Last weekend, me an my Assistant took a mini get-away, an I made a new pooch fren – a 16-month-old Portuguese Water Dog, full of Youthful Exuberance. He (an his Dad) have a Key Lime (pie an other stuff) shop in Key West, an he’s Official Greeter. I KNOW, right?
We were takin’ a liddle stroll along Elizabeth Street, when, in front of a bright yellow an green store on the corner, we spotted a human holdin’ a big yummy-lookin’ green pie, wearin’ a green jacket an poofy green hat shaped sorta like a mushroom. Beside him, wearin’ a green halter, was a middle-sized pooch with curly white hair an big black fluffy circles around his eyes that made him look like a pie-rat. Or Zorro.
“Dawg,” I said. “Whazzup?” (Bein’ off the clock, I was in a laid-back, island state of mind.)
“Oh, goody,” he said, wiggle/waggin’ over for the Wag-an-Sniff (an a European Double Smooch). “I love meetin’ pooches who come from Afar. Do YOU come from Afar? What’s your name? I’m Pirate Carpenter. You can call me Pi.”
On the Spur-of-the-Moment, I had an IDEA. “I’m Bonzo. I’m a journalist, down from Vero Beach for the weekend. That’s sorta Afar, I think. Ackshully, I write a newspaper column about pooches: a story an PICKshur. The minute I spotted you, I knew you’d be a great innerview. Whaddya think? Got some time to yap?”
“Are you WOOFIN’? A COL-umn about ME? In the PAY-per? With a PICK-shur? Ab-so-woofin’-LOOT-ly!” He nudged the human in the green hat. “This is my Dad, Kermit. We’re business partners. We can yap soon as I finish my shift, if you don’t mind hangin’ out for a bit.”
“Of course,” I said. “Us journalists are flexible.”
Pi sat on the corner, alert an adorable, while his Dad waved to the humans walkin’ or drivin’ by; or ridin’ in one of those big red trolleys. He pretended to throw the pie at ’em, but it was stuck to his hand. The humans were laughin’ an wavin’ an hollerin’ “Hi, Pirate!” Everybody knew him. He was FAY-muss!
A liddle boy, walkin’ by with his Mom, plopped right down on the sidewalk next to Pi, and started patting him an talkin’ to him. Pi gave him nuzzles an gentle nose bumps.
“I love my job, especially the liddle humans,” he said. “One time, when the Disney ship was in, I got to play with six liddle humans all at one time. Woof! Those were the Best Tummy Rubs EVER!”
“You’ve got a Super Cool Dog Biscuits job,” I observed.
When Pirate finished his shift, we went back to his office. Even though he was bigger than me, he jumped smack into his Dad’s lap. His front legs flopped over one side an his caboose hung over the other, an he was happy as anything.
“So, how’d you two get together?”
“Dad’s fren hadda Portuguese Water Dog like me, only brown. They’d stop by Dad’s shop every day, an Dad ree-lized us Porties were, like, the perfect pooch for people who live on an eye-lund, ya know?”
“Word!” I said.
“So Dad went On Line an found Julie’s Porties in Ohio, which is WAAY far up. When he saw my pick-shur, he said, ‘This is The Dog For ME!’ I mean, I’m adorable now, as you can see, but when I was a liddle pupster I was Totally Irresistible.”
“How did you get all the way down here?”
“It was scary, leavin’ my pooch Mom an litter, an flyin’ far, far away by myself. The humans were nice an stuff, an I behaved like Mom taught us to, but I was homesick.”
“I can imagine.”
“But that’s OK, cuz soon as me an Dad saw each other, even though I was just a liddle fluffmuffin, I ree-llized I had a Forever Home.
“I’ve been learning Basic Dog Stuff, like Sit, Stay, Down and Don’t Jump Up (that’s the hardest cuz I really, really, really like to Jump Up).”
A lady walked in an gave Pirate a pat on the head.
“This is Carina,” he explained. “She’s my Official Trainer, anna co-worker. She’s like my human Mom. She says I’m Eager To Learn, an smart. When she gives me a Cuh-MAND, I do it, cuz I know she Means Business. But, when Dad gives me a cuh-MAND, its seems more like a Guideline, an sometimes I do it, an sometimes I don’t. Specially ‘Don’t Jump Up.’ But I’m tryin’ to do better.
“I also like to hang out with my human pal Arthur (he’s a co-worker, too), an my pooch pals Charlie Brown an Shadow, an swim in the ocean with my girlfren Daisy (she’s a Golden Retriever). Coconuts are fun, also: I totally shred ’em. An Dad an me play with my Chuck-It: he flings a ball all the way across the dog park, an I run like the wind after it. That totally poops me out, which I think is Dad’s Plan.
“By Sunset (which is a Big Deal down here but I’m not sure why) I’m ready for bed. I pile up lotsa rugs in my Sleep Spots, then I rotate during the night: closet, floor, then the bed with Dad.
“Oh, an, guess what? I’m so stoked! I’m gonna be on the COV-er of a CAL-endar we’re doing. It’ll be pickshurs of me and my pooch pals. Isn’t that Cool Kibbles?”
I didn’t wanna leave, but we hadda get back home.
“Oh, wait, Mr. Bonzo, I almost forgot. Here’s a bag of my special Key Lime dog biscuits, for your trip. They’re all natural.”
Heading home, I was thinking about the exuberant, big-hearted “lap dog” who lives on an island and loves everybody. And those Key Lime pooch treats kept me in the Island Mood all the way back to “Afar.”
Till next time,