This month’s IN THE SPOTLIGHT blog features Niki, an 8-year-old Golden Retriever who has been a proud dog ambassador for our ARF! program for almost four years. Her human, Elaine, tells us that Niki was born on a Pennsylvania farm, and Elaine has had her since she was 8 weeks old. Now she’s a California dog, and she tells us more about her favorite things.
Q: Did you always live in California?
A: I lived in Maryland with my humans when I was a puppy, until I was 2 years old. They have stuff there called “snow.” Do you have that here? It’s so much fun to play in, although it gets a little cold after a while. During the warmer seasons, I would play on this big green field. My humans called it a “golf course.” All I know is that I could play with my friends, and we would chase deer and herons together. Birds! They have to be chased away, all the time! This golf course has a lot of small white balls on it. My humans were so happy when I would fetch them and bring them back to them.
Q: So, Niki, you’re happy with living in California now?
A: Oh yes! I make sure my humans get up at 6:30 every morning. That’s the best time to go to the beach for a swim. And the seagulls! Those pesky seagulls! I have to keep chasing them off my beautiful beach so I can dig holes in the sand in peace. Digging…I LOVES digging. But I don’t love getting hosed down after my beach time. Yuck!
Q: Have you been anywhere else besides Maryland, Pennsylvania, and here?
A: I’m quite the traveler, actually. I’ve been to a place called Naples, Florida—that’s where my grandmother lives. I LOVES my grandmother! She gives me treats and lots of belly rubs. And I’ve also been to Martha’s Vineyard, Boulder, Santa Fe, Portland, San Francisco, Houston, and Dallas. Is that a lot of places for a doggie?
Q: It is, a bit! Do you like volunteering with ARF!?
A: I loves it! I go to the downtown library and schools to read with the children. I loves it when they read books about doggies. I also like to visit the students at the “big” schools, like Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara. The people who really love to see me are at a place called The Samarkand. They are older people and I loves to cheer them up.
I loves seeing my human friends! I have a happy sound that I make. It’s a wonderfully loud howl. Everybody knows I’m there! But I get shushed a lot at the library and they ask me to use my “indoor bark.” I don’t know why. It’s such a happy noise!
Do you have a shy reader in your home? Perhaps they could benefit from our ARF! program. Our fall session at the Santa Barbara Public Library (40 E. Anapamu St.) starts on Tuesday, September 19 at 3:30 pm. Hope to see you there!