I recently got a Woofmail from Baxter Rocco, a rescue West Highland Terrier. His human sister, Maya, who’s his same age, 13, was in our paper cuz she’s an AR-dist, so he thought he could be in the paper, too. He sounded cool.
Baxter lives smack on the water across from a nature preserve. My assistant rang the bell an there was a buncha barkin.’ The door opened, Baxter trotted out, tilted his head, an stood there, sizin’ me up. He had great posture an silky white hair that stuck out in Every Direction. It was Pawsome!
“Good morning,” I said in my Serious, Professional Voice. “I’m Bonzo an this is my assistant. Great place you’ve got here.”
Apparently, I Passed Mustard, cuz Baxter approached for the Wag-an-Sniff. “Thanks, Bonz. Let’s go sit.”
He led us into the living room an hopped onto the back of a couch, lookin’ out at the water. “Make yourself comf-tubble. This is my Dad, Nick, an my Momma, Teri. I have a human brother, Marley, he’s 15, an my sister, Maya, of course. My little pooch sis Kira’s in back somewhere. She’s a Westie, too. So, what do I do? Just start yappin’ about my life?”
“Pretty much.” I opened my notebook. “Start with how you met your Forever Family.”
“Got it. Well, my puppyhood was Dismal Dog Biscuits, in Tampa, back in oh-four. I was inna family with liddle humans who were really mean to me. They shoulda NEVER had a dog EVER. They chased me with sticks. I was skinny, dirty an scraggly an had, like, zillions of fleas. So I developed a Really Bad Attitude About Humans. I thought they were all like that.”
“That’s awful,” I sympathized.
“No Woof. But, Thank Lassie, my Forever Dad had been lookin’ for a dog. His Mom (she’s my Nanny Chris now) had Westies an Dad liked ’em, but he didn’t picksure himself with a little fluffy white, froo-froo-lookin’ pooch (like me). He was thinkin’ more along the lines of a big, macho, fluff-free dog. Anyway, my famly didn’t like me any more than I liked them, so they put a Puppy-For-Sale ad in the PA-per. My Forever Dad saw it an he bought me, fleas an all.”
“Well, yeah, but, see, cuzza my early experiences with humans, I wasn’t a cuddly, wuddly pooch. I didn’t know what a frenly pat or tummy rub was. I had an Attitude, an no manners WHATSOEVER!”
“An, er, how did that, um, manifest itself?” I inquired.
“Well, it wasn’t that I didn’t love Momma an Dad, it was super fun hangin’ out with Dad, goin’ surfin’ an swimming.’ But I was, let’s face it, a Bad Dog. Like, I chewed up everything, so I got nicknamed The Shredder. Once I ate the whole couch. I also ate Dad’s wallet and credit cards. An Momma’s sunglasses. An shoes. But only the good, leather ones.
“So they started callin’ me Big Bad Baxter. See this collar? I’ve had it since I was a pup. Check out the tag.”
I looked. Sure ’nuff: “Big Bad Baxter.”
“Even at the Dog Park, which I love, I managed to get myself thrown out of the Liddle Dog Section for pickin’ fights. I never thought of myself as a liddle dog. So I’d slip into the Big Dog Section an pick fights with German Shepherds or retrievers. One day, they all got Fed Up and Cleaned My Clock. So now I’m more humble. At the Dog Park.
“When I first met Kira, I was awful to her. I’d knock her down an she’d go tumblin’ across the floor. I’d steal other pooches’ toys, too. Dad says I was a Punk. But, after my Terrible Twos, I was gettin’ better. Things were goin’ good. I loved my new life. Then, this February, right when we were all excited, movin’ into our new house, I started feeling sick. I was havin’ Little Accidents, an I kept Losing my Dog Biscuits, which made me real weak. Dad an Momma rushed me to the doctor. It was an e-MER-gency. I was in what they called REEnull failure. I don’t know what that means, but I was Fading Fast. I hadda stay in the hos-pittle, an get a Second Opinion an have IVs an other stuff I don’t understand.
“When Dad an Momma brought me home, I was Skin-an-Bones. Even with lotsa medicine, there still wasn’t Much Hope. I was getting’ ready to Buy the Doghouse. Dad was des-prutt, cuz we’d been together so long. He didn’t even care that I was a Big Pain in the Kazoo. He did a buncha research an found a human called a Holl-is-tick Nutritionist (don’t even ask) who had success helping pooches with Failing REEnulls. So Momma an Dad decided, ‘What the Woof. Let’s give it a try.’ I got hot packs an cold packs (which felt wunnerful) an special food, like watermelon and coconut water which Momma hadda squirt in my mouth cuzza me bein’ so weak. Momma an Dad were with me every single second. After 48 hours, I was what Dad called Out of the Woods. I don’t remember bein’ in the woods, but I WAS feelin’ better. When I went back to my regular doctor for a checkup, my tests were normal. Now I’m on a duh-licious diet: dehydrated beef, raw veg-tubbles, punkin seeds an other stuff. And liddle carrots for treats.”
Heading home I was thinking about Bad Boy Baxter, an thinking perhaps I should eat more veg-tubbles. Some nice broccoli, or maybe a lovely green bean. Tomorrow.
Till next time,