This week I got to yap with a pretty poocheroo, Sophie Mercer. She’s a Pit Bull rescue with a really shiny coat, sorta copper with white, and really cute flop-over ears. She lives in a nice, woodsy place called an Arvee Park, which I found out is a neighborhood of long, narrow houses with their own actual wheels – but not like cars. Anyway, Sophia’s three and a half and she lives with her Mom, Nicole, and her three sisters and two brothers who are all – get THIS – CATS!! (‘cept for her Mom.) Can you buh-LIEVE it?
Sophie was right there at the door to greet us and, just as we entered, I caught a glimpse of a gray-and-white blur zooming past, which is all I ever saw of Sophie’s feline sibs, who love Sophie, but other pooches, not so much.
I got out my notebook and Sophie settled onto the couch next to her Mom. When she wasn’t telling me her story, she was industriously slurping on a soggy brown stuffed bone.
“How did you find your Forever Family,” I inquired.
She petooied out the stuffed bone. “Mommy says I’m a Foster Failure.”
“When I was a little puppy, like, 5 or 6 weeks old, my humans brought me to H.A.L.O., that shelter in Sebastian, cuz they couldn’t take care of me anymore. I got this scar, see, on my back, from when I was attacked by a big, scary, older dog.”
“Oh, Woof!” I said. I had noticed a long, narrow place along her back where there was no hair.
“Mommy gets me special shampoo, and puts baby sun block on me when we go outside,” she said. “Anyway, Mommy was working at H.A.L.O. when I was brought in and she was gonna foster me til I could find a permanent home. But I knew right away she was gonna be my Forever Mommy, even before she did. And I was right!
“When she brought me home the cats were already livin’ here, so I just grew up with ‘em. We get along great. There’s Mama, she’s an Outdoor Girl. She goes for walks with me and Mommy. Then there’s Titten, she’s a Foster Failure, like me. And Kittie Girl, she’s really old – 16! Backhoe – he’s a boy – Mommy named him that cuz she operates heavy equipment and really likes backhoes. And then there’s my Totally Best Friend Leo. He’s the youngest. We chase each other all over the camper and wrestle on Mommy’s bed. I practice the Ancient Art of Pup-Foo and Leo practices his Fearless Jungle Feline Pounce, It’s the Cat’s PJ’s!”
That was a new one on me. Sophie had taken a brief break to slurp on her Stuffed Bone.
“Your name is pretty,” I commented.
“Before Mommy got me, My name was Athena. I KNOW, right? But I never answered to it. It just wasn’t ME! Mommy likes that TV show called ‘Golden Girls’ and she really liked the Golden Girl called Sophia. Soon as she tried it on me, I knew it was the right one. Now I always come when I’m called.
“Didja notice our kayak and paddle board outside? Me and Mommy go on lots of adventures. Mostly we go weekend camping and hiking in the Sebastian Preserve. Hiking’s my favorite. Once we went 14 whole miles in one day. I have my own side packs and EVERYthing! I have a camp bed, too. Mommy makes a campfire and cooks our food. And we kayak and paddle board on the Lagoon. I always hafta wear my life jacket. I was scared at first, specially walking on docks, cuz I fell into a swimming pool once. I still walk in the middle and crouch waa-ay down. But now I can stand up on the paddle board the whole way over to one of those little islands. Then I run all over the place. There’s a ton of stuff to do. Like chasing lizards and crabs. And swimmin’. And diggin’ holes.
“An, I get to ride shotgun in Mommy’s pick-up. I love the wind in my face and my wiffles flapping all over the place.”
“Me, too! Any non-cat pals?”
“Oh, sure! I love Grammy and Frank. They live down the street. I stay with ‘em when Mommy’s away. And Dakota, my dog park pal, she’s a chow-shepherd. Then, at Mommy’s work, there’s Layla and Rocky – Rocky’s my boyfriend but” (she gave me a big smile) “we’re not going STEADY or anything.”
“Good to know,” I thought to myself. But, since I was On the Job, I just said, “Whaddya like to eat?”
“Mommy makes me special food cuz I have Allergies. She cooks duck in a big pot with vege-tubbles and rice. And she makes yummy turkey and duck jerky. When she gets the toaster oven out, I start drooling.”
“Where do you guys sleep?”
“We all pile in with Mommy. It’s always snuggly and safe there.”
Heading home, I was thinking about Sophie’s pretty amber eyes, and reminded myself to get her phone number from my Assistant. Recently, seems like I’ve been meeting more and more blended families. I guess we’re all pretty much the same under the fur and feathers.
Till next time,