‘Herd’ line news: Bonz meets an Icelandic Sheep Dog


Buhfor I gotta Woofmail about Hazel Grant, I hadn’t ever heard of an Icelandic Sheep Dog. Have you? Other kinds of herding pooches, yes: but I didn’t know there even WERE sheep to HERD in Iceland.

Anyway, her NAME was fuh-MILL-yer, THEN I remembered it was from the recent Sea Oaks Pawrade of Champions where there was judging in a buncha CAT-uh-gories, and Hazel had won for Loudest Bark!

As me an my assistant an fuh-TAH-griffer were walkin’ up the sidewalk, Hazel was at the screen door bouncing an barkin’. LOTSA barkin’.

When the door opened Hazel shot out for a super speedy Wag-an-Sniff an a whole buncha welcomin’ jumps, wiggles and slurpy kisses an, of course, BARKS.

In buh-tween all that, she deftly accomplished intros an led us to a comfy sitting room.

She was so pretty an eager an full of joy, I don’t think I stopped smilin’ the whole time.

“Hi! Hi! Hello!” she said breathlessly, bouncin’ up to us. “I ’member you from the Pawrade, Mr. Bonzo. I don’t think we spoke cuz I get So Excited around my fellow pooches I offen Over-mingle an hafta go over to the Edges to Cahm Down. I’m a whole lotta Bark but Totally No Bite.

“Anyway, welcome to my home. These are my Principal Peeps, Shirley: I call her Shidley. She’s my Feeder an Water Carrier; an this is Charlotte: I call her Lottie. She’s my Walker.”

Once Hazel came to a halt, I noticed her soft creamy gold double coat, Big Fluffy Tail curled over her back, graceful snout an big eyes.

Unobtrusively fluffing my ruff an reminding myself I was On The Job, I opened my notebook. “It is indeed a pleasure to meet you all, Miss Hazel,” I said in my Serious Journalist Voice. “I’m eager to hear how you an your peeps found each other, an all about your Cool Kibbles life.”

“Firstly, I am an expert herder of Icelandic sheep: However, due to the complete lack of Icelandic Sheep in this area, I currently herd Shidley an Lottie. Initial attempts to herd neighboring pooches an humans were not well received so that’s out. Otherwise, I’m a Snowbirddog, livin’ in Tennis-EEE when I’m not here. I was born atta breeders, Greenbriar, in West Ver-GINNY-uh. At that same time, my future Furever Peeps were lookin’ for a smallish grrrl pooch who could jump up on fur-nuh-chur an …”

“Wait, wha-aat?” I innerupted. “Who could jump up ON fur-nuh-chur, you said?”

“I KNOW, right? See, they’d hadda liddle pooch who they always hadda lift onto the chair and sofa an bed so they wanted one who could do it herself.”

“Oh. OK.”

“Anyway, Shidley an Lottie were searchin’ The Line an saw pickshurs of me an my sister.

They wanted me, of course, but our breeder was gonna pick one of us to be a show pooch cuz (not to brag), but we were both like EGGS-cellent egg-ZAM-pells of our breed. An she couldn’t duh-SIDE.

“Our pooch Mama is Ava, an our pooch Papa is Greenbriar’s Star Rainbow, Bo for short.

(MY Official PAYpers name is Greenbriar’s Hazey Moon. So, now, when I get a liddle too, um, ‘athletic and conniving’ Shidley says, they call me HAZEL!!!, but when I’m all cahm an O-B-D-unt, I’m Hazey.)

“Anyway, I officially (finally) got my Furever Famly when I was 4 months old an they were TRAY happy cuz, Woof! could I jump on fur-nuh-chur!

“When we first met in the Fur, us puppers were inna liddle crate buh-hind the counter at the breeders. The breeder lady handed me to Shidley. We sorta stared at each other. Then I gave her a slurpy puppy kiss in the ear. It jus seemed like the thing to do, you know?

Anyway, it was what humans call Love at First Sight. (Plus, I knew I could handle ’em.)

They thought I was perfect an I thought THEY were perfect! An we were all RIGHT!!

“The first night in my new home I was inna comfy soft crate, with a liddle zipper latch.

Shidley an Lottie decided to go get a pizza an told me they’d be right back. When they returned, I was sittin’ on the sofa calmly waitin’ for ’em. (That zipper didn’t have a chance.) Can you buh-LIEVE they were suh-prized? I was like, ‘Hey, guys, ’bout time! I knew you wanned a pooch who could jump up on fur-nuh-chur so …! That pizza smells great!’”

I tried but failed to stifle a laugh.

“In my puppy days,” she continued, “I was a liddle ram-BUNK-shus. I sorta chewed a few things: nightgowns, pillowcase edges, shoes, clothes hangers, but that’s, like, a puppy’s JOB, right?”

“Pretty much,” I had to agree.

“But, NOW I have AGE appropriate toys. Not stuffies cuz I totally destroy ’em. See, these are tuff.”

She showed me a flippy ball with a leather strap called a Tug-It, an the All Time Pooch Favrite: The Tennis Ball. I thought one of her Peeps would throw it an Hazel’d re-TREEVE it but no: SHE threw it. An ree-TREE-ved it herself!

“You must have a ton of pooch pals,” I commented.

“Oh, woof, yes! My BFF’s Rory Venne, he’s a Sheltie. We met as puppers. We know how to play,play,play! Me an Tess Potato share woofs on our 5 p.m. walks; an Wolfie Tweedie, a German Shepherd, he’s so-o Big An HANsome.”

(I’m preddy sure she giggled.)

“An, I’m crazy about Cosmo Vincent, he’s gotta grrreat doganality.”

“Any favrite foodstuffs?”

“I’m onna pretty strick kibbles diet. Sometimes I getta duh-li-shus morning banana slice.

Shidley says if I could, I’d keep eatin’ till I exploded. Do you think that could really happen?”

“I’m not sure, Miss Hazel. But don’t try to find out,” I suggested.

Headin’ home, I was thinkin’ about sweet Miss Hazel, a practically perfect pooch who was Livin’ her Best Life in large part because she can Jump Up On Furniture. Maybe I’ll bring her a liddle piece of banana on my day off. Sigh.

Till next time,

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