Bonzo’s new bud Bernie has had quite a journey

Bernie [Photo: Kaila Jones]

This week I innerviewed Bernie Gaul, a rescue poocheroo from Puerto Rico. He’s 9, but he’s still got a lotta frenly puppy exuberance. Me an my assistant arrived at the same time Bernie’s Mom did cuz she’d been out on an AIR-rund. She said to wait till she went in an got Bernie all settled down cuz he was always Extremely Wiggly an Overjoyed whenever she got home from being ELSE-where.

We didn’t hafta wait long. When the door opened, Bernie was right there, all puh-lite, an came up for the Wag-an-Sniff. He looked very poodle-y with a dash of terrier, ’specially around the face. His dark coat was wavy an he had kind eyes.

“I just LOVE cump-ny! I’m Bernie Gaul, of course, an this is my Mom, Jean. Come on in.”

As I opened my notebook, a dark tiger cat wandered over an nudged Bernie. “So, who’s your fren?”

“This is Mr. Bonzo. He’s writing a story about ME for the paper.” He turned to me. “Mr. Bonzo, this is my sister Pippi. My other sister, Penny, is a liddle shy. They look like twins, but they’re not.”

“A pleasure,” I said.

“Likewise. Well, I’ll go catch a catnap an leave you two to your innerview.” She jumped gracefully onto a side table an curled up.

“So, Bernie, how did you discover your Forever Home?”

“Well, I’d been a homeless street dog in Puerto Rico (they call us Satos), an we usually have short, Dismal Dog Biscuits lives unless we’re scooped up by the Dog Rescue Humans. Which I was. Several of us pups got taken back to the mainland with some visiting surfers, an I got ’dopted pretty quick. I thought I’d found my Forever Famly.

“Meanwhile, Mom, who was livin’ in Long Island at the time, had just retired and was lookin’ for The Right Dog. She kept goin’ back an forth to the shelter, checkin’ out the pooches, but The Right Dog wasn’t ever there. Then (an this is the Cool Kibbles part) she was havin’ this random conversation with a lady one day, an the lady happened to mention that she knew of this really cute, frenly 8-month-old pup (me) whose owners didn’t want him any more cuz he was way too much trouble. Well, I had No Idea! I felt awful.

“Then, before I knew it, this Very, Very Kind Lady was pickin’ me up an puttin’ me in her car. I was confused, but not scared cuz she was Real Loving. An, even though, at first, I was what I like to call ‘energetic,’ an what Mom called ‘Kinda Crazy,’ she still said I was The Perfect Dog For Her. An there was no doubt in my mind that she was Perfect for Me, too.”

“When did you meet Pippi an Penny? You seem to get along great.”

“They were livin’ with Mom when I arrived. I gotta admit it took awhile. I guess, cuzza me bein’ part terrier, my instinks were to chase ’em. So they retreated to the basement an stayed there for two months.”

Pippi sat up from her catnap an said, “Better buh-lieve it. We didn’t leave the basement at all. Then, one day, we ree-lized we missed our comfy chairs by the window, an hangin’ out on the carpet, an seein’ the sunshine. ‘For Meowin’-Out-Loud,’ we said to each other. ‘We gotta go reclaim our territory.’ So we did.”

“Woof, how’d that go?”

“Totally Cool Catnip,” Pippi said. “We just decided to get along, since we were famly an all. Now we’re besties.”

“True, true,” Bernie agreed. “At first, I didn’t have an Official Name. My papers from the rescue place an the vet had all different names. I was Taco, then Winston, then Bear. Well, me an Mom agreed those were Majorly Soggy Kibbles. So Mom decided on Bernie, for no particular reason, an I agreed. She also sometimes called me Houdini.”

“I have a feeling there’s a story behind that,” I ventured.

“Yeah. Mom says Houdini was good at escaping, an I was, too. I was always scooting out the door an runnin’ all over the neighborhood. I’d always come home with a treasure for Mom. Like that ol’ dirty ball I found. It’s probly good I outgrew all that.”

“Probly so,” I concurred. “Got any special pals?”

“Lots! I love dogs an humans! Around here there’s Merry, she’s also from Puerto Rico. Then Rusty, a Long-haired Dachshund; an snowbirddogs Della, a Schnauzer, an Bear, a Poo. Then there’s Augie, a Lab-mix rescue, an my human sister, Rachel, she sneaks me people food when Mom’s not lookin’. They’re both up in Long Island. An my human brother, Shayne, in St. Augustine. An my human BFF John. He ALWAYS has BACON TREATS. On leash walks, I stop an wait at John’s house. Me an Mom ride in the car over to visit my other human frens Sam an Debbie. They’re way fun: They always have snacks an toys for me.”

“You must have a favrite snack.”

“I am very fond of yogurt,” he replied.

“No Woof!” I exclaimed. “Me, too.”

“But my very, very most favrite treat,” Bernie asserted, “is Parmesan Cheese. It’s the only thing I still sneak off the table every chance I get. I just LOVE it.”

“Do you like swimmin’?”

“No. ’Specially not the ocean. The beach is OK, but I’m pretty sure the ocean is out to get me. It’s always chasin’ me. I don’t like baths either. Mom hasta groom me a lot cuzza my long, curly hair. If she didn’t, I’d look like a mop. I do like the part after my shower, when I run around an shake the water off, especially when I’m right next to Mom. Now THAT’S FUN!”

Headin’ home, I was thinkin’ about all the coincidences that happened so Bernie an his Forever Mom could find each other. And I was especially lookin’ forward to bedtime, when I get my dish of duh-li-shus yogurt.


Till next time,

The Bonz

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