BONZ: Bonzo meets cute hybrid who’s no creampuff

Hi, Pet Buddies! Have you noticed all the new mixed-breed dog names? It’s makin’ me a little dizzy. Back in the day, most all the pooches who were more than one breed were lumped into one big, friendly category – Mutts.

No offense!

We’d all just kid around with each other. We PB’s (purebreds) would call ‘em Mutts and they’d call us Snobnoses. And we’d all just get a good woof out of it.

But THESE days if you’re thinking about using the “M” word, fuggedaboudit. You gotta say “hybrid.” And there are a lot of cool hybrid pooches out there with great looks and nice attitudes, for sure. I meet lots of ‘em, along with the straight-on purebreds.

Hey, we’re all canines, after all, right?

But some of those names just cross my eyeballs: check these out (you may have to Google) Rottaff, Alusky, Bulloxer, Cock-A-Mo, Puggat, Bogle, Meagle, Poochon, Ratcha, Peagle, Poogle and Puggle. And there’s a ton more. Honest-to-Lassie!

Anyway, I met a hybrid this week, Creampuff Hubbell, a charming, independent Shihtzu/Poodle mix. I kept wanting to call her a Poot-Zoo. But she corrected me pretty fast: its Shee-Poo, thankyouverymuch!

She’s really cute, white-with-a dab-of-tan – her looks definitely fit her name. But personality-wise, she’s definitely NO creampuff. She wants what she wants, when she wants it, you know?

Creampuff lives with her humans, Paul and Sue. She greeted me at the door, very friendly, but a tad timid, I think because I’m taller, and she thought I might step on her.

“Good afternoon,” I said in my softest way.

After the wag-and-sniff, she was fine, and began racing around. Finally, we settled down in her living room. ”Sorry about that,” she said. “I usually go to the park right about now. Gotta exercise!”

“Right!” I told her. “So, tell me about yourself.”

“I‘m 5! Mom and Dad got me at a kennel in the Poconos. The Yuppy Puppy.”

“You’re kidding!” I said.

“Nope. I was just a fluffball, but I could already kick butt. Mom was s’posed to say which dog, but Dad picked me up and said ‘We’ll take that one.’ Bing, bang, boom, just like that.”

“Wow!”

“Yeah, but, wait. See, Mom and Dad had just sold their house and were temporarily living in a little travel trailer. Well, I bounced around in there, no room to really get a good run going. PLUS, I barked at mom. A lot! Just at her. Not mean, but pretty loud. I was only a pupster, but I remember thinking I had to be Top Dog (I’m what humans call an Alpha.) Anyway, for some reason, my yapping made Mom go sort of dog biscuits. So – she returned me.”

“Whaaat?”

“Yup. She didn’t really want to get rid of me but she couldn’t take any more barking. Lucky for me, the Yuppy Puppy lady said they were strictly ‘No return, no deposit, no trade-in.’ The lady told Mom SHE had to establish dominance, and gave her some Tips. So back home we went. I was a really nervous.”

“I bet you were,” I said. “So, what happened?”

“Well, for months, whenever I barked at Mom, she’d flop me over on my back and keep her hand on my collar, and just look me right smack in my eyeballs, just kept staring ‘til I looked away. Mom called it a Battle of Wills. I don’t know who Will is, but, funny thing, doing this a bunch of times a day for weeks, I began to feel like she was in charge. And it didn’t even bother me. Finally, I just wasn’t interested in barking at her anymore. And here we are. I’ve got lots of balls Mom and Dad throw all over the place and I chase them and stick them under stuff so they have to fetch. Dad uses his walking cane to scoop them out and then zing them down the hall. One’s real squeaky and even talks! Dad says someday it’s gonna magically disappear! I wonder how he knows that. Anyway, it better not, cuz I got it from my boyfriend, Bentley, he’s the shihtzu across the street. He’s SO-O cute.

“I hang out with my buddy Dobby, and my cousins Mickey, Bella, Tootsie, Nitney, and Molly. Mom says I’m bossy, but I prefer to call it self-confidence. There’s an old Golden Retriever at the dog park. He’s there every single day with his Mom, just lying in the sun. I don’t know his name but he’s really sweet. I always go over for a little yap and just to be sure he’s OK.

“I have some human pupster pals, Liam and Isabella. Mom throws my ball and I bring it back to them, but not her.” She smiled a mischievous little smile.

“Oh, and we’re snowbirds! We go to the Poconos every spring. There’s lots of places to play and I get to wear my cool weather wardrobe. I love to travel, even though we had a crash last year and had to go to the hospital, but we’re all better now.”

“How scary! But you look great!”

“Thanks! We’re lucky. But I don’t dwell. Life is so fun. Mom and Dad are happy with me and I’m happy, too. Just between us, Mr. Bonzo, I’m still an Alpha pooch. As far as who’s dominant, well …” He looked at his Dad, who was busy scooping up slobbery balls, and opening the patio door in case Creampuff wanted to go out. “I have them just where I want them.”

I didn’t doubt it for a second.

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