Bongo Marie Tigger Airedale


By Sally Blanchard

For 15 years of Bongo Marie’s life, I had a wonderful goofy Ranch Airedale named Tigger who was about 95 pounds without an ounce of fat. He was a rescue at about 6 months and as with a lot of terriers, he needed a lot of instruction and correction when he was a puppy. Some of these corrections were given with a firm and sometimes loud voice. This was the perfect voice for an African grey to be able to learn.

I remember one time I was reading in the living room. Tigger got up to stretch before he continued his nap. Suddenly my voice rang out with a series of commands, “Move, sit, come here, lay down, sit, get over here, do you hear me, stay, come here!” For a moment, I thought that Tigger was going to try and turn himself inside out trying to follow her orders.

Then he saw that I was sitting in the chair trying not to laugh too hard at him. He sighed and collapsed to finish his nap. There were a few times that she still fooled him. She often laughed after she had harassed my the poor dog in this manner.

I had neighbors who were very friendly when I moved in and fell in love with Tigger. Then they suddenly stopped talking to me. Another neighbor told me that they had been told that the other neighbors were upset with me because I yelled at my dog so much. She told them that it was my African grey parrot but they said, "No, it is clearly her voice". One day I was watering the flower garden in the front yard and Bongo Marie was yelling commands at Tigger. The upset neighbors suddenly realized that I was just quietly watering the flowers and started talking to me ... about my parrot and how she sounded just like me.