Woof! Did I have fun with this week’s innerview-ee, Bailey Hayes. She’s a going-on-6-years-old Chocolate Lab an, even though I’m WAY older, we share a love of swimmin’. If I hadn’t been On the Job, I wudda been right there in the pool with her. But I digress.
I guess Bailey heard us drive up cuz, as soon as we got outta the car, she shot out the front door and zipped right up for the Wag-an-Sniff. I always get a kick outta how Labs never lose that Happy Puppy Attitude, always lookin’ forward to what’s next.
“HI, BONZO! I’M BAILEY HAYES! THESE ARE MY MOM AN DADDY, JILL AN STEVE. I CALL ’EM MIMI AN PAPPI. COME ON IN!”
She bounded back inside an, after her mom had reminded her to use her indoor voice, she cranked the volume down an continued, “Meet my human brother an sister, Kent, he’s 11, an Mia, she’s 8. I’m Mia’s pro-TECT-ter.”
We all sat around the livin’ room: Well, Bailey didn’t ackshully sit, she snuffled my notebook an my assistant’s big ol’ bag (cuz that’s where the Treats are stashed). After her mom gave the OK, she Sat and Gave Paw for a treat. Two, ackshully.
“Whatta great famly you have, Miss Bailey,” I exclaimed. “How did you find each other?”
She sat. “I was livin with a fren of Mimi’s. They also had three of those big ol’ long-leggedy Great Danes. I wasn’t even 1 yet, an, bein’ so young an bouncy, I was makin’ the other pooches what Mimi’s fren called ‘HI-purr,’ an she was probly gonna hafta find me a new home. Well, Mimi an Pappi had been talkin’ about gettin’ Kent an Mia a dog … an all three of us were kids, anyway, so …”
“I think I see where this is goin’ …” I said.
“It was The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me! Kent an Mia taught me a whole buncha Cool Kibbles stuff. I’ll show you! This one’s called ‘Where’s the Treat?’”
Mia held out both closed hands. Bailey cocked her head for a coupla seconds, then bopped one hand. Yep, it was the one with the treat. Then Mia put a treat on Bailey’s snout. In a flash, Bailey flipped her head up, the treat went sailing, and Bam! she grabbed it outta the air an into her mouth.
“PAW-some! What other stuff do you like to do? Any pooch pals?”
“My BFF’s Scout, she’s a Chocolate Lab, too. We look like twins. Sometimes, during a hurry-cane, Scout and her humans stay with us. One time after they visited us and had gone back home, an everybody was gettin’ ready for bed, Mimi an Pappi ree-lized they had Scout, not me. I had gone home with Scout’s famly. Me an Scout thought it was huh-LARRY-us!”
“I’ll bet,” I mumbled.
“I also play with Mojo, he’s a brindle bulldog neighbor. Then there’s Jasper, a French Bulldog who buh-longs to Kent an Mia but doesn’t live here. He’s real Cool Kibbles. An my very special human frens are Grandma GiGi an Aunt BiBi.”
“Any cat frens?”
“Abso-fluffin’-lootly NOT. I had this Traumatic Cat Ex-peery-unce once. Some frens were visitin’, an they had a Boxer, Honey, who was fun. BUT, they ALSO hadda CAT. Sox. Well, un-be-knownst to me, Mimi had fixed Sox a comfy out-of-the-way spot in the laundry room an closed the door, to avoid any inter-species drama. Me an Honey were just playin’ around, when someone opened the laundry room door, so, for no puh-TICK-u-ler reason, I trotted in. WELL, suddenly, there was a terrible hissing sound, then this big furious yowling ball of fur flew out from behind the dryer, lookin’ like it had exploded, hair sticking straight out like a porky-pine; eyes big as water dishes. Scared the Dog Biscuits out of me.”
I pretended to sneeze to hide my laughin’ an, Thank Lassie, Bailey changed the subject.
“What I love best in the whole world is bein’ with my famly; doin’ whatever they’re doin’.”
“Like travelin’ in our big truck; an runnin’ alongside Pappi on his 4-wheeler. I can run 26 miles an hour! An playin’ BALL! Every night we play ball. Then I get my coconut oil.”
“Yep. Keeps my coat shiny. See?” She did a liddle pirouette.
“It IS extremely shiny an beautiful!” I agreed. “Any favrite snacks?”
“My favrite snack is – ALL OF ’EM. ’Specially people food. That’s possibly why I’ve put on a teensy bit of weight. Mimi says I’m a Pot Licker.”
“I hear you,” I said. “Myself, I’m a Counter Surfer, ’specially if there’s bread.”
“NOW, Mr. Bonzo, me an Kent have a special treat for you!” Bailey announced excitedly. “Come on!”
We trooped out to the padio, an sat in the shade by the pool.
“Kent taught me the usual Sit, Stay stuff. Then he taught me about swimmin’. I’d never been inna pool. I’d been lookin’ at it, wonderin’ what it’d feel like to walk across it. Then Kent jumped off the edge an DISAPPEARED! I was like ‘Wha-at? Where’d he GO?’ Then he popped back up, and pretty soon I was swimmin’ with him. THEN he taught me to dive in an fetch a toy on the bottom. WATCH!”
Kent tossed the toy in; Bailey got in position at the edge an waited. When Kent hollered “GO!” Bailey launched herself into the water, caboose up, disappeared, then resurfaced triumphantly with the toy in her mouth. After a couple more dives, she clambered out an performed a perfect nose-to-tail Wet Dog Shake, causing the words on my notebook page to get a liddle blurry.
“Woof! That was sen-SAY-shu-null, Bailey! I can only do belly-flops.”
I couldn’t buh-leeve an hour had already passed. Headin’ home, I jotted down: A. Learn to dive. B. Ask Gramma about getting some coconut oil.
Till next time,