This week I met a liddle lady pooch, Lily Rose Erickson, an, I must admit, I hadda keep remindin’ myself I was there in a Professional Capacity. Woof!
Lily Rose is a Shetland Sheepdog, a tidy Scottish breed, but she’s not the usual white with red/gold color. She’s mostly white, with a more rare blue merle color, which is sorta a mixture of blue-ish, black-ish an gray-ish patches. REALLY pretty on Lily Rose, who was very delicate and ladylike.
When the door opened, Lily Rose was standing behind her Mom doin’ a liddle barkin,’ but I couldn’t see her.
“Good morning,” I said. “I’m Bonzo the Columnist and this is my …”
In the middle of my intro, Lily Rose stepped out from behind her Mom and looked up at me. Her face was white ’cept for a swoop of cocoa across her left eye and some merle-y places on the other side. She had eye liner, too, and her eyes were real miss-tear-eee-us and unusual.
I went blank.
She tilted her head an smiled. I told myself to Snap Out Of It! (She musta thought I was a Total Doof).
“Um … assistant! This is my assistant. And you’re Miss Lily Rose, I presume.”
“Well, of course, silly.” She trotted up for the Wag-an-Sniff. “This is my Mommy, Leigh, an my Daddy, Wayne. Welcome to our home. Would you like some water? A Greenie?”
“Thank you, no. I’m good. And eager to hear your story whenever you’re ready.” I opened my notebook and put on what I hoped was a Pleasant-Yet-Businesslike Face.
Lily Rose arranged herself next to her Mom and crossed her paws. “First off, weill get this out of the way. Yes, I’m a sheepdog, but I wouldn’t know a sheep if I tripped over one, so don’t ask.”
“Got it,” I said.
“I’m 11 in ‘Human,’ although I’m told I don’t look it. I’m also a 100 Percent Mommy’s Girl. You see, Mommy’s had Shelties for years. Her previous Sheltie, Ahna, required a special wheelchair toward the end. She went to Dog Heaven on Christmas. Once Mommy was feeling Up To It, she went on line to find another Sheltie.
“When she found a gorgeous picksure of ME, from Sioux Falls, South Du-KO-tuh, that was that. Mom’s fren Janice flew out to meet me an the breeder (an a liddle girl). I don’t remember the liddle girl’s name, I was just a puppy, but she had snuggled me an played with me since I was born, and she was sad to say goodbye. She even wrote me ledders for a long time. I’ll always remember that.”
“What was it like, comin’ here?” I inquired.
“I was a pretty well-behaved puppy. I did do a lot of poking about, cuz I’m natch-ully NOSE-y. I gulped my food at first, an, I did have one teeny bad habit: when my water bowl was getting empty, I’d alert Mommy by flipping it over with my paw. I still occasionally do that, I’m afraid. Oh, an the vacuum cleaner really annoys me, so I bite it. I don’t care for toys much. I’m more intrested in what the humans are doing.
“As you can see, the ocean is smack in my backyard. I often sit an watch it. I don’t EVER ackshully go OUT there, though. The waves are wet an scary an I DISLIKE sandy paws. Ick! One of my favorite pastimes is lying under the piano, when Mommy’s playin.’ I think it’s still a puppy piano cuz Mommy calls it a baby gran. An I think its white color goes nicely with my coat, don’t you?”
“Absolutely! You look very fit, too.”
“Well, I get lots of exercise. Me an Mommy take two walks along Ocean Drive up to the boardwalk each an every day. Humans always stop to tell Mommy how beautiful I am.”
“Indeed,” I thought to myself. Lily Rose licked her paw daintily.
“That’s also when I socialize with Gracie and my other pooch frens, ’specially Bruno. He’s Hun-GARI-en. He’s a Hunk!”
“Hungarian Goulash,” I thought to myself.
“We have CHEM-us-tree. Except when there’s a rabbit. Then I might as well be invisible. Can you buh-LEAVE he’s more intrested in a rabbit than ME?”
“I REALLY, REALLY couldn’t!”
“We do a great deal of travlin,’ which I a-DOOR! The Hilton in Nashville is very Pooch Frenly. Same with the Four Seasons in Chicago, where there’s a lovely dog park. An there’s one Serious thing me an Mommy do in Illinois. There’s a pet sem-uh-terry where Mommy goes to remember all her other Shelties. All their names are carved onna stone: Ahna, Lady Annie, Sam, Emma, Capezio, Tyler, Tennille, Tally an Laddy. Me an Mommy sit onna bench an Ponder. I know those other pooches had a wunnerful life with Mommy an Daddy, like I’m havin.’
“Even though I look great, I’ve had some ISSUES. I hadda have eMERgency SUR-jury in MELburn a coupla years ago. The nice human dokter took a couple of my parts out. I forget which ones. Daddy usta have a Secret Treat Drawer in his desk for me when Mommy was away, but now I hafta have only special water an special food. Mommy drizzles honey on top so it’s still yummy. An my daily supplement tastes like baNAna. But I sure miss that Treat Drawer. I hafta get another SUR-jury soon, so wish me Good Luck, Mr. Bonzo.
“You bet, Miss Lily Rose. I’ll call to check up on you, too.”
“That is so sweet,” she said.
Heading home, I was thinking about, well, about Miss Lily Rose: that cute liddle head tilt thing she does. An those eyes. Then I thought about Bruno. An reminded myself that I’m a carefree, happy bachelor. But I still plan to call to see how she’s doin.’
Till next time,