BONZ: Bonzo attends the annual Sea Oaks Dog Walk

Hi, Dog Buddies! I gotta say, I’m proud to be a fellow pooch! Local dogs are really aware of those less fortunate, and so willing to provide a Paw Up! So here’s a Big Spaniel Shout-Out to all of you! You rock the dog house!!!

Last week I attended another “of, by and for dogs” fundraiser: the Fifth Annual Sea Oaks Dog Walk. Boy, it’s pretty over there! And I met another bunch of friendly, well-behaved pooches. (Their humans were friendly and well-behaved, too.) Right there on the table was a copy of my column and a sign that said “Welcome, Bonzo!” PLUS, all the dog attendees got a special scarf and I got one, too! It matches my coat! Isn’t that so cool? There was this real pretty, special-designed quilt and a super nice album of all the Sea Oaks pooches and their humans. The humans gave some money and put their names in a pot, and whoever’s names got pulled out won.

The Honorary Co-Chairpooch (and Charter member of the Sea Oaks dog walkers) was Capt. Sam (Samantha) Patota, an English Cocker Spaniel. She’s a Grand Old Lady and, at 91 (dog years), after doing all the pre-planning, she was home resting on the Day-Of. Totally understandable. Her Human Mom, Joan, and friend Joyce were handling everything just fine.

The 2K started at the Sea Oaks clubhouse courtyard and, woof, was there a lot of food! Ever noticed how important party food is to humans? Not dumped into a bowl on the floor, either. All fancied up on plates with little sticks in it, and square pieces of colored paper. (Humans – you gotta love ‘em, right?) Anyway, the treats for us dogs were pretty fancy, too. Miss Joan said they were all specially made by Three Dogs Bakery: apple and oat biscuits, cream treats with carob and peanut butter, and pretzels! My diet went right out the Doggy Door.

There were so many interesting dogs, I wish I’d had more time to yap with ‘em. There was Charlie Einstein Bernard, with his human, Kitty. He’s a 4-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. “I’m one of the founding mutts of this event,” he told me jovially. “Every year, I give Aunt Joan and Capt. Sam a helping Paw.”

Bailey Mitchell, 9, is a perky little Shih Tzu, scooting around, yapping with everybody. “This is my Mom, Libby. I just adore social hour, don ‘t you?” Bailey said. She had the fastest wag-and-sniff I ever saw.

Event Co-Chairpooch Polly Carlson is an easy-breezy pooch, very welcoming. “I’m from a large, important family in Okeechobee and proud of it,” she said. “This is my human Mom, Joyce. She’s a rescue. She says I rescued her from being dogless and that my main talent was helping her find just the right dog – ME!”

Polly shared a really sweet, funny story. “Our human friend, Reginald (he was Miss Sam’s human Dad) said that, since I am a Southern girl, I should have a two-part first name, like Sally Ann or Emmy Lou. So he suggested Esther for my middle name. So I’m Polly Esther. For some reason, the humans think that’s hysterical. Reginald is up in Heaven with their other spaniels now. We all miss him.”

There were two guests with the same unusual name – Skye. “Big” Skye McCurrach is a graceful 10-year-old Golden Retriever, and her human Mom is Marybeth. “Little” Skye Hillier is a 4-months-old West Highland Terrier. “I’m named for the Isle of Skye in Scotland, where my relatives lived,” she told me proudly. “My humans are Nora and Bob.”

Across the courtyard, I spotted a Golden Retriever – one of those well-groomed, devilishly handsome poocheroos who make you want to go home, brush your coat and start running laps. Anyway, I introduced myself, putting on my best dog-of-the-world face.

“Bonzo, here. Couldn’t help but notice your conformation. You work out, right?”

“Right you are, uh, Bonzo, is it? I’m Bennett Saidel, I’m 12 and I’m a champion. My human, Peter, may have to add a room for all my awards. I train a lot. Discipline, you know.”

“I gotta work on my abs,” I muttered.

A Norfolk Terrier trotted over to introduce himself. “Hi, Mr. Bonzo. I’m Digger. Digger Williams – as in holes. My humans, Ardith and David, say my name is well-earned. I don’t want to brag, but it’s true. It’s just a natural talent. You either got it, or you don’t!”

“Word!” I said.

A lovely little Welsh Corgi approached. “Good morning, Mr. Bonzo. I’m Trilby Hoguet, and this is my walker, Roz Chadwick. My Mom is Aileen. I’m 8. Are you going to walk?”

“I believe I am, Miss Trilby. At least part way.”

After some pre-walk socializing, all the pooches and humans who were up for it headed off. I was next to Ava Smythe and her human, Marcia, at the start. She’s a pretty little rescue German Shepherd/Husky mix and took off at quite a clip. Lugging my notebook, I couldn’t keep up so, after about a half-K, I went back to yap with the non-walkers, and a couple of nice humans from the Humane Society, which was getting the proceeds.

Capt. Sam e-mailed me later that they raised the most ever, $2,000! Way to go, Sea Oaks buddies! Totally Pawsome!

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