Hello, Pet Buddies. My interview this week was with a real adventuress – none of this “only going outside to potty” stuff for her. Roo Beck may be a little bitty chihuahua, but she is a fearless outdoorsdog who shares adventures on land and sea with her human parents, Kristen and Mike Beck.
So I wasn’t surprised when she suggested we meet early (7:15) in the morning, in the park where she and her mom take their walks.
I told her I’d be the spaniel with the notebook and she spotted me right away. “Bonzo, over here!” she called, tugging her mom along as she trotted toward me. After the wag-and-sniff, we settled in under a gazebo for a nice yap.
“Let’s start at the beginning,” I said. “How did you and your forever parents get together? It sure seems like the perfect match.”
“You’re so right, Bonzo. It couldn’t be more perfect. But before they found me, I almost didn’t make it. See, I was born in a horrible puppy mill in Miami, along with hundreds of other chihuahuas. We were prisoners. It was so awful. It’s hard to even think about it now. I’ve blocked a lot of it out.”
I had heard of puppy mills, and I shivered. “Oh, wow, Roo. How did you escape?” I asked her.
“Well, my forever parents had just lost their dog daughter, Hundchen, and they were so sad. Then a friend of theirs heard on the news that our puppy mill had been raided by the cops and we had all been scooped up and now we needed good homes – all of us who survived.” She pawed and swiped at her nose. “So, anyway, their friend told my mom and dad about us and they came right down. See, Hundchen was a rescue dog too, and they understood what we went through,” she continued.
“I was holding my breath when they got to me. I must have been such a mess. I wasn’t groomed at all. I was really skinny. And my nails were just long and horrible. I figured I was just a goner. But they picked me up and cuddled me and took me home with them. It was a miracle.”
“It sure was,” I said. Then, wanting to get to more cheerful stuff, “But you look terrific now.”
“Thank you. Yes, all I needed was a loving home and lots of good care – a few toys, a fluffy bed and yummy food. Which I have. And best of all, Mom and Dad have the BEST time outside on adventures, and I get to go with them and do the most fun stuff. And here’s something really cool …”
I leaned forward, all ears.
“Before they rescued me, I had never, EVER been outside. Nothing but a tiny cage and concrete floor.”
“Are you woofin’?” I asked in amazement.
“Nope. So when they brought me outside in their yard, and put me down in the grass, I kind of freaked out. I mean, it felt so weird, not bad, but just tickly, and prickly. Plus, when they clipped my nails for the first time, my paws felt very weird, too. I kept picking them up and putting them back down real carefully. But I got used to it pretty quick, and now I LOVE The Outdoors. I prefer it.”
“So, what kind of stuff do you do?”
“I kayak and paddle-board on the Indian River and canoe at Jonathan Dickenson. I love to hike with mom and dad in the St. Sebastian Preserve, but I can only do 4 or 5 miles. Then I get a little droopy. So my mom puts her backpack down and asks if I want a ride. Which I usually do. I jump in, she puts me on her back and gives me a ride the rest of the way.”
“Oh, wow, I’d love to learn to kayak,” I said. “So when you’re at home, what you get to eat? Where do you sleep?”
“I think I might be a little spoiled,” she woofed. “I love apples and oranges and chicken. And when that pet food scare happened, Mom switched me to designer food. It’s delicious. And my bed – well, it’s wherever I feel like sleeping. Mom and Dad have the comfiest couches and I have a special little bed at the end of both of them. But sometimes it’s the sofa, or a chair, or the nice cool floor.”
“I bet you have a lot of pals.”
“Totes!” Roo said. Just then, a human lady with a tall, blonde, curly-haired standard poodle approached. The human moms started yapping and Roo trotted over to the poodle. “Hi, Sissy” she said. “Hey, Roo, how’re you?” the poodle replied. A quick wag-and-sniff, then, Roo said, “Sissy, this is Bonzo. He’s a journalist. Bonzo – my friend Sissy.”
She was a tall drink of water. “Nice to meet you, Miss Sissy. Maybe I can call you for an interview?” Hey, why not? It was an opportunity.
“Well, um, sure. Might be fun. Give me a woof. Nice to meet you! See you, Roo.” And off they went.
Roo said, “Sissy’s a sweetie. I also play with my neighbor Chico, another rescue chihuahua. And I love to visit my cousins, Sammy and Isobel. They’re chihuahuas like me. I stay at their house when Mom has to take a long trip. We have the best time!”
“You’ve inspired me to get out more, maybe even learn to paddle-board. I have water dog genes, you know. It’s been fun yapping with you.”
“Same here, Bonzo. Bye now.” And she and her mom continued their laps around the park.
Til Next Time.