This amazing K-9 earns Bonz’s SEAL of approval

This week, I innerviewed a pooch with a Very Serious Job. He’s a member of a team of seals an, when I first heard about that, I was, like, Wait! What? Aren’t those the funny-looking animals with flippers that live around the water?

Then I Googled. Finn’s team is human and pooch, an you hafta spell it all in big ledders, cuz it stands for Sea, Air an Land. SEALS is a Special Ops force for the Navy. Did you know that? I didn’t know that.

The innerview was at the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum at the south end of North Hutchinson island and, woof! is that uh-MAY-zing! Me an my assistant were shown to a special innerview room: there was a lady, anna man in a uniform, an this good-looking poocheroo. He was a Malinois; looked a lot like a German Shepherd but smaller. He hadda Cool Kibbles uniform vest on, one side had a silhouette of a K-9, an the other side hadda American flag and an eagle holding an anchor anna kinda pointy-looking fork.

“Good morning, Mr. Bonzo. Come on in. I’m Finn. This is my partner (Finn indicated the man). I call him Hooman. He’s a U.S. Navy SEAL. An this is Elaine, she’s in charge of museum PR.”

“I can’t wait to hear all about you an your job. An how come you don’t have a last name?”

“I do. But me an Hooman are Active Military, an lots of SEAL assign-mutts are Super Secret, so we don’t dis-CLOSE that stuff. Except for my first name.”

“Woof.” I was impressed. “So, how’d you get into this line of work?”

“It’s all I’ve ever known, Mr. Bonzo. Me an my brothers and sisters were born at Baden K-9 in Canada. Not to brag, but us Baden dogs are elite, highly trained canines: we start school as liddle puppies, and we still train every day. When the Navy or law enforcement need a K-9, they go to Baden. Me an Hooman started being partners when I was 5 months old.”

“I think I unnerstand. I felt that way about my Mom,” I said, wiping my nose with my paw. “What sorta stuff are you trained to do?”

“I’m a fully trained Warrior Dog,” Finn said, in a not-bragging-at-all way. “Swimming, jumping outta planes, infiltratin,’ taking down bad guys, sniffin’ out explosives an IEDs. I‘m also flu-unt in German.”

I shook my head. What a dog!

“The SEALS use a lotta Malinois. We’re more portable than German Shepherds: we can ride on our partners’ shoulders, get in an outta small spaces, are Super Excellent at agility, an very stable. We’re polite an frenly with good humans. But with bad guys, we instantly become fearless, ferocious warriors. Since 9/11, we’ve lost numerous brave fellow K-9s in combat. I’m SO proud of my brothers an sisters in the military, law enforcement and as companions to vet-uh-runs. K-9 teams work together like we were just one pooch or human. We know our partner can protect us just the same as we can protect them.

“My assign-mutt here or out in the community is to educate an enlighten the public about the SEAL museum mission, an how important K-9s are to it. Hey, wanna take a tour? C’mon!”

He and Hooman led the way into the display area. There were lots of grown-ups and liddle kids lookin’ around. Everybody wanted to talk to Finn and pat him.

“S’cuse me for a sec,” Finn said. He an Hooman greeted the group; Finn hopped onto a bench, looking Crispy Dog Biscuits and ready for a photo op.

Elaine showed me an my assistant some Super Cool Kibbles Navy stuff. You pooches should totally check it out, ’specially the gigantic helly-copter called a Blackhawk. I’ve never seen ANYthing like it. I pickshured Finn in his combat gear jumpin’ out of it with Hooman, on a Super Secret Assign-mutt.

Later, I asked Finn about that eagle and fork-thingy on his vest.

“That’s the official SEAL insignia. We wear it proudly. It’s called a TRI-dent and it means we’ve made it through SEAL training, which most human and dog trainees don’t. You earn your trident every day.”

I was getting more an more impressed. “Whaddya do for fun, you know, to chill out?” I wondered.

“I don’t DO chill-out. I’m a working dog. I always hafta have a TASK. But Hooman makes TRAINING fun. He calls it positive reinforcement. Like, for scent training, he hides a sock an I sniff it out. I especially like water training. I’m a Florida pooch, after all. We train every day.”

“Um (I was almost afraid to ask), any toys?”

“Are you kidding?”



“Whaddya you eat?”

“It’s a very strict diet. All raw. Chicken. Veggies. An tripe. I’m crazy for tripe. Part of the training for me an Hooman is a fast every couple weeks, cuz you can’t eat in the field, or 24 hours before a flight. It isn’t bad for us or anything.”

Note to self. Google tripe.

“Do you sleep with Hooman?”

“The first night after I moved in with Hooman, he slept on the floor with me cuz I was still mostly a pupster and everything was New an Un-fuh-MILL-yer. Now, I sleep in my own bed.”

Several times during the innerview, Hooman’d come over an give Finn some pats an ear-rubs and say soft words. An Finn never took his eyes off Hooman for more than a second. Obviously, although Finn was very CORE-jull, Hooman was No. 1, an there weren’t any other numbers.

Heading home, I was still in awe thinkin’ about the things K-9s like Finn can do, an how important they are to the humans who work to keep the rest of us safe. When I got home, I Googled “tripe.” I wish I hadn’t.

Till next time,

The Bonz

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