This week I interviewed Julie Jewel Hyer, a Standard Poodle. I knew she was from Jersey and that she liked humans a lot more than dogs. So I was prepared for a pooch with some ’Tude, and reminded myself to be Courteous and Tactful No Matter What.
Julie’s Mom opened the door, all nice and smiley. Peeping out from behind her was Julie: pretty as anything, smaller than I’d expected, short curly black hair, sparkly eyes, a little dusting of white on her nose. Woof!
“Um … Yes … Err …” I mumbled. Julie stepped out from behind her Mom and gave a soft growl. Her Mom patted her head and told her I was OK, that I was the reporter who was gonna do her story.
“Oh! Well OK then! Hello, Mr. Bonzo! I wasn’t sure it was you. I thought you’d be more, well, more …”
“Coherent?” I said, feeling like Doof of the Year. “Sorry about that. It’s a pleasure. It’s just that I was expecting someone a little, um, bigger. Not so, um …”
She laughed. “I know. I was the runt of the litter. I’ve always been small for my breed.”
I had been about to say “beautiful,” so I was glad she spoke up first.
“Let’s sit down and you can tell me what you wanna know.” And off she trotted on those long legs, moved like a racehorse, the pompom on the tip of her tail bouncing. “Get hold of yourself, Dog!” I told myself sternly.
After she’d introduced me to her Mom and Dad, Joann an Don, I asked, “How did you get your forever Family, Miss Julie?”
In between trotting over to give my Assistant frenly slurps, Miss Julie told her story.
“I was born in 2008 in Brick Township, New Jersey. My Mom and Dad were Show Dogs, so I’m a purebred, but I’m not registered cuz I wasn’t what humans call Show Quality. I was what they call A Leftover.”
“Oh, for Lassie’s Sake!” I exclaimed.
“Ackshully, it worked out great: I was 5 months old and on sale at a bargain price. My human Mom and Dad were between Poodles cuz their other Poodle, Molly, had gone to Dog Heaven. The top dogs in my litter were already sold. I was the last one. Mom and Dad just wanted a family Poodle, and I didn’t wanna be a silly ol’ show dog anyway. So I found my Forever Family.
“My litter name was Pretty Girl, which I thought sounded like a parakeet, so I was relieved when Mom and Dad named me Julie, cuz I was born in July, an Jewel cuz I’m a jewel to them. Isn’t that so sweet?”
“It sure is.”
“Mom and Dad brought me home two days before Christmas, and they had a buncha family over. I was so shy that I’d just curl up in my crate and shake. My human sister Helen’s huzbun Mark hadda crawl in my crate an gently drag me out. Thank Lassie I outgrew my shyness. An my crate.
“Pretty soon I got stuff figured out: I became an old hand at ridin’ the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. I’d sit on deck an watch the bouncy water. I could even zoom up an down the open ferry stairs without bein’ scared one bit. (’Cept that first time, when Dad was in back pushin’ my caboose and Mom was in front pullin’ the rest of me.)
“Akshully, NOTHING scares me ’cept Diesel Trucks. I hafta have a special leash so, if I freak out, I won’t pull Mom or Dad over. It gives me the Utter Willies just thinkin’ about those Diesel Trucks.
“In my younger days, I was A Chewer. One time Mom bought a new rug, then went out to do a liddle errand. When she got back, I had pretty much chewed the rug to bits. Now, I have lotsa stuffed animals. I hug ’em an fling ’em around an dance with ’em. But No Chewin’!
“Everybuddy in our Jersey neighborhood always said how pretty I was an gave me lotsa pats. It was a fun life. Then, when I was 6, the doctor told my Dad that winter wasn’t his friend anymore, an we should move somewhere warm. Dad retired from bein’ a pastor an a teacher, an we made a buncha car trips to Florida to check stuff out. At first, I tossed my kibbles. A lot. Mom hadda always bring a pile of towels. So we practiced. Mom’d drive me a few blocks every day. With towels. Now I’m Fine.
“So we moved to Sebastian, which I love! It’s nice an warm, and I have a pair of Sunnies for outside. Our neighbors an dog-walkers in Riverview Park give me lotsa pats same as my Jersey frens! An me an my neighbor Hubble have lotsa fun! He’s a Part Poo. I like tennis balls, too, but not canned, only fresh, like Penn. Me an Dad play catch every day at 3 p.m.
“Any food favorites?”
“Oh, woof, yes! ROMAINE! Those crunchy end parts. An ice CREAM! Since I’ve gotten older, I’ve broadened my culinary horizons. Now I also enjoy green beans, CELLry, apples an zooKEEnee. Even when I’m nappin’ in the other room, I can hear Mom opening the bag an I come zoomin’ into the kitchen. Since we’re in Florida, I insist on ice cubes in my water.
“I know Mom an Dad’s rouTINE and I only tap ’em on the arm when they’re sleepin’ if I hafta go Do My Doodie. I like to sit on Mom’s or Dad’s lap to snuggle, usually on Monday or when I feel Under the Weather. I’ve got the best Mom an Dad ever.”
Heading home I was thinkin’ about, well, pretty much about, mostly about – Miss Julie. Sigh.
Till next time,