For a pooch who had such a Dismal Dog Biscuits start, sweet, pretty Juliet Bumgarner is now a happy an charming grrrl. Juliet’s a Beagleman. I KNOW. I hadn’t heard of that either. So I Googled: It’s a mixture of Beagle an Doberman. Juliet sure got all the best parts, too. She’s slender, about my height, Dobie colors, black with butterscotch trim, an a white star on her chest. She’s fem-uh-nun an soft-spoken (never barks), an has the best Sit ever. Like a stah-choo.
Cuzza that scary virus, we met across the street from her house, under a shady tree. My assistant an Juliet’s humans were wearin’ masks. Us pooches didn’t haff to.
“Good morning, Miss Juliet. I’m Bonzo the Columnist an this is my assistant. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Thank you, Mr. Bonzo.” Following the Wag-an-Sniff, she said, “This is my Mama, Sara, an my sister, Nora. My Daddy, Jay, is at work. Shall we sit here in the grass an you can ask me stuff?”
Just then a lady came leash-walkin’ down the street with a Chocolate Lab. Juliet trotted right over. After a wag-an-sniff, the two did a liddle meet-an-greet dance, then Juliet bounced back. “That’s my new fren Bosco. He’s cool. Sorry for the inner-UP-shun.” She sat back down.
“No worries. Let’s start at the beginning. I know you’ve had some tough times, so I get it if you don’t want to talk about some stuff.”
“I don’t mind, Mr. Bonzo. It reminds me of what a lucky grrrl I am. My whole life, I lived inna cage at one of those dreadful Puppy Mills. I wasn’t much more than a puppy myself an I’d already had two litters. My puppies got taken away so fast I didn’t get to cuddle ’em or protect ’em. It was awful. After my second litter, I remember being very scared. I couldn’t walk or eat an I hurt all over. I figured I was Done For.
“Then, a buncha humans came an scooped me an some others up an brought us to the hue-MANE suh-si-utty. I was still scared cuz I thought all humans were mean. But they were kind. They gave us food and wadder an comfy beds, an got us all cleaned up. A doctor did a check-up an found out I had bullet frag-mutts in me, which is why I kept hurting, I guess.”
“Oh, Juliet, for Lassie’s Sake, that’s terrible!” I exclaimed.
“Soon I began to feel much bedder. I didn’t hurt. I wasn’t so scared. Then I went to stay with a wunnerful Foster Famly, who gave me lots of love an taught me Basic Dog Stuff, such as Procedures for Doing My Duty. An now comes the Cool Kibbles part: My Mama an Daddy were definitely NOT lookin’ for a dog. Ackshully, Daddy was more like ‘ABSOLUTELY NO PETS! TOTALLY NO DOGS!’ Well, Mama is in charge of volunteers at VNA Hospice, where they have a pet therapy program, cuz, like we all know, us pets can help humans feel Much Bedder.”
“A fren of Mama’s at the hue-MANE suh-si-utty knew me an, athough she knew about the NO DOGS thing, she sent my pickshur an told Mama she HAD to meet me. The instant Mama saw it, she wanted to see me in the fur. It took a coupla weeks to convince Daddy. When they finally visited, they had No Intention Whatsoever of taking me home Then an There. But, what can I say, soon as we met, we all ree-lized I was Their Dog, an they were my Forever Famly. Now they call me their Pandemic Puppy.”
I sniffled behind my paw.
“Buh-leeve it or not, when I got to my Forever Home and met my new sister Nora, all the bad stuff faded away, like it was a dream. Now I have the Best. Life. Ever! My BFF’s Liberty, she lives with my Aunt Kristi. Me an Liberty race around her pool deck. She taught me how to swim. Nora hadda lift me in at first, but now I jump right in. Same with the car. I didn’t know how to get in, but now I do. I love lookin’ out the car window. Ackshully, I like observin’ all sorts of stuff. Mama says I’ve blossomed in the last few weeks.
“I also help Mama garden. I’m mostly a supervisor, but I’m ready to dig if she ever needs me to. An I observe birds. Woof, those woodpeckers are uh-MAZE-ing. You’d think they’d get headaches. Once I creeped up on a bunny and WATCHED it for hours, until it got bored, I think. My neighbor pooch pals are Emma, Scout, Oswald, an another Emma.
“Since I never learned to act like a normal pooch, Mama, Daddy an Nora are teaching me Dog 101: How To Be a Dog. First time I went to the dog park, I was, like, ’um, what do I do?’ There are so many Cool Kibbles smells at the Dog Park. I really enjoy investigatin’, watchin’ an sniffin’! Chewin,’ too, but only what I’m Allowed To. If a toy has a squeaker in it, that squeaker’s TOAST pretty fast. Now that I have soft mats and sunny snoozin’ spots, I do a lotta nappin’. Snugglin’ is at the top of my ToDo List, also.”
“Do you like snacks?” I asked.
“Duh! My favrites are a little plop of whipped cream with a cherry from Sonic! An, when I go to Grammy an Papa’s house, Grammy always has a little bit of chiggen in her pocket.
“At bedtime, I usually sleep with Nora. I think I’m the luckiest an happiest pooch ever, Mr. Bonzo. An Mama says I bring them JOY. Isn’t that pawsome?”
Headin’ home, I was feelin’ uplifted. Don’t you just love happy endings like Juliet’s? I was also wonderin’ what it’d take to get Grampa to go to Sonic one of these evenings.
Till next time,