I admit, this week, I needed a buncha clee-nexes when I was innerviewing AN writing my column. It’s about one of the handsome-est liddle poocheroos I’ve ever met: Jake (from State Farm) Graves Thomas. He’s a long-haired, mini-dachshund with the coolest pattern on his face, an a terrific personality. I mean, this pooch has got it Goin’ ON!
He graciously invited me an my assistant in an, following the Wag-an-Sniff, innerduced us to his Mom, Katie (his Dad, Matthew, was workin’).
“Follow me,” he said, heading into the livin’ room with this Totally Cool Kibbles strut, like he was All That, Anna Bag of Pupperoni.
I inconspicuously fluffed my ruff. “I’ve gotta say, Jake, you look like you’re ready for Westminster. Who’s your groomer?”
“Thank you, Mr. Bonzo. I do have one, but for this innerview, Mom gave me a bath, blow-dry an comb-out. It feels great! So, should I tell you my story now?”
“Absolutely. Take your time.” I opened my notebook.
“I guess you can tell, I’m a purebred. But I’m not a SNOBnose or anything. AN, even though lotsa dachshunds are STUBB-earn, I’m not. Mom an Dad taught me to be puh-LIGHT. I have lotsa frens: pooches an humans.
“I don’t know if you knew, but this is ackshully my second famly. I’ve been here a liddle over a year.”
“I didn’t know.”
“Yep. My original name was Jake Graves. My first Dad, Jimmy, was young, 15 in people years, an I was a pupster, too. My Dad was real POP-ular, an he loved sports! We had the BEST time! Then, in December 2016, everything changed. Alluva sudden, different humans were takin’ care of me. They were frens and famly, an they were real kind. But my Dad wasn’t there. Then I found out he hadda boat accident an went to Heaven.”
“Woof. Jake. I’m so sorry.” I wiped my paw across my eyes.
“I know you lost your Mom, Mr. Bonzo, so you unnerstand.”
I put my paw on his paw, an we sat there for a liddle while, not sayin’ anything, just havin’ our own thoughts.
Finally he said, “I wondered if I’d haffta go away, but I DIDN’T. I was a Very Lucky Dog. See, my Dad’s dad is Grampa Joe (he’s my buddy). An he has a Business Partner, Matthew. (I already knew him an Katie pretty well.) An they aDOPted me, Thank Lassie. They’re teachin’ me stuff, too. Like how to do ‘PAW.’ See!”
Up went his fluffy liddle paw. “Cool Dog Biscuits, Jake!”
“I KNOW! I have the Potty Thing down, too. If I hafta GO, I sit on the couch or by the door with my ears perked to get Mom an Dad’s attention. Then I give ’em The Look.”
“We all know how important THAT is. By the way, how did you get that cool name – Jake (from State Farm)?”
He laughed and stood up. “Because – see – it looks like I’m wearin’ khakis. You know, like that guy on TV.”
It was true, all four legs were khaki color. “That’s paw-LARRY-us! So, what’s life like now? Any favorite toys, for example?”
“There’s this thing I get in the mail every month called A Bark Box!”
“Whatsa a Bark Box?”
“It’s a package stuffed full of pooch toys an treats. It’s Cool Kibbles!”
“Mom says I’m a liddle lazy. I think I’m Laid Back. Sometimes, to get me to play catch, Mom has to lure me with squeaky toys. Snugglin’ with Mom an Dad’s probly my favorite thing. Sometimes, when Dad wakes up, there I am, nose-to-nose, with my head on the pillow. I’m a Burrower, too. It’s ju-NEDDIC. I burrow under the covers, or under the furniture to hide bones an stuff. When Dad’s in the pool, he pretends he’s In Distress, so I jump onto my floaty mat and go SAVE him. When I reach him, I just jump on his head. I know how to swim, but I’d rather float around on my mat.
“But I don’t just play. My family job is to bark an alarm when there’s a knock or noise or something like that. But here’s my biggest job, Mr. Bonzo: See, when my first Dad went to Heaven, my Grampa Joe and Gramma Carole made the Jimmy Graves Foun-DA-shun, to always remember my Dad, who was really great at lotsa sports, espeshully FOOTball. An I’M foun-DA-shun Spokespooch. We’ve hadda lotta free events for kids, a concert, an even a football camp, with a Very Famous Football Person, who won this Big Trophy. I can’t remember what the trophy’s called, but he was a really nice human an he hadda funny name – Flutie.
“Anyway, our foundation bought ballfields right by the high school, which the cow-nee was gonna sell. My Dad ackshully played on ’em. We have what my Grampa Joe calls a Vision for it: a track, an parking an a building.”
Jake showed me DRAWings. It’s PAWsome.
“It’s gonna be a place for the whole co-MMUNIDDY, called the Jimmy Graves Sports Complex,” Jake continued. “Grampa Joe talked to a Consulting Firm an a Construction Person, an he says we’re gonna have a Capiddle Cam-PAIN. I don’t unnerstand what any of that means, but Grampa Joe says hopefully the track’ll be ready for kids to use when their school starts in 2020. All I know is I’m gonna be the Best Spokespooch Ever, for my first Dad.”
Heading home, I was thinking about my Mom, an Jake’s Dad, an how much pooches an their people enrich each other’s lives, in lotsa ways.
Till next time,