Bonz hangs with Henley, a real Southern sweetheart


Henley Gandy’s a Total People Pooch. I mean, she’s great with fellow pooches, but she love, love, loves humans and Gettin’ Atten-shun from ’em. She came right up for the Wag-an-Sniff, an nosed the pages around a liddle when I opened my notebook, but she mostly hung out with her Mom, an my assistant who, of course, gave her pats an friffles pretty much the whole time.

Henley is about 4: She’s a middle-size grrrl with a great smile, an short white hair with several big black spots. (One on her caboose, I happened to notice, was shaped like a heart.) She has freckles, too, an pink skin with black polka dots all over, sparkly eyes, anna pink collar.

“This is my Mom, Taylor. My Dad’s Jean Paul. He’s at work,” she told me as we were gettin’ situated in the livin’ room. Her voice was soft an nice. “Ah’ve only been here since Ock-TOE-bur, so ah don’t know too many fellow pooches.”

“Where were you before? And how’d you find you Furever Famly?” I inquired.

“Ah’m a Southern Grrrl born-’n-raised, but mah puppyhood was sorta dizz-mull an, when ah was about 9 months old, ah found mahself inna town called MEM-fuss, TENNAH-seee, with a whole buncha other pooches inna place called a Pound. It’s like what y’all down here call a shelter. We were in liddle cages, all lined up. Ah mean, it wasn’t awful, but ah was kinda still puppy-ish an ah was a liddle confused. An con-CERNED.

“Meanwhile, my future Mom’s buh-loved pooch, Hootie (he was an Australian Shepherd), had recently gone to Dog Heaven an Mom was Very Sad. But she was also lonely without a pooch so she decided to look around. There were lotsa shelters in MEM-fuss, an she looked an looked, but she didn’t wanna go to the same one where she’d found Hootie, cuz it’d make her More Sad. But, when she couldn’t find The Dog after lookin’ everywhere else, she did. An, guess what?”

I ree-lized her question was rhetorical.

“She hadn’t even been there 5 minutes when, only two cages down the row – in the Very Same Cage where she had found Hootie – There Ah WAS! I looked just like him, too. (’Cept for bein’ a grrrl, of course.) The Pound Person asked if Mom wanted to check me out, maybe take me for a liddle walk or somethin’. But Mom didn’t haff to. She said, ‘She’s the One. Ah want HER!’”

“Woof, Miss Henley, that’s such a Crispy Biscuits story!”

“Ah KNOW! Ah have such a lovely Furever Famly, an ah’m SO Happy. (Turns out, ah hafta take the same allergy meds as Hootie, too.)”

“So, what was your new life like at first?” I asked.

“Turned out ah LOVE car rides. Which was a good thing since when we moved down here, we hadda two-day car ride. Ah mostly snoozed. An ah found out I pruh-FUR boddled water. Mom an Dad got me all fixed up with a lovely fluffy bed an BLANKETS. An mah own dishes. An this wonda-full pink collah. Ah love it So Much. It’s been washed, like, a zillion times since ah got it.”

“Well, it’s still lovely, Miss Henley,” I told her.

Durin’ the innerview, Miss Henley moved back an forth between her Mom an my assistant. As we talked, she’d lay on her back as her Mom patted her pink-with-black-polka-dots tummy with her foot. Then Miss Henley’d pad over to My Assistant for head scratches an Ear Friffles.

“What are some of you favrite activities? Favrite foodstuffs? Any toys?” I wondered.

“Ah guess ah’d say my most favrite things to do are Nappin’, Eatin’ an Contemplatin’ Squirrels.

Ah have an en-TAR box fulla toys: One of mah favrites is mah squirrel stuffy. Ah do, on occasion, chew mah blankets or toys. Like mah stuffy Grinch. Ah’ve had it for 3 years. It’s been washed a LOT. An Mom’s sewed the leg back on several times.

“Ah also like cats,” she mentioned casually. “One time there was this neighborhood cat who’d come around. Ah’d bark a liddle bark, but jus to be so-shul. He was cool. Dogs, too, of course. I’m jus an outgoin’ sorta grrrl. I do feel pruh-TECK-tive of Mom. An I SO look fah-ward to when Dad comes home an we take our evenin’ leash walk.

“Which ruh-mines me: YES-terday I saw my fist LIZZ-urd. Ah was a liddle disconcerted. Neve saw anything like it. Mom said, ‘Henley, it’s OK, It’s jus’ a lizz-urd.’ Ah’m still a tad puzzled.

Whatsa LIZZ-urd? How come it didn’t have any clothes? Oh well.”

Before I could share my limited knowledge of REP-tiles, she continued.

“I have lotsa human famly up in TENNAH-see. There’s Gramma Diane. An Uncle Jake. An Great-Uncle Mark. He drove the U-Haul when we moved down. They’re So Fun! But as far as pooch pals, ah’m a happy solo kinda grrrl. Ah expect it’s cuz ah like ALL the atten-shun.”

“I can understand that. I’m a Solo Dog as well,” I told her. Then, “Any favrite foodstuffs?”

“Ah enjoy turkey treats,” she replied. “AN … CHEESE. Duh-lishus! Ah only get it when ah hafta take mah allergy medicine. Mom doesn’t know that AH know but,” she leaned closer an lowered her voice. “She hides my medicine in cheese.”

“Sly,” I commented.

“It works, too,” she happily agreed.

“Full disclosure, Ah DO tend to SHED, even though ah have short hair. It’s SO annoying, but what can ah do? Mom says she wishes ah knew how to use a broom or vacuum. Also, AH DON’T LIKE WATER. Baths are Dismal Dog Biscuits. Even face washin’. No clothes, either. ’Cept antlers at Christmas cuzza the Grinch’s dog Max. He wears antlers.”

Heading home, I was thinkin’ about sweet, lovin,’ polka-dotted Henley, livin’ her best life an eager to make frens with all livin’ creatures. Even lizards, I expect, once she gets ’em figured out. I was also thinkin’ about cheese.

Till next time,

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