Like with lots of us poocheroos, Rico Fraticelli and his forever Mom and Dad found each other cuz of what SEEMED like random stuff happening, but akshully it was totally Meant To Be. You know?
Rico’s a Florida Keys pooch, who just recently moved here, to the island. He’s a Labradoodle: tall and rangy, real laid back, like you’d expect from a Lab (’specially one from The Keys), and super friendly. And his personal style is Totally Cool Kibbles. Rico prances to his own Silent Dog Whistle.
Me and my assistant heard him woofing, the door opened, and there he was: soft, brown color, like cocoa with lotsa milk. Between his neck and his caboose, he was clipped real short. But the rest was aMAZing: On his head, it was long and stickin’ up all over, like a lion mane, or a dandelion – kinda Punk, kinda Rasta, with some dreads on top. And his tail was real long, but not super curly like a poodle, more like a horse tail, very full and wavy. And it looked like it’d been highlighted (like human ladies do.) All in all, one good-lookin’ poocheroo.
After the Wag-and-Sniff, we got situated on the couch. “This is my Mommy, Lisa, and my Daddy, Paul. Got your pencil ready?”
“You betcha,” I said.
“First off, Mommy an Daddy never wudda found me if they hadn’t decided to go up to Sarasota one weekend, and if Daddy hadn’t bought a noospaper and happened to run across an ad for Labradoodle puppies in Ft. Myers, and if the breeder didn’t happen to be right on their way back home. So they thought, ‘What the Woof,’ why not stop and take a look. Well, I was the only chocolate pupster in the litter, the others were plan ol’ black or white (no offense). And, here, take a look.”
It was his puppy picture: an adorable little furball, big blue eyes lookin’ right into the camera. “Anyhoo, I’ve been with Mommy an Daddy ever since. Mommy taught me this cool thing when I wanna go out. It’s called panna-mine. She’d say, “Wanna go OUT?” but instead of sayin’ OUT, she’d make her mouth into an OH shape. So now when I wanna go out, I do the same thing! Watch!”
He mooshed his mouth into a big O. Hilarious!
“So I’ve NEVER had an accident in the house. Well, ’cept this one time: Mommy usta be a flight attendant and she was always leavin’ and not takin’ me. I didn’t like it one little bit, so one time, I had a puppy tantrum and peed IN THE HOUSE. Sorta accidentally on purpose.
“I’m a lucky pooch, Bonz, gotta great life! I did get real sick about 4 years ago, nearly bought the kenneI. Mommy and Daddy say I’m a Miracle Dog. I may be getting up there (gonna be 13 in April), my caboose sometimes gives me trouble, but in my heart, I feel like a pup. Hey, wanna chew on one of my toys?” He trotted off and returned with a well-munched stuffed something. Mighta been a bear.
I shook my head. “Thanks, though. You sure have a great attitude.”
“Always have. I say just go with the flow. Life’s too short to get your hackles up. I bring Daddy a toy every morning. We take a walk, I Do My Duty. Then I grab some more Zzz’s. When Mommy gets up, we do our stretches. Then I bring Daddy another toy an get my mid-morning treat. Bonz, you GOTTA try PUPcorn! It’s the BEST! Want some?”
His Dad brought out a big container of treats. I didn’t want to appear rude, so I had one. Well, two.
“I noticed your pool. Do you swim?”
“LOVE it! Hey, come’on! You’re a spaniel. I KNOW you like swimmin’! I brought you a towel.”
It was a big, fluffy one, too, and, Dog! that water was callin’ my name. One of those Infinity pools, ya know? But I was On The Job.
Rico jumped in, and kept right on yappin’.
“Once, down in the Keys, when I was a pupster, Daddy was on the dock, workin’ on the boat. I hadn’t been on the dock before, so I carefully waddled out. I got so intrested, I sat down, an tumbled backwards right into the water. Mommy almost hadda heart attack an Daddy hadda rescue me.”
“Do you enjoy travling?”
“Totes! I have an orthopedic bed, takes up the whole back of the SUV. The boat’s fun, too. When Mommy packs the night before, I sleep right by her suitcase. If I can’t go, I stay with Uncle Barry in Boca. I LOVE Uncle Barry. Me an him an his grandkids have The Best Time. We say, ‘What happens in Boca, STAYS in Boca.’”
“Cool Kibbles! Any dog buddies?”
“There was Cousin Casey, a Beagle. He lived around the corner from where I was born. In the Keys, there’s Dennis the UPS guy. Even when we don’t have a delivery, he tosses me a treat. I have tons of pooch pals down there, an I’m startin’ to make friends here: There’s Remy an Molly, they’re Poodles; Sam, I think he’s a mix; an I’m real excited cuz my human Gramma an Grampa are movin’ down from Atlanta, to be with ME. ’Course they’ll get to see Mommy an Daddy, too.”
“I gotta say, Rico, I totally dig your hairdo. Got a real island vibe. Who’s your stylist?”
“Mommy is! We have ‘spa day’ every couple weeks: I get all groomed, teeth brushed, shaved, the whole nine yards. She’s great, right?”
“She is indeed! Woof, I can’t believe the time. It’s been great yappin’ with you, Rico.”
“Anytime, Bonz. Anytime!”
Heading home, I asked my assistant to roll down the window so my fur would be totally dry by the time I arrived. (Don’t tell, OK?)
Till next time,