Bonnie Oropallo with Susan and Charles Oropallo

Bonnie Oropallo relaxing on a warm floor – she’s thinking there’s just nothing like radiant floor heating! Photo by Charles Oropallo.

This is a short story about how Charles Oropallo and Susan Oropallo came to adopt the newest member of their family, who would lovingly come to be known as Bonnie Oropallo.

In April 2016, Charles Oropallo’s mom, Arlene deSousa, was in a nursing home in Tampa, Florida. It was supposed to be a short stay while she convalesced in order to return to the living assistance facility she resided at. Arlene asked Charles if he would mind temporarily bringing her then 8 year old miniature poodle, Bonnie, to visit with him and his wife, Susan Oropallo, until she could get back to her home. Charles and Susan spoke about this, as they had been twenty years enjoying total freedom from kids and pets! But they agreed they’d watch Bonnie long enough for Charles’s mom to return home.

Bonnie Oropallo from Florida to New Hampshire

Bonnie's trip from the Tampa, Florida area to her new Peterborough, New Hampshire residence.
Bonnie Oropallo’s trip from the Tampa, Florida area to her new Peterborough, New Hampshire residence.

To visit with Charles and Susan Oropallo, Bonnie got the opportunity to enjoy the long ride from Tampa, Florida, all the way north to Peterborough, New Hampshire. Charles was not certain how often Bonnie would need to stop along the way. To be on the safe side, they stopped about every few exits. This made for a very long trip back – and Bonnie loved the trip.

With her arrival in Peterborough, New Hampshire, Bonnie went from two rooms in an assisted living facility in Tampa, Florida, to over ten rooms spread out over three floors in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Susan and Charles were surprised to discover Bonnie actually did not know how to use stairs. This presented a problem with there being two full flights of stairs between the three floors she now had the run of. One that Bonnie quickly overcame.

In June of 2016, Charles Oropallo and Susan Oropallo took Bonnie with them for a ride to visit Arlene deSousa at the nursing home she was in. Bonnie got to see Arlene just before Arlene was taken to an intensive care unit. Unfortunately, Charles’s mom, Arlene deSousa, passed. So Bonnie officially became adopted by Charles Oropallo and Susan Oropallo.

It was very apparent for many, many months that Bonnie missed Arlene very much. But ultimately, Bonnie became part of the Oropallo family. We refer to her as Bonnie Oropallo now. And Charles and Susan could not imagine Bonnie not being there with them.

Peterborough, NH versus Tampa, FL Weather

Here are a couple weather widgets showing the current weather in Peterborough, New Hampshire and the current weather in Tampa, Florida.

Peterborough NH Weather
light snow
humidity: 92%
wind: 3mph NNW
H 32 • L 30
Weather from OpenWeatherMap


Tampa FL Weather
clear sky
humidity: 59%
wind: 13mph NW
H 58 • L 55
Weather from OpenWeatherMap

Snow – Something New for Bonnie

Susan Oropallo - Charles Oropallo - Bonnie
Susan Oropallo – Charles Oropallo – Bonnie Oropallo during a January 2017 nor’easter blizzard in Peterborough New Hampshire. Photo by Robin Snow.

As far as Susan and Charles Oropallo know, Bonnie had never been in the snow before. The winter season of 2016-2017 in Peterborough, New Hampshire was probably her very first as far as was known.

Very much to Susan and Charles Oropallo’s surprise, it appears Bonnie really loves the snow. Go figure!

But then again, she doesn’t have to clean it, plow it, snow-blow it, or otherwise have to deal with it in any fashion other than playing in it and walking through it. Her favorite past time in the snow is climbing up snowbanks.

Freezing Cold NH Winter Weather

Susan Oropallo, Bonnie Oropallo and Charles Oropallo going to friends home on Christmas Day 2017. Photo by Charles Oropallo.
Susan Oropallo, Bonnie Oropallo and Charles Oropallo going to friends home on Christmas Day 2017. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

One of the great things about the New England area is the sheer beauty of the winter season. This area of the country is certainly wonderful at Christmas time. Spending Christmas with friends is a wonderful thing to do during weather like we have.

The New England winter season is incredibly beautiful. However, that awesome beauty can be offset by the bitterness and cold that can happen during the winter time here. During the 2017-2018 winter season, we got some really cold weather in between Christmas and New Years. Bonnie has a very difficult time during this kind of weather.

Bonnie in her new coat waiting to go out 12/28/2017. Photo by Charles Oropallo
Bonnie in her new coat waiting to go out 12/27/2017. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

Initially, we have tried a few different doggie garments to help keep Bonnie warmer outside in the worst of our winter weather. The first line of winter defense is to allow her hair to grow out during that time of year. Bonnie is a 15 pound miniature poodle mix. We normally keep her cut very short. Bonnie would normally need a hair cut every 30-60 days.

Bonnie with her new booties 12/28/2017 in below zero weather. Photo by Charles Oropallo
Bonnie with her new booties 12/28/2017 in below zero weather. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

In the photo above, Bonnie has her 2017 Christmas jacket on. She is okay when putting it on – but is not happy when removing it. Charles thinks it’s the sound of the Velcro that she reacts to. When Charles or Susan undoes the Velcro slowly to avoid one loud sound, Bonnie is absolutely fine with it.

It does not take long before Bonnie starts limping from walking outside in the near zero degree weather. So Susan solved the problem totally by getting Bonnie a set of booties to wear.

Bonnie ready for sub zero weather in southern New Hampshire 12/29/2017. Photo by Charles Oropallo.
Bonnie getting ready for a sub zero weather walk in southern New Hampshire 12/29/2017. Photo by Charles Oropallo.

You really have to see Bonnie in these to believe it. But the booties really made the difference! Bonnie was able to stay outside without limping and able to do her business even though it was below zero (-9° Fahrenheit outside) when this photo with Bonnie in her booties was taken.

Although Bonnie does not usually go outside in the extremely cold weather, she can do so much more comfortably wearing her protective gear. It takes Charles and Susan about five minutes to get Bonnie ready. Bonnie got used to wearing these very quickly, although Charles and Susan are very sure she’d rather not!

Rides are the Best

Bonnie Oropallo waiting impatiently to get into the car and go for a ride.
Bonnie Oropallo thinking: “C’mon, it’s time to go for a ride!” Photo by Charles Oropallo.

What does Bonnie seem to love the most? Going for a ride in any of the Oropallo’s cars – or anyone’s for that matter!

Short rides or long ones – Bonnie gets crazy excited when asked if she wants to go for a ride.

What Bonnie thinks is happening when it’s time for a ride only she knows for sure. She seems to just want to go wherever someone else wants to go.

Walks are the Next Favorite

Going out for walks is her next favorite thing to do. She has gotten way more exercise than she ever in her life had since living with Susan and Charles Oropallo.