PATSY BRUMFIELD: How much ‘boof’ can she take?

By Patsy Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

One of these days soon, Grandpup Bonnie will head home to her Mama in Texas.
But until that happens, she and I are having a grand old time.
Of course, she sleeps with me so that creates its own little situations.
One night last week, she got particularly rialed. That’s when you wish you could reason with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
It goes back several months, when we discovered owls in our neighborhood. I’ve listened to them in the twilight and love to hear their calls back and forth in the night.
I love it. Bonnie does not.
If she’s outside with me and hears their hoot-hoot-hoot-HOOOOOT, she practically drops and flops.
I try to reassure her, while I rather hope these winged ones will eat all the darn squirrels in a 20-block radius.
So, on a recent night when it wasn’t too hot outside, I cracked the window for some fresh air.
Sure enough, as we got ready to go to sleep, the big birds – I think they’re Barred owls – must have set up shop in a nearby tree. They began their hoots, back and forth. As I thought about how nice that sounded, Bonnie began to stir at the foot of the bed.
Then, as she paced around, she began her ridiculously tiny vocal protest, which sounds like a very quiet “boof, boof.”
One Saturday morn recently, she even went furiously “boofing” around the house when NPR ran a clip of the owls’ call.
If I ever needed an alarm system against a potential assailant, Bonnie is not what will be required. Guess I’ll have to tune up myself.
Second story: Bonnie loves doggie day care. When I park the car there on weekday mornings, she fairly launches herself out of her car seat (yes, she rides in a car seat – of course, she needs to see out the window like everybody else).
When I return in early evening to pick her up, they call out over the PA system: “Code 2 for Bonnie Bardwell.” (Bardwell is her Mom’s last name.)
So, I asked the ladies at the reception desk if they thought the day care dogs got excited whenever their names were called like that.
Oh, yes, they said. The doggies get all perked up and on the ready.
So, later that night, as Bonnie and I watched some idiot TV show, I sat calmly by her and said, in a voice very much like the PA announcer, in tone and volume: “Code 2 for Bonnie Bardwell, Code 2 for Bonnie Bardwell.”
Oh, heavens! She jumped up, looked around a little confused and started running in circles. I laughed so hard I almost choked. Then, poor baby, I had to apologize for playing a trick on her.
An hour later, she got her revenge: She took her sweet time with her pre-bedtime routine outside, just as it began to rain.
Now, she’s got a new yellow raincoat, and my umbrella is handy beside the back door.
I can’t let a 15-pound pup outsmart me, can I?
Well, “boof, boof” no!

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or