Earlier today my Mom emailed me to let me know that Koby, their youngest flat-coated retriever, had reached No. 1 on the American Kennel Club’s Top 25 list of flat-coated retrievers. This is the highest ranking (obviously, being that it’s No. 1) that any of our dogs have reached. Both Rudy and Micky have been listed on the Top 25 but none have reached the peak. It’s still early in the points race but it’s still a great accomplishment in the Johnson household. Sadly, the dogs have a much larger trophy room then my brothers and I combined.
I figured since I’ve been doing a lot of interviewing of high school coaches and players the past couple of weeks I thought I’d sit down with Koby face-to-face and get his feelings about this wonderful accomplishment.
Kevin: So Koby…let’s start by asking how old you are.
Koby: I’m almost three years old, or as you humans like to do…multiple our “dog” age by seven to get your “human” age. So I’m 21 in “human” years. Hell, I’m in my prime at the top of my game. Kind of like those snowboarders in the Winter Olympics, those kids are at the top of their game, having fun and are only in their early 20’s. They may be arrogant and young but they’re good at what they do and they are having fun doing it. Like me!
Kevin: So you watched some of the Olympics?
Koby: I caught some of the highlights on the news after Dad (Ken) fell asleep. He likes to watch the weather, as if it matters what it’s going to be like tomorrow. He’s still going to have to go to work and I’m still going to have to shit in the rain.
Kevin: So are you saying you don’t like the rain here in Washington?
Koby: Hell no! It rained for – what it felt like – 300 days straight. Which means using the bathroom in the rain, not being able to run around for long periods of time, and having to get my feet dried off with a wet and muddy towel that’s been used on us for – what it feels like – 300 straight days. Don’t get me wrong I love peeing in the green grass, but does it have to rain every day?
Kevin: Let’s move onto a more serious topic. This No. 1 AKC ranking, you’ve got to be feeling pretty good right now.
Koby: Yah, it’s nice. It’s still early in the season (the AKC season runs from Jan-Dec) but it’s nice to be ahead of my rival Brody (currently AKC No. 2 and Eukanuba No. 2). It’s also nice to brag to the bitches when you’re at the show. “Hey bitch, I’m AKC No. 1!”
Kevin: You throw around that word “bitch”, aren’t you afraid you’re going to offend someone?
Koby: Offend someone? I’m not a human. I don’t have to worry about hurting people’s feelings. Plus, a bitch is a female dog. I’m not calling them a bad name. Most bitches like being called dirty names.
Kevin: So what type of “bitch” do you prefer?
Koby: Most dogs are into poodles, not me. They’re too fancy for me, having to be cut and shaven all nice and neat. Me, I prefer the liver colored flat-coat retrievers. They’re pretty.
Kevin: Do the so-called tough dogs ever intimidate you? The pit bulls, rottweilers and what not?
Koby: You kidding me? Those dogs act all tough but they can’t do half the stuff I can do. I see guys with tattoos playing what they think is fetch with their Pit Bull. Hell, it takes that dog three days to find the damn ball and he doesn’t even bring it back. Me, I’ll find the ball, if I haven’t already caught it in the air and bring it back to you. Sure I can’t eat humans as well as they do, but who wants to eat them anyway? They taste like chicken, from what I hear.
Kevin: Speaking of acting tough, what is this I hear about you picking on your older brother Micky?
Koby: Ahh Micky. I knew you’d ask me about him. He’s your favorite – I hear. I love my older brother but he’s so fun to screw with. He’s a big pushover, a “nerd” if you will. Always having to do the right thing. He’s a great show dog though and I’ve learned a lot from him. But yah, he’s just too easy to mess with, doesn’t stick up for himself, not like (pauses) Rudy.
Kevin: Yah, tell me about Rudy. What’s it like losing an older brother like that?
Koby: (Tearing up) Rudy was the ultimate older brother. He was big and stood his ground didn’t let me get to him. He was always happy no matter what the situation. He was a mentor to Micky and me. The first couple of days he was gone was very hard for the two of us. I’d get up, look around for him. I’d lie in his kennel waiting for him to get back. I just didn’t want to let go. It was a difficult thing to handle during a difficult time in everyone’s life. After what happened with Lis.
Kevin: What did you think about that?
Koby: It was weird. Cause one minute we’re hanging out with Lis and I’m jumping on her and she’s bathing us and playing around with us. It was some fun times. Then the little human comes along and we’re put on the back burner. Then a couple months later all of a sudden she’s gone and everyone is away from the house for a month. Everyone seemed really down and it was hard on us dogs too. But I’ve got to give her barks…
Koby: Barks…what you humans call “props”. I had to give her barks for going through that after having the little human just five months before. It was tough to see, but I’d wear one of those yellow bands around my paw if I could.
Kevin: You mentioned the “little human”, Lukas. What do you think about him?
Koby: At first I was jealous, I’ll be honest with you. He took all of the attention away from me. Mom was all into him and I thought she was beginning to forget about me. We wanted to lick him cause he smelt so good but we were banished to our kennels. But as he’s gotten bigger we’ve become buddies. We’re still banished to our kennels, which I blame on Micky cause he’s lick-hungry, but he wants to hang out and visit with us and he likes to give us snacks and throw the ball. I think that in a couple of years he and I are going to be best buds.
Kevin: Do you think about having a little puppy of your own?
Koby: Who me? Nah man…I’ve got too much partying to do!
Kevin: What can you say about your family?
Koby: Mom (Cathy) and Dad are great and Mom and I really click when we’re in the ring. She knows my moves and let’s me take control. When Dad shows me I like to mess with him. He gets so frustrated and tries to yank me around so I talk back, you know, give him a little growl try to show him whose boss. It doesn’t work but it’s still fun watching him grind his teeth together. I try to get Micky to do it but that dog never wants to mess around.
Kevin: So being born and bred in Canada, do you feel more proud of being a Canadian champion or an American champion?
Koby: Tough question. I’m equally proud. Though I was born and bred in Canada I’ve lived most of my life here in the United States. But I enjoy both championships. I mean who doesn’t like being a dual-champion?
Kevin: Your full name is Blacklace Magic Mocha Sapphire, but you go by Koby. Is it true you were named after the basketball player?
Koby: Sort of. Randy liked Kobe Bryant so they named me Koby. Which was fine until he had to go and commit adultery. But you know Mr. Bryant and I have a couple of things in common. We’re both black, we both like to play with balls and we both like bitches. Hehe!
Kevin: I’ve got this theory that all dogs have a British accent, is this true?
Koby: What kind of question is that? I’m talking to you with a regular accent.
Kevin: So what’s on tap for you?
Koby: I’m currently ranked No. 9 on the Eukanuba list. The Top 25 qualify for January’s show in Long Beach. So I’ve got to keep that up. There’s a show in Canada this weekend and a big show in Seattle next weekend.
Kevin: Well good luck to you and hopefully we can do another interview with you after you win Best in Show.
Koby: Thanks dawg. Keep up the good work.