It’s been five years since we last spoke with Koby, my parent’s Flat-Coated Retriever, so fresh off a career night at the renowned Westminster Dog Show I thought it was only fitting to sit, stay and chat with my parent’s favorite son.
Since we last spoke Koby has gone on a whirlwind ride of success. Unlike in the past two conversations (Part I in 2006; Part II in 2007) we weren’t able to chat freely about everything. As Koby put it when asked about certain things, “The dog show circuit can be tough and like anything that involves competition, there be haters out there. Even for dogs.”
With that said, here now is my third conversation with Koby:
Kevin: It’s been awhile since we’ve last sat down and chatted. How have you been?
Koby: Well, first I want to say that I wouldn’t have done this interview with you if Mom didn’t promise me a cheeseburger. It’s been way too long since you last talked to me. How have I been? Well … I’ve won three Best in Shows; I was the No. 1 Flat-Coated Retriever in 2010 and 2011; I have been on TV in two countries – maybe more if you count last week’s show; I’m a Grand Champion, a first for my breed; a four-time participate at Westminster including last week’s Best of Breed win; I’ve won over 30 blue ribbons (first place) and over 100 group placements and as the late Johnny Cash sang, “I’ve Been Everywhere Man…”, like 15 states and two Canadian provinces. So … how have you been?
Kevin: Well this isn’t about me.
Koby: That’s what I thought. Oh … and I forgot one other merit.
Kevin: What’s that?
Koby: I also joined an exclusive club.
Kevin: And what club would that be?
Koby: She was.
Kevin: So tell us more about Westminster last week. I heard Dad called it the second best day of his life.
Koby: After my first Best in Show, I know, I know. You must feel proud. Firstborn bumped down to the bottom half of the Top 10 list. It was amazing. This was my fourth time at the Garden.
Kevin: Madison Square Garden right?
Koby: We – us winners – call it the Garden. Just talk to my eponym the Black Mamba.
Kevin: You mean Kobe Bryant?
Koby: Yeah, but I call him the Black Mamba. He’s cool with that. Anyway, it was nice to be at the Garden, once again performing like the Black Mamba, on the biggest stage in the world. Unlike the last three times when I was screwed by the officiating, I ended up winning Breed and moving onto Group. Best of all it was on Valentine’s Day so Mom got a little extra lovin’ of the non-sexual type, from the Kobster.
(Pictured below: Koby and Tony at Westminster, Feb 2011)
Kevin: And your buddy Major, the Tibetan Mastiff, won Breed on the day his owners got married, right?
Koby: That was kind of cool. Though it was my understanding that he was supposed to be the Best Man and I was supposed to be the ringbearer but whatevs. They got a lot of pub in the Big Apple from it and Mom was all dressed up for the occasion. It was pretty sweet.
Kevin: And who was the Best Man?
Koby: Only my Man! Mr. Carter.
Kevin: That’d be your handler Tony Carter?
Koby: First off … nobody “handles” me. Understand? Secondly … no, MY Man Mr. Carter.
Kevin: I think it’s actually Kotter … if you’re trying to mock the show.
Koby: Careful. I’ll pee on you.
Kevin: Tell me about Mr. Carter.
Koby: We’re like Scooby and Shaggy. Snoopy and Chuck. Pluto and Mickey. Eddie and Frasier’s Dad. Lassie and the guy that asked if Timmy fell down the well…
Kevin: I think we got it.
Koby: Tony’s cool. We travel all over the place, me, Major, my buddy the Rottweiler Burton who has since retired. Tony takes us swimming in his folk’s pool. We’ve had a good run since we started nearly five years ago. He says he’s going to show me until he dies … well he ain’t sharing my urn with me! That’s for me and my ribbons!
Kevin: So who’s got the bigger crush on him, Mom or Dad?
Koby: Dad by far. It’s like they compare text messages. “He texted me two sentences to your one!”
Kevin: Do you ever get tired of Dad on the phone?
Koby: Do you ever get tired of asking stupid questions?
Kevin: Moving right along … I heard you have had some kids.
Koby: I’ve heard you have had some kids. Two in the last five years. Funny, when I knock up a bitch they call it “studding” myself out. When you knock up Lis three times they call it “overpopulation”. You humans have your priorities so messed up, I love it. I’m just riding the doggy-loving wave.
Kevin: So how many kids have you had?
Koby: Let’s see I bagged three bitches.
Kevin: Do you have to say the B-word?
Koby: I’m sorry, I “consumated my love” with three bitches.
Koby: Oh … that B-word. That B-word is allowed since female dogs means “bitches” and the word “bitches” are used freely in the dog show world. Again, you humans need to get your shit straight.
Kevin: Hold up … the sh-word is not “freely used in the dog show world”.
Koby: Oh right … this is why I’m glad my pups are out of the house. I don’t have to change shit to the “sh-word.” Anyway, I had three pups with the first bitch, nine with the second and seven with the third. That’s 19 right? Which in dog numbers is two less than what you’ve had.
Kevin: Tell us how this works. I heard they had to collect your “sample”.
Koby: Dude, I got a little nervous and needed some assistance. Well it doesn’t work the same for us dogs as it does for you humans.
Kevin: What do you mean?
Koby: I mean we can’t go into a room and watch dirty movies. There’s only one way for us dogs – doggystyle and if you’ve seen it once you’ve seen it all. So they had to bring in some doctor to assist. Kind of embarrassing, I see why you asked.
Kevin: Just getting you back for the stupid question remark earlier.
Kevin: Six years ago you were quoted saying that you’ll never have a puppy of your own because “I’ve got too much partying to do!” What changed your mind?
Kevin: How’d she do that?
Koby: She forced me to have boom-boom with this bitch. Oh and six years ago I also said, “I prefer the liver colored Flat-Coat Retrievers.” Well, two out of the three I bagged were redheads.
Kevin: You like redheads?
Kevin: Alyson Hannigan. And I think it’s “How I Met Your Mother”.
Koby: Whatever … Lucille Ball …
Kevin: Got it. Tell me about last year’s plane ride to New York. Didn’t you have an embarrassing moment there too?
Koby: Not embarrasing for me. I got wicked sick. I barfed all over our breeder Kathy, then had the runs on the floor. Must have been the in-flight snack.
Kevin: Gross. How are you able to sit in the cabin?
Koby: I’m what they call a “service dog”. Service dogs get to ride up with the big boys.
Kevin: What were you servicing for?
Koby: I think it was IBS.
Kevin: Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Koby: Don’t ruin my joke.
Kevin: Finally a couple more questions …Chandler is Tony’s assistant. Your thoughts on his parent’s naming him after the character on “Friends”.
Koby: He’s about 16 … in the prime of the sitcom. I’ll buy that.
Kevin: Since we last talked there’s been a Lia, Maddux and Levi. Your thoughts on them.
Koby: Love Lukas. He knows where he stands with me. He’s easily scared off so he’s cool. Maddux is wild but he’s wild in his own little world, for the most part he leaves me be. Levi, so far, so good. He’s chill. He likes to grab and drop my ball. I think it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Kevin: And Lia?
Koby: No comment. OK comment. She’s too much. There isn’t much that makes me uncomfortable but she’d probably be on the top of the list. She’s too busy and a different kind of busy than Maddux. Maddux minds his own, she needs to be all up in everyone’s business. Pet my back, stroke my tail, feed me snacks; she’s loud, she’s a pest and if I want to relax she’s there. I move somewhere else and she suddenly appears. I tried to slow her down once. That’s all I can say about that. I’ve given up now. I put my head down and walkaway. She won.
Kevin: Since we last chatted your older brother Micky passed away.
Koby: Okay, everyone knows we had our issues but I miss that mellow dog. He had his place. He was … he was the Levi of the Flat-Coats. Actually check that … I see Levi being the Rudy of the group. Micky was more like Lukas. That means I’m … next question.
Kevin: I think that’s it. Any last words?
Koby: In all seriousness, I want to thank Mom and Dad for letting me travel the world, for continuing to support me while I’m away from home, for continuing to love me and love what I do. They’ve been awesome! To my Man, Mr. Carter for doing his best to make sure I do my best. He doesn’t put up with my sh-word. He’ll tell me what’s up if needed and it usually leads to more success. To all of Tony’s assistants throughout the years for their continued help with prepping me. To all the judges that have rewarded my hardwork with ribbons and fancy vases. And to all my fans out there! Keep on keepin’ on yo!
Below is Koby on SportsCenter. Psst…he’s the “jumping dog”.