"I grew up watching western cowboy actors," said Sonja, "filming at Movie Flats in Lone Pine, California.
I rode my mustang to the locations and enjoyed watching them galloping and chasing, or being chased by, 'the bad guys' mounted on plain bay horses."
Years later, as Sonja was driving her newly adopted Bull Terrier puppy home they stopped in the middle of "nowhere" for a stretch. Sonja looked up and saw "a sign", "NO TARGET SHOOTING". Just like that, the pup had a name!
It is a good thing that Sonja became a vet technician, because life with Target was never dull! That dog plunged her and her vet tech friend, Gayle (and her two Labradors) into some "real fixes" on their Las Vegas hikes.
Fortunately the lady's motto was "Be Prepared" and their fanny packs held emergency items; hemostats, bandages, antihistamines, dog booties, water canteens etc.!
Bull Terriers walk with their noses to the ground, never looking UP! So Sonja's sons simply "hid" from Target by climbing a tree! When the dog zeros in on something, she snatches it up. The "first time" she crunched on a beer bottle Sonja "about had a heart attack!"
On one hike, Target encountered the wrath of a cactus. This "breed" of cactus is called the "jumping cholla" because its stinging "pokies" jump from the plant with the merest touch, so the ground around it is "littered" with its spiny thorns.
Neither of the hikers saw the dead cactus, and apparently, neither did Target who ran right through it!
Sonja held Target as Gayle pulled the thorns out with the hemostat! Thank goodness they were paw-fessionals!
"While rinsing Target off with a wet bandana," said Sonja, "I noticed one Lab tilting her head 'funny'. I checked her ears and discovered that a cactus had attacked her too! Luckily, nothing happened to the third dog who was smarter than the first two! After that hike, we leashed our dogs and put them in booties!
One day, after SCUBA diving, as I placed my wet gear in the bathtub, Target jumped in after them. She loved being dressed up, the praise, and paw-forming for the camera, so I set her up by the tub, slipped the mask on her, handed her the snorkel and snapped her picture!
Another time, I put a French beret on her as she sat in a toddler's car with her front paws on the steering wheel.
One year, Target won a football game's costume contest wearing a red clown wig, with red lipstick circling her 'plain eye', a red four inch ribbon encircled her rib cage holding a dozen bright helium balloons flying above her! The audience had a fit laughing as Target bounced and bit those balloons to death!
Bull Terriers are a 200 lb dog compressed into a 40 lb bowling ball of solid muscle! Target loves to take off running, in circles, like a mad thing. Everyone gets out of her way, even my Rottweiler, Thor! Thor sat on the couch watching her zoom under the coffee table, end tables, and fly back down the hall. If anyone walked into the room, Target made a couple of barrel racing circles around them, and then off she'd go, charging down the hallway again.
Five-years-old twins, who lived on a sheep ranch, were no help! The girls would get on the floor with Target and both 'SIT UP', so, Target would SIT UP. Then both girls 'Rolled Over', so Target would too! We had to put the lid on 'SPEAK' because as the girls barked, Target joined in, then their four Border Collies joined in, too. Before we knew it, they would start a riot as coyotes joined them! This upset the sheep, so it was banned. I will never forget that dog!"