portia-and-jacobOK, darling. I wasn’t really much looking for another Bouvier, but my friend Frank thought differently.

He called and told me “My friend Judy has this dog, His first home wasn’t working out, but he is a great dog. Really nice, nice breeding, very calm very well behaved.”  OK, so Frank has a slight tendency to totally lie. I told Frank I would think about it. Then this crazy woman (Judy, later to be one of my best friends) from Mississippi calls me and says “I hear you are a great home. Meet me in Birmingham or Montgomery and we will see if this is a good fit.”

Good Lord, what was I about to get myself into? I called Frank. He assured me that you were quite well behaved and would do just great living 200 feet in the air in the penthouse in midtown ATL. I already had one huge dog up there, so … Big sucker that I am, I drove to Montgomery with Portia and met you.

Swoon, love, all that.  You slept in my lap all the way home to Atlanta. Not so much in love with you the next day when you decided that an 8 mile hike wasn’t really long enough and amused yourself with a little swim in the lake at Piedmont Park and nearly drowned me getting you out. I still don’t think that was all that funny. Then, having refused to do your business outside you proceeded to pee on the carpet as soon as we got back into the house. And chase the cat. And eat a bar of soap. And then burp on my head.

Still, the next morning, all was forgiven. Even though I did refer to you as the worst behaved dog on the planet, you were worming your way into my heart.

You proceeded to eat many pairs of JP Tods loafers, a pair of Prada pumps, Calvin Klein stilettos; I believe you also ate a Louis Vuitton purse.

Expensive little creature, you were. And you could totally jump up and lick the ceiling.

At about a year, I bought you a house. You were about 125 lbs and and scaring people in the elevator. So off we went to Boulevard Heights. Where you proceeded to jump the baby gate and ruin what little carpet was in the house. And eat the soap. Among other things.

At a year and a half, you figured out that if you just grabbed the handle of the nightstand drawer with your teeth, you could not only open it, but could find and chew the top off a 200 ct bottle of Advil and eat all of it. Nice move, good thing Dr. Nance is brilliant and that UGA has an excellent veterinary pharmacological dept. I am sure you enjoyed being a case study for them for the next few years. All I know is that Dr. Nance bought you another 9 years with me. And worth every penny. And I was grateful for every last second of them.

So much more to say to you.

You put up with Wallace, and Camille. You spent a week lying about in the bed with your head on my shoulder when Portia died. You did the trek to Mississippi twice to visit your parents and Judy. And you jumped in the Tenessee/Tombigbee River and then got me soaking wet trying to get you out. (There were big snakes in there!)

You barked at all the right people, but were so gentle with small children that I could take you anywhere. You went swimming in every body of water you could find, but hated being rained on. You were even nice to those 9 Spinones we spent 9 days with.

And you charmed everyone who ever met you.

You will be ever missed, but ever loved.  You were a brave trooper to the very end. I am very lucky to have had you around, and very lucky to have a good friend to help me do the right thing at the very end.


Jonna Pattillo

Jonna Pattillo

Jonna Pattillo is a photographer, writer, and producer. She is from Atlanta.