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BONNIE PEARL

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Everywhere I go, everywhere I look, I imagine you - running, tail in the air, howling your arrival. What good fortune to those awaiting you in heaven...

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Eblast sent July 12, 2012:
On November 28, 2009, I went to see a "beagle" at Quinte Humane Society. I was just supposed to check her out, make sure she was a good girl, then go home and try to find her a foster family.
They brought her out and I peered anxiously down to get a good look. Some beagle she turned out to be. Her nose was too long, her ears were too short, her feet were too small and her body was shaped like a cigar. They also thought this not-so-beagle-looking beagle had a bad heart murmur. Funding was tight. She'd be costly. And she didn't look like a beagle.
I took her home.
Our hearts, our lives - they're like jigsaw puzzles. As we go along, we acquire more pieces to our puzzle. A piece on its own can sometimes look very strange and we might not know how it's ever going to fit or where.
When I plopped the fur-clad cigar on my lap and she kissed me with great expectation, a piece of my puzzle came together making sense of a corner of it that never had until then.
They'd been calling her Bonnie and she'd come to know it from being at the shelter for so long. I couldn't change it, but I added a hyphen followed by a "Pearl" to girly it up a bit, put my stamp on it. But my stamp didn't stick for long. She got everything but. She got Bonnie-Rabbit from me (she had this white patch of fur on her rump that looked like a bunny) and occasionally Bonnie-Angel, Bonnie-Appleseed, the list goes on. Bonnie-Cash worked best those times I was paying her vet bills. She got Bonnie-Baby from her daddy. Oh, and she suited Scary-Bonster when she'd be telling her beagle brothers and sisters off if they got too close to her bed. Call it her audio forcefield. She was a bit of a princess. I called her that too a couple times and she perked up immediately. Wouldn't be surprised if that was her name at one time.
As for that nose...there was good reason for it being so long. It gave her the nudging power she required for maximum pets, ear massages and kisses. She would not be refused, despite her dog-awful doggy breath. Like I said, she was a princess.
Take feeding time for instance. She'd wait upstairs until at least 10-15 minutes after the "commoners" had eaten. Don't ask me how she knew when to come down, but she did. Only until then would she honour us with her presence, giving me the deer-in-the-headlights gaze as if to say "I'm here for my late seating." Of course, I dropped everything to serve Her Royal Highness.
On Monday night, I lost that fabulous piece of my puzzle. It can never be replaced. And that's just how my puzzle is turning out - so many memorable scenes with blank spots here and there where there once was something very special to complete them. But I remember how it looked before. I always will.
On Tuesday, Bonnie sent me a message - so I'd keep looking for more pieces to my puzzle I'm guessing. Just when the sadness was hitting me the hardest, my favourite song came on the radio...but here's the catch. It was being sung by a not-so-good singer. That's how I knew it was a message from my not-so-beagle beagle.
It went a little like this...
"...Light up your face with gladness, Hide every trace of sadness. Although a tear may be ever so near. That's the time you must keep on trying. Smile, what's the use of crying. You'll find that life is still worthwhile ~ if you just smile."
 
PUPdate as of March 9, 2011:
We've taken a while to update you on our Bonnie-Rabbit and we do apologize for that. Although we're blessed with wonderful volunteers to help us at events, we only have me to manage the rest and my top job is rescuing our beags. So please forgive me!
Sweet Bon-Bon is going to stay with us permanently. About a month ago, I discovered a lump on her belly and our vet confirmed it was a tumour. So two weeks ago, Bonnie had surgery to remove it. There's always a 50% chance of malignancy with tumours. Unfortunately, Bonnie's tumour was malignant. But, it is hoped that the surgery was successful in removing the malignancy in its entirety. If only we could rest easy knowing that. There were other smaller tumours discovered by our vet so poor Bonnie had to go in for a second surgery (today actually) to remove the rest as they were found on a different mammary chain. As you can imagine, we're on needles and pins worrying over her. She had a tough time bouncing back from the first surgery but we didn't have much choice. Rest assured, we had her in to see the cardiologist before these operations to ensure her heart would be okay. Miraculously, an ultrasound proved that Bonnie's heart murmur has actually improved since her first ultrasound a year ago! The cardiologist explained that there is often a thickening of the wall of the heart as a dog ages and this thickening might have helped to cover off the leak causing an improvement in the murmur. It should have been cause for celebration were it not for these worrisome tumours. Please keep Bonnie in your thoughts. All we can do is stay as positive as she is every day.
 

Jan 6, 2010:  Bonnie-Pearl howled in the New Year with us! She's got a lot more hope for her future now! She's also looking forward to her newspaper debut as "Pet of the Month" for my monthly column in Beach Metro News! For your reading pleasure, here's the article below to be published in the Jan 12/2010 issue of Beach Metro News:

 

BEACH METRO NEWS - "PET OF THE MONTH"

  

What’s in a name? Everything. At least, that’s what I used to think.  

It all started when I was a kid. Choosing the perfect name for the nameless was my mission in life. From the figurines on my dresser to the stuffed animals nestling in every corner of my room – nobody was overlooked. 

I’ve now graduated to naming living things, primarily the beagles we rescue through BIG ON BEAGLES (BOB). I’ve thought up some pretty good ones too! Names like Dwight D. Eisenhowler (he arrived during the 2008 presidential campaign), Vincent Priceless (it was getting close to Halloween), and HW (aka Hoover Worthsavington), to name a few.

As far as I was concerned, creative name selection was vital to the promotion of our rescue beagles. Aside from adorable portfolio pics, what better way to grab the attention of prospective adopters?

Then, along came Bonnie.  At the risk of offending any Bonnies out there, the name had been used for shelter dogs far too often. Besides, I’d been waiting to name our next beagle girl “Scarlet Johowlson”!  It wasn’t like she was married to the name Bonnie. She’d been a stray before Quinte Humane Society (QHS) rescued her off the streets in October. But we didn’t take her in until a month later. They had to call her something and she was used to it. When I arrived to take her away from the place she’d come to know as home, I couldn’t bear to change that on her too. So I kept the name…with a slight twist. I couldn’t resist hyphenating and adding “Pearl” at the end, to jazz things up. 

It’s been over a month now since Bonnie-Pearl came to roost. For a short while, I mourned the loss of dubbing her Scarlet Johowlson but then, something happened. I got educated by this little pointy-faced beagle whose real name we’ll never know.

Before I share her pearls of wisdom, allow me to explain why Bonnie needed rescuing in the first place. She’s small and cute and you’d think easily adoptable at the shelter, but here’s the problem. Bonnie is an older girl and that’s always a strike against you when competing with youngsters in the adoption room. Guessed at 7 to 9 years old, she was ancient in comparison.  She also came down with a bad case of kennel cough putting her out of commission for weeks. That’s when the wonderful staff at QHS called us. They wanted her to receive the thorough veterinary care senior dogs need and, ultimately, score a loving and committed forever family.

The veterinary care came first. Given the outcome, however, the forever family may take a while to find.  

Bonnie’s examination revealed a significant heart murmur. She also had two rotten teeth in serious need of yanking. But neither dental nor spay could be considered until a cardiologist determined whether her heart was willing. Thankfully, it was! Although Bonnie has been diagnosed with mild to moderate mitral valve disease, she was able to undergo surgery. Paws crossed, she’ll enjoy several years as a carefree beagle before the disease progresses and medication is necessary.

As for her pearls of wisdom, there are many. Bonnie has this enchanting way of changing with every new day. Maybe the name “Ruby Tuesday” would have been more fitting. Just when I think she’s finally picked the ultimate perch at home, she finds a better venue…at least until the next day.  

Just when I think she should have been named Greta Garbo because of her love for ‘alone time’, she’s insisting I pick her up for cuddles. Kisses are conditional – upon what, I still haven’t figured out.  

Just when I think the name Bonnie is too common, I’m shouting it from the rooftops. 

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
    [William Shakespeare]
            

A name doesn’t make a dog. It’s the other way around! But for name sake, our featured pet is a 7-9 year old beagle we call “Bonnie-Pearl” although she prefers plain old “Bonnie” and periodically perks her ears to “Princess”. To be (Bonnie) or not to be, she’s waiting for you at BIG ON BEAGLES (BOB) Rescue, www.bigonbeagles.ca!

Nov 28, 2009:Meet Bonnie-Pearl! She just arrived at Big On Beagles so please be patient while she unpacks her suitcase and gets settled in! We'll be bringing you her story shortly!