. They’re always askin’ Papa John if I’m a fox! I guess I do look like a fox kinda, but, I mean, come ON! Foxes have that sly, sneaky look, whereas I have a big ol’ smile. PLUS, you could line up all the chickens in the world right in front of me and they’d be totally okey-dokey, down to the last feather. But a fox, not so much.”
“Good point!” I was glad I hadn’t mentioned I thought he resembled a fox, too. “So what’s your day like?”
“I need lotsa exercise so I get leash walks, and I run on the beach. When I’m pooped, I curl up on the couch and chew on a few toys. (Nanny says I curl up like a cat, which I choose to ignore.) If Papa John is late coming home, I howl. Real loud. Didja know, most Japanese dogs can only howl, not bark, but me, I can do BOTH. I don’t go to the dog park yet. (I’ve only been here a few months.)
“I have a pooch neighbor, Roxy. She’s a mix. An Older Woman. Very sweet. Whenever we see each other, she gets all happy.” He leaned toward me and lowered his voice. “I think she has a crush on me.”
“Well, you are a good lookin’ poocheroo. Got any fave foodstuffs? Special sleeping arrangements?”
“I get regular dog food, of course. The treats are pretty yummy, too. I always ask Nanny to get the duck. She buys LOTS. But what I really enjoy is sharin’ Papa John’s food: like coldcuts-an-cheese, an French Dip and hamburger from Bobby’s. Pawsome! I guess I’m a liddle fussy.
“As far as sleepin,’ I get to sleep with Papa John an Nanny, but NOT on Nanny’s side. EVER. If she comes in an I accidently happen to be snoozin’ on her pillow, she gives me The Look, which says ‘YOU’RE on MY pillow?’ You better buh-lieve I’m off that bed in a Long Island Minute!”
I laughed. “So, do you enjoy travel?”
“I hafta say I’m not crazy about it. I don’t care for ridin’ in the car. Now if I could DRIVE, that’d be A Different Dog Biscuit. But I do like the places an the people the car takes us to. Like Montauk. An I LOVE motels. They’re fun to explore.
“You know Mr. Bonzo, when Papa John an Nanny first brought me here, I thought to myself, ‘I hope I’m gonna be happy in my new home.’ Well, I totally am! Papa John an Nanny take good care of me. An me and Papa John are Besties: I’m good for him an he’s good for me.”
Heading Home, I was thinking about the strong bonds that can form between pooches an their humans. I had one like that with my Mom. I was also wonderin’ if Grandma and Grandpa might bring me some French Dip one of these evenings.
Till next time,