Traveling Dog Lady: Hobie (the Millennium Dog!)

Hobie (the Millennium Dog!)

Hobie the Millennium Dog

Hobie the Millennium Dog

Hobie Dobe.  Hobie.  The Hobester.  Doober.  Dubes... 
In May of 2000, around Memorial Day, a note appeared on the kitchen counter at work.  This is the place where we post important notices of interest.  The note indicated that a 4-month-old Lab/Shepherd puppy needed a new home.  It was stated that the puppy had a deformed ear, but was otherwise in good health.
About a year or so before that, Timba had become unable (though not unwilling) to go on long walks.  We'd spent years walking everywhere together, but her job was done and she couldn't do it any longer -- her heart was in it, but the legs would not follow.
At one point, during that year, I found myself walking completely alone at the 4H camp near our home.  I thought to myself, "This is not safe.  I need a dog to protect me."  The 4H camp is deserted three seasons a year.  Bears live in these woods.  There's tell of a mountain lion.  Not to mention human weirdos (though, quite honestly, I'm not so worried about them around these parts!).
One day, a dog showed up at the office.  She walked in (we always leave the doors propped open for fresh air and light).  She wandered in and laid down right near my office in that section of the building just outside my office door where all my "girls" work.  She had no ID tags, but it was evident she had recently been shorn by a groomer.  She had shaver marks on her fur, and a little rainbow-color bow attached to her collar.  Having brought Timba to a local dog groomer, I knew their trademark collar bows.  It was after 5 p.m., but I called them and left a message describing the dog, the collar bow, and my location -- assuming maybe she was from the neighborhood.  I got out of work at 7:00 that night, and since no one had come looking for the dog, I decided the best thing to do would be to take her home for the evening.  Timba, now old and cranky was no longer going to work with me.  Could this be the answer to my prayer?  A new walking companion!  I brought the dog home and introduced her to Timba.  The two dogs got along great, and spent the night together in our living room.
In the morning, I took the visiting dog for a walk to the 4H camp.  I remember bringing a leash, but not needing to use it.  The dog walked right beside me, and seemed delighted to be on an adventure.
I brought the dog with me to work that day, and received a call from the groomer identifying the dog, and informing me that the owners were neighbors of our office.  We exchanged the requisite telephone numbers, and I spoke with the dog's owner.  "Misty," it turns out, had been groomed the day before and ran away when she was brought home.  She didn't go far -- just a few doors down the road to our dog-friendly workplace.  She sure didn't want to go home!
Misty's owner came to retrieve Misty a few moments later.  She was so grateful to me for watching over her dog.  Misty was a very special dog -- very, very special.  A few days later, I popped one of our catalogs into the people's mailbox along with a note saying how great a dog Misty is and how lucky they are to own such a special creature.  I said if they ever needed someone to dog-sit, I'd be happy to do it.
I was never asked to help with Misty.  In fact, when I'd ride my bike to work, I'd pass their house, and would often stop to see Misty.  I sometimes thought they figured I was a pain in the ass. 
I drove by her home every day, multiple times, on my way to and from work and errands.  Each time, I'd look for Misty.  I guess by this time they probably thought I was a stalker!  I made it a point to look for her every time I passed.  (Years later, Misty became an elderly dog. One day I noticed, I never saw Misty anymore, so I can assume she went across the Rainbow Bridge.)
Enter Hobie!  I answered the ad posted in our kitchen immediately.  I said I'd like to see the dog, and could the owners bring it to me here at the office.  Memorial Day weekend was upon us and they were going away.  It would have to wait until they returned.  "Please don't give the dog away!" I begged.
A couple days after the holiday weekend, it was arranged that I would meet the owners and their little dog at my office at 3:00.  It was May 30th, 2000, and it was love at first sight.
My objective, since I needed a new walking partner, was to walk the dog up the road and see how I liked him as a walking companion.  After all, this would become his job.  He needed to be obedient, yet confident. 
When the people arrived, this little yellow dog with a velvety-black nose and gorgeous eyes leapt out of the car and confidently strutted right into the office building.  The people handed me a blue leash that matched the little blue collar he was wearing.  I hooked the leash to the dogs collar, and he took the leash in his mouth with a look in his eyes as if to say, "Let's go! I'm ready!"  I smiled, laughed and fell instantly and hopelessly in love.  I made my decision in that very moment.  This was to be my dog.  We had instant chemistry.  But, to keep up appearances, I took him for that first walk anyway.  Ironically, we walked up to Misty's house and back.  Oh yes!  He was to be my dog.  No question about it.  I returned to the parking lot at work and said, without hesitation, "I'll take him."  All the while, inside my head, like a little kid, silently pleading with the owners, "Please don't change your mind"  "Please don't change your mind".
"We named him Hobie," the woman said, "because he's like a hobo.  He has no home.  Hobo/Hobie." He already knows his name, but he's still young so you can change it."  (While this was happening, I'm noticing every time she says "Hobie" or "hobo" he responds by tilting his head, wagging his tail and other doggie language movements.  Are you kidding?  I kept the name.)
After Hobie's owners drove away, my co-workers gathered 'round to fuss over the new pup.  I then grabbed my things, put Hobie in the car, and took him to Petco, where we bought everything one would need or want for a new puppy.  I still have the receipt from Petco, dated May 30, 2000.  On it, I wrote "the day I got Hobie!"
The little guy was so tired after going to Petco, he slept in the back seat the whole way home.  I kept checking at red lights and looking over at him, my heart soaring with love and anticipation of a wonderful life with this mutt.
That night, I took a series of photos, including the one that would eventually become the logo for  The blue collar Hobie is wearing in the logo photo is the one that matched the leash he picked up in his mouth that fateful day.  If you look closely, you can just barely see the last remnants of Hobie's "deformed" right ear, which miraculously corrected itself between the time the notice was posted in our kitchen and the day I met him.

In May of 2000, Gil was away on one of his shorter trips to Tobago.  I told him I was looking at a dog that day, and he asked me not to take it unless it was "really special" -- like the same kind of special as Misty or Timba or Gil's beloved Schultz.  "Don't just take any dog." he warned.  Hobie was, and still is, more special than any dog I've known.  The coolest, most confident, fearless yet loving and loyal dogs I've ever known.  He is not just any dog.
Thanks to digital technology, Dave and I were able to email some photos to Gil.  Here is the first photo we ever took of Hobie.

When he received it, Gil remarked, "I hope he's not one of those smooshed dogs!"  (I think he meant a Pug, because of the coloring and the angle of the camera.)  I said "No! He's Lab/Shepherd!"  Years later, we would discover that both Hobie and Hector have traces of Black Mouth Cur in their blood.
During that first year, Hobie did (and continues to do) his job as a walking companion quite well.  Twice a day, we'd walk several miles.  He assisted me in losing 22 pounds in six months' time, and provided me with the protection I needed.
We still enjoy our long walks these days -- now including "the beach" one of Hobie's favorite phrases to hear/places to go -- along with his loveable little "brother", Hector.


From: Kathy Mueller <>
Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2000 8:58 AM

Well, I couldn't think of a better story to share with you than what
happened to us this morning at 3:30 a.m.  STRESS ANYONE???

Every night, around 2:30 or 3:30, Hobie wakes me up because he
needs to go relieve himself.  Well, after nearly five months of this, I'm
becoming weary of having to get dressed, hook up the leash, and walk
him in the middle of the night.  I've always hesitated to let him loose
because he doesn't do well with cars.

But, last night, (this morning) I had left the leash outside on the railing,
and I figured "what the hell?"  I'd let him loose.

So, out the door he goes, and I'm in my nightgown, and putting on my
slippers.  I figured I'd stand out there and watch him.

Right there, sitting in our driveway is a SKUNK!  Of course, Hobie made
a bee-line right for it.  At first, I thought it was David's cat, Buddy (he's
all white), because I saw the big white tail.  Then, I saw how the thing
was moving, and I said:  "that's not a cat... that's a... that's a....
SKUNK!!!!!! Oh!  Shit!"

Meanwhile, Hobie got a nose full of skunk juice, and was rolling all over
the place on the ground.

Now, I had to go try to catch him, which meant walking through the
"cloud" of skunk spray.  So, I caught him, and then I put the wrong
leash on him, and he got away, and I had to catch him again.  I finally
got him tied out on the run, and then went inside the house.  At this
point, I can't smell anything anymore.

I wake up Gil and say:  "Can you tell me if you smell anything?"  To
which he replies, "Skunk."  As I'm standing in the bedroom REEKING
of skunk, apparently.

So I run down into the basement, throw nightgown and sweatshirt in a
corner, throw the slippers, coat and gloves outside, and go back upstairs
to find more clothes.

Since I reeked so badly, I had no choice but to send Gil to the Price
Chopper for tomato juice, peroxide and baking soda, plus other assorted
things to neutralize odors.  That is a whole separate story in itself, as he
has only been in the damn place once before.  Remember:  it's 4 in the
morning!  So, off he goes, in the Jag, which also REEKS because the
skunk smell permeated everything and everyone within a 100 yard
radius.  (By the way, it still smells outside 5 hours later, according to
Mike!).  Even the cars got it, with the windows CLOSED.

So, Gil goes to Price Chopper, and instructs me to go on the internet
and find out what removes skunk odors other than tomato juice.  He
then calls me from Price Chopper, where they have the musack BLARING
at 4:00 a.m., and I can barely hear him.  I tell him I learned of the peroxide
and baking soda remedy, and he is off with his list of goodies.

AN HOUR LATER he returns (remember, he's never had to shop here
before!).  Meanwhile, I've discovered that I have enough peroxide and
baking soda for one dosage, and have already suited up myself for the

Since I'd lost 20 pounds, I threw away all my old clothes a few weeks
ago, so I had NOTHING that I could dispose of.  The slippers were already
ruined and reeked, so I didn't want to put them on again.  While I was
looking for my raincoat (figured I could just get soaking wet right along
with the dog), I stumbled across some clothes that Abby had left here.
I threw on a t-shirt, a pair of pants, and an old "Christmas" sweater, with
my raincoat on top, and a pair of rubber gloves.  For shoes, I parted with
a pair of socks, and put on another pair of slippers that Hobie had already
chewed, but I did not throw away for some reason.  Good thing!  I had
nothing else "spare-able."

Off I go, into the back yard, with Hobie on the 30 foot run, and a hose.
It is about 30 degrees out -- the coldest night of the season so far.  Doesn't
it figure?  Timba is following us, thinking it's time for our morning walk.
So, I give Hobie one dousing of the peroxide mixture.  Then it has to stay
on for 5 minutes.  When I go to rinse him off, it's pandemonium.  He wants
no part of cold, hard, water when it's 30 degrees outside.  And neither do
I.  By this time, Gil is back, and I am holding the dog while he sprays the
hose.  Still not working.  I've fallen twice, and am covered with mud.
Gil suggests going into the house, and putting the dog in the tub so that
the water is warmer.

Ok, but then the house will reek.  Oh well, what the hell.  So, I get into
the tub, clothes, raincoat, rubber gloves, and all, and rinse him off.
Then we make the second peroxide mixture.  I finally take off the shoes and
socks (this is ridiculous!), and pour the next mixture onto Hobie.

That stays on for another 5 minutes, but at least we're warm now.  At this
point, we're laughing.  Gil is trying to make a fire in the fireplace and get
the skunk smell out of the house using various powders and Febreze
and stuff.

Hobie then gets the tomato juice bath.  Memories of Alfred Hitchcock's
"Psycho" go through my head.  This is a white dog. He is now orange.

Gil comes in and says:  "Great, now all I smell is tomato juice.  It must
be working."  I said, "I wonder how many other people have said that in
dog history??!"  I told him to take a picture, but I guess he thought better
of it.

Finally, I wash Hobie one more time with oatmeal doggie shampoo that
Gil picked up (good for him!!), and let that stay on for 10 minutes while
Hobies whines.  At this point, he wants outta that tub!

Then I had to dry him.

He's fine now, except for a small cut on his nose that he got from rubbing
his nose on the ground for 30 minutes.  Plus he's got an orange tint to

Now I have to wash all the laundry in vinegar.  Some things I threw
away, but our night clothes got it the worst.  Even Gil, who just stepped
outside 10 minutes after it happened to see how the dog was.  His
pajama shirt reeked!   Otherwise, any clothing lying around the house
got permeated with the smell, and also needs to be washed.  That's
about 10 loads of laundry right there.

The clothes I threw away, along with the two pairs of slippers, a
pair of gloves, and a towel.

Timba received a swipe of skunk smell by "osmosis" as she too walked
through the "cloud".  Since we can't give her a water bath, I had to go
back up to the store and get some dry powder shampoo stuff and hope
that works.  She just has a touch of scent on her, not like poor Hobie
who got dosed but good.

Wonder how long I'll make it through the work day today?  Gil went back
to bed.

Well, this one'll go down in the history books.  And, guess what?  I'll
be walking Hobie, with a leash, or I'll be telling him to go back to bed
from now on!

Have a good one!


Cute Things Hobie Did Today!

From: Kathy Mueller <>
Date: Sunday, January 07, 2001 3:45 PM

I just figured I'd share these with you!  Hobie is so damn cute!
("She says I'm cuuuuuute!!!") But seriously, today, we were walking...
we always walk up the same road... and two days ago, we came upon
a pizza box frozen into a huge snow bank made by the town plows.
So, you know Hobie with any piece of paper.  A pizza box?  Well,
that's heaven!  So, he tries to pull it out of the snow bank, but it was
too frozen in.  By the way, I noticed that there was still pizza in it.

So, today, we happen by the same snow bank, and the same pizza
box.  Only the snow has melted a bit over the last two days because it
has been relatively "warm."  So, he manages to pull the pizza box out
of the snow.  Presto!  The thing is filled WITH AN ENTIRE PIZZA! 
(Frozen pizza, anyone?)  All sliced up, as if maybe someone left it
on the roof of their car and drove away with it and it fell off or something.
All eight, perfect slices are there, frozen back into a round pizza.  So,
he flings the box up in the air, the pizza goes falling into the snow bank,
and he runs off with the box and proceeds to rip it to shreds in the
middle of the road.  Ok, I let him have his fun, and then we keep walking
once he is finished destroying the pizza box.

As we're coming back by the same spot on the way home, he dives
(DIVES!!) into the snow bank, and comes up WITH THE WHOLE PIZZA
IN HIS MOUTH!!!  I was laughing so hard, I was about to pee my pants!
He is running down the road with this frigging pizza hanging out of his
mouth, and of course, it is thawing at this point, so one by one, the
pre-cut slices start falling off!  He manages to run off with one slice in
his mouth, which he had to stop and eat.  I didn't have the heart to stop
him -- he was having so much fun.  So, I hope he does not get sick.  I
figure, it was frozen, so it would probably even be good enough for a
human to eat.  No thanks!  ha ha

So, THEN... I am taking my shower, and I never really close the bathroom
door all the way, I leave it closed but not "clicked" closed.  Any of the pets
could push it open.  So, there I am, and my shower is a stand-up stall
with no step off the ground.  Your feet are at ground level.  So there I am,
behind the curtain, la la la, washing my hair, and all of a sudden someone
is licking my feet!!!  Scared the bejesus out of me!!  Again, I'm laughing so
hard I'm almost crying.  He was actually drinking the water that was pooling
up around my feet (probably to wash down the damn pizza!), but kept
hitting my foot!  So, I peeked out and said, "What're you doin'?" and got
back to my shower.  Well, then, I peeked out again, and realized he had
somehow pushed the door shut, and was now stuck in the bathroom
with me!  He kept drinking the water occasionally.  Then he decided to take a 
nap on the mat outside the shower stall!
So, he was sound asleep at my feet, waiting for me when I finished!
I had to wake him up so I could get out of the shower!!!!

He is so damn cute sometimes I could just squish him with big hugs!

Anyway, thought I'd share that with someone, and you were there!



1 comment:

  1. I said goodbye to our beloved Hobie on April 25, 2015. He was 15 years old.


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