Wendy and I were dating close to a year, when we both acknowledged our love for dogs. We both had dogs when we were youngter, but as adults, never had the opportunity. We both had our favorite breeds, but there was no denying who we were going to adopt when we met the little golden ball of fur.
Pollo was a tiny fourteen pounds of pure puppy energy. Wendy had two cats when we moved in with each other, and they both adapted to Pollo. They were all the same size. I have video tape of Pollo and Dusty (our gray cat, sadly no longer with us) playing with each other, wrestling all over the floor knocking things over. Dusty loved to hide on the steps and as Pollo walked by, without warning, would lunge off the stairs at Pollo in a feline ambush. It was hysterical.
As he grew, we talked about the need to “take care” of Pollo. We were not going to be breeding him (another post), and we did not need any accidents. The other thing we did not want to have happen, is Pollo humping anyone. I have only ever had one dog ever jump on my leg, and it was not funny. But what was funny, is Pollo’s instinct. In spite of not having any example, had he seen a female dog, he definitely would have known what to do.
We came home from a carnival with a prize that I had won for Wendy that evening. It was a Siberian Husky stuffed toy, about sixteen inches tall, the perfect height for Pollo at the time. It was not long before we nicknamed the toy, “humpy dog”. Well, Pollo got bigger, and too much for “humpy dog”, it was only logical that he left other dogs alone, did not hump anyone’s legs, that we had to get Pollo something more his size. Enter “Humpy Bear.” Pollo was just past thirty pounds when we brought “Humpy Bear” home and they were best pals ever since. If you ever had a stuffed toy that over time had years of kid drool all over it, well, that was “Humpy Bear.” But Pollo could not get enough of her. We actually had to put her away just to give Pollo some rest. But anytime we went near the garage door, Pollo knew she was just on the other side.
Pollo has never been anything less than a loyal friend. His feeding serving is split between the morning and evening, and he spends his days with two other felines and a guinea pig while we are at work. As we come through the door, his tail never stops wagging and he has a grin from one side of his muzzle to the other. “Quick, let me out, feed me, let me back out, then pick a spot, sit down, and I’ll lay down next to you.” And that is where he stays the rest of the night, by my side.
Every now and then, my youngest daughter likes to challenge me that Pollo is “her dog.” And once in a while, he will oblige her and disobey me to follow her commands. But night after night, here he is, by my feet, dreaming away. When he wakes up, he wants to be taken out again, and will then come back in and stay by my side.
Pollo will turn thirteen soon, which is long for a golden retriever. I have lots of great memories with him. His energy level is the same as it was twelve years ago, though he has given up humping stuffed animals. But he still sits in front of me, when he wants to go outside, with the smile that has never stopped.
Happy Birthday Pollo. On days that I was not feeling well, you were there for me. When I needed to relax, we went for nice walks. And when I felt the need for competition, you jumped into the pool with me from the diving board. Pollo, you are truly this man’s best friend.