BONZ: A first – The announcement of Mateo’s engagement

Hi, Pet Buddies! In what I think is a first for the Bonzo column, I am including an engagement announcement on this very page. I mean, what’s more romantic than Puppy Love, right? OK. Here it goes …

Lyn and John Robichaud announce the engagement of their dog daughter, Lucy Robichaud, a long-haired Chihuahua, to Mateo Thai, a Maltese, and dog son of Francis and Carl Fanning. The bride- and groom-to-be are both Roseland residents. The wedding date has not yet been set. Following a reception in their mutual back yard and a honeymoon walk along Indian River Drive, the couple will be at home in Roseland.

I had already met Lucy and I had a chance to talk with Mateo last week. I’d heard he was a chick magnet and after meeting him, I could see why. He’s a good-lookin’ dog and, rumor has it, quite a flirt, too. He was there at the door with his mom and, as soon as it opened, he zoomed out and leaped right into my car, as my assistant was getting my notebook and pen. “He loves to go for rides,” his Mom said. When he remembered I had come to interview him, he zoomed back inside.

He’d had just been groomed and was wearing a very suave neck scarf. He’d also had a very short haircut, so he didn’t look like a fluffy white mop (no offense) like Malteses often do. The only fluffy part left was his tail, which looked like a big white feather and curled over on his back – rakish, I thought. He didn’t have to check the mirror to know he was looking FINE!

After the usual wag-and-sniff, I said, as an icebreaker, “So, Mateo, I hear you’re engaged! Congrats!”

“Thanks, Bonz,” he said. “Yeah, I guess my hound dog days are over. But, I woof you not, she’s a pup in a million!”

“That’s great, Matt! But tell me about yourself,” I said. (Talking about Puppy Love makes me itchy.)

“My dog mom was a showgirl and my dad was a breeder, both of them were from West Virginia. So I have really pawsome genes. That’s why I’m so buff. Anyway, when my human mom first got me, I was not as big as I am now.”

Big being a relative term, I thought.

“She’d tuck me into her purse wherever she went, until one day we got caught in the grocery store. She kept sticking her hand in her purse feeding me treats to occupy me, and the clerk got suspicious.”

“Bummer,” I said.

“Yeah, well, I was so irresistible that we didn’t get in trouble. Well, I did get in trouble with my Mom just once. When I was a reckless pupster, I liked to chew on the furniture. A lot! So she wound bubblewrap around the furniture legs. When I started to chew, the bubbles popped and scared the poop out of me. Last time I ever did that, you can bet.”

I had to laugh at the mental image.

“Anyway,” yapped Mateo, “I lived with my Mom in Washington, DC, for years. She had a catering company called All About Thyme, and I was her right-paw pup. And we’ve lived in Essex, London; India; Amsterdam; Jamaica; Martha’s Vineyard; the Jersey Shore.”

“Whoa, Matt, after all that travel, isn’t it hard to settle down in a quiet little village like Roseland?”

“Actually it’s not,” he said. “I’m having a blast with Mom and Dad. And I have some cool pals here in our neighborhood: There’s Lucy, of course, then there’s Max. He’s a big dude, part Irish setter and part German shepherd, I think. He’s a trip. Then there’s, well, there WAS, Baby. I ran around with her for a while so, you know …”

“Sure do,” I replied. “’nuff said.”

“But honestly, Bonz, there’s plenty to do here. I have my box of toys under the chair. Mom likes it when I dance and twirl on my back feet and play tug-of-war with my stuffed toy Lambchop. I don’t get why humans like us to do that silly stuff. And I have three beds, one in the living room and two in the bedroom. Dad gives me a bath once a week. He is totally cool! He plays banjo and steel guitar in a band and I love it when he plays for me. Almost as much as I love bones. Almost. And Uncle Jeff sometimes takes me for rides in his boat, with my human cousin Parker. And I dig just chill-laxing out on the dock. I’m a middle-aged mutt already, Bonz, although I usually don’t feel that old. But my back legs sometimes give me fits, so I have to get shots. But, hey, it’s all good.”

“I hear ya, Matt. Say, that’s some scarf,” I told him.

“Yea, I got a million of ‘em. Mom loves to dress me up. My personal fav is my Ralph Lauren bomber jacket. I have Polo and Tommy Hilfiger cashmere sweaters. Hats, too. Mom got me winter booties in D.C. once when it was snowy. Cost a bunch of dog biscuits, too. But I walked out of them before we got home. I mean, enough’s enough, right? I love rolling around in the snow. Of course, I had long hair then.”

“Well, I’d better get back,” I said. “It’s been fun yapping with you.”

“Back atcha, Bonz. Come to the wedding. Reception’ll be all organic, with lots of baby carrots – and little individual chew bones.”

“You bet I will, Matt!” I said.

Till next time!

The Bonz

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