This week, I met a young mother, Skye Walker (nope, her name has absolutely nothing to do with that movie. It was just a coincidence). Skye is a 2-year-old Lab with a pretty soft yellow coat, real femuh-nun. Me an my assistant met her at her Mom’s business over on the beach. It’s called a SPA, which is a place where humans (ladies mostly) go to get all spiffed up. Since Skye doesn’t ackshully work there herself, me an my assistant an Skye’s Mom and her fren got settled in to wait for Skye’s human sister to bring her over.
Soon as they walked in, Skye came right up for the Wag-an-Sniff, then gave my assistant some frenly slurps. “Welcome! Welcome, Mr. Bonzo an Mr. Bonzo’s Assistant. Have you met my Mommy, Christine, an her fren Tonya? She helps Mommy with PR, that’s Pooch Relations. This is my sister Nicki. My other sisters are Katie an Jen.”
“I appreciate your time, Skye,” I told her. “I expect you’re relaxing after all those puppies. So tell me how it all came about. I understand you’re from Ocala.”
“That’s right. Mommy was On Line lookin’ for a Yellow Lab, an she found a litter in Ocala. My litter. She came over to check us out an, of course, she picked ME cuz I was the adorable-est. An yellow. But me an my best fren Marshall (he’s a Chocolate) didn’t wanna be separated. We stuck together like burrs on fur. He was also super adorable. Thank Lassie, Mommy came home with both of us.
“Our puppyhood was fun! We jumped in the pool right away, being reTREEvers an all. An we still really enjoy doggie day care. We don’t get homesick at all when we’re there, an we’ve got a ton of pooch pals. Sometimes we have play dates with Grandma Phyllis and Nicholas, he’s a shih tzu. That’s always Cool Kibbles. I’m a major Lizard Fanatic. Can’t resist the thrill of the chase. Mommy hunts for sea glass an I hunt lizards, an Marshall just goes along for the ride. He thinks I’m silly. He’s way more reserved than me. When Mommy’s at work, we watch Dog TV. Once, when Mommy forgot to turn it on, I accidently ate the remote. I was just tryin’ to locate the ‘on’ button.
“Mommy started us in school pretty early to learn Behavior Around Humans and Fellow Animals; O-bee-dee-ence; an what stuff we should Never Do Under Any Circumstances. We practiced Manners by being Official Mascots an Greeters at Mommy’s other place, Katwalk. Honestly, I don’t understand that name: there’s lotsa clothes an stuff but I NEVER saw a CAT in there, walkin’ or sittin’ or nappin’ or anything. Personally, I wudda called it ‘Dogwalk,’ you know?”
“I see what you’re sayin.’”
“Anyway, we were progressing nicely in our classes when we found out me an Marshall were gonna have puppies. So I hadda drop out of school. Mommy got a Dog Nanny, Kelly, for me while we waited for the puppies and then, after, to take us to our appointments. She was so nice. Our puppies were born in April, seven wiggly liddle muffins: five girls an two boys, in Basic Lab Colors: chocolate, black an yellow. They were even MODELS in Portfolio Magazine!”
“Pawsome!” I commented.
“My Marshall was a wunnerful, paws-on Dad. He’d play and snuggle with ’em, let ’em climb all over him. Those eight weeks went by so fast, then it was time to find the Best, Most Loving Forever Homes for our puppies.
“We thought an thought, an finally came up with a Super Cool Dog Biscuits plan: We’d have a Puppy Preview so we could meet the humans an they could meet us an our puppies. Then we’d donate all the puppy money to the Vero Dog Park, which me an Marshall an all our pooch pals just love, and Mommy’s on the Board.”
“Woof, Skye, that’s brilliant,” I exclaimed.
“I KNOW. Mommy thought so, too. She decided to have the Puppy Preview at the store during the Sunset Stretch event.”
“Sunset Stretch. Ladies put on comftubble clothes and get in all sortsa funny positions an breath through their noses. I think it’s called Yogurt. One of the positions is the Downward Dog! Can you buh-LIEVE it? Anyway, a buncha ladies came to do Yogurt and see the puppies. Even without any practice, they behaved beautifully. Me an Marshall were so proud!”
Skye pawsed an wiped her eyes. “I’m happy our liddle muffins all got good homes, but It was Soggy Dog Biscuits sayin’ goodbye. It felt so empty and quiet when they were all gone. Honestly, Mr. Bonzo, poor Marshall is having a harder time with Empty Nest than me.
“I told him, soon as the puppies are old enough, we’re gonna have a reunion at the Dog Park, an we’ll get to see how much they’ve grown. I can’t wait. We’re bringing Kleenex.”
I felt sad for her an changed the subject. “What kinda food and snacks do you prefer?”
“We get kibbles in Maze Bowls. They curve around like a maze to keep us from gobbling. Mommy’s teachin’ us to fold our paws an bow our heads before meals. We’re not quite there yet. My most favorite snack is Pig Ears. Marshall’s cool with Milk Bones, but just gimme a nice Pig Ear!”
“Are you woofin’?”
“Nope! Wanna try one?”
“I’d love to, Skye, really, but, er … Oh, wouldja look at the time. It’s been great yappin’ with you.” I rose.
Skye laughed. “No worries, Mr. Bonzo. They are an acquired taste.”
Heading home, I was wonderin’ what it’d be like to be a Dad, have my own puppies to snuggle an tumble around with and share pooch wisdom. But, no complaints. I’m a happy bachelor with a great job, meeting all you fellow pooches, and cats, an sharing your stories.
Till next time,