This week I yapped with an ATHlete! I mean, this fella should be in the Pooch-lympics Water Frisbee Flipping competition. He’s a big, good-lookin’ Golden Retriever, ’bout my age, and he lives with his human Grandma and Grandpa in Roseland.
When me and my Assistant came to the door, there he was, all excited, full of energy, trotted right over for the Wag-and-Sniff. “HEY! BONZ! (OK if I call ya Bonz?) I’m Maxwell Woodall but everybody calls me Max. This is my Grandma Donna and Grandpa Roy! Come’on, follow ME!”
He led us back to his screened-in pool, which was Totally Kool Kibbles.
“Nice place ya got!”
“Thanks! I spend lotsa time here. So, whaddya wanna know?”
“How you got your human family, hobbies, dog buddies, travel, stuff like that. I hear you’re a real athletic pooch.”
“Yep! I was born in a litter of 15. My Dad Marly lived with my Grandma and Grandpa’s daughter in St. Pete, and my Mom, Mandy Mae, lived there, too. Grandma and Grandpa had a No Dogs rule, cuz they’d already had lotsa dogs, and were taking a break. But when they came to visit, there we were, 15 balls of gold fluff. My sibs were tumbling all over the place, but I was splashin’ around in our water dish with my paws, tryin’ to swim, I guess. Anyway, Grandma and Grandpa decided their No Dogs rule was more of a guideline. So I got to go home with ’em! They were pretty easy to train, too.”
Just then, Max’s Grandma picked up a floppy green and pink Frisbee and flung it into the pool. A nanosecond after that, Max flung himself in, too, and landed smack on top of that Frisbee. He grabbed it and Dog Paddled to the side of the pool.
“Wookud DIS!” he said, through a mouthful of Frisbee. He did this neat maneuver where he sorta nudged the Frisbee against the side of the pool, pushed off and just sproinged outta the water, tossed his head and flipped the Frisbee into the air.
“I learned how to do this all by myself!” he said with pride, as he paddled over to the Frisbee. “My mail-lady got me this special soft Frisbee for Christmas.”
He flipped it a bunch more times, then got out of the water. His Grandma grabbed another Frisbee and tossed it in. Swoosh, Max launched himself into the pool, grabbed both Frisbees and started flinging again. With both of ’em in his mouth he looked totally hilarious, like he was wearing a big floppy hat with only his eyes and nose showing.
“Wow!” I said. “That was GREAT! I gotta learn that!”
“It’s not that hard,” he said while his Grandma hosed him down. “You just gotta time your Leap with your Toss-and-Fling.”
“Well, it’s impressive!” I told him.
A guy came up to the back screen door. “Hey, Max! What’s up, Pup?”
“Yo, Tyler, come’on in. This is The Bonz, he’s a famous newspaper columnist! He’s interviewing me! Bonz, THIS is my pool guy, Tyler.”
“Nice to meetcha, Bonz,” Tyler said, in a friendly voice. “Yeah, we all work for Max.”
While Tyler and Max’s Grandma talked about pool stuff, Max told me about his BFF, Diesel.
“I’ve known Diesel forever. He’s my step-brother, a super nice Pit-mix. Lives in St. Pete. We visit up there a lot and, Dog, we have the BEST time. When I hafta go home, we both get Totally Bummed Out. He’s got a step-sis too, Sammi, a Chow-mix. All my litter brothers and sisters also live up there, and we all get together for Family Reunions, the humans, too. Dog! is that ever a fun time! The whole place is full of Goldys!”
“Seriously Cool Dog Biscuits!” I said, picturing a mob of pooches playin’ and yappin’ about their puppyhood.
“I got pooch pals here, too,” Max continued. “There’s Petey and Sunny Days, little bitty Poodles; and Bruiser, he’s Australian.”
“I love ridin’ in Grandpa’s truck!” He spoke softly. “I’m a Grandma’s Boy most all the time, but when Grandpa says, ‘Come ’on, Max, let’s get in the truck! ’ THEN, I’m a Grandpa’s Boy. But I don’t wanna hurt Grandma’s feelings.”
“When we drive over to St. Pete, we always stop halfway, at MacDonald’s, for vanilla ice cream cones. If I get done before Grandma and Grandma, which I ushully do, I get them to give me theirs, too. They say, ‘Around here, it’s All About Max.’ But I also have responsibilities: When we have guests, I make sure I’’m wearing my scarf, to properly greet them. If I don’t, I go get it.”
“I also get the morning paper. But I NEVER leave my yard. I don’t even go in the pool ’til Grandma says it’s OK.”
After sailing into the pool one final time, he climbed out, got hosed down, executed a final Nose-to-Tail Shake, then escorted us back into the house, where he flopped down onto two thick towels.
“Ahhh, sweeeet!” he said. “Hey, Bonz, you gotta come back sometime. We can play in the pool!”
Heading home, I was thinking about my pool, trying to remember if I had one of those soft Frisbees somewhere I could practice with.
Till next time,