Artie, my little Papillon, and his Tale of Survival

Rescuing my Papillon

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Artie at his cutest. Photo By: The Photon Wrangler.

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Artie finally learned to behave on the leash, mostly. Photo By: The Photon Wrangler.

I took care of a Papillon in 2003 and knew that when I got a small dog it would be a Papillon.  In 2008, I was ready to adopt.  Artie was the fourth dog I applied to adopt.  The rescue lets foster parents match their charge with potential parents and I finally measured up with Artie.  In retrospect, I’m not sure what that says about me.  I drove to Minneapolis to meet his foster parents who came down form Northern Wisconsin.  Out he came into a Taco Bell parking lot on a leash two kids were fighting over.  He was bouncing, spinning, yapping, jumping and circling at the end of the leash.  I thought he was adorable.

In my five page application I had indicated that I wanted a young and healthy dog but that I did not require that it be trained or house broken.  I can do those things, I thought.  He proved to be a bit of a  challenge.  He had separation anxiety and barrier frustration.  I gave up on crate training when I came home to his little nails bloodied because he was trying to dig out of the crate.  I adjusted to him as much as he adjusted to the house and me.  It took a good six months to house train him and that was with him tethered to my side 24/7.

Two German Shepherds and a Papillon meet

By February 2010 everyone was getting along just fine.  Artie went out one day into the yard which had and invisible fence.  I don’t know if he escaped the fence or if the neighbors two dog aggressive German Shepherds escaped theirs but either way, they met up and it almost killed Artie.  There were dozens of wounds and it was described to me as a “curtain of blood.”  He was rushed to a vet in town that happened to be open despite it being Sunday afternoon. I was working and I got to the vet’s office just in time to get him,  his medication, and pay the bill.  He was sent home with dog arthritis medication, a tube in his chest and a vague prognosis that he might make it.  On the 15 minute drive home I knew he was dying.  I took him to Airport Animal Emergi-Center emergency vet.  The emergency vetrinarian told me that Artie would have died if I had not brought him in.  There were wounds that were not sewn shut, including one that allowed air to escape his chest cavity.  The vet showed a video he took showing air moving in and out of the wound by holding a piece of cotton in front of it.  Other wounds had hair sewn into them.   He also said that he rarely needs to place chest tubes and that injuries as severe as Artie’s come in about once a month and this came from a veterinarian who specializes in emergency medicine and sees the most extreme injuries.  The good news was that there was every reason to think his chances of recovery were good.  They kept him overnight.  When I picked him up the next morning he was shaved from neck to tail and the stitches and wounds were so numerous that I never tried to count them.  He also had a narcotic patch and was heavily sedated to manage the pain.  A long way removed from the dog aspirin he was given initially.

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Artie would not wear a coat or sweater or sit near anyone. Here he's curled up in a chair across the room from me.

He spent the next week at our regular vet, St. Francis’ Pet Hospital, (Artie and I can’t say enough good things about St. Francis’s Pet Hospital and the staff there) during the day for monitoring and at home being hovered over by me at night.  After the narcotic pain patch wore off he seemed to be in a lot of pain despite strong pain medication and sedatives.  One morning when he went out to go to the bathroom he ran straight under the front porch and would not come out.  It was 6:00am and about 20 degrees.  No amount of enticing, pleading or bribing would coax him out.  He growled and bit at me when I tried to get to him and moved away if I tried to go under the porch after him.  He was under the porch in the freezing cold, virtually bald, his wounds were dirty, he was obviously terrified and I was at a loss.  This went on for nearly two hours.  My brother, Matt, came over to save the day, and Artie.  After Artie bit him and drew blood, Matt got a long 1×1 board for himself and one for me.  He then crawled under the porch, which runs the length of the house, and used his board to block Artie from doubling back behind him and force him towards me at the other end.  We both used our boards to close off his retreat and slowly shrink his avenue of escape to an opening right in front of me on the outside of the porch.  When he came out I grabbed his collar and I’ll never forget how he bit, growled and cried.  It was awful.  His disposition did not begin to improve for about a week and he was very leery of anyone touching him for months afterwards.  The best explanation I heard for his behavior from the time he went under the porch to his return to normal (Artie’s version of normal at least) was that the poor little guy was trying to hide from the pain.

When Artie lept from the floor to the back of the couch for the first time month’s later I knew he was fully recovered.

Papillon Power

Papillon picture in black and white

Artie, my Papillon, surveying his kingdom from the back of the couch. Photo By: The Photon Wrangler.

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Artie earning his keep guarding The Critter Mobile.

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Hanging out in the hammock. Photo By: The Photon Wrangler.

 

 

 

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Taking a well deserved rest after a hard day at work.

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Artie showing of the coat he happily wears these days.

Rommel the Rottweiler and Nina the rescue – the Happy Critters behind Amy’s Happy Critters, Inc.

The humans that belong to Rommel and Nina have been my friends since before Rommel and Nina owned them.

rottweiler and cat under couch
Rommel as a puppy under my couch next to Domino, my cat with his first, favorite toy that he did not want to share.

 

This is a Polaroid of Rommel under my futon hoarding a toy back in 2000 when he was the size of my cat Domino.  I of course immediately insisted on being given the position of Aunt and Puppy Sitter.

 

Rommel the Rottweiler was often my house guest while his parents traveled.  Shortly after they got Rommel they of course had to get him a sister (one pet is never enough), Nina, the Flat Coated Retriever Mix (?) who they adopted from Indianapolis Animal Care and Control.  Now when the humans traveled I had a house full, 5 dogs and a cat plus a feral cat colony outside. I loved it.

 

“We are best friends.”

When I was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer in 2003 Nina and Rommel were at my house.  They were scheduled to come stay again during the early part of my recovery but that was no longer an option.  Their humans hired a Pet Sitter to come into the home and care for Rommel and Nina while they were away.  What is a pet sitter I asked?  They explained, I did some research and knew right away I was not returning to my job refinishing furniture.  My surgery was February 6, 2003, I started Amy’s Happy Critters, Inc. in March of 2003, thanks to the first Happy Critters, Nina and Rommel.

rottweiler cute pic
“I have a foot fetish.”

 Rommel has a foot fetish, when you walk, he puts his nose right on the top of your shoe and grumbles and sniff’s, as you try to walk.  He gets over this in a few minutes.  It’s cute, when you don’t trip over him an fall.  As with most Rotties I’ve met he can not get enough love and attention.  If you stop moving, he will be there presenting you with an ear or a stub of tail to scratch.  If you sit down, it’s time to be prepared for kisses.

 

Nina loves affection just as much as her brother but, unlike Rommel who more or less outgrew his toy obsession, Nina takes the prey instinct to new heights.  She quickly progressed from disemboweling squeeky toys to taking on raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, geese, ducks and swans with varying degrees of success.

rottweiler and rescued dog
“There are geese in my yard-I MUST go.”

 

Rommel, Nina and their humans are family to me.  Rommel is now a spry 12 years old and Nina is ageless it seems.  My friends added two children -of the human variety- to their family recently.  I am not qualified to care for those types of critters but I have non the less appointed myself Aunt Amy again.

 

Thank you Rommel, Nina and your humans for helping me make something good come of something so bad and leading me into the post-cancer part of my life.

“I think Aunt Amy’s here – treats!”

The Story of Bella Mia, My Bischon Frise – Rosalynn DeFelice

 

Beschon Frise

Grandma Rosalynn and Bella Mia her Bischon Frise on the porch in strawberry season.

My Grandma Rosalynn DeFelice wrote this story of her beloved Bella Mia when I asked friends and family if they would like to share their pet stories.  She typed it on a typewriter so I have uploaded it just as she gave it to me.

 

Bischon Frise

Even dog people like kittens, a little.

"Let's see if you are an acceptable human."

This is Emma, the newest and at present, the youngest, Happy Critter.  I thought her tail was at attention while she was inspecting me but it pretty much stays that way all the time.

Here she is having fun with her big sister Inky.  I’ve been caring for Inky for a couple of years now.  Today was the first time she came out to meet me at the door.  Our relationship progressed from her hiding from me to meeting me at the door today.  I think she has decided she will get no attention with Emma around unless she comes on out.

KITTEN ATTACK!

Kitten attacking finger.

Kitten attacking foot.

Kitten attacking foot.

Kitten attacking hand.

Emma seems to have enjoyed our first meeting and I didn’t loose to much blood.  The best part about Emma, aside from that tail, is that she has breathed new life into her big sister Inky.

Please keep getting puppies and kittens so that I can restrain myself from adding to our furry family.

 

Chloe’s Mutt Strut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Chloe the Pug at the Mutt Strutt at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Chloe, the 10 year young Pug, has been a Happy Critter since 2003. She took her human to Mutt Strut on Saturday May 1st, 2011 to strut her stuff and benefit her cousins at the Humane Society Of Indianapolis. Chloe persuaded her mom to walk the entire 2.5 miles without her mom needing to carry her. (Carrying Chloe helps her mom feel safe in strange places.) She did have to let her human rest and get a drink a few times but she is nonetheless very proud of her human for her assistance in helping the homeless animals.

Chloe and her mom dedicate their Mutt Strut to Cooper, who was surely walking along side them in spirit.

Pug Power at the Brickyard.

Chloe burns up the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

If I didn’t share my home animals……

 

If I Didn’t Have a Dog…or Cat…………

I could walk barefoot around the yard in safety.

My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and
laminated. All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would
be hair-free.

When the doorbell rang, my home wouldn’t sound
like a kennel.

When the doorbell rang, I could get to the door without
wading through all the fuzzy bodies who beat me there. I could sit on the couch and the bed any way I wanted
without having to consider how much space several
furry bodies would need to get comfortable.

I would have enough money, and no guilt, to go on
a real vacation. I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians
as I put their yet-unborn grandkids through college.

My house would not be cordoned off into zones with
baby gates and makeshift barriers.

I would not talk baby talk: ‘Eat your din din’…’Yummy
yummy for the tummy’… My house would not look like a daycare center, with toys
everywhere.

My pockets would not contain things like poop bags,
treats, and an extra leash.

I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L,
W-A-L-K, T-R-E-A-T, O-U-T, G-O, R-I-D-E, S-U-P-P-E-R,
and C-O-O-K-I-E.

I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as
outside.

I would not look strangely at people who think
having ONE dog/cat ties them down too much.

I would look forward to spring and the rainy season
instead of dreading ‘mud’ season.

I would not have to answer the question ‘Why do you
have so many animals?’ from people who will never
know the joy of being loved unconditionally by the
closest thing to an angel they will ever encounter.

……………………………..How EMPTY my life would be!!!

Be Be the 70 Year Old Circle Dancing Dog

 

Amy’s Happy Critters, Inc. is thrilled to introduce two very important new members of the AHC Mooresville family. Be Be the Yorkshire Terrier and Jacquelyn the Petsitter (aka Aunt Jackie to Be Be) The comments below are from Aunt Jackie’s daily update to Be Be’s mom. I agree wholeheartedly and felt it was worth sharing.

” I plan to be like Be Be when I am 70 (do you believe she is 70 in dog years?). She does the circle dance when she’s excited about a good meal, she bustles through her day with enthusiasm, she follows her nose to satifsfy her curiosity and she shows love in abundance to those who are loving to her. “

We are Just to busy….

Happy Holidays from the critters of Amy’s Happy Critters, Inc.,

They would like to me to let everyone know that they still have plenty to say but the holidays are just to busy a time to mess with it.  Some of the reasons I have been given are:

  • “It’s hard work inspecting and approving or disapproving of all the strangers that the humans just let walk right in.”
  • “The door bell rang again!  Someone’s here to see ME!”
  • “The door is open….perhaps I can sneak out…”
  • “The floors, counters, kitchen tables, coffe tables, laps of visitors, (in Riley the Wonder Dog’s case-refrigerators) and especially small children are a source of so many treats, it’s a full time job scavenging.”
  • STRANGE PEOPLE-RUN AND HIDE!!”
  • “New laps to sit on, I hope some of them don’t like cats.”
  • ‘Toddlers, watch your tails.”
  • “My humans are gone, again, and the substitute does not live here.  Boring.”

As you can see, the critters are busy.

They assure me they will have much to report in 2011!

Amy