Pauly, My Little Comedian.

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That One In A Million.

Pauly was it – that once-in-a-lifetime dog you’ll always tell stories about. This is the funniest “Pauly” story of all.  I’ll tell it my best, but there is just no substitute for having been there when it happened. It was a million-dollar moment, sadly before the days of cell phone cameras.

I’ll Always Remember The First Time I Saw Him.

Pauly was a pathetic, sad-looking little dude. The Humane Society called me one day and asked me to come get this poor little mess that had been picked up as a stray. They called me because Pauly was a senior and that’s what I do – I rescue seniors ( So I hiked on over to the AHS, and the folks there walked me to the back room where all the strays are held. And there he sat, this nasty-looking little disaster that used to be a red Pomeranian, lounging in an eye-level kennel and looking out at me like he already knew I was coming and why was I so slow about it. Good Lord! He was a big spit wad of steel wool, with a ratty tail and a really cute face. And I swear – he gave me a wink and this “whadda you lookin’ at, Sugar” kind of attitude. Really? This scroungy little thing thought he was God’s cutest gift. And I already believed him.

Pauly also had a collapsed trachea, so he yacked all the time … ALL the time. Loud. All day long … all night long. I said loud, right? You know how when a teenage girl gets a used Mustang with standard-shift for her 16th birthday and she keeps stripping gears between first and second because she has no clue what she’s doing? Loud like that. God bless his heart. Poor little guy had to be miserable and exhausted for all the wretched coughing, but Pauly just had a great attitude about things.

There is a surgical fix for collapsed tracheas where a stint is installed to keep the bronchial way open, but the veterinarian wouldn’t do it for Pauly because its rate of success was pretty low. She didn’t want to put Pauly, as a delicate senior, through the trauma of surgery knowing it very likely might not work for him. So she put him on a few medications instead — they didn’t work.

Uncommon Strategist.

Pauly quickly became my sidekick. He had a natural instinct for making me laugh. How he knew was amazing. His timing was spot-on like any great comedian on TV – he could actually orchestrate moments of hilarity. Truly this little dog was gifted. Not only did he have the instinct, but it was important to him to make me laugh, as if he assigned himself the job of being jester in the queen’s court. The whole house was just happier with Pauly in it. I LOVED him for that.

So I’m Sitting There One Day …

Talking with my close friend Marilin. I was plopped on the kitchen floor, and Marilin was perched up on a dining room chair facing me, about four maybe five feet between us. It was a typical, gorgeous winter day here in Phoenix, mid-70s, the grass is green, and you can have all the doors and windows open. I had the sliding patio door wide open and the seniors were wandering in and out and in and out … because they could. They were completely entertained walking out the door, then in the door, then out the door. It tickled them like Christmas day. Their traffic path moved right between Marilin and I, so we had front-row seats to the show. We chatted and drank coffee and watched the seniors enjoy the sun on their faces and the breeze in their fur, and it was just an easy, great day.

Along Came Pauly.

When all the other seniors had settled outside to sunbathe in the winter grass, Pauly came strolling through the kitchen as if headed outside himself. But then he stopped dead between us, right in our line of vision, and stood staring out the door. Marilin and I chatted on for another minute, not realizing yet that Pauly was waiting on us to notice him. But then we picked up on his very deliberate, patient pose. So we got quiet and focused on him, wondering what he was up to.

Confident that he had our attention now, Pauly turned his head to the left and looked up at Marilin. They locked eyes, and Marilin pulled her chin back and got this really confused look on her face, like what the?? Pauly looked at Marilin a few more seconds, apparently to be sure she was under his spell, or at least paying close attention. She was. Then he turned his head meaningfully all the way to his right and locked his eyes on me. He held his gaze on me until I was fixated, too, almost as if he intended to hypnotize us. His head was cocked as he looked at me, and then over at Marilin again, and then back to me, as if to say “do I have your attention now?” Yes, for certain he had our undivided attention now.

Wait For It, Wait For It.

It may have been only seconds, but it felt like the lonnngest pause. Marilin and I were still as we could be. Seems we had gotten the same message. We had no idea what was coming, but neither of us planned to miss any of it.

Pauly gave one more back-and-forth check from me to Marilin and back to me again. Then he looked straight ahead out the door, closed his little chocolate-brown eyes really really tight, pulled up his shoulders, and bore down hard … and FARTED … real long and real loud. It was high-powered and rumbled like an old Harley, and he kept bearing down hard to keep it going for as long as he could. I admit to being quite impressed. For a moment, Marilin and I were frozen in disbelief that a little old dog could produce something so majestic, and moreso that he staged the whole event. Who knew dogs could do that?! And as we sat watching him, stunned, Pauly lifted his head, opened his eyes, and looked again at Marilin and back to me, clearly proud of himself, and fully expecting praise for his most excellent accomplishment, knowing he had achieved greatness.

But It’s Not Over!

Once it hit us what we had just witnessed, we fell into raucous laughter, and Marilin fell right off the dining room chair onto the floor, which put me totally over the top laughing and I wet my pants. My face hurt, my neck hurt, my ribs hurt, and I felt bruised for days from laughing so hard. My neighbors hollered over the fence asking if we were okay. For a minute, I was not even sure.

As soon as the laughter began, it was like Pauly knew he had us. He straightened himself up all high and mighty, gave a quick chin-up to his audience, and rolled slowly on outside to bathe in the sun. He was walking his red carpet, telling us all “Yeh that’s right, I’m bad” and glowing in his success. What I wouldn’t give to have captured it all on video.

For months after that, whenever Marilin and I would call each other or see each other, we would launch again into tearful laughter before we could even begin a normal conversation. Only she and I knew why – people thought we were nuts. In my life, that is one of the funniest moments, and I’ve had some doozies. That was our million-dollar moment with Pauly – my little comedian. My heart. My laughter. Your legacy lives on, little man. Bravo!

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God Bless and Happy Pet Parenting!

With love and good wishes,
jeannie.   ?

About jeannie:  I’ve been pro-actively involved in pet rescue all of my life. I founded Milagro Senior Pet Refuge© (Phoenix) in 1998, and BareFootPets (TM) in 2008. Animal welfare has always been and will always be my heart’s work. If my only legacy is that I save a handful of precious souls that would not survive otherwise, I’m good with that.