Hi friends. It’s me. Patch. Some of you may remember me. I was kind of a big deal around the Dumb Friends League. Was it because I showed hidden potential or because I made four appearances at the shelter in less than a year? The world may never know, but I have my suspicions. There’s a chance (How big? Not sure.) that Jimmy Kimmel’s people want my story, but the League holds a special place in my heart, so they get first shot at sharing my tale. And, speaking of tails, have I got a beauty of one! Oh, wait. I don’t think that’s the kind of tale I’m supposed to tell. I digress. It happens.

Anyhoo, I’ll give you my 30-second dog park pitch about my past because, really, it’s the now I’m into. I have some pretty great qualities, but I’m not everyone’s bowl of kibble. Some amazing people at the League worked with me on being less fearful and gaining confidence. I even took some classes in their Canine Courage behavior program, and I graduated! I don’t remember a ceremony, though. You’d think there’d be some pomp and a bit or circumstance, right?

Bob (my new human) loves to tell me about when we first met. I want to tell you we looked into each other’s eye and just knew, but that isn’t how it happened. I pretty much hid under a desk and ignored treats while Bob tried to pet me and scratch my ears. He tried his darndest, but I was overwhelmed by the experience. Bob took me for a walk in the Friendship Circle, and that calmed me down a little. I know now that Bob is what those in the know call “an experienced owner.” He’d been to training classes and read books about dogs with behavior problems, but in his opinion, what I really needed was patience, love, treats, praise, peace and quiet. Bob got me.

From our very first night together, I looked forward to my future with Bob and showed off my nuzzling skills. In case that wasn’t enough, I made sure to lick Bob’s face . . . a lot. Good thing (for Bob) I don’t mind having my teeth brushed! Did you know there’s peanut butter toothpaste for dogs? I mean, come on!

Bob and I have been a team for 18 months now, and I like to tell my friends that he’s really come around. It took some time to train Bob, but, like me, he’s pretty smart.

Let me tell you about some things that get my tail wagging . . .

A good walk! There is so much sniffing to do and so little time to do it. When Bob (or our neighbor Karen) is on the other end of the leash, life is good!

Treats! I’m not ruffing around when I tell you my bedtime snack of frozen plain yogurt with some peanut butter mixed in is the stuff of dreams!

Car rides! Bob got me a Mazda Miata convertible, and he takes me on rides. Sometimes, I sit in the driver’s seat and honk the horn. There’s not much better than a ride in the car with the top down and the wind in my fur. And, if I’m feeling anxious, I can get on the floor where it’s quiet and safe.

And, you know, I never complain when I get a belly rub, ear scratches or when Bob brushes me. I like to look sharp.

Part of my “ness,” you know those things that make me uniquely Patch, is that I like to eat by myself. My prior owners had other dogs and cats, and we had to fight over food … so uncivilized. It took Bob a long time to figure out that I like eating outside. He built a patio next to my dog house, where I prefer to take my meals. Who doesn’t enjoy dining al fresco? Also, I’m not much of a toy guy. Bob wanted me to play fetch with tennis balls, but tennis is so much more than balls. I tried to tell him about racquets, the right outfit and a court, but, really, the back and forth thing just doesn’t get me excited. As for the rope and chew toys that Bob bought me, well, I just completely ignore those.

My days are pretty great. I’m less of a spontaneous, fly by the seat of my tail kind of a pup and more of a routine kind of canine. I like to start each day with a long walk around the neighborhood or in one of our nearby parks. Then, I hang out in Bob’s office, where I’m the director of corporate security. That’s a lot of responsibility, you know. It’s up to me to let Bob know that the UPS or FedEx delivery person is at the door. In the afternoon or evening, Bob and I take another good walk. Bob has classical music playing in the background when we’re home, and I like all of it except opera, because, well, that just hurts my ears. I am a fan of Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor and Cat Stevens. It’s funny that I like someone named “Cat,” right? Sometimes, I get to have play dates with my next-door neighbor dogs, Anna and Emma. They’re cute and fight over me! I like watching TV before bed, and Bob jokes my two favorite shows are “Big Bark Theory” and “Bark and Order” reruns. That Bob is a character, but he lets me sleep in his bed, so I put up with his puns.

You should know that some days are tough for me, and I just want to be left alone. I have several safe places in the house. Bob figured it out and got beds for each spot. I know I’m loved.

Before I sign off, Bob wanted to add something to the article, and he’s right. It’s important. Pet owners who have preconceived notions of how a dog will behave, play, interact with family, etc., could very well be disappointed. Bob brought me home expecting so many challenges based on what was known, but he learned that being patient and flexible with me has never caused a minute of disappointment. Thanks to everyone at the League for connecting the two of us. We are very happy together. Smell you later.

Barks and wags, Patch