I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I have a dog named Kabo, and we also call him The Fonz. He is a Golden Retriever, and he is the best dog that ever lived. Seriously. Just ask anyone who ever met him.
My senior year of college, Workaholic and I found a dog roaming his apartment complex. We had it for a week before finding it's owner, and in that week, Workaholic decided that a dog wasn't that big a deal, and we should fulfill my lifelong dream and go get one. So I looked in the want ads in the paper (because no rescue group in their right mind would adopt to me) and went to visit the first one that had puppies.
There were only three males left, all blond. They were huge, obviously not the 8 weeks that the newspaper had advertised. But I didn't care, I wanted a puppy. While his two brothers clamoured all over Workaholic and me for attention, Fonz went and peed in the corner. He was also the smallest, so we decided to take him.
Seeing as how we weren't sure we were actually going to get a dog, we had no supplies. So we went straight to Petsmart and stocked up. $100 later, we headed back to Workaholic's apartment.
I wasn't allowed to have dogs at my place, so Fonz would have to live in a small, two bedroom apartment just off campus along the Wabash River. It was a large complex with lots of other dogs. At the time, two other guys lived there, so between the four of us, Fonz got plenty of attention. I'm not going to lie, he did get crated so we could go to the bar a few nights a week. And he generally slept on a pile of dirty laundry. He was an adorable puppy.
I never did formal obedience training with him as a puppy, I just took what I had learned from books and TV and winged it. I was THAT GIRL (as my nephew says) who rollerbladed with her dog on campus. We went for off-leash walks in the wooded parks surrounding West Lafayette, where there were signs everywhere that said, "All dogs must be on leash". It was there where I taught his recall skills and trained him to come to a certain whistle. (The first time I whistle, he has to come back within eyesight of me, the second time he has to come all the way back.) I took him to visit friends on campus, as well as my roommates, who otherwise never saw me. I also took him to my parent's formally no-dogs-allowed-inside house, informed my mother that he was an "inside dog", and then he promptly peed on the floor.
As he got older, I realized I had little control of him (as he is/was a tad....what I like to call, high-energy) and took some classes, and he earned his Canine Good Citizen award. (Workaholic still says I cheated, but I say it was earned, fair and square.) We took agility classes, and I finally got him to jump off the end of the pier at the lake a-la dock dog style. When I was pregnant with Sam, I wrote this post about what he meant to me, because someone kept telling me how Fonz would no longer matter to me once I had Sam. It really pissed me off. My dad has taken him duck hunting, and the shotgun didn't faze him. He was the first one to realize, even before me, that I was pregnant with Samantha.
Now, at 11 years old, he is still young at heart. He still wiggles and wags just as hard as he did when he was a puppy when someone new walks in. He can run circles around most dogs half his age (and does!) and can swim all day if he wants. He will lay outside for hours, surveying his domain, waiting for someone to come for him to greet, or a stray coyote to try to dare to enter his yard. He never leaves the yard (and that is any yard where I am at, not just the yard at our home) unless he has a good reason, he only barks for a good reason, and he poops at the very back of the yard so I don't have to clean it up. If I tell him to go lay down, he does, and if I tell him to move, he does. When we are out on the lake, he can hang out all day with everyone and you don't have to worry about him running off...he just digs for rocks and visits his friends, and occasionally will check in with me. He LOVES to swim and go for walks and rides in the car and boat, and he loves each and every member of my family with the same reckless abandon that he has when he sees snow.
I just can't convey the awesomeness of my dog. For example, right now, my back door is open. It has been all day. He comes and goes as he pleases and I don't have a fenced-in yard and I don't have to worry. He won't leave me. He doesn't wake me up in the morning and he checks on me at night before he assumes his position on the floor next to my bedroom door. In the middle of the night, you will find him sleeping outside the girls' rooms. Right now, he is laying next to me, waiting for me to make the next move. He is the ultimate dog.
I love my Fonz. I guess that's all there is to say. That, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY KABO!!!
Dock Dog Video