“Hey, you guys, stop that rough play!” You can just hear these words in the bark of Draco, the outstanding Rhodesian Ridgeback of the Nonahood. In case you are wondering, Ridgebacks are indeed from Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in Africa, and they have an actual ridge of hair on their backs. They are also lion hunters!
One cannot overlook Draco, weighing in at over 140 pounds as he stands tall over all of the other dogs at the Bark Park. His coat is reddish brown, and his huge brown eyes sparkle. But make no mistake, although he is a gentle giant, Draco exerts authority. He is referred to as the “referee” by the dog owners since he seems to have a policy against overly-rough behavior among his pooch pals.
Draco will run and charge into a pack of pooches who are not playing fair. The other dogs definitely pay attention and obey immediately – and why wouldn’t they?
Draco’s owners, Michael, Linda, and their three very athletic sons, decided three years ago to get a dog, and it made sense to get a pooch that fit their active lifestyle. The family is excited to have Draco in the family and loves their dog, but Michael is absolutely “smitten” with Draco. He wakes up very early, puts on the coffee for Linda, and then he and Draco head out for their long walk together. Draco wears a fitness collar, and Michael tracks Draco’s progress!
When they return from their walk and Draco is ready for a rest, he refuses to sleep until his blanket is smoothed out, whining until it gets done. Perhaps Draco served in the military in his former life since he is so very neat! My guess would be he was a Marine!
Michael speaks to Draco, and I am positive that Draco talks back to him. Draco is as kind, patient, and loving as a Ridgeback can be. If you see a man walking down the street looking tall and proud with a very handsome Hulk-size dog, you can be sure it is Michael and Draco. Do stop to meet them – you won’t be sorry!
Photos Courtesy of Linda Pielock