BONZ: Family man Charlie is proud of his puppies

Hi, Pet Buddies! This week I got to interview a real family man pooch. His name is Charlie Gannon and he lives with his human mom, Diana, his adopted pooch sisters Amy and Bella, his puppymomma, Dalila, and their five fluffball pupsters.

We met at his work, where they all spend much of their time. He is the Official Greeter at his Mom’s shop, where she teaches fancy sewing and makes all sorts of cool stuff. There’s a nice bright workroom where they all hang out while Charlie and his Mom work.

By the time I got to the porch, Charlie, Amy, Bella and Dalila were all at the door, jumping around and barking an enthusiastic welcome.

“Hey there, Bonz – may I call you Bonz?” Charlie called as he nudged the girls into the workroom, with some help from his human Mom. “They’re practicing to be assistant greeters and, well, there’s a bit of a learning curve. C’mon back.”

When we all got settled and the welcoming barks had stopped, I could hear a lot of smaller, squeakier sounds. At the far end of the room was a nice, roomy cage with soft blankets, next to a big blow-up kiddie pool (without the water) and more blankets. Tumbling about on top of the blankets was a wiggly heap of puppies.

”Meet my kids,” Charlie said proudly. “Cooper, Gracie, Izzy, Jasper and Kelly.”

“Mom, I’m still hungry!”

“Mommy, Gracie pushed me!”

“Did NOT!”

“Did SO!”

“Cooper’s got my chew toy!”

“Mommeeee, Izzy says his tail’s longer than mine. But look! See?”

“That’s just the fluff at the end, Cooper. That doesn’t count, does it Mom?”

Dalila went over to sort out her squirming brood. “We have company, children. Can you say hello to Mr. Bonzo?”

After a chorus of squeaky hellos, the all settled down with Dalila.

OK, Bonz, my man, now we can yap!”

“I can see you’re a busy pooch, with a big family and a full-time job,” I said.

“You got that right!” he said with a grin. “But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Blended families are real popular these days. See, I’m half-Yorkie, half-Maltese. Dalila is a Maltese. Bella and Amy are Shitzus. So, then, the kids are … um … that’d be ¾ Maltese and the rest Yorkie.”

“Wow! Well, they’re a fine-looking bunch,” I told him. I never had kids. I’m a confirmed bachelor. But I sure do admire a family man.

“So how’d you find your Human Mom?” I asked.

“It was just pure luck, Bonz. My future Mom was getting her nails clipped and she was just yapping with the lady who was doing ‘em, you know how that goes.”

“Sure do,” I nodded.

“Anyway, the lady mentioned she had a bunch of puppies at home – me and my brothers and sisters – and that they were already spoken for except me. She asked if my Mom was interested. She wasn’t really in the market for a pupster but she said she’d sleep on it. The nail lady showed her my picture and I think that did the trick. So I came to live with my new Mom as soon as I was ready.

“Well, Mom’s human sister was living with her and she had a Cat. She was not a dog person and her Cat was not a fan either. But I won ‘em over. Now me and Mom’s sister are buddies and the Cat and I just ignore each other, which is okey-dokey with me.”

“I hear ya, dog!” I said. “But, tell me how you and Dalila got together.”

“I really lucked out there, Bonz! I’d been a happy single guy, just hangin’ with my Mom. But seems she had this one item on her bucket List – she’d always wanted to have a houseful of puppies. Anyway, after I’d been here about a year, she told me she was bringing home another pooch, a lady, and, if we got along, she’d be staying with us.”

“Ooo, I expect you were sorta nervous?”

“You bet I was. But, to tell you the truth, Bonz, I’d always wondered what it’d be like to have a family.”

By then the puppies were asleep in a pile, making soft little snoring sounds. Dalila got up quietly and came over to sit beside Charlie.

She smiled and nose-bumped him. “He may have felt that way, but he didn’t say anything about it when we first met. He was really shy. The first thing he did when Mom brought me in was back up and trip over his water dish.”

“Yeah, I sure was nervous,” Charlie said. “Because you were just so pretty. All that silky hair, and that little ribbon. And those eyes! You were some snazzy pup!”

“You weren’t so bad yourself,” she said. “Clumsy, maybe, but a real Top Dog.”

“So you hit it off right away! Cool! And your pups look like both of you,” I told them.

“They’re growing up so fast,” said Dalila, with a sigh. ”They’re already exploring every inch of the backyard. When we’re all out there together, Mom says it’s like one big puppy parade. And little Izzy is taking after his daddy. I believe that silly pup can escape from any kind of fence there is. Drives us crazy!”

Charlie looked down at his paws. “Gotta admit, that’s true. When I was a young pupster, I could escape from any kind of fence mom could put up. She called me Houdini. I could jump over, climb over, dig under, wiggle under pretty much anything. It just came natural. But finally I grew out of it. I’m trying to explain to Izzy that just because you CAN do something, doesn’t always mean you SHOULD do it.”

I was enjoying Charlie and his family so much I lost track of time. “It’s been great yapping with you,” I said earnestly.” Best of luck with your wonderful family!”

On my way home I was thinking about how families can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and species, and, whatever your own might be, there’s nothing more important.

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