BONZ: Two dachshunds help heal their human’s grief

Hi, Pet Buddies! This week I had a nice yap with Lexie Beach, an Alpha Girl if I ever saw one, whose personality is way bigger than her size. She’s a pretty, brown, long-haired dachshund and she lives with her little pooch sister Jillie, (who’s also an LHD, but with a snazzy dappled coat) and their dad, Sam.

When their dad opened the door they both greeted me in a little chocolate and brown whirlwind, zooming around and barking. I mean, not yapping – BARKING. “Well,” I had to remind myself, “they are hounds, after all.” But if I’d only heard and not seen ‘em, I would have thought they were bigger than me. They were great watchdogs, no doubt. Small but with a mighty bark.

After they’d slowed down enough for a wag-and-sniff, we all went into the sunny back room.

Right away, Lexie said, “I must tell you, Mr. Bonzo, we are all sort of sad right now, especially Dad, because our wonderful Mom, Kate, went to heaven just a few days ago. Now we’re sticking together and helping each other when we get droopy. She used to walk us every single day and now, me and Jillie know she’s walking our big brother, Hershey Bar.”

“I am so sorry,” I said.

“Thank you, Mr. Bonzo. I know you want to hear about me, right? I’m a rescue dog. Mom and Dad totally loved dachshunds: they had Percy, Paddington, Hershey Bar, then Jillie, then me. It was just Jillie for a while and they wanted a pal for her. Dad called the humane society and asked if they’d let him know when they got any dachshunds in. Well, I was brought in and they called. Dad says I looked like a ferret – very skinny. I was a victim of divorce. But when they came to get me a little later, I was all spiffed up. And now I’m beautiful, right?”

“Absolutely,” I quickly agreed.

“We’re Snowbirddogs,” she continued. “Dad’s from Washington, DC, and we go up there for the summer. We drive because I GO BESERK IN A PLANE! In the car, I have a harness around me so I won’t go flying around if we bump into something. Only thing I don‘t like much is that I have to wear a cat harness, for Lassie’s Sakes, because I’m too small for the smallest dog harness. It’s embarrassing. I don’t even like cats!

“Jillie’s wa-ay more relaxed than me. We call her Chillie Jillie. Me, I’m athletic. Dad says I’m like a cat cuz I jump a lot and I’m always grooming myself. But I’m NOT like a dumb ol’ cat. I’m ME. Even though I’m gonna be 11 on June 30, I have tons of energy. I only eat when I’m hungry, not just cuz it’s there, like Jillie does. I guess I’m sort of picky.”

I didn’t have to ask many questions, because Lexie was really good at telling her story.

“So, I don’t like it when Mom and Dad would go out and leave us here. They knew this so they’d give us a treat before they left. Jillie just slurped hers right up but not me. I knew that treat meant they were leaving and I didn’t like it one little bit. So I sniffed it, then walked away dramatically and let it just sit there. Ha! I’ll show ‘em. But off they’d go anyway. I’d go pout and Jillie’d come over and nab my treat.”

I put my paw over my nose and pretended to sneeze, but I was actually laughing. “So whatdya do for fun?” I asked.

“Go to town! Walking all along Ocean Drive, popping into the shops, they all love us, it SO fun. They have treats. And dishes of water. We’re all very well-behaved. We don’t growl or nip and we always make sure our humans have Poop Bags. The Saturday morning Farmers’ Market is extra fun, too. Then, over on the mainland, there’s a pooch-friendly restaurant, and I could hang out there all day at the Book Center. They like dogs and I always feel smart there. I also like to take walks on Jungle Trail. Tons of great trees and stuff to sniff. Me and Jillie have so many dog buddies here in Sea Oaks, the two Charlies (Waterbury and Bernard) and Samantha Patota, and lots of other great pooches.”

She took a breath. “As you might have noticed, I am The Boss around here. Dad says I’m spoiled but I disagree. It’s just that I always know Best. He calls me Princess Lexie, which is totally fine with me. They also would sometimes call me Mistletoe or Lexie Pexie or Missy. Humans really seem to dig goofy nicknames. I think it endearing, don ‘t you?”

“Umm, sure … What’s your typical day like?” I inquired.

“Well, we sleep with our Dad, and we get up pretty early. We go for a nice morning walk. Mom always used to take us on new walk adventures. Then we have breakfast. We hang around during the day, but then I get bored, so we sometimes get another walk. In the evening we sit next to Dad and watch the news on NBC with Brian Williams. I like him. I’m pretty sure he’s a dog person. The news is important to Dad because he’s a stockbroker. But sometimes he doesn’t seem to like the news so much. Anyway, we have dinner, then an after-dinner walk. Then, I usually have burned all my energy during the day so we go to bed. And we’re usually making Zzzzz’s when our head hit our pillows.

I’d had a long day and, heading home, I was thinking about my own nice, fluffy pillow.

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