Hi, Pet Buddies!
I thought I knew every kind of dog there is, being a dog myself and all, but, scheesch, when I found out my next interview was with a Brussels Griffon, I gotta admit – it gave me paws. And when I found out his name was Goliath, I figured whatever it was, it was definitely gonna be waay bigger than me. Gulp.
“Oh, great! Wow!” I said to my assistant, hoping to bluff while I tried to figure out what sort of animal this would be. But it wasn’t until Goliath came to the door with his human parents, Bill and Karen Conover, that I could breathe a sigh of relief. “Why, he’s just a little ol’ mop dog,” I said. Oops, did I say that out loud?
Obviously, I had NOT gotten off on the right paw. Goliath did look like one of those hyper little terrier types to me. He was a golden-y tan color, with kinda loose curls and a verrry expressive face – and a beard. And he was miffed. Really miffed.
“Bonzo, I presume,” he said, icily.
I nodded, embarrassed.
“Take notes,” he said, brusquely. “Learn something. I come from a long line of Belgian working dogs. In fact,” he said with a sly smile on his smushy little face, “We are distant cousins, Bonzo.”
“Back in the 1800s, to create my breed, terriers were crossed with“ … he paused for effect and looked me right in the eye … “spaniels!”
“Say whaaat?” was all I could manage. Me? A spaniel? Related to a toy terrier? I had to sit down.
“We were fearless rat catchers, the trusted protectors of the stables. And because we are very hearty, intelligent, affectionate and“ … he gave me a look … “SPUNKY, we were important members of many families. Folk songs and stories have been written about us, Bonzo. So don’t be mistaking us for one of those pampered toy dogs. Plus – one of our relatives is a movie star.”
“Pawsome!” I managed, still shaken. “Tell me about that.”
“A Brussels Griffon was the featured star in that movie ‘As Good as It Gets,’ with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. In fact, that’s how my human parents got me, back in ’04. My mom just fell in love with the dog in that movie and had to have one just like him. And, lucky her, she found ME. In fact,” he continued, smugly, “the breeder lived in Minnesota and I was so totally adorable – I was the runt of the litter back then – she didn’t want to part with me.
“So my mom put a BIG down payment on me to put me on lay-away. She knew she was going to call me Goliath so she asked the breeder lady to start calling me that – and she did. Finally, I was put in a special crate with lots of nice, soft blankets, and flew on Delta all the way to Palm Beach. When I arrived, the Sky Cap set me and my crate on the counter and my mom and dad said I was almost invisible under all those blankets. She called my name a couple of times and, even though I was still a little pupster, I recognized it and poked my adorable nose out. Mom says the first thing I said was, ‘Oh, boy, Disneyworld!’“
“What an exciting life you’ve had!” I exclaimed, rallying. “I noticed that your front legs seem a lot shorter than your back legs. What’s up with that?”
“That’s just the way we’re built, I guess so we can run really fast. My dad calls me a jackrabbit.”
“Do you have other pet buddies?” I inquired.
“Oh, I see lots of friends, on my walks with dad. But I’m really a house dog now, and I have an adopted sister, China, she’s 4. She’s a Shihtzu.” On cue, a totally black, curly-haired little fluff muffin bounced over, yapping, tail wagging. I had to admit, she was adorable.
“Then there’s Lolita,” Goliath continued. “She’s a Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot. She’s 25.”
Instinctly I ducked, looking up.
“She’s in her cage,” Goliath laughed, and walked toward the living room. “Hello,” said Lolita, gazing from her perch. “Peek-A-Boo!”
“You have a great blended family,” I told him.
“I KNOW! We all sleep on mom and dad’s bed, together. But we don’t get table snacks or treats. Mom is a nurse and she believes in a proper, healthy diet. So she feeds us only Royal Canin. It’s expensive, but we’re worth it!”
“No doubt about that!” I told him.
Til Next Time,