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BONZ: Bonz says this Cock-A-Poo is adorable to the Max

This week, I went to one of the Most Pooch Friendly communities ever – Sea Oaks – to yap with an energetic, exuberant young sprout, Max Saidel, 14 months old, still in total puppy mode. He’s a Cock-A-Poo, with maybe a little dash of Labrador, his Dad thinks, cuz he’s taller than the average Cock-A-Poo.

So, we ring, and he comes wiggling up to the door, all smiley. “HI! You’re Mr. Bonzo, right? I’m Max! This is my Mom and Dad, Judith and Peter. They told me you were gonna come and ask me stuff and take my PIC-shur! See! I’m all ready! I got all spiffed up! Do I look OK?”

He looked great. He was bouncing all over the place, including on my assistant, who kept laughing and friffling his ears, which wasn’t helping.

“Max, DOWN!” his Mom and Dad said, semi-sternly. And he’d get down and go, “Oops! ’Scuse me!” Then he’d forget, and bounce again. “I jus get so exCITed! Oh, poo, I keep forgetting that Wag thing, Mr. Bonzo. How does it go? I’m still learning the rools of edd-uh-cut. It’s not that easy.”

“Wag-and-Sniff,” I said. “No worries, kiddo. It’s more of a guideline. You’re doing just fine.”

He had this real nice coat, cut short but still curly; warm brown color; matching eyes; long, wavy ears (like mine). He looked kinda like a chocolate puff ball.

“So, Max,” I said, when we got all settled, “what’s your story?”

“Well, I have big paws to fill. Mom an Dad had a long line of super pawsome pooches. After their last one, Ben, went to Dog Heaven, Dad was All Gloomy cuz the house Just Wasn’t the Same, and Mom knew they needed another dog. I was born in Fellsmere, and I was the only one in my litter that hadn’t got adopted. Mom an Dad saw a picture online an went out to meet me! An that was that!

“They brought me here to my Forever Home when I was 10 weeks old. I love it here. I got the BEST Mom an Dad an fun places to walk an tons of dog buddies. Dad says I’m really smart an I have super good hearing. I don’t chew stuff up, ’cept my toys, they last about a week. Oh, yeah, an the occasional newspaper. But only the parts Mom hasn’t read yet. She thinks it’s amazing how I know that. I’m tryin’ to quit, tho, cuz I think Mom would prefer I didn’t. And socks. I am a Stealthy Sock Snatcher. But who can resist a nice soft sock that smells like your favorite humans, right?

“Dad sez I sleep like a log. I don’t know what that means. I jump over ’em at the farm and they’re always just lying there. I mostly sleep on Mom’s feet, make ’em nice and cozy. She sez I’m Uh-fec-shun-nut, cuz I love kisses and snuggles and ear friffles.

“Whaddya do or fun?” I inquired.

“Everything’s fun, when I’m with Mom and Dad! Like, WALKS. I LOVE walks. But Mom and DAD BOTH hafta go! Walks are a Family Affair. And tennis matches. Sea Oaks has ’em every Wednesday, and me and a buncha other pooches go, with our humans. I’m very polite and just sit and watch and don’t try to retrieve the balls like some pooches do.

“Oooh, and up at our farm in New York, me and Mom spend hours gardening. Dog! our farm is WA-AY fun. I dig holes (digging holes is the BEST! Do you like to dig? I like to dig!). Anyway, I dig holes and she plants stuff in ’em. We grow ledduce an pebbers an green beans an ’sparagus. Sometimes I explore the berry patch at the edge of the garden. It’s so thick, Mom can’t even see me.

“Travelin’s fun, too. Like, last summer we went up to a cabin in the AderRONdacks (which is a bunch of big hills) and I got to run all over the woods and had my own AderRONdack chair an everything. I’m always careful to Check Stuff Out before I make a move to be sure it’s OK. Like those crabs on the beach. And growly dogs. And a noise in the bushes. You can’t be too careful, right?”

“Absolutely! Seems like you get a lotta exercise,” I observed.

“I do. Sometimes – I think it’s cuz I’m still growing into my feet – I have what Mom calls Outbursts. I tear all over the house at top speed, and Ieap into the air. Do you ever have that feeling, like you just hafta RUN and JUMP?”

“I do,” I replied. “But not as much as I usta.”

“Oh, an me an Dad do what he calls Male Bonding. I call it ’rolling-around-on-the-floor-an-pretend-growling-at-each-other.’”

“Do you have any special pals?”

“Oh, I’ve got lotsa pooch friends. But my BFF is Sheridan. She’s a human. She’s 8, which is my same age in Dog. Sheridan’s my next-door neighbor up at the farm, and we have the BEST time. When she’s in school, I wait for her bus. Her Mom leaves their gate open for me. In the morning, if she doesn’t want to get up and get ready for school, I run right upstairs and wake her up, cuz bein’ on time for school is a Big Responsibility.”

“It’s been a real pleasure,” I said sincerely.

Heading home, I was thinking of Max, the happy, goofy chocolate puff ball, stealthily nabbing socks and leaping into the air outta shear joy. I smiled all the way back to the office.

Till next time,

The Bonz

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