This week, I had a great yap with probly the biggest pooch I’ve EVER met in the fur. His name’s Togi Dunks and he’s a handsome, impressive Newfoundland. He just turned 4 in June and he weighs a liddle north of 160 pounds! I felt like a cupcake.
Togi’s fur is Super Thick an soft, an his fluffy ears are styled in a very sporty blunt cut. He has big, expressive brown eyes, an his fluffy tail alone is larger than many of the mini pooches I’ve met. I woof you not.
To match his extra-large size, Togi has an extra kind, frenly personality; he came right up for the Wag-and-Sniff and gave my assistant a few welcoming nose nudges.
“Great to meet you, Bonz,” he said. “This is my Mom, Julie. My Dad, Kerry, is workin’. My human sister Hillary lives in Utah, my sister Bethany’s much closer, in Jacksonville. Come’on, we’ll go sit on the padio.”
Flipping open my notebook, I said, “Can’t wait to hear your story. I know you’re not FROM here, an I’ve never heard the name Togi before. Plus, no offense, you’re so BIG. You kinda look like a bear. But in a good way,” I hastened to add.
Togi smiled. “Yeah, I get that a lot. I’m from Colorado originally. Love the Great Outdoors, probly cuzza my heritage. Newfoundland’s WAY up north, then over to the right. Us Newfoundlands are workin’ dogs. Our ancestors were ackshully called ‘bear dogs’ cuzza how they looked. They came over with the Vikings like a zillion dog years ago. They helped fisherpeople pull in their super heavy nets, so they hadda be real strong and weather-resistant. And, of course, very smart and obedient.”
“Woof! You’re related to ackshull Vikings! That is So Super Cool Kibbles!”
“I guess you could say that,” he agreed modestly.
“An how’d you get that name?”
“When Mom an Dad were in Alaska, they visited a little village called Togiak, where American humans called IN-you-wets live. They liked it so much they named me for it. My full name’s Togiak Dunks.”
“When did you find your Forever Famly?”
“Mom an Dad had had a Newfoundland pre-me an they already knew we are the most tenderhearted pooches in the world. An VERY obedient, which we hafta be cuz we’re so big. I mean, if I got stubborn (which I wouldn’t) they couldn’t budge me. Buh-leeve me, when Mom says ‘SIT!’ I SIT.
“Anyway, Mom an Dad got me from Tenderheart Newfoundlands in Cortez, Colorado, when I was a tiny puppy, 8 weeks old an only 18 pounds.”
Tiny being a relative word, I smiled to myself.
“We drove back home to California in a pick-up, with me curled up in Mom’s lap. She says I was an ‘Excellent’ traveler. To tell you the truth, Bonz, I’m just a lap dog at heart. Moving from California to here was another fun road trip. I was about one. We drove across the Whole Entire Unided States. Took a week. I LOVE travelin’. Wanna hear something cool?”
“I have swum in the Atlantic Ocean AN the Puh-cific Ocean!”
“That IS Seriously Crispy Biscuits,” I agreed. “So, was it hard gettin’ use to bein’ here? It musta been a real big change from the West Coast.”
“For sure. The Great Outdoors! Runnin’ free. Sleepin’ under the Big Sky. I had this wonderful outdoor kennel Dad built. Here, the sky’s a lot liddler. I do still have space to run around in, though. And I still sleep outside. So, it’s all good.
“When I arrived, Mom an Dad already had Mylie, she’s an orange tabby cat. We were cool together when I was a puppy, we’d play an stuff. But when I had my Major Growth Spurt an alluva sudden I was, like, 50 times bigger than her, she got a liddle intimidated, and spent a lotta time up high on her Special Cat Shelf.
“Ever since I was a puppy,” he continued with some pride, “I’ve been well-buhaved. I always want to make Mom an Dad proud. I NEVER Did My Duty in the wrong spot, probly cuz I’d always been an outdoor dog. I love chewin,’ but I only chew what I’m ’spose to, which is NEVER Mom an Dad’s stuff.
“I guess I was a bit wilder as a puppy. I think of it as youthful ex-ZOO-burr-rence. I’d run an play an bounce an sometimes accidently jump up on Mom just to let her know I love her. Then she’d pick herself up off the ground and explain to me about BOUND-rees an less ex-ZOO-burr-rent ways to say ‘I love you, Mom.’
“Bottom line, Bonz, I buh-leeve it’s my duty to be obedient an kind an protect my famly. I’m gonna always stand between Mom and Dad and Trouble. Even at the dog park, if some rude pooch tries to bully another pooch, I just get between ’em. I ackshully have a pretty impressive bark. Altho I’m pretty verbal, I’m not much of a barker. I mean, I don’t just sit around barkin,’ you know? I only use my fuh-ROE-shuss Bark when I haff too. It’ll scare the kibbles out of you if you’re not expecting it.”
“I don’t doubt that!”
With his great personality and gentle manners, I figured he’d have lotsa pals. And he does.
“Keep it under your paw, Bonz, but I do have a grrrlfren. Sasha. Prettiest little Golden Lab, runs circles around me. We swim and go boating. Then there’s Leo, Sugar, Coco, Uggo an Lucy. My former grrrlfren, a French Bulldog named Bella, moved away. We’d play tug with my giant knotted rope. She’d hold on an I’d swing her around in circles.”
We wished each other Happy Holiday and I headed home, still smiling as I thought about the big, beautiful Gentle Giant, Togi Dunks, a 160-pound marshmallow.
I wish you the Merriest Christmas Ever! May your sox be filled with all your most favorite stuff.
Till next time,