Jo’s Top 5 Dogs

 

by Johanna Beach

As promised, here are my Top 5 Dogs from our tour. We easily met over 30 dogs during our travels through the southeast this summer, and I found refuge in their company when small talk with humans began to overwhelm me. Here are my standouts from the Summer 2017 We the W(h)ee tour. Apologies if your bestie didn’t make the cut…

1.     GAMBIT (dog of Jen in Atlanta) It’s hard to beat an Aussie puppy. Gambit was full of energy and spunk, and also took a liking to me. Something I admired about Gambit was his elevated sense of self. His older brother Atticus (honorable mention), is a 100+ lb labradoodle and the 12-week old Gambit still tried to take him on. I missed Gambit as soon as we left. I still miss Gambit.

2.     MAGGIE (dog of Alex and Sam in Charlotte) Of course the puppies made it to the top of the list. This 10-week old Golden Doodle was just as spunky as Gambit, but a little smaller, which made her easier to rock like a baby. Maggie, didn’t want to sit still much, but when I could occasionally get her to cuddle, it was extremely rewarding. Maggie, while almost identical to Barkley (dog of Colin and Maria in Atlanta), gave me the time of day, which sadly, Barkley did not. I also had more one-on-one time with Maggie, which gave her the leg up against Barkley, who I honestly felt kept from (didn’t Maria and Colin want Barkley to compete in my contest?).

3.     ZOE (dog of Jodi and Dan in Charleston) She’s blind and deaf and is the cutest thing there’s ever been and she doesn’t know she has anything wrong with her and how could she not be on this list.

4.     TANK (dog of Meredith in Louisville) Tank had EVERYTHING going for him; We dog sat for him for a week, so LOTS of quality bonding time. He is a King Charles Cavalier, which you may know is what our dog, Beanie, is. AND he crooks his head to one side when you speak to him because he has better hearing in that ear and is partially deaf in the other. The only reason Tank isn’t #1 is that he showed a slight, but noticeable, preference for my sister. Deadly mistake. Knocked him down to #4, that’s right.

5.     MILLIE (dog of Jennie in Winston- Salem) Millie is on this list to show that I do actually like big dogs, despite my other choices. That, and she has the most personality of any dog I’ve ever met. She hurdles between bodies and couches and tables like it’s the simplest thing in the world to be so graceful. She brings you presents (Jennie says she’s received many a dead bird and rodent from Millie in the past!) and loves to be the center of attention. I appreciated the dirty socks she laid at my feet as well as the ripped up toilet paper outside my door during my stay- made me feel so welcome!

 

Honorable Mentions:

The siblings- Atticus (sibling of Gambit), Lucy (sibling of Maggie), Lucy (sibling of Zoe). The youngest sibling is just usually the cutest you guys, I’m sorry! I loved you all too.

Dolores (dog of The Welbourns in Nashville)- I understand why you aren’t able to climb stairs, given the shape of your body. If you’d been able to get up into my room, we might have formed a stronger bond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost and Found

 

by Edmund Pevensie in Greensboro

 

Have you ever been left behind?

Have you ever been out with your friends somewhere and suddenly you turn around and they’ve all left and you’re like wait you guys, I’m still here and then you realize they didn’t think to make sure you were with them and that makes you too sad to send a pathetic text like “where’d you guys go” so you just kind of sigh and stay where you are?

Me too.

I’m Edmund by the way. Yeah, from Chronicles of Narnia. But this is my Chronicle of Being Forgotten.

I got left at the Gallerani’s. They’re a nice family; their kid went to college with one of the Sisters or something.

So the Sisters do a show at the Gallerani’s. They go paddle-boarding on their lake because I guess here it’s not winter forever? And then they pack up the next day and peace out.

Oh, except me? I’m lying on the floor under an ottoman. 

I heard them saying their goodbyes and I’m screaming, “You guys! I’m on the floor! Edmund! YOU NEED ME!” But they can’t hear me. I’m a pal.

Hours go by. I’m lying there. What do I do? Text Mr. Tumnus? Press charges? Create a solo show? Become Edmund Gallerani? Will this family like me? Did the Sisters ever love me?

The Gallerani dog finds me first. And I’m like, “Yes! Amazing!” I assume he’s a guardian and savior that represents Jesus.

Turns out this dog has no relation to Aslan. They call him “Lucky.” Lucky for who? The dog licks me. So cold. He picks me up, in his TEETH. Dimitri and Kim Possible are probably at a Chick Fil A drive-thru and I am NEAR DEATH. The dog carries me away. Where are we going?!

He drops me. I fall down, down and land on the carpet. I look around. To my right, a bed. To my left, a wardrobe. Hmmmm.

I know better.

Hours pass. Finally, the Sister’s friend comes by. She’s really pretty. She sees me. For the first time in my life. I am seen. She bends down, her blonde hair brushes across my plastic robe. She holds me with a tenderness the Sisters have never once given me.

 

She carries me down and shows me to her mom who asks if I’m ok and would I like a snack? I ask if they have Turkish delights and they don’t but they give me Shakshouka instead. I like it.

We have the most amazing day together. We go paddle-boarding, I get just the right amount of tan, they feed me. I LOVE summer! I love it here, I’m one of them, born to be a Gallerani. A pal-lerani.

A knock at the door.

 

The Sisters stare through the window pane.

NO! PLEASE NO! LET ME STAY! LET THEM ADOPT ME! PLEASE LET ME-

The Sister with the fake Birkenstocks snatches me out of my new mom’s hand.

“Thanks for taking care of our boy,” she coos.

Then, as soon as we’re outside: “If you pull that again, we’ll turn you to stone, Edmund. We’ll do it like they do it in Narnia.”

As we pull away from the best life I’ve ever known and I’m unable to run, unable to scream, unable to cry real tears…

I wonder if being turned to stone would really be all that different from being a pal.

 

 

 

 

I Saw You, John Smith

 

by Pocahontas in Atlanta

 

Hey, it’s me. Poc.

I have a teensy weensy part in the play, but I did the website since I can paint with all the colors of the wind.

I also used to be the head navigator in the car but the “Blonde” Sister fired me because she said “just around the river bend” wasn’t good directions.

Still, I’ve paid my dues. I’m the Head Wrangler for all seven dwarves, I help Elena of Avalor with her wig (YES, IT’S A WIG), I pre-set all of the Wheeboost props, and I ran jump call yesterday even though everyone’s getting cocky and acting like we don’t have to anymore (this is how accidents happen!). Heck, I have four lines in the play and I’m the one leading a vocal warm-up every night (Zip Zap Zop, To Sit in Solemn Silence, and some kind of energy ball). And I can see Esmerelda and Anastasia mocking me, but I do it in anyway because we perform better when we are all connected to each other in a circle, in a hoop that never ends.

As they say, there are no wee parts, only wee actors so I have made myself a leader of the Whees. A Wheeder. So someone explain to me why, at one of our last shows in Atlanta, at a home for children where there are big buckets of toys and people like us scattered around the room, someone explain to me why

I SAW JOHN SMITH AND WASN’T ALLOWED TO GO TO HIM.

That’s right.

I’m about to enter the part of the set under a dark flap where I wait for fifty minutes until I say my four lines when I see a flash of golden hair, a trapezoidal jaw-line and chest like a shield. I see JOHN FREAKING SMITH in a bin of toys in the corner of the room.

I sing with all the voices of the mountain, “JOHN! JOHN! It’s me! Poc!”

And the Nose Ring Sister (eye roll) shoves me inside. I say, “Sister! It’s him! It’s John! They have a John!” She says, “He belongs to the children’s home!” I say, “He belongs to me!” She hisses, “Places!” and closes the flap in my face.

I wait fifty minutes and as soon as my flap opens (er, you know what I mean) I’m tempted to run right to him. But I don’t. Pals can’t run. I keep the show going. Surely, afterwards, the Sisters will have a heart; let me see him, hold him, get on a ship with him.

But, no. We bow. We’re thrown in a bag. Tossed in a car. And driven away. From the only love I’ve ever known.

Now I understand they can’t allow for a reunion with every little Quasimodo, Incredible and Good Dinosaur we come across. But I have given so much to this company. I would have thought….

The Sisters are heartless. Here we are doing a play about a tree and we haven’t once asked the tree for wisdom! I wish they knew what it was to be me.  I wish they could spend one day in my bare feet. If they’d just get out of their Dad’s SUV and walk the footsteps of a stranger, then surely, surely,  they’d learn things they never knew they never knew.

 

 

Me and My Magnet

 

by Jafar in Louisville

One week in and I am weary.

I am weary of the British accent they make me do in the show, which makes absolutely no sense seeing as we live in the fantastical world of Wheedelphia.

I am weary of Maleficent. One of my primary scene partners, unfortunately. Her part is a bit smaller than mine. I have one extremely long monologue for example, and she has none. She wears her jealousy like a cloak. She wears a cloak, as well. But just because she’s thrice my height doesn’t mean she deserves more lines. Obviously, I won the part for a reason. But when we’re getting set for the first scene, it’s like she won’t even speak to me. Last night, I asked her for a sip of her Fiji water and she just kept on making that same expression she always makes. Like she couldn’t even hear me. And I was thirsty the whole show. Very hard to do British when you’re thirsty.

 

But my weariness today stems from a rather harrowing experience I had during our last show in Louisville. I asked for a few shows to recover, but of course The Sisters don’t want to replace me. They brought understudies but that little C-list fairy from who-knows-what straight-to-video piece of crap sequel can’t fill in for me. We all know that. So, I must go on. Despite the fact, that minutes before our last show in Louisville…

I lost my magnet.

That’s right.

I hope I’m not giving anything away by revealing that the way we pals stick to this rickety little tree-set covered in steel is by magnets that have been glued to our feet (or butts if we are sitters). Still, The Sisters think it’s safe to throw us pals into a bag together for transport. Well. They learned the hard way when they were hastily setting up that Pocahontas had magnetized my magnet to her magnet and I was left with none. Takes 24 hours to glue on a new one. So what do they do?

They throw me onstage anyway.

In the very first scene, the Grandwhees start upside down and their room is flipped up when it is revealed. Guess who was in for a wild ride? Me. A Sultan. Without a magnet to hold me on the flip, I was hurtled through the air, flying and flailing until I landed at the feet of a very nice audience member who pointed to me so the Sister could grab me very toughly and slam me down on the set, glaring at me as if it was my fault.

Then She expected me to speak my lines like I wasn’t out of breath. Like I wasn’t aching from the fall. Like I wasn’t terrified for the next flip of the scenery.

I slipped throughout the entire show. Every time they changed scenes, they forgot I had no grip. I fell and I fell and I fell.

It was the longest hour and fifteen minutes of my LYFE.

I texted Jasmine soon as we were finished and she sent me a pic of her and Raja, laughing and eating Portillo’s.

 

I miss them. I miss Chicago. I miss my magnet.

I have a new one now. It’s not in quite the same place as it was before. I feel a bit off-balance, not that anyone’s bothered to ask. This is a non-equity production, so anything goes, I suppose.

Alas.

I lift my weary head, stare up at Maleficent towering above me, asking if I want to run our termite announcement before tonight’s show. (Bit of a line fumble last night. Her fault, of course.) I sigh and say I shall. Because the stage isn’t the only thing made of steel. So am I, dear plebeians.

So. Am. I.