I’m so excited to get my first writing assignment. I will start off by sharing a little about myself. I’m a 6-year-old black lab mix who learned everything from her brother Flip, at least everything I know. Flip was a great big brother, tolerating me from the time I was a little puppy. He never seemed to mind when I would get excited and bark in his face and bite his ears before we went on a walk. My folks never understood why he didn’t just bite me. At times they even encouraged it. I think it was because he loved me. Flip tried to teach me patience, improve my writing skills, and get me focused on something other than food. All that work just ended up making me hungry.

I admit I missed a few lessons from my big bro, but I often find it hard to concentrate. I am, however, well read. My second favorite publication after Moonshine Ink is The Economist. They use some pretty big words. The only problem is that once I really start to understand something like the Euro crisis and the importance of Greece to the European Union, a squirrel will run past the window, and I completely lose focus, kind of like that dog in the movie “Up.” I don’t always come when I am called unless you bring treats. It may even seem at times like I am deaf, but somehow I can hear the sound of an egg cracking from across the house while I’m in a deep sleep. I love eggs and the people who feed them to me. There is nothing better in the morning than a raw egg yolk. I could also eat eggs for lunch, dinner, and snack time. I think this is important information to share. I love car rides and walks and will bark incessantly if it seems like you might be putting your shoes on and heading somewhere fun. I’m not as bad as some of my other Lab friends who have been known to jump out of moving cars when heading to a trailhead, although I have been known to jump over a baby in a car seat if I need to get out in a hurry.  

I was in a hurry to visit the shelter this month, but I waited patiently and didn’t get out of the car until we were at a complete stop. In the side yard there were three pit bull mixes and my person went right in to check them out. I watched in horror as they bounced up and down and licked his face. That’s supposed to be my job! Out of the bunch we chose Tonka to take for a stroll by the Truckee River. Tonka is about 2 years old and sure is handsome. Tonka walks well on a leash and has pretty good manners. He’s a nice, medium-sized dog weighing about 50 pounds. He even takes his treats nicely. I, on the other hand, will take off a finger if you are not careful. Tonka can’t live in a house with cats so he can’t move in with Tobias and me.

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Down at the river Tonka was a great companion. He loves to chase sticks and also enjoys swimming. Tonka took a few dips in the river after some sticks we tossed him. When he headed for the rapids we got a little concerned, but it turns out that he likes swimming. Tonka would have headed for Pyramid Lake if we had let him. Tonka’s other hobbies include digging, getting belly rubs, and snuggling on the couch. I like lying on the couch; I just don’t like to snuggle so much. I may even growl if you try to squeeze me. Tonka does have some trouble with his knees. It doesn’t stop him from getting around or from whitewater rafting, but he will need to be kept slim and would like a little glucosamine with his food. In the short time we met Tonka, we found him to be fun, friendly, and loyal. What more could you want in a companion?   

In other shelter news, our cat friends Sprocket and Ralph from our last two columns have both been adopted. We still have plenty of great cats looking for homes, and I have been told that kitten season is in full swing. Every year when it warms up the kitties start getting frisky, and lo and behold, nine weeks later we have kitten season. The humane society has many kittens and cats for you to choose from. My current favorite is Matt. For more information on Matt, Tonka, or any of the other great animals with the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, visit hstt.org. Have a great month.

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