BONZ: Lucy the beagle came wrapped as a present

Hi, Pet Buddies! You know how there are families that are so loving and fun you could just hang out with them all day? Well, Lucy Moak’s family is like that.

Lucy’s a Beagle and one super-fortunate pooch. I ran into her a few weeks back at the Sebastian River High School homecoming parade after-party and saw right away she was one happy pupster.

We set up a yap, so I could hear her story. It’s so cool. See, Lucy and her Mom are growing up together. They both greeted me at the door and at first I thought Kristen, a grown-up human, was her mom.

Lucy trotted up for a wag-and-sniff, very friendly and confident. “I’m Lucy Moak. This is my Grandma Kristen and THIS is my Forever Mom – Grace!!!”

“Hi, Bonzo! Nice to meet you. I’m Grace! I’m 10. I’m in 4th grade at Pelican Island Elementary!”

They led the way into the living room. Lucy popped up onto the couch next to Grace, Kristen nearby, me on the floor between them. (I never sit on the furniture when I’m interviewing – not professional, you know.)

“Can’t wait to hear your story, Lucy!”

“Well, my mom wanted a dog ever since she was a little pupster, in kindergarten. She saw a Beagle at a flea market … ”

“Oh,” Grace chimed in, “it was so-o cute, adorable and wonderful. I begged for a Beagle!”

“On Christmas morning, everybody was opening presents. Grace thought she’d opened all hers, but her Mom said, ‘What about THAT one?’ and pointed to a big box in the hallway covered with a blanket. Grace pulled off the blanket, and there I was! I’d been really patient and quiet – and I didn’t even pee in the box – even though I was so excited to meet my new Forever Mom. We were both puppies then and we’ve been Besties ever since. And the whole family, my Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Shelby and Uncle Chris (he’s in the military) – they all love me. I’m the star of the family!”

I remarked how well-groomed she was. “My Mom grooms me! She watched the groomer do my nails, and learned how. It saves $15 and she’s really good. I mean, just LOOK at me!”

I had to agree.

“So, whaddya eat. Whaddya do for fun?”

“Keep this under your hat, Mr. Bonzo. I totally love – cat food!”

“Are you woofin’ me?” I blurted.

“No, really. It’s just as nutritious. They try to sneak dog food into it but I always pick it out. I’m also very fond of key lime pie, strawberry shortcake, lemon cake – and steak sandwiches. Our Grammy (we all miss her so-o much) used to make special stuff for all of us.

Lucy moved to a spot on the back of the couch, next to her Grandma. “Here’s another secret. I’m totally scared of loud noises. I mean, I freak! One time I ran off for five hours when I heard a gunshot. And one 4th of July I ran away for several days because of the fireworks. Mom had posters all over town and some nice girls found me. That was a close one! I don’t like toys – they usually squeak. I hide under the bed when it thunders. And I always sleep at the end of Mom’s bed, totally under the sheet. But – I don’t bark. Mom says sometimes I grunt like a pig.

“I just barked that Big Beagle Bark once, when I met a kitten for the first time. She was pretty bold for a dinky little cat. Mom has it on video. Oh, and I do howl at Christmas, when I hear those dogs singing ‘Jingle Bells’ on the radio. But that’s about it. I have a comfy, secure little coop I hang out in when the fam’s away. When my Mom puts her shoes on in the morning, I know she’ll be leaving for school soon, so I go right over to my coop.”

“What about dog pals?” I asked.

“Oh, I have lots of friends. In upstate New York there’s Tess, a Jack Russell, and Sadie, another Beagle. And friends we go boating with have Kevin (sort of a poodle). And Lou, a rescue. One time we were on a day float-trip in the middle of the St. John’s River. We weren’t allowed to pee on the boat, of course. So we all got on a raft and our humans paddled us over to an island. Wow, there were great sniffing opportunities there! We did that three times that day. Totally fun!”

“Well, thanks so much,” I said, not wanting to leave. “I have to go write my column.”

“Thank you, Bonzo,” said Grace.

“It’s been fun yapping with you,” said Lucy.

“What a loving bunch,” I thought, looking forward to getting home to my own family.

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