BONZ: Florida Varmint Hound has a sense of humor

Hi, Pet Buddies! This week I had a super good yap with a totally laid back rescue pooch whom I’d met briefly at the Sea Oaks Dog Walk. Her name’s Polly Carlson and she calls herself a Small Florida Varmint Hound.

When I asked if that means small hounds or small varmints, she just laughed. I dig a girl with a sense of humor. Anyway, she said, her human mom, Joyce, says she’s a dachshund mix, and she does have a pretty low center of gravity – and a short, shiny brown coat. I think somewhere along the line, she had a ballet dancer in her lineage, because her front feet are always in the turn-out, Position One.

She caught me staring at her feet and she said, “The vet says it is deformation, but my mom and I both think it’s unique and cool.”

“I totally agree,” I said, because it was.

I knew from the party that Polly was originally from Okeechobee. “So, tell me how you got from Okeechobee to here,” I suggested. “That’s some major change.”

“I KNOW! Well, the lady who runs All Pet Rescue here in Vero got a call from the animal control people in Okeechobee about me, and the lady put my picture on line. Meanwhile, my future human dad Roland told Mom, ‘POSITIVELY, ABSOLUTELY NO MORE DOGS!! PERIOD!!’ But I don’t think Mom heard him because she really, really wanted a dog. But not just any dog. She and her friend Joan looked and looked but they just couldn’t find THE dog. They were getting real frustrated. Then Mom went online, and came across my picture. Well, Bonz, I was a total mess – a sorry little scared, skinny pup. But I guess Mom saw through the mess to my Inner Hound, because she and her friends Cissy and Joan drove to Okeechobee to see me. Mom picked me up the instant she saw me and that was that.”

“Um, what about your Dad?”

“Oh, it took about five minutes!” she laughed. “He used to say if I was in any dog show, I’d win paws down, that they’d create a special category just for me and the other pooches could just go roll over.” She wiped her eyes with her paw. “He’s in Heaven now.”

“I’m so sorry,” I said. “I know you miss him.” She blinked.

“Well it’s sure different here than where you’re from. Was it hard to adjust?”

“Oh, heck, no. I got lots of love and food and two beds and toys. And this neighborhood is totally dog-friendly. I have tons of pals. We meet on walks every day. Me and Mom get up at 5:30 and go for a nice morning walk with Joan and Sam. And Joan walks another dog buddy, too, Winnie. She’s a Cocker Spaniel.”

“Whaddya like to eat?”

“Fruit! Blueberries and melons and apples. Oh, carrots, too. Plus, Mom makes me kibbles mixed with green beans and whole grain rice and pumpkin puree. That’s why I look this good.”

She did a little clicky-toe pirouette.

“I have a grown-up human sister and brother, Catherine and Jack. Catherine visits sometimes. The first time, I was much younger, hadn’t learned the rules yet. She put her stuff on the bed and I was nosing around in her pocket and found a piece of chocolate. Oh, man, it was great, but Mom said, ‘NO MORE CHOCOLATE.’

“Catherine’s the one who sews the bandanas all the pooches get at the annual walk, and she makes the beautiful quilt that’s raffled off, too. She’s so cool. She also taught me this neat trick. She showed me how to leap from one guest room bed to the other and back. I just take off and fly through the air, back and forth!”

“That sounds like fun,” I told her.

“Oh, and guess what? Whenever Joan has cocktail parties, she invites the dogs, too.”

“Are you woofin’ me right now?” I said, amazed.

“Lassie’s honor! Joan invites all us pooches right in along with our humans. We get to check out all the rooms, and basically just hang out yapping and swappin’ kennel stories and looking significant – our humans love that.”

“Before you go, I gotta show you this. It’s my Kong.”

“Your what?”

She nosed around in a little red toy-filled basket, then brought over a hard rubber sort-of-ball that opened up. “Mom mixes nuts, biscuits, kibble and peanut butter and stuffs it in. Then she puts it in the freezer. Then, when she wants to keep me busy not getting in the way for an hour or so, she puts this down on a towel and I sit and munch. It is totally pawsome! You should try one!”

“I sure should,” I thought, getting a little drooly.

“Come back to visit soon,” Polly called as I headed out. On the way home I was wondering what my chances were of getting my human to spring for a Kong of my own.

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