Follow Me to the Senior Center – Super Bonnie

by Carl and Jo Ann Hauser
Everybody knows who man’s best friend is. Although I know some of you are cat lovers, but really most cats only pay attention to you if they have an itch that needs scratching or if it’s time for dinner. (Kind of like your husbands, Ladies) We had a cat named Duke when I was growing up; he was a twenty-pound grey tiger that ruled the neighborhood. Somehow my sister managed to stuff that proud macho-cat into a baby carriage, put a bonnet on its head, and play dolls. This would last for about five minutes, then he would get that deranged wild- cat look on his face, and what would happen next made wrestle-mania look tame! However, they would both be back at it a few days later.

Yes, man’s real best friend is that fur ball at your feet; the one that’s always trying to lick your face, announces when someone is at your door, and is always willing to clean your kitchen floor . . . the family dog! If you are a Senior and a dog lover, you probably had at least four or five dogs in your life. When I was a child we had Samoyeds (Russian Sled Dogs). Tina was the mother, and she had two sons named Yogi and Cochise. As a ten-year-old boy, I couldn’t imagine anything better than to have three dogs to play with in my back yard! We would play football almost every day, but I could never get any of them to play on my team. I would start running with the ball, when one of them would dive in front of me, tripping me to the ground. Once they had me on the ground, it was all over. Cochise would grab me by my pant leg, and start pulling one way, while Yogi grabbed my shirt. Meanwhile, the mother Tina would stand on my chest and carefully extract the ball from under my arm. They would then begin their version of keep-away, and if I ever managed to get the ball back I quickly found out what they meant by dog pile!

The first dog I got as an adult was when I was in college. Like most students, I didn’t have a lot of money, so I went to the pound. I only took a few steps down the aisle, when I spotted this little hound mix that looked a lot like Snoopy. I decided to name her Rita, after an old girlfriend. Somehow Rita (the girlfriend) didn’t appreciate that, and I never heard from her again. However, Rita the dog turned out to be one of the best and definitely the smartest dog I ever had! In the dog world they say size doesn’t matter, but when I was walking her in the park once we came upon two Great Danes. She charged over to greet them, and leapt five feet into the air just to look them in the eye. It’s the first time I ever saw a dog change direction in mid-air, and do an exit stage right! Rita was always obedient and looking to please her master. For example, we had a canary that managed to escape from its cage. Somehow this thirty-pound dog that didn’t stand more than two feet off the ground managed to catch that canary by leaping off the sofa. Like a good retriever she brought that little yellow canary to me in her mouth. Rita managed to refrain from chomping down on the little bird, and dropped it at my feet. The canary did die of a heart attack the next day, but it was the thought that counted.

The dumbest dog I ever had was a golden retriever named Katie (not named after an ex-girlfriend or wife!). She was a very sweet dog, and her personality resembled that of the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. Now Katie never exactly figured out how to wag her tail; she would just shake her rear end back and forth. When it was dinner time she would park herself under our glass top dining table, and would lick the glass under the table, trying to get scraps.

But, before Katie, there was Bonnie (also not named after an ex-wife or girlfriend). For some reason as Rita was getting older, I thought it would be nice to have another dog. So, I went to the pet store and found this sweet little black lab mix. Within a few weeks I realized this sweet, little black lab mix was going to be enormous. Six months later we had ninety-pounds of puppy on our hands! We had SUPER BONNIE. (Marley times ten!) Super Bonnie was able to leap tall fences in a single bound; she was faster than a speeding rabbit, more powerful than a dozen Chihuahuas, and she could clear a coffee table with one swipe of her tail! Now fortunately for all of us, and everyone in the neighborhood, Super Bonnie had the attitude of “I love everybody, and everybody loves me!” Although the Siamese cat next door and the Dalmatian at the end of the block didn’t seem to share the love. However, there wasn’t a whole lot they could do about it (there was no getting away from Super Bonnie). At the time we were living in a typical suburban neighborhood, where everyone had a fenced back yard. I would let Super Bonnie out back, and within twenty seconds she would be at the end of the block, clearing those fences like a track star running the high hurdles! Now Rita was getting up in years, and she was too old and small to leap over a fence, but she could climb them. So, like a good and faithful retriever, she would go after Super Bonnie. However, as she was climbing the fence, she’d give me that look that said, “Seriously, Dude, you had to get another dog?” After weeks of trying to figure out how to contain her, we finally put an ad in the paper that said, “Black lab ~ free to good home ~ needs room to run.” Within a few days this sweet, elderly couple with a farm came by, fell in love with Super Bonnie, and took her home. I’m sure Super Bonnie spent the next twelve years or so trying to convince the cows, horses, and chickens that, “I love everybody, and everybody should love me.”

Here at the Senior Center we strive for that same ideal, “We love everybody, and everybody should love us!” As long as you don’t bark excessively or lick anybody in the face, you pee outside or in the restrooms, and you use silverware, you are more than welcome! Feel free to shake your tail! Now, I have learned my lesson about naming dogs. If I ever get another dog, I will not name her Jo Ann, at least as long as we both shall live! However Seniors, as long as you’re not married to or dating any of the staff at the Senior Center, Kathy, Wendy, Robin, Michele, Susan, Marrianne, or Paula are all perfectly good names for your next pet!

Bring your computer (we have wi-fi) and share a meal with your friends Monday through Friday from 11:30 ‘til 12:15, calling 682-3022 by 9:30AM for reservations. Take a ride down to Alamo for shopping and lunch out. Play Farkle, Mexican Train, or bridge with friends after lunch. Exercise with Gail one morning a week. Have your vitals read Fridays before lunch. We also have a small exercise room with a variety of equipment. Check out our web site at www.mtnseniors.com, created by our friend Marty. Roadrunner Food Bank occurs the first Wednesday of every month at 2:00 ~ call for more information. Come join us for lunch, and share some of your favorite dog stories! May God bless you and your pets.