What, we ask, is more precious than a puppy? Brand new to the world, full of energy, curiosity and love, puppies are capable of pulling the tightest of heart strings. Melting our hearts and taking home the win for encore’s cutest pet in 2016 is … Bodhi! “Technically, Sir Bodhi,” says Bodhi’s human dad, Bill Howard. “He’s a British Lab so we thought he should have a title.”
Bodhi came to Bill and his wife, Diana, from Shelby’s White Labs in Nashville, TN. Our cover photo was taken by Bill on their front steps when Bodhi was just 10 weeks old. Now he’s 13 weeks. Bill says Bodhi is the first puppy that has not been difficult to keep up with.
“He wants to stay right at our feet at all times,” he tells. “This closeness is great when taking him for a walk or keeping an eye on him for house training, but not as advantageous when we are at the top of a stairway.”
While the Howards are proud puppy parents, encore wanted to sniff out what makes their cute pooch tick. So, we asked Bodhi a few questions…
What’s your favorite food: I am pure kibble boy, but I did find something called a “hot dog” near the Trolley Stop that was unbelievable!
Favorite toy: Anything that squeaks is fun, but I find the best toys in the recycling bin when my parents aren’t looking: crinkly plastic bottles and cardboard are the best.
What does your human mom do that drives you crazy? She won’t share any of her shoes. She has plenty, and I don’t have any. Is one shoe too much to ask?
Your favorite way to interact with your human mom and dad is how? I love to just sleep at their feet, and I prefer to be touching one of them if possible.
What do you love most about your human parents? They give me treats for everything. I sit, I get a treat. I shake a paw, I get a treat. I lie down, I get a treat. I … well … I get treats for things I do outdoors. Mostly my mom gives me lots walks, belly rubs and affection—I’m very lucky she is my mom!
Do you have a best friend? I do. Trixie is my older sister. She is 11 years old and still full of energy.
If you could spend one day doing whatever you wanted, what would it be? I would walk up and down the beach, meeting everyone! People and other dogs at the beach are so friendly, and always stop to say hi to me.
So you like the beach? I love the beach—playing in the sand and in the edge of the surf, watching the kids play. Nowadays, Mom and Dad take me on their paddleboards, where I can run on the natural beaches, since Wrightsville Beach is closed to me and Trixie until the end of the season.
Do you like to swim? Now that I have all my shots, I’ve just started to enjoy the water and I’m still learning. I’ve noticed the ocean water doesn’t taste as good as the stuff I drink at home.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Who wouldn’t want to go to Neptune’s for breakfast, or Tower 7 for a burrito—but, hey, I’m a dog in world that still doesn’t treat us as equals. Maybe one day things will change, but even so, I live in the best place in the world. Wrightsville Beach is the place for me!
Do you do tricks? I am learning to shake right now, and Dad tells me because I am so food motivated, I will learn a bunch of tricks over the coming months. But I will draw the line at balancing a treat on my nose. If they want me to do that, it better be one of those “hot dog” things.
How do you prefer to spend your free time? Free time? What is that? My life is full of eating, sleeping, chewing anything, chasing sticks, walking, and meeting dogs and people on The Loop. Maybe when I retire I’ll have a chance to write that novel I know I have inside me. For now, it’s work, work, work, work, work.
As a young pup, what kind of dog do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a Canine Good Citizen / Pet Therapy dog; a dog that can visit the hospitals and retirement villages, to warm hearts, and cheer up people. There’s something about a wagging tail that helps melt my worries away. Learning those new tricks are going to be great for making people smile.
RUNNERS UP FROM OUR ANNUAL PET PHOTO CONTEST: