‘How’s Sunny?” I have lost count of the times that question has been asked of me over the past seven months. “How’s Sunny?”
If you’re asking “who’s Sunny”, fair question.
Sunny is six-and-a-half pounds of Yorkshire terrier. Only don’t attempt to convince Sunny he’s a mere light, light, super-lightweight. He’ll tell you differently. And trust me on this, he’ll win. I’m convinced five pounds of Sunny, maybe slightly more, is comprised of the most powerful lung-vocal chord combination this side of chainsaw engaged in combat with jet engine.
Sunny will not only bark you down. He’ll stare you down while he’s barking you down. He has a flinty look about him too, with head cocked slightly to the side and body rocking in readiness for the next bark, or more accurately fifteen barks between breaths. Sunny’s eyes never leave you during this manic editorial.
Then, as suddenly as the quiet was shattered, it is restored. The little guy goes silent. The manic glare fades. Sunny has made his point.
Along the way he jolts awake his Bichon buddy Rocky, who by now is so super-charged by Sunny’s crazed auditory assault, he, Rocky cuts loose with his own best barking madness. He’s not in Sunny’s league though. Short, staccato, repetitive barks are much easier to absorb, and besides Rocky quickly tires of the exercise, looks around for any possible treat opportunity, in the absence of which he returns immediately to his nap.
“How’s Sunny?” Phone calls and emails, even snail mail queries. “How’s Sunny?” It’s the question I hear more often than any other. I’m certain of that.
I shared in my Bay Observer space and on air, after the loss of my wonderful wife Lyana in April of this year, that Sunny, Lyana’s shadow, pride and joy (Rocky was my constant companion) had pretty much quit everything. He wouldn’t eat. He completely abandoned his previous favourite activity, chasing anything round which rolled. The furry bundle of non-stop energy was replaced by a mournful little guy lying quietly on a couch with only his eyes moving left, then right. Waiting.
The vet worried Sunny might not make it. Broken heart, he said. All you can do Roy is wait. And hope. So I did. Rocky too, I’m sure. They are inseparable. They’ll drink out of the same small bowl, simultaneously, with not a hint of territory protection. Rocky would fetch one of their favourite toys, put it down in front of Sunny, then using his nose, nudge it forward. Nothing.
We waited. We tried. We coaxed. I bought more and different treats. Rocky got heavier. Sunny went the other way. At six and a half pounds there’s not much ‘other way’ available.
Then, almost suddenly, about a month ago Sunny found his legs again. He began to run a little. “Wanna play ball Sunny (hopefully said)?” Yup! Sunny wanted to play ball. Rocky perked up. His pal was back. Rocky fetched the ball and dropped it in front of Sunny. Ball gone. Treats are being consumed once more and the manic barking which drove me to buy a citronella squirting bark collar (I’ve never used it) is the best sound I’ve heard in a long time.
So thanks for asking. Sunny’s fine! It’s a step forward for the three of us.
Written by: Roy Green