Honestly, Onyx the Labradoodle’s living his best life

PHOTO BY JOSHUA KODIS

If I hadn’t already known Onyx Stokes was almost 10, I totally wudda thought he was still a pupper. Onyx is a Mini Labradoodle, black (with gray touches around the face) anna hansome, flag-wavy tail. An, Woof does he bring ex-ZOO-ber-ence to whole new levels of ex-ZOO!

Soon as my assistant rang the bell, we heard barkety-barkin’, an, when the door opened, a Nice Lady greeted us, an Onyx was right there, happily bouncin’ all over my assistant. He had this intrestin’ purple ball. No insides, just an open ball-shaped shell which he grabbed an shook back an forth so fast it an his head were a Totally Blurr. I got dizzy just watchin’.

But he was hangin’ back a liddle from me, I couldn’t help but notice. So I sat quietly till the bouncin’ sub-sided, then said puh-litely, “Good morning, Onyx. I’m Bonzo. I see you’ve met my assistant. I greatly appreciate your taking the time for an innerview.”

Onyx zipped over to the Nice Lady an looked up at her, then at me. They had a small conversation, an she smiled an patted him on the head, whereupon he trotted over to me.

“Please don’t be o-FEN-ded, Mr. Bonzo. I typically forgo the Wag-an-Sniff. You see, I am wary, well scared, of most dogs, unless they’re liddler than me.”

“No worries, Onyx (Cool Kibbles name, by the way!). I totally understand,” I told him.

“Thanks, Mr. Bonzo. I’m pri-merrily a People Pooch. But I AM real excited you’re gonna innerview me, which Mom – this is her, my Mom, Adia – says is ME talkin’ about ME, an YOU writin’ it down. So, um, come’on in, we can get comf-tubble, OK? What do you wanna know about?”

“Where you’re from. Where you met your mom. Any ad-VEN-churs? Pooch pals? Stuff you like to do. Things like that.”

“Oh, that’ll be fun! So, it was 2014. Mom and her brother, Uncle Donald, were livin’ in Baltimore, which is a Very Important Hiss-TOR-ickle city inna state WA-AY up high from here called MARY-land, an Mom wanted a Mini Labradoodle, which means she has Very Good Taste in Dogs, cuz we’re smart, ath-LED-dic an inner-JED-dic. An we don’t shed all that much. Plus, we’re Very HAN-sum, doncha Think?”

“Oh, absolutely!” I agreed.

“So, anyway, Mom went On The Line an found me atta Pencil-VANE-yah Dutch famly farm an her an Uncle Donald drove to pick me up. I was a 12-weeks-old pupper an Mom was worried I’d be all sad cuzza missin’ my pooch Mom an Dad an two siblings. I probly WAS a liddle gloomy for a while. I was kinda quiet drivin’ to my Furever Home but I was mostly just sorta figurin’ things out.”

“Also,” I wondered, “Did you already have that Cool name?”

“Nope. On the farm, they called me Pepper. But Uncle Donald said, ‘Wait a Minnut! Pepper’s a Grrrl’s name. He’s liddle so he needs a stronger name!’ So him an Mom decided – cuz my coat’s black an stone’s strong – Onyx’d be Perfect!”

“It totally IS!” I agreed.

“I KNOW! Right?”

“So, what was your Furever home like?”

“Weeel, for the first 2 weeks, I was real quiet, checkin’ stuff out. But THEN. I guess I sorta turned into what Mom offen refers to as a, err, FIREBALL.” Onyx pawsed.

I was almost afraid to ask.

“Why IS that?” I asked.

“Weeeel, when I got things figured out I well, I sorta what Mom refers to as – Destroyed the House.”

“Say what?”

“I ate everything.”

“Everything?”

“Pretty much. Comforters. Pillows. Wood trim. Cable TV wires. Phone chargers. (Lotsa phone chargers.) The carpet. My collar tags. Window blinds. Anna buncha other stuff.

Everything I could reach. Mom tried spraying cayenne pepper an apple bitters on everything. It was duh-lishus. One time Mom was gonna go to her sister’s graduation so she got a sitter for me. She wasn’t even down the block when the sitter called an said, ‘Come back. He’s pullin’ up the carpet an eatin’ it!’ Mom was afraid I’d get sick cuzza eating all that stuff. She was cryin’ an everything. She called the ER vet an egg-splained what was happening. The ER vet didn’t seem all that suh-prised. She made sure I was OK an told Mom: ‘You bought a labradoodle. That’s what you signed up for.’ Mom musta cried for, like weeks.

“She looked at the remains of her once neat, tidy, normal house an then looked at adorable, fluffy liddle me, an asked, ‘How can anybody with such an innocent face destroy the ENTIRE WORLD?’

“But Mom musta totally loved me, Thank Lassie, cuz she didn’t give up on me an request a refund or a replace-mutt, an I outgrew my puppy buh-HAYV-yur at last. I was OK and Mom was OK an, after a liddle (well, a lot) of tidying up, the house was OK. I got some Basic Dog Lessons and I learned the un-am-BIG-you-wuss meaning of ‘NO, ONYX!!!’ An Mom got me a bunch of chew toys. Of which this ball is my current FAVE!”

“Woof, Onyx, that was some traw-MADDIC beginning,” I exclaimed. “So now that you’ve survived your Youth, whadda do for fun? Any pooch pals? Fave foodstuffs? Do ya like travelin’?”

“I have three grrrlfrens: Venus, she’s a Weimaraner; Cosmo, a Shih Tzu; an Miss Dolly, a Corgi. My BFF is Tory, she’s a liddle grrrl. She’s 9. I speshully love liddle kids: They like to PlayPlayPlay an I’m always playful an gentle with ’em.

“Me an Mom do a lotta drivin’ an flyin’. I’ve been to Fee-nix; Ver-GIN-ya Beech; L.A.; Ed-mun-tun, CAN-uh-duh; Misses-sippee; an Ala-BAM-uh.

“Foodstuffs: lemme see, I like crunchy veggies. Oh, an I have my own PJs, an also swedders an coats for when we go see Gramma Yasmin in Della-ware an Grampa Donald in Baltimore. I’m havin’ My Best Life, Mr. Bonzo!”

Heading home, I was still shakin’ my head over Onyx’s almost disastrous first few weeks in his finally Furever Home. Once again, the Perfect Furever Human and Poocheroo had, amazingly, magically, wonderfully, found each other.

Till next time,

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