BONZ: Bonz gabs with Gabby, a Southern bulldog belle

This week I had a great yap with a Southern girl, very sociable – Gabby Taylor – big brown eyes, bee-oo-tiful walnut-colored coat that (for some reason) humans call blue, an full of Southern Hospitality. Gabby’s a rescue Staffordshire/bulldog mix who has one of those hackles-raising, close-call stories with, thank Lassie, a happy ending.

Soon as my assistant rang the bell, we heard lotsa toenail clickity-clicks and excited barking. A lady opened the door and two pooches bounced over for the Wag-and-Sniff, woofing and wiggling, in a frenly way. Along with Gabby was a black and white pooch, same look as Gabby but a little shorter. The lady was telling them to “be polite and don’t jump up!”

“Welcome to our home, Mistah Bonzo! Ah’m Gabby Taylor. This heah’s mah Momma Debra, and mah little sistah Smiley, she’s a Pocket Pit. Mah Daddy’s Scott.”

It was easy to see why Smiley got her name: her face was white and her mouth was outlined with black all around, which gave her a nice smiley face all the time. She was bouncing about, trying to snuggle into her Momma’s lap.

“It’s a pleasure, ladies,” I said, as we got settled in the living room. Gabby was giving my assistant lotsa frenly slurps, hoping to share the comfy chair, till her Momma reminded her about the interview.

“Oh, right! ’Scuse me. Ah jus LOVE humans. Ah wanna make sure y’all feel welcome. Are y’all comf-tubble? Can I get ya’ll anything? You’ll have to forgive Smiley, she’s only been with us a coupla weeks. She just wants to make sure she doesn’t hafta go back.”

“I totally understand. I think we’re all set, Miss Gabby. I’m eager to hear your story.”

“Ah still get a little emotional when ah talk about it, but ah’m happy to share, to remind all pooches with good homes and Forevah Families how fortunate we are. Ah don’t remember much about mah puppyhood, ’cept bein’ scared all the time. Even now, ah’m scared of men, ’tiI ah get to know ’em. Ah kept havin’ puppies and more puppies that always got taken away from me. An I had my ears totally cut off. Ah have lotsa scars all over but ah don’t remembuh how I got ’em. I do remembuh bein’ around other pooches who were always real mad at each other. It was like a bad dream that went on and on forevah.”

I had already noticed Gabby didn’t have any real ear flaps, just holes with a little fluff around ’em. I tried not to stare. I knew she’d had a really pawful former life.

“At some point,” she continued, “a buncha us got arrested by the Dog Catcher and, because we were breeds that humans call pit bulls, we were put in cages and scheduled to go through The Door That Dogs Never Come Back From.”

I shivered. Every dog knows about The Door.

“Well, thank Lassie, mah Momma had friends who worked with a place called Furever Bully Love Rescue. They swooped in and rescued us Just In Time. After that, ah was in a few foster homes. Mah Momma agreed to foster me just till ah finished my heartworm treatment. WELL, turns out mah Momma was a Foster Failure. See, Mistah Bonzo, even though ah’m called a pit bull, and humans think I’m awful cuzza how ah look, I’m not mean at ALL. Ah’m a total girl. I wear blue bunny ears at Easter and I have the coolest pink sunnies. Ah would nevah, ever THINK of biting your face off. It simply wouldn’t be civilized.

“So Momma and Daddy officially adopted me. Ah walked through that very door (she pointed a paw) for good on Thanksgiving Day 2013. Wooff! did I have a lot to be thankful for. I got this totally fun family: at first, it was Cletus, Biscuit, Foots and Rascal – all Beagles. They took me in right away. To tell the truth, ah akshully feel like ah’m a Beagle, too, an Momma and Daddy nevah tell me ah’m not. Ah like doin’ Beagle-y stuff, like sniffin’, climbin’, diggin’, and woofin’.

Biscuit, Foots an Rascal are in Dog Heaven now, so it’s jus me, Smiley and Cletus. We play all the time. We walk in the woods with Momma and Daddy, an play on the beach down in Fort Pierce. People always stop to talk to me and give me pats on the head. There’s even one gentleman, from Ireland, who writes me PO-ems.

“I guess you could say mah Official Mission is to be an amBASSador for us nice frenly, loving pits, an show humans not all of us are mean. Like me, for example: Momma says ah’m a Perfect Southern Girl. I always greet visitors at the door. Ah’ve NEVah met a strange-ah. When our human niece and nephew, Haley and Jarrod, come visit, we have the BEST time! At Halloween, they were Zombies an ah was a Stegosaurus with a caveman on my back.

“I sleep with ’em, too.” She giggled. “They don’t even mind that ah snore. But THEN, Momma told EVrybody on mah FACEbook page, and I was SO embarrassed.”

“Your own Facebook page! That’s Cool Kibbles!” I interjected.

“Ah KNOW, right? Ah have, like, a thousand followers, from all ovah the world – Argentina, Scotland, Australia, Russia even. There’s Sebastian Cabot, he’s a Beagle. An Titus and Haley, they’re pit mixes, like me. Ah try to spread the word about myself an mah fellow pits. Plus, ah find it broadening to learn about other canine cultures.”

Heading home, I was feeling glad that so many humans adopt rescue pooches. And thinkin’ that Gabby’s teeny little earflaps are actually kinda adorable. They sorta remind me of Princess Leia.

Till next time,

The Bonz

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