For years now the very first two questions I get from people who see me or email me are, “How is Phoenix doing?” followed immediately by, “Has he stole your hat lately?”
They always want to hear about our latest escapades and adventures of which the most frequent have involved my ball caps. He has a hate/love relationship with them. Being that Phoenix hates the ball cap being on my noggin’ or lying around unattended and he loves them when they are securely in his possession. Kind of like a lot of things we desire in life, eh?
He is a Golden Retriever with a long rap sheet full of felony grand larceny accusations. He’s never been convicted of any official crime because every court in the land would dismiss such charges due to a dog suffering from an overwhelming case of cuteness and kindness.
Yes, my lifelong dream of owning a Golden Retriever came true after 25 years of hoping and praying. Only this one came fully accessorized with horns and a forked tail. Trust me…they are there. Be careful what you wish for.
Let me give you the introduction to when I first wrote about it with a picture for people to see. It was last May and I was still so tentative on my blog but found a little following on Facebook. The lead in to the story is that it was a hazy early Saturday evening with Phoenix and I sitting out in the backyard on the cool grass. I am very close friends with a couple of girls that I work with and their families. One of them in particular is one of my best friends. We talk frequently and…oh heck…just read the text I put on Facebook that evening:
Holy Dog Text!!!!!!
(yes, this is Phoenix, I’m a Golden Retriever, and I can text…pretty badass, huh?)
My Daddy and I were sitting here in the backyard playing ball and loving on each other on this very warm Saturday summer evening.
Father Of The Year whipped his cell phone out of his pocket. I said, “Don’t do it…”
He had that whiskey eye and composed a text to one of his closest female friends in the world. And just as I was telling him, “DO NOT TAP SEND…!!!”
He tapped Send.
I TRY to be his filter everyone just so you know!
His message to her, “Why have you been ignoring me?” (she was just busy btw…)
*groaning to myself* Ohhhh noooo…
HUGE. EPIC. MISTAKE. BRACE FOR IT.
Daddy’s friend is very pregnant, not in the mood for just about anything and rather than her replying back…
Poof!!! …a brief puff of smoke and no more Daddy.
Through the magic of creative writing I was able rematerialize.
Back to the story of my adorable but notorious ball cap bandito. One day as a pup, he was sitting there (same place as in the picture below) on the couch with me and I thought awwww how cute. I will put my ball cap on his head for a kind of father/son bonding like Disney makes classic movies about. And yes, he is literally watching tv while gnawing on his chew stick.
He immediately flipped his head in annoyance and pawed my hand and the cap away wanting no part of it. I’ve had him from the minute he was old enough to leave his mom. So, you’re going to tell me one moment in time would imprint a behavior forever? The proof appears to be quite affirmatively in the pudding.
Aside from when I’m at work I always, always have a ball cap on. Maybe it’s my adult Linus and Blankie Syndrome. But, like Burt Reynolds in “Smokey and The Bandit” I only take it off for one thing. Only that The Bandit came off cool saying that. Not me. I’m more of a Cledus with my Basset Hound named Fred good lookin’ kind of guy.
Phoenix, “And Daddy has had his hat on for a very loooong time…”
Me, “Thank you very much for sharing that, Phoenix.”
Him, wagging his tail and smiling with delight, “Oh not a problem!”
Today it has evolved into a game sometimes by accidental misplacement and occasionally due to my teasing him or getting too close with the bill of my cap. I will followup on the latter shortly.
One very late night last summer I was loving on him and giving him kisses on the couch while we were watching tv. It was two minutes after I took this that I poofed air in his face for fun (which he does not like)…
Then we finally had a Come to Geezus moment last Fall and I told him that the bill of my cap will no longer be in front whenever I remember to turn it around. I completely baffled him but it was only a temporary reprieve. As you can see by his look he’s already going to Plan B…
I wouldn’t trade a single minute of our fun and games together for anything in the world!!
Love ya with all of my heart, Phoenix…