This week I had a fun yap with Maggie Hamilton, a pretty, slender, long-leggedy pooch with a short, shiny brindle coat an liddle white sox on her back paws. She had cute ears that stuck up, then flopped over at the tips, so she always looks alert. Maggie’s a Plott Hound, which I hadda Google: her German ancestors hunted wild boars (which are Big, Really Scary pigs, not the cute, pink kind). Then, 1,400 dog years ago, a human named Mr. Plott brought ’em over to North Carolina an they hunted not only boars but also BEARS an MOUNTAIN LIONS, for Lassie’s sake. Woof!
Anyway, Maggie is real frenly and EE-ger. We did the interview in her Mom’s an Dad’s office where she spends a lotta time. When me an my assistant came up to the reeCEPshun desk, Maggie almost jumped over it cuz she was so excited.
“Hello, Mr. Bonzo! I’m Maggie Hamilton and this is my Mom Holly an my Dad Mike. I also have two human brothers, James an Patrick; a Tortoiseshell cat sister, Muffin; an a Bearded Dragon brother, Bychee. Mom’s a dentist for humans. I greet everybody an I get lots of pats from the patients an snacks from the UPS man an I have my own bed right here, see? An TOYS. See?”
She grabbed a squashed-up orange ball thingy an shook it.
“I’m pleased to meet you, Miss Maggie, an I’m eager to hear your story.”
She petooied the orange ball thingy out. “Just before Christmas 2011, Mom an Dad were visiting frens down south an they decided to check out the Bass Pro Shop. Well, right next door was the humane society, so, Mom says it was spur-of-the-moment, they decided to take a look around, cuz James an Patrick, who were just puppies themselves back then, wanted a pooch. Plus, buhlieve it or not, Dad had NEVER HAD A DOG!”
“Shut the kennel door!” I blurted.
“I KNOW. So, anyway, they looked at all the dogs but none of ’em were the Right One. They were gonna leave when one of the humane society ladies came in with two puppies that had just been dropped off and hadda be PROcessed. An Guess What?”
“I think I can guess,” I said.
“YEP! It was ME an my brother. We were anxious cuz we didn’t know where we were, an everybody was a stranger. Mom and Dad took one look at us and stopped leaving. They were leaning toward a boy dog, but James, he was only 3, but he had already decided in case they ever got a dog, he was gonna call it Maggie. So they picked me cuz of me bein’ a girl. It took a few days for me to get spiffed up, then, just after Christmas, they picked me up an we drove to my new Forever Home.”
“What was it Iike at first?”
“Great! Me an Muffin hit it off right away. We play together an nap together. Our coats are even the same colors, so we’re kinda a set. I specially like boppin’ her tail when she swishes it around, and she likes lickin’ my face. Bychee’s cool, too, but he’s not that snuggly, bein’ a REPtile an all.
“I learned the rools pretty fast. I am a Chewer, though. So I sorta chewed Dad’s shoe up. Now I mostly only chew what I’m allowed, usually balls. Like that orange one. It’s s’pose to be indeeSTRUCKtubble, but I chewed the squeaker an the stuffin’s totally out of it.”
“I know some tricks, too: high 5; roll over; and don’t-touch-the-treat-that’s-right-there-on-the-floor-in-front-of-you-until-Mom-says-OK. I also have a secret trick that Mom an Dad never figured out. Wanna hear it?”
She leaned closer and spoke softly. “See, I love White Mountain Bread. It’s my totally favorite food! I can sneakily get a loaf off the counter and eat the bread all up, then sneakily put the bag right back like it was.”
“No Woof!” I exclaimed.
“It’s true. Trouble is, Mom an Dad always figure out it was me cuz I have a Guilty Look. I’ve gotta work on my Poker Face.”
“So,” I asked, “what with your ancestors an all, do you ever get the urge to hunt wild boars?”
“Oooo, no! I wouldn’t know a wild boar if I tripped over one. I only hunt table scraps. I hang out in the break room at lunchtime in case the girls drop anything on the floor. They’re a fun bunch. I have a birthday party every year. Mom gets a dog bone cake from Bark Avenue and we wear pointy party hats. Mine’s pink. An then, on May 24, Tiara Day, me an Mom an Dad an the staff all wear sparkly tiaras. I’m the office princess.”
“Whaddya do for exercise?”
“Me an James an Patrick aren’t puppies anymore but we still play Fetch. I go for walks, of course. I don’t swim, though, cuz my right front leg’s always been turned out. It makes me look like a ballerina, which is fun, but I can’t Dog Paddle. I love ridin’ in Dad’s pick-up. It has these cool seats that Dad can fold straight up so I’ll have lotsa room in back. This one time he looked in the mirror an I was sittin’ on the seat lookin’ out. I think he was impressed cuz I had figured out how to unfold the seat. I mean, it’s a much better view that way.”
“That’s pretty impressive, Miss Maggie,” I told her. “Most pooches don’t have that much manual dexterity.”
“I’m a lucky girl, Mr. Bonzo. If it wasn’t for Bass Pro Shop an James having a girl’s name all picked out, I don’t know where I’d be.”
“The right dogs always seem to find the right humans, I’ve observed.”
“I know I did,” Maggie said happily, jumping into her Dad’s lap, her long legs hanging over. “Every night at 8, it’s time for bed. No cold floor for me. I burrow under the covers at the end of the bed an pull the blanket up over my nose an have a lovely snooze.”
Heading home, I was thinking about Maggie’s White Mountain Bread escapades. I hadn’t mentioned it to her, but bread is my weakness, too: probably the reason I currently carry a little excess avoirdupois. Sigh.
Till next time,