Milly cupped her hands
around her coffee cup while she rested her elbows on the kitchen table.
The children were about her playing in the cramped area that was little
more than a runway off the small dining area. She was trying to think
about what she was now seeing. Her young son stood just a little inside
the door. The winter winds had spread the dust of snow from the night
before all over the ground in the back yard which caused him to have to
wear a coat for warmth.
The boy unzipped his coat.
Peeking out was the most beautiful ball of red fur Milly had ever seen.
When her son pulled the puppy from its hiding place, the mother could see
the total size of the dog. Already he was becoming a sizeable animal. It
was looking all about the room in a way to make her believe he was
studying the family as closely as they were watching them. He seemed like
a little boy who was hitching up his pants while trying to make a decision
for which way to run. The dog didn't run though. Instead he stayed very
close to her son.
“Is he a Chow?” Milly
asked her son.
“Oh yes!” The young boy,
of course, did not know about Chows but Milly, his mother, did.
“You haven't bought him
“Yep! He's mine all right.
I been savin' up for him.”
Milly didn't make any more
comments. What can be said about the love a boy has for a dog, even a Chow
dog. It was her less-favorite breed of dogs. There would certainly be a
challenge ahead of them and she knew this. Little did she know how much of
a challenge awaited them.
“What's his name?”
“They call him Bo Bo
because of the clown's ruff around his neck.”
“Do you like that name?”
Milly asked the boy.
“No, I really don't. I
don't think he is anything like a clown. He sure doesn't act like one
either. He seems so serious and thoughtful.”
Milly thought a moment and
asked, “What about Beaujolais? It is a red burgundy wine. It is a French
word. I think it sounds classy just like his majesty of the Chow pedigree.
You could still call him Beau.”
So from that day he was
Beau, mind you, not Bo Bo the clown, but Beaujolais a sparkling red wine.
“Now children! I must warn
you I will be telling you over and over to be very gentle with this little
dog. There will be no rough housing, no pulling at him, or not even rough
petting. Chow's are a very high strung animal and we must never forget
For every moment of the
dog's puppy days he was, indeed, treated like fine China. The children
were not allowed to treat him in any other way. As a result he grew up to
be a beautiful animal not only in looks but in personality. He was gentle
to the maximum with the children. Never did he ever offer to snap at them
or threaten in any way.
Only one time did Milly see
what was probably meant when they said the animal would turn on its own
master or mistress. A meter reader came through the gate of their tall
board fence. He, of course, didn't make any attempt to warn them. Beau was
in instant at attack mode. He was all at once the snarling vicious dog
Milly knew he could be. When she tried to calm him, he turned and snarled
at her. She immediately backed away. If this was what she had been told
here it was. It wasn't an attack on her, simply a warning to stay out of
the way while he took care of business.
Milly looked at the meter
reader and said, “Just back out the way you came in here. Once you are
out, I can calm the dog.”
Sure enough, as soon as the
man was out of their space, Beau was again the cuddly bear he always had
been. By slowly working with him Milly led him into the house and pulled
the drapes. She was then able to open the gate and let the meter reader
into the yard. After that the man always called to her, “Read your meter,
Mam?” This gave her time to bring Beau into the house where he or his
family was not threatened by an intruder.
Beau lived to be seventeen
years old and there were great moments all throughout his life. What had
been a guarded decision for his acceptance became a great joy as well as
an exciting challenge in dealing with the special breed known as a Chow.