This past February my then girlfriend (now fiance) told me she might want a pet. A cat, perhaps. I told her we could look into it, but was sure to remind her of the commitment and responsibility that comes with being a pet owner, even with an independent animal such as a cat. The next day she told me we were getting a puppy.
A few weeks later we picked up Denver, an 8-week-old Goldendoodle. She was playing in the grass outside of Petsmart, accompanied by a bigger dog and her human companion who we paid money. We made small talk for a while – the human companion told us how they had bathed Denver, but on the drive over she had thrown up a little on her leg – and said our first hello’s, which almost certainly resembled a couple of baby pandas having the best time ever, before loading into the car for the first time as one big family. We couldn’t have been more excited, and less prepared.
What ensued over the next eight odd months was beautiful chaos. Furniture was chewed on; floors and pillows everywhere were used as personal bathrooms; a shocking number of socks disappeared never to be seen again. At times it was infuriating. But then she’d rest her sleepy head on our feet, and suddenly we’d forget about the coffee table she destroyed.
Now, as she’s approaching nine whole months of age, things are a little calmer. I can sit and work on the couch for hours at a time and she’ll lay right next to me. Or we’ll go to the store and she won’t throw up in my car. All this without trying to play tug of war, or another really fun game called Bite My Hand. Of course, there are still those puppy moments every now and again, but hey, that’s part of the fun, right?
Here, Denver reflects on her first nine months of life. What has she learned? What are a few of her favorite things? Did she really get stuck in a clothes hanger when she was younger? Find out below, as Denver candidly answers those questions and more.
[Authors note: all answers have been edited to make sense grammatically, while maintaining authenticity. However, translating bark to english is something of a delicate craft, so it’s very possible some information was lost in translation.]
DEVON NEWPORT: What’s your favorite activity?
DENVER PENELOPE WHITE-NEWPORT: Biting things and making new friends, probably. And eating. I love eating. So I guess my most favoritest thing in the world would be to eat while making new friends, while biting a shoe. Wait, is that possible?
What’s your favorite food?
Cheez-Its and rocks.
Do you condition your hair when Mom and I aren’t watching?
I’d rather not say.
Fair enough. Tell us about a time you really got onto your Mom and I’s nerves?
What’s that mean?
Like annoyed us, or made us upset.
Oh. Well, I don’t know if I’ve made you guys upset. At least I hope I haven’t [sad puppy eyes].
You haven’t! Let’s stick with annoyed.
Okay, good! Let’s see… Oh! There was that time you guys gave me my first bath and I got a really bad case of the zoomies and ran around the room for ten minutes peeing on everything. [laughs] I couldn’t stop peeing!
Most uncomfortable you’ve ever made me, your dad?
Ooh, that one’s easy. It was when I was really little. Maybe three months old. Maaaaaybe. We were out for a walk. I love walks. Anyway, we were walking and before I knew it I had to poop. So I did. The thing is, I was in our neighbor’s yard, and you were making direct eye contact with said neighbor. You should’ve seen your face! [laughs]
I actually have two favorite sounds. There’s the crinkling sound of a bag of chips, obviously. And then there’s the sound of the door unlocking when you and Mom come home. Those two are the best.
Favorite TV show?
Anything Disney Jr.! They have the best shows. There’s also this one show on TNT that plays marathons during the day when you and Mom are gone that I like a lot. It’s called Bones.
So, you had surgery recently. Tell us about that. Was it scary?
Not at all. The whole day building up to the surgery I got to meet lots of fun people and they gave me all the belly rubs. That was nice. I like belly rubs. I didn’t always like the belly rubs like I do now, cause I was just a puppy and I kind of wanted my space but still wanted to be close to people at the same time, you know, but I liked them then, and they gave me lots and lots of them. There was also this really fun dog named Bruno. He came from a nice family and had lots of fun stories. Like there was this one time that he and his family went to the park and somebody had a bunch of food on a table just sitting there waiting for him, nobody around, so he ate it all. When he was nearly done his family and these other humans started yelling and cheering for him, like encouraging him saying, “Bruno, noooooo!” It sounded really great. But yeah, surgery wasn’t scary.
How important are naps?
Oh man, naps are like really important. If I don’t have at least seven a day I get cranky. Just ask Gerald.
Gerald, your toy giraffe?
Alright! Take it easy. Gerald, your real life giraffe friend with feelings and ingenious scientific theories and a great recipe for cheese tortellini.
Okay, last question. There’s been some speculation that you got stuck in a clothes hanger when you were younger. Is that true?
What’s a clothes hanger?
That thing you got stuck in when you were younger.
Right! Wait – you tricked me!