Hi, Pet Buddies! Since The Season is fast approaching, I’ll start with a Fashion Flash: black and white is this season’s go-to coat combo – and I’m not just woofin’ because I myself am a black and white sort of pooch.
Among area dogs – and cats – I’m seeing a lot of it in all kinds of different patterns. For example, my recent interview was with a pup who has the shiniest b/w coat, very short and sleek. Parker Lewis, a part-pit pupster only 4 months old, just moved in with his humans, Bianca and Michael Lewis.
When I arrived, he was out on the back screen porch. His mom had him wait there until just before the interview because he’s still in toilet training and tends to lose control when he gets excited, which he does whenever he meets someone new. Like me.
So I sat in the living room while she went and got him. He came zooming up to me, all legs and ears and slurps. His shiny coat had been accessorized with a simple but elegant red collar.
“Hi, Mr. Bonzo! Mom said you were coming and that I should be polite and not jump up on you. I’m just learning my wag-and-sniff. I hope I’m getting it right. I keep forgetting which comes first. Sniff? Oh, no, wait – it’s wag, right?”
He was so cute and hilarious, I couldn’t help but laugh. “No worries, kid. You’ll figure it out. It’ll come naturally!”
“I know,” he said. “I just wish I’d grow up faster. I want to be a cool pooch – like you. Oh, and don’t worry I’ll have an accident. Mom took me out right before you got here. Sometimes I forget to scratch the back door when I need to go out.”
“Happens to all of us,” I assured him. “So tell me about yourself and your new Forever Family.”
He sat down, popped back up and sat down again. “I was just a teeny puppy when my humans found me at the shelter. Mom and Dad had had a little bitty shitzu for a long time, but it went to doggie heaven when it was 98 dog years old, and Dad said he wanted a regular big dog next time.
“They put me on lay-away because the shelter has to be sure we’re all, you know, clean and healthy and stuff like that. Anyway, they came back and brought me here and right away I just felt comfy and safe. Everything is so fun, I’m learning stuff and I have snacks, a bed and my own crate and I get to run around in back and I’ve already met some other dogs and …”
He took a breath. I knew he was part-pit and, I have to be honest, I sort of wondered which part – it’s hard not to breed-profile. Anyway, whatever the other part was, both parts together had made Parker a pleasant pupster.
“So, kiddo, what are you learning besides potty procedures?” I asked.
“Tricks. Mom says I’m so smart because I already learned some.” He looked up at her and wagged. She took the cue. She gave the commands and he instantly responded. He sat. He shook paws. He lay down (for about 2 seconds.) And when he stuffed his nose into my assistant’s big briefcase, and his mom told him to “stop it,” he did. And he wasn’t even grumpy about it.
“Guess what?” he said. “I betcha can’t guess what mom’s teaching me.”
“I can’t,” I said.
“She’s teaching me to merengue! She’s from Colombia, and she loves to dance with me. I balance on my back legs and bounce around. She holds my front paws so I don’t fall. Sometimes I fall over anyway. But it’s still waay fun.”
“Totally pawsome!” I said. “I bet you have lots of toys.”
“Oh, yes. Mom and Dad got me a ton of chewy toys. But my favorite toy is an old Gatorade bottle with a bunch of little sticks in it.
“Oh, and I’m going to obedience training at the shelter. It’s an important school where you learn how to go potty so no one yells at you, and to not jump up on people. And how to wag and sniff. I’m not so great at it yet. It’s hard work, but it’s still pretty cool. I have to work on not getting so excited when company comes.“
He moved closer and put his muzzle against my ear. “Don’t tell anybody, OK? I really messed up when I first got here and Mom’s sister Dora was visiting. She said I was the cutest little thing and she friffled my ears. I got very excited, so I peed in her shoe. It was sort of a little gift, I thought, but Dora didn’t understand. Mom thought it was funny but she scolded me and rinsed off Dora’s shoe and sprayed it with something.”
“Sometimes, we just have to learn from our mistakes,” I said.
“Yeah,” Parker agreed.
“Mom says I’m a Daddy’s boy because the first thing he does as soon as he gets home from work is call me, pick me up, give me a smooch and play with me. THEN he calls her. Sometimes she says “What’s up with that, kissing the dog before your wife?“ But she doesn’t really mind.”
“I notice you have a pool? Do you swim?” I asked.
“Actually Mr. Bonzo, I’m kinda nervous about that. I mean, all the water! Mom sometimes carries me in and shows me where the stairs are in case I accidently fall in. And when there’s a leaf floating in it, I really want to grab it. But I’m just not ready yet, you know?”
“Yes I do, kiddo,” I told him. “All in good time. You’ll know when you’re ready. Don’t hurry your puppyhood.” I got up to leave. “I bet next time I see you you’ll be as tall as I am!“
“Oh, boy, you THINK?” he said wagging up a storm.
You betcha, kiddo,” I said. “You be a good pupster now.”
“Yessir, Mr. Bonzo, I WILL!” and he ran to the porch and started scratching on the back door.
‘till next time.