Mark C. Anderson
Happy National Dog Day From Brooks and Dog-Friendly Orcas Hotel
You ever get so happy to see someone that your whole body, head to tail, wiggles side to side?
So it goes for Bruichladdich the dog, on the daily. (Named for the remote Islay island whiskey distillery, he goes by "Brooks" for short.)
Make that all day long, if there are enough friends in the vicinity.
When he spots one of his endless (and ever-growing) cache of pals, his eyes light up. He goes all smiles, and launches into a signature full-body wag that could win any dance contest. His attention is right on you. He’s just a welcoming individual.
That's part of the reason why he writes a letter to visiting dogs and their humans that reads, in part, "My name is Brooks, AKA Captain Stumpy, and I'm the proprietor of this fine establishment.
I hope you enjoyed these cookies They are my favorite.
"Orcas Island is quite dog friendly, although most places do require that we stay on leashes. My favorite hikes are Turtleback Mountain and Cascade Lake. There's a wonderful little pet store in Eastsound I like to frequent when I'm need of supplies. Also you won't want to miss the dog park in Eastsound. The kind humanoids of the island keep it well stocked with tennis balls and other toys."
Brooks is humble, so he doesn't mention he's a little bit of a big deal on social media, namely Instagram, where he goes by Captain Stumpy.
The doggie-mindful accommodations at Orcas Hotel include a towel, a cozy blanket, a baggy dispenser and cookies that are also available to the many pups who come to eat on the patio.
The treats are made in house with whole wheat flour, peanut butter, honey and egg.
Brooks was born in a shelter on Christmas Day; today is his second favorite holiday, National Dog Day, which celebrates dogs of all breeds.
"While seeking a new companion, be sure to consider the mutts, mixes, purebreds, and everything in between," The National Dog Day website reads. "Whether mixed or purebred, embrace the opportunity for all dogs to live a happy, safe, and abuse-free life. They all give us companionship. Additionally, they keep us safe, and they aid those in need. Dogs play. Well, they play many roles in our lives, too! They keep us healthy, both physically and mentally."
It's not apparent upon a glance what breed Brooks (pictured here with Chef Quinn Thompson) might be. DNA tests reveal he's part Dalmatian, pit bull, chow chow and Dogue de Bordeaux (or French mastiff).
It is clear that he had a rough go of things growing up, before Julia Felder and John Cox found him at an adoption festival for dogs from high-kill shelters.
At the time he was in the care of Marley's Mutts Dog Rescue. Their mission is to make "a pawsitive and lasting impact on communities by rehabilitating souls and creating second chances using the power of the human/animal bond."
As with many rescues, it's not entirely clear who rescued who.
He's not the only four-legged friendly soul to be found on the premises. Groundskeeper Fielder's own wonder mutt, Katie, is stocked with Orcas Island-style superpowers: She is an avid canoer, crabber and lake runner.
Then there are the adopted, semi-feral kitchen cats, who go by a range of names. The male on the left is called George and/or Charlie; the female on the right responds to Lily and Luna, but mostly to food.
Happy National Dog Day.