It’s amazin’ how much charm an ZWAH-duh-VEEV can be stuffed into a teensy liddle package: Ms. Frankie Pearl Snedeker is a 6-pound, 10-anna-haff-year-old Shih Tzu from Santa Ana, Calla-FOR-nee-uh, huge dark eyes, fluffy Dutch bob ears anna wiggly “I Mean Business” prance.
We first woof-mailed when those Very Cool Kibbles extra zoomy jet planes were in town to do a SHOW, practicin’ right over our houses, so we were stayin’ inside. NOT cuz we were scared or anything. Just cuzza the Very Loud Loudness an the Big Booms. They were called Blue Angels. They were blue, but not ackshull angels. Ms. Frankie Pearl made sure I knew she wasn’t scared one liddle bit. “I flew here 3-anna-haff years ago an I’ve also flown to Maine an New Jersey.”
But I digress.
Frankie Pearl pranced right up to give my assistant welcoming wags an wiggles, then approached me for a demure Wag-an-sniff.
“A pleasure to meet you in the fur,” she said.
“Likewise,” I replied.
“So, this is my Mom, Charlotte. An this is my Daddy, Ray. Full disclosure, I’m Daddy’s Shadow. Would you like a liddle drink of wadder? Or a snack? Do you wanna watch TV? I like sports. Specially grrrls volleyball. Do you like sports?”
“Thanks so much, but I’d better start taking notes so I can write your story. I know it’s fascinating.”
“Oh, of course, silly me,” she said. “We’ll just sit right here.”
She was way too small for the snacks my assistant always carried in The Satchel, so Frankie Pearl’s Mom gave my assistant three teensy liddle snack bits, which Frankie Pearl nibbled daintily, then curled up on her Daddy’s lap an began her tail.
“Mom an Daddy had had two pree-vee-us Shih Tzus, Sticky Bun an Daisy, an it was time to find another liddle pooch companion: They came upon my pickshur on Pet Finder. I was at Love Bug Rescue, having been scooped up from the streets of Santa Anna, Calla-FOR-nee-uh, as a skinny, matted stray. A super nice lady, Miss Stacey, fostered me while I was getting spiffed up to get ready to be adopted. Miss Stacey wanted to keep me but she’d already reached her agreed-upon-with-her-husbun pooch limit.
“Soon as Mom an Daddy saw me, they emailed Love Bug Rescue and then, soon as they got all checked out to be sure they’d be Good Pet Parents, Waa-Laa, I got my Furever Famly.”
“But you were Out There an your Mom an Daddy were Here, right? How’d that work?” I inquired.
“WELL, Mom an Daddy flew all the way from that Mouse airport …”
“Oh, right. Orlando. Out to San Fran-SISS-co to meet Miss Stacy an me. They stayed atta hotel overnight so Miss Stacey sneakily snuck me in (the hotel wasn’t what you’d call Pooch Positive). She stuffed me into a fluffy dog sling, then wrapped a big cape over her an me, only my nose was stickin’ out, an we went in through the back entrance.”
“I know. Right?
“It was kinda sad leaving Miss Stacey. We still send her phodos an Christmas cards so she knows I have a wonderful life. Mom an Daddy had a lovely carrier for me so I could fly as a carry on from LAX to FEE-nix, to umm, Orlando, no problem. Then to here. Did you know they have Doggie Comfort Stations in the terminals, with arty-fishull grass, so us pooches have a nice place to do our duty an nobody yells at us?”
“Pawsome! So, what’s your life been like since?”
“It’s wonderful, Bonzo! Since my name was Francesca, Mom an Daddy decided to keep it so I wouldn’t get confused, but shortened to Frankie. Then they added Pearl cuz I got to my Furever Home Dec. 7 which is the same day, a long time ago, when something very terrible and serious happened to lotsa Americans at a place called Pearl Harbor.
“Woof! That’s a really Cool Kibbles tribute. Do you have any pooch pals?”
“Oh, yes! My BFF’s Sammy, a Shihtzu like me. He’s a neighbor across the pond. We stay with each other when our parents are Away. An, guess what, I NEVER bark, ’cept when does. (I also never shed. Isn’t that So Polite?) Anyway, when we go up to Maine (I’m a Snowbirddog by the way), I hang out with Domer an Sophie, they’re Golden Doodles.
Then there’s my sorta nieces up in New Jersey, Seraphina an Belle, they’re English Bulldogs.”
“Lemme see: How ’bout fav foodstuffs, exercise, classes, toys, sleeping arrangements?”
“Oooh, well, I never ackshully learned how to play: I have a basket of toys but I only occasionally glance at ’em. The squeakers scare me. I have my Canine Good Citizen certificate but, truth be told, I cud probly use a refresher course. I LOVE getting my ears scratched. That’s sorta exercise, right? I love car rides. I have a special seat so I can see out. I love sleepin’ with Mom an Daddy. I start at the foot of the bed, an when it gets colder I just keep scoochin’ up. I’m a fan of chiggen; kibbles with punkin on top; ice cream; oooo, an, Sammy turned me on to whipped cream.”
On cue, Miss Frankie Pearl’s Mom produced a liddle dish of whipped cream. The next 1-2 minutes passed in hushed silence, save for the lap-lap-lap, lick-lick-lick sounds as the whipped cream vanished before our eyes, Miss Frankie Pearl’s caboose wiggling with delight the entire time.
The hour went by fast.
“I hope you can come back, Mr. Bonzo. We can watch softball and car racing on TV an I’ll share my treat ball!” she called after us.
Headin’ home, I was totally smilin’ pickshurin’ Miss Frankie Pearl an her charmin’, slightly confusin’ stream-of-consciousness stories an sweet smile. An wonderin’ whether gramma might perhaps have whipped cream in the fridge. I bet it’d be yummy with my evening dish of yoghurt.
Till next time,