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.

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.

Facebook page Dedicated to Foster Pets, Rescue and Adpotion

Miss Kory "Likes" the Amy's Happy Foster Critters page she inspired!

I created a Facebook page devoted to foster pets called Amy’s Happy Foster Critters. I created this page so you can choose whether or not you’d like to hear every detail about any foster pet I might encounter. Many of you will hear more then you care to straight from me. Others lucky enough to be spared that, may, like me, spend your time feeling so sorry for the pet that you try to convince yourself and everyone you know they NEED to adopt. So, this new page is not for the soft hearted or those on my speed dial. I just hope it helps even one pet find a forever home.

Please share it with anyone who is interested in adoption, fostering, rescue or other animal welfare issues.  You never know when that special pet will choose it’s human!

Miss Kory my Foster Dog from Indianapolis Animal Control

I picked Mis Kory up at Animal Care and Control lsat night.  She is spayed, current on her vaccinations, temperament tested and looking for her forever home.  I will post more information about her personality and temperament as I get to know her.  Please pass this along and consider volunteering, fostering, donating, or adopting with Indianapolis Animal Care and Control as they are over loaded and woefully understaffed.

 

Deano has specific requests

Deano before walking
Did you know she makes me wear this thing too?

My mom saved me from large building full of cages that were filled with lots of barking dogs.  I had a very painful wound on my leg so she was just supposed to keep me until I was better and a real home could be found but, I was so charming I was able to stick around for good.  As my mom put it, “he just sort of never left.”

I like things done the right way.  Putting that thing on me is not the right way but both Amy and my human insist on it and, since it seems to be required for a walk, I put up with it.  I like to walk briskly with many stops to sniff and mark.  Amy won’t let me mark all of the flowers and garbage cans that require it and this is very frustrating.  We do move fast when I want to though.  After my walk I require a few minutes in the yard.  I had to make this very clear to Amy as she just didn’t understand that this had to be part of our time together.  Fresh water is required each visit but she seemed to know this one, very odd for a human to be so well trained, but don’t look a gift human in the mouth.  Petting is another thing she gets right.  I particularly like it when she sits on the porch steps and I get to lean against her for pets and a hug or two.  It’s another thing that, oddly, required very little training.  All in all since she’s the only pet sitter I’ve ever had, I guess she does a good job.

Mr. Man aka "Missa" smiling to the end.

Pet Sitter Note: Missa was lost to cancer in May 2010.  Tragically Utley was lost to cancer as well a couple of months later.  Both boys lived, long full lives filled with of love and all the doggie fun they could ask for.  It has been a dificult year for Deano and his human but I think they are a great comfort to one another.
All three dogs were adopted from The Humane Society of Indianapolis (HSI) Deano’s human has been a valuable and dedicated foster parent to HSI for years.  It’s always lots of fun to see just who will be waiting for me at Deano’s house!
Deano and Utley morning the passing of Missa

Deano with his brother Utley mourning the recent loss of their other brother, Mr. Man, aka "Missa"