He's been part of my family for more than 2 years but I love him like he's been here forever. He's a toy poodle that I rescued at my work. He had been a shaking little timid thing, prone to nipping when someone would try to pick him up. He and his housemate had boarded with me at my kennel and he would sit and tremble in the back of the run. After a 10 day stay, I had won his trust and he would run outside with me and come to me to be picked up when he was ready to come in. I always stand outside with my little boarders. The fencing is very secure and there are several series of them before any dog could get loose but I still worry. About that and about hawks.
One day I was helping out up front in the reception area and I got a phone call from his owner. She wanted to put him to sleep because he had just thrown up on her bedspread. (He was 3 years old). She had said that she had been in several times trying to find out what was wrong with him and she didn't want to spend anymore money on him. (I was sitting at the computer looking at her account while she talked. She had been in ONCE) I listened to her rant and then I told her who I was and that I had cared for him while he had boarded and I asked if maybe she would think about letting me have him instead. I hardly had time for a breath when she said YES! She would be right over. So she was there in 20 minutes and handed him off to me without a good-bye.
I took him home and a day later he vomited in the living room. I reached for him and he cowered and trembled. I held him and stroked my finger up and down the front of his neck and quietly told him "It's OK. you're fine. Calm down Honey, it's OK". He settled down and then I put him on the floor and he looked at me and then ran off to play with some of the other little ones. It happened a few times after that and I came to realize it was always when there was "excitement" in the house. Sometimes the terriers will see someone out the window walking by or hear a dog bark on the TV and they will bark furiously and everyone else will join in. At these times little Louie would start gagging and vomit a little and I would pick him up and comfort him. Now if he gets excited I just say "Calm down Louie, you're ALRIGHT" and he will look at me and stop. Sometimes he runs to me and I will pick him up and hold him against me and give him kisses and tell him "It's OK little one" and then he he gives me little kisses back.
I can never get a good photo of him, partly because he's black but mostly because at first he trembled so much and then later because he's always on the go.
(Here's me and Louie at Halloween time not too long after I brought him home.)
(SO BLURRY! Sigh....)
So here's a little bit about Louie -Louie doesn't really walk or gallop or prance. He dances. He likes to throw out his right back leg and then his left back leg, kinda doing a double beat as he goes across the room. I've been intently watching "Dancing with the Stars" and I'm not sure if it's the Cha-Cha. Rumba or the Jive. I'm thinking it's more the Jive. He also loves to run around with toys twice his size and shake them hard and then catapult them up in the air. They will fly over the other little ones heads as they duck. He watches it fly and then he will dance across the room to grab it again. Sometimes one of the terriers will jump off a sofa and run over and take it. He will stop and watch them and then turn and dance to the laundry room and ring the bell on the back door over and over again. I hung it there trying to teach them to ring it when they wanted to go outside....but no one does. It's just Louie's game. Jumping against it like a cat or pulling on the string and RING, RING RING!
(I know that you were looking at Louie in those photos, Right? Not at my ugly baseboards were I just pulled the moulding off and haven't replaced and painted it yet. STOP looking at it. Focus on Louie!)
I will go to the door sometimes and open it for him but he never wants to go outside at those times. He just waits until I close the door and go back to the living room and then he starts "Ring"-"Ring"-"Ring" again, I thought about taking it down but he enjoys it so much and the rest of us just ignore it. I don't think anyone but me even notices it anymore. He is just the HAPPIEST little dog. He loves playing with the other little dogs or if the cats come upstairs he runs after them with glee. He tries to climb up on Dewey and the cat will let him do that for a while and then Dewey rolls over and kinda wrestles him. Dewey will gently wrap his front paws around Louie and nimble on his ears until Louie gives up the wrestle match. Louie can never win because Dewey is double his size!
Then he turns to his toys and or runs to the sofa to be picked up and laid on my lap for a rest.
Not long after I acquired my little guy, the previous owner called me. She wanted him back. All the girls at work told me not to let her have him. I wasn't really worried because I had her sign a release form transferring him over to me. One of the girls who tends to have a very cynical outlook on life said to me that the previous owner probably realized that she could have SOLD him and that was why she wanted him back.
So I took the phone call and listened to her as she told me that she had been on OFF of her medication that day and hadn't been in her right mind or she wouldn't have let him go. So I told her that I didn't want to hurt her feelings but THAT day she had wanted to euthanize him. She wasn't looking for a new adoptable HOME for him at the time and if I hadn't taken him, well...as I told her, there would have been no going back on THAT decision. I also told her that I loved him very much and that he was very happy and I promised to take very good care of him. To this she replied flippantly "Well! I tried!" I hang up feeling that my co-worker was indeed right on this one. She hadn't been upset or cried, she was just very business like.
Who knows what her plans for my Louie were!
So now you know about Louie. And my question is, do you think he was born that way? Dancing and HAPPY, skipping through life and throwing toys or at least always wanting to even when he was scared and trembling and hiding in corners. Or did I make him that way? Getting him cut in Poodle Cuts and Bows in his hair and polish on his toenails?
Personally, I think that he was BORN THAT WAY!