|Harper and Banjo|
No, don’t be silly. I didn’t ride a roller coaster, but my summer was jampacked with interesting activities—some fun and some not so much. We kicked off in late June with weekly appearances at Camp Flashback, hosted at a Dunwoody farmhouse. There the kids do old-timey things like making butter, sewing, and weaving. They also get to meet goats and—best of all—me.
Mum and I visited for an hour each week. She told them about me and my book, and the kids drew numbers to see who’d get to wear a costume and read a selection from my masterpiece. Mum brought a royal robe, several crowns, and a pawprint scarf, and the kids loved dressing up.
It’s funny to me that they all wanted to read aloud, but those who weren’t reading never seemed to quiet down to listen. Instead, they sat with me in their midst and chattered and hugged me. As far as I’m concerned, they can chatter to their hearts’ content as long as they give me belly rubs.
That enchanting routine was cut short when I needed minor surgery to remove a lump on my back leg. It was no big deal, not life-threatening, but boy, what a pain. I wore the cone of shame for close to four weeks. Yes, you read right, four weeks—one week prior to surgery because I just couldn’t quit chewing on my leg, and then three weeks after that.
That cone was so big, I couldn’t walk through doorways without hitting the doorframe. I was constantly bumping into furniture and people, and I was miserable. Miserable, you hear?!? It was during this horrific experience that I exhibited a new behavior that Mum and Dad found quite disturbing. I began wandering downstairs to the kitchen in the middle of the night. I’d bark until Mum finally came to get me and take me back upstairs. Then I’d do it again, sometimes four times in a night.
Mum thinks I have doggie dementia, but I prefer the term sundowner’s syndrome. I’m on new pills in the hopes that I’ll get over it. Dad? When he takes his hearing aids out at night, he can’t hear a thing, so it doesn’t bother him, except that Mum is a bit cranky.
Mum is now locking me in the bedroom at night, and that helps some. I don’t bark quite so much, and when I do, she just hollers, “Shush, Banjo,” instead of having to go downstairs to get me.
Because of my nighttime barking, my pet parents didn’t take me on our annual trip to the North Carolina mountains over Labor Day. That was a big disappointment, but I had a pleasant surprise at the Pet Resort.
Normally, I keep to myself at these places while the commoners mill around and play with each other, but not this time. Harper, a Goldendoodle puppy, wanted to be my friend. I think the little fella was scared so he started snuggling with me. Yup, he’d climb on my hindquarters and lay his cute little head on my back. Sometimes, he’d lie in front of me against my tummy so I could put a protective arm over him. We made an adorable duo.
My Aunt says this means I need a puppy of my own. The Royal Parents? They are hemming and hawing at the thought so I guess I’ll have to make do with Puddin’ as my only four-legged companion. I’m looking at the bright side, though. I now get to sleep in the bedroom with Mum and the cone of shame has been retired. Things could be much worse.
Lord Banjo lives in Georgia with his Mum, Kathy Manos Penn. Find similar stories in his book, “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch,” available on Amazon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org