BONZ: Bonz learns French from a Louisiana Catahoula

Hi, Pet Buddies! This week’s interview is with a dog I met in the park, Sissy. Her human mom, Sam Follin, had given me an ears-up that Sissy’s definitely a momma’s girl, and VERY protective of her, especially around dogs of her size – which I am.

So I stood quietly at the door, sort of drooped over, while Sam told Sissy I was the journalist who’d come to do the interview – so everything was A-OK!

Sissy looked a lot like a greyhound, but not as skinny. She was a brindle, with flipped-over ears and a very short slick coat, long legs and a pretty face with amber eyes. She sized me up, then came over for a wag-and-sniff. Well, mostly a sniff since I noticed, she didn’t have a tail.

“Very nice to meet you,” I said.

“Bonjour. Koman sa va?” she said.

“Um …” I cleverly replied.

Apparently she had figured out that I was no threat to her Mom, AND that she’d be getting her picture in the paper, because she was all charm and yaps after that. But what’s with the French, I wondered.

She laughed and led the way around unpacked boxes to the back bedroom. “We’re in the midst of moving in, mon cher. We can yap in here.” With that, she jumped gracefully onto the bed and curled up smack in the middle. I sat on the floor.

“I love your place,” I said. “So – tell me your story.”

“I am a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog,” she began, and it hit me. Louisiana, of course. Thus the French. “My relatives were very strong and brave hunters. They chase fierce wild boars and bears. They herd cattle in any kind of rough country. And jump very high, clear any fence. I can do that, too. I can stand right here on this very floor and jump up six feet, maybe more. If I get a running start, I can do 10 – easy.“

“Are you woofin’ me?” I asked. “Ten feet?”

“Mais oui, Bonzo. It’s in the blood, yes? Did you know the Catahoula Leopard is the State Dog of Louisiana? We are hard workers.”

“Shut the doghouse door!” I said, impressed. I wondered if the position of Florida State Dog was filled already.

Sissy stood and did a couple of circles-in-place on the bed, then lay back down.

“My first human mama was a really nice lady. She had me since I was a petit pup. But then she became very sick and she couldn’t take care of me anymore so she asked her nice nurse lady to help find me a home. Happens her friend was wanting a dog for her birthday so she comes to see me. And it was HER, my Forever Mama. I jump in her car and wouldn’t get out.

“I just KNEW it was right! My first mama was happy I was getting a good home. My new family loves me a lot – I have my human mama and papa Michael, and my teeny human brother, Jaxx.”

“Sounds like it was meant to be, Sissy,” I said. “Do you get out much?”

“Mais oui, Bonzo. We Catahoulas have very much energy. Well, I have learned to stop and smell the fire hydrants – but we do love to leap about, up and down and sideways. My mama takes me for many walks, two or three a day. If we go too slow, I run to the end of my leash and walk on my back legs. That’s how Catahoulas would face the boars and bears, back in the day.”

“Yeah, well, just give me a nice duck,” I thought. “Do you have any special pals?” I inquired.

“But yes, Bonzo. My BFF is Sazi. She’s a Chinese Crested. We run all over. And, sometimes, when we’re in the mood, we make our humans laugh by walking across the room, side-by-side, on our back legs! As to other species, I’m rather indifferent.”

“Do any tricks?”

“Oh, mon cher, of course, Naturellement. I shake paws, roll over, play dead. Boring, really, but it brings the humans so much happiness, n’est pas? Oh, and here’s something my Mama and Papa think is tres humorous: When I hear the jingle of keys on the front table, I know whether its Mama, or Papa, just by the sound. If it’s Mama, I come running. If it’s papa, I just roll over. They’ve tested me to be sure, and now they know I can do it. It’s all in the ears,” she said.

“Oh, and Monsieur Bonzo,” she called as I got up to leave, “I was born with no tail. Happens a lot with Catahoulas. I thought you might be wondering. Adieu!”

She was right. I had been. “Goodbye, Sissy. It was really nice meeting you.”

“Thank you, mon cher! Laissez les bons temps rouler!” she called.

“You bet!” I said.

Till next time!

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