May 7th 2009 3:52 pm
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Hobo Rules, We Drool
Raja Babu Reporter Extraordinaire
I have been reporting for quite sometime now on my various Dogster beats. Once in a while you come across a dog’s story that makes you stop dead in your tracks. That pup for me is Hobo. Hobo reminded me of a character out of Steinbeck, if he wrote about dogs, that is.
Hobo is a 5-year-old German Shepherd who lives in the local junk-yard and in the home of the Harper’s crew. Everyday he visits the Harper’s crew (PJ Pupp, Rickie Roo, Gigi, Winston). He plays, eats and sleeps in their house. He takes care of Winston who is now blind. Then at night he disappears into his world, the junk-yard. His Mom, the Harper’s Mom, wants him to make their home his furever home. But Hobo is still the independent junk-yard dog!
RB: Does someone take care of you at the junk-yard?
Hobo: Some guys throw some food out under a big trailer for me and there is a coffee can of water for me. The junkyard is about a block away from where the Harpurs have their Marine Engine business so I usually just run over there to get meals and snacks.
There is an old man in a blue truck who drives from somewhere who brings me a can of food 3 times a week. When I hear his truck I go NUTS. Usually I don't like many men, but I LOVE him. Now the man brings my food over to the Harpur's and puts it in the bowls they have set out for me. And a longshoreman lady comes on the weekends and gives me food too. She once gave me a doghouse at the junkyard and a bed, but the guys there either gave it away or threw it away. She likes it that I can be found most of the time at the Harpurs.
RB: How did you come to the junk-yard?
Hobo: No one knows that. The first time "mom" spotted me was maybe 2 years ago. But my mom had started calling me Hobo whenever I showed up at her place, and when she asked the guys at the junkyard what my name was they said Lobo ---- mom says that's some kind of sign. I don't trust many people, unless I am safe in her office, then I'm a sweetie. She says I have perfect manners on a leash and thinks maybe someone did very harsh corrections with me. Our friend who is a Shutzhund trainer thinks I may have been security trained and was just too "soft" for the job and got dumped, but all of that could or could not be true. What she does know is that I am a good boy for her but if I am running loose and see people I need to bark at, she can't control me at all.
RB: How did you first meet your Mom?
Hobo: I wandered down the street to their business and would harass Winston through the fence. At first she wasn't too happy about that 'cause I have a very big bark. Then she felt sorry for me and fed me. I didn't trust her AT ALL but after about 6 month of showing up every day and getting a snack, I let her pet me. Now she can do whatever she wants to me. EVEN A BATH and I am VERY afraid of the hose.
RB: How long have you been coming to meet the Harpur's Dogs?
Hobo: For more than a year. I've been coming into the office with them and hanging out all day long in the air conditioned splendor for 8 months or so. Mom went to the junkyard and asked the guys there if she could get me shots, so she did and at the same time she got me fixed. I wasn't mad at her at all.
RB: How did they take to you initially?
Hobo: Oh everyone loves me. Even the kittens. They nuzzle up to me to take a nap.
RB: How did you become Winston's Seeing Eye Dog?
Hobo: Well, Winston used to bark at me when I came near his fence so I knew he meant business. When we were introduced face to face without the fence, we became pals. One day, he didn't see me through the fence and didn't bark so I knew something was wrong. Ever since then I watch out for him. If bad people come by I do the red alert bark. If he is gonna bonk into something I run in front of him. If Rickie Roo tries to steal his lunch, I try to intercept her... that one is hard though, she's really fast.
RB: Wow, that is quite something. You have take professional photographs with them. You do not look or act like a stray. You are comfortable in both worlds. How is that?
Hobo: Well, the whole fur family was going to get their pictures taken, Mom tried to leave me in the office but I ran past her really fast. When she loaded Winston up his ramp into the car I jumped in too and wouldn't get out. So she took me too. I have to say, I think I was the most photogenic of the bunch. And get this, the professional model, Gigi, was NOT happy that day and wouldn't put her ears up while I was a supermodel without any prior experience.
RB: Can your Mom help us understand this tug of war between being a junk-yard dog and a house dog? Obviously, you like both places.
Hobo: She does not get it at all. She gets very upset when it's really bad weather and she puts me in with Winston in his house locks the doors gets to the car to find me standing in the rain with my tail wagging. She is always begging me to just stay with them all night, but I can sneak out of places that are so small the little dogs don't even try them. One time they were doing some work at the shop and mom took me to the house where she lives with the girl dogs and I got to wander around and take a nap on the couch! Their house is small though and you are only supposed to have 1 med pet and they have 2 small dogs, 1 med dog and a 23-yearold cat there, so a big shepherd like me would be noticed. She thinks that maybe when Winston goes to the rainbow bridge, I might take over his duties on my own, instead of roaming the port of Los Angeles at night. She sure does love me, but can't figure out why I won't stay with them all the time.
November 20th 2008 12:38 pm
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His name is Hobo he roams the streets
how he survives is surely a feat.
The junkyards his home, but he rarely is there
he like to come to my doorway and stare.
So I let him in to play with my gang
The morning always starts off with a bang.
First he barks and jumps up and down
he finds all my dogs and they then run around
To the back lot where Winston will rest,
PJ will graze while Roo and Gigi will show us who's best.
Hobo frolics with delight and then he will bow
he wants to show me that he knows how.
He runs interferance when Winston might crash
he trots over there in a flash
Then we go into my office to work
the cats lead the way and hope he won't be a jerk
He seldom scares them but when he does
Kit and Kat will swat at his fluffy brown fuzz.
Hobo leads Winston into the room
and then it's time for all to be groomed.
Its time for their cookies, they can't wait to begin
so one by one they all wander in.
They snack, they sleep they bark when needed
just the way all dogs want to be treated.
At the end of the day it's time to go home.
I always ask Hobo not to roam.
But he is sneaky and can get out of spaces
where the little dogs can barely stick out their faces!
I pen him up with Winston each night,
but Hobo won't stay without a fight.
To the junkyard he feels he must go
and hide in the weeds, keeping real low.
Winston is smart, he stays in his lot
and wouldn't sneak out and make me distraught.
In the morning who arrives with a smile on his face
to my office, and then out back to race?
It's Hobo, that's right Winston's seeing eye dog
who is sure to show up in rain or in fog.
It's the same every day, I love him so
I really wish he never would go.
But he's a hobo and he's set in his ways
maybe he'll change one of these days.