I'm happy to introduce you all to Nola, one of my favorite doggos to walk. She's a fine ol' Southern belle of a black lab who, in true New Orleans fashion, loves eating green beans.
To be totally honest, I've never checked to confirm if Nola's name is in any way related to the deeelightful burg of New Orleans. However, in true Doggy Blog fashion, I have constructed an elaborate narrative about Nola's early life in the antebellum South and her subsequent escape to a new life in north side Chicago. Let's dive in with a beautiful bulleted list—also in true Doggy Blog fashion!
- 1867 AD, New Orleans, LA. Nola is enjoying life as a soothsayer in the French Quarter, trading her mystical abilities for green beans. She comes from a mysterious lineage, known for magical abilities and looong lifespans. Her business is booming in the recently upended Southern cultural and economical ecosystem, as many citizens seek a new direction in the occult. Nola, as any sound businesswoman would, expands her business into the apothecarian arts: tonic brewing, protective salt crystallization, alchemical tinctures, potion bottling, etc. Things are good.
- 1872 AD, New Orleans, LA. Casie Blount, of the much respected and oft feared Louisiana Blounts, saunters into Nola's now well-established shop looking for a nerve tonic to soothe her jittery hysteria. Nola, aware of the import of this transaction and thus a bit nervous herself, reaches for her popular "Ms. Nola's Pacifying Potion, No. IV". Unfortunately, in her anxious stupor, she accidentally grabs "Ms. Nola's Pacifying Potion, No. III," essentially a diluted rodent poison. She accepts Ms. Blount's bag of Confederate currency and bids her adieu.
- Later that same day. Ms. Blount, after drinking said potion, is poisoned and passes away, hand still clutching the rose-tinted bottle. A mob is formed and Ms. Nola is chased from her shop, and subsequently town. She heads north.
- 1968 AD, Chicago, IL. Nola has wandered the continental United States for nearly 100 years, haunted by the lingering influence of the Blount family. In an effort to conceal her identity, she had become a resolute Democrat and fervent opponent of the war in Vietnam. Running in these circles had introduced Nola to many movers and shakers, many of whom dabbled in the apothecarian arts that had brought Nola such fame and eventual misfortune. While attending a protest at the Democratic National Convention, Nola was stopped by a policeman. Upon seeing his badge and name, Nola was aghast: printed in bold, san serif font on the policeman's lapel was the name "Blount". Clearly the Blount family passed down a likeness of Nola over the last century, and the officer recognized her immediately. Nola turned to flee, reaching into her pocket for a small vial given to her by Timothy Leary, labeled "For Emergencies Only." Nola ducked down an alleyway and quaffed the black liquid. This, as you probably already guessed, transformed her into a black lab just as Officer Blount turned the corner. Blount, finding no evidence of the Louisianian soothsayer, picked up the kindly black lab and ironically adopted her.
- 1998 AD, Chicago, IL. Over the years, she gains his trust and finally explains her side of the story to Officer Blount on his death bed. He forgives her with his last breath, and Nola feels at peace for the first time in years.
- 2016 AD, Chicago, IL (north side). I begin walking Nola. After several walks, green beans, and head scratches, I gain her confidence and hear tell of this amazing story. And with her permission, and to ease the burden of over a century of guilt and persecution, I now share it with you.
And that's basically the story of Nola the sweet ol' black lab. She's a wonderful creature, wise, friendly, very stubborn in her walking tendencies and not afraid to pull a mere Yankee like me around like a kite with legs.
Here's to many more walks with Nola, a proud ol' Southern belle with a heart of gold!