Meet local dog Boudreaux, who owns Fon, a Who's WHo in Philly fabulously talented architect and her fiancé Dr. Bob. Full-grown, Sampson could fit Boudreaux in his jaws, but this feisty little mix holds his own with the likes of Great Danes and Pit Bulls. No surprise--I remember when we had three full-grown male Newfs, walking them up our old street was a hazardous situation. Just the barking of the neighbor's pair of miniature Dachshunds could reduce this trio to a leash-tangled, anxiety-peeing 400 lb. mass of black fur. Their fear was justified! My original Newf Dakota was attacked by a hairdresser's pair of Shih Tzu's, Petey and Pinky, when we were up at Cornell. Poor Dakota bolted, terrified and wide-eyed, through Collegetown with them attached to his throat and flanks, dragging his leash and me, the Shih Tzu's little pink hair ribbons fluttering in the breeze.
But Bou is a gentle type--just look at his Falcor face. Sometimes I am envious of a pup who can travel in a backpack, and I know many of us would love to have a Casualties to Puppydom list as short as Fon and Bob's. Enjoy!
- Distinguishing features: long short silhouette and Falcor like facial hair
- Surprising facts: responds to four commands in sign language including the word ‘toilet’ - useful for those below zero winter potty runs
- Casualties to puppydom: one pair of fuzzy slippers, two IBM thinkpad cords, left eye of stuffed animal frog, sandwich and potato chips pinched from a co-worker’s briefcase, corner of wooden stair tread
Boudreaux, or Bou as we call him, arrived in Philadelphia from a farm in Virginia in a blind adoption. He was rescued from a puppy mill and separated from his light hair siblings with a pocket full of five-month-old big city dreams.
Boudreaux is half Beagle, quarter Shih Tzu and quarter Poodle. Reactions from admirers inquiring about his breed have ranged from, “What a fancy cocktail” to “He's a hot mess.” Of course, there is my favorite quip, “Was it important to you to have a dog that was part Chinese?”
All followed by, “No dachshund?!?" Herein lies Boudreaux’s identity crisis due to his short, overly long silhouette, which I am told was unique in his litter. One friend insists that Boudreaux’s extreme length to height ratio requires some sort of intermediate legs, centipede style.
As adoptive puppy life goes, one of our first significant experiences together was the requisite visit to the veterinarian for shots. When asked for his birthday, a quick calculation dated his entry into the world to sometime in August 2008. I assigned him the birthday 08.08.08 an auspicious date in Chinese as the number eight sounds like the Chinese word for wealth. Not that I believe in that hooey, or that dogs believe in wealth, but you can never be too careful. Taking his shoots like a champ, he was rewarded with two dog biscuits stuck together with cheese whiz (commonly known in our house as the cheese/cracker sandwich). Vaccinated and armed with lucky numbers, we adapted Bou to city life.
As a car-less couple, Bou travels around town and is dropped off at summer camp (aka the kennel) via bicycle. He fits snuggly in a REI purple backpack with his head resting on his chauffeur’s shoulder and tongue flapping in the wind. We are assured this is not dog abuse as he practically jumps into the backpack as soon as it appears, waiting to be zipped up.
Living in a trinity with a postage stamp size backyard, Bou frequents the neighborhood dog park for his wind sprints and a little socialization. Similar to a children’s playground, the dogs tentatively sniff out new playmates, occasionally argue over toys, and are punished with a time out when things get too rough. Certain dogs become best friends, dropping all others when their BFF enters the park. Bou has gravitated towards a motley cast of characters, perhaps recalling his own mixed genealogy. There’s Darwin the Great Dane, Pony a true Dachshund mix (and Bou’s doppelganger), Ruskee the Beagle, and Sweat Pea the three legged Pitbull.
Boudreaux will turn 2 years old this summer. With gray fur settling in, he looks more and more like the siblings he left behind in Virginia, but his home is here with us.
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