Before July 2009, I just had my li’l guy, Li’l Bit, featured here: My Bitter. A friend of mine, Anna Hagley who’s blog is featured here: Pooches For Peace, had posted a message on Facebook about an American Staffordshire Terrier that needed a home.
I immediately jumped on it. I left a comment inquiring about the dog. The reason I inquired was because I knew that Howard wanted a bold, strong dog for a pet if he were to have one. He’s okay with Bit, but he’s more inclined toward a hunting dog or one that looks muscley.
I went to lunch with Hojo that day at Steak N Shake – which I haven’t done in ages – and I told him about the AmStaf. He was skeptical at first because it was found by my friend’s boyfriend’s (Chad) co-worker and we hadn’t gotten a picture or anything yet. Anna eventually sent info via cell phone. They called him “Knuckles.”
The AmStaf, at the time, was about 16 weeks old. He’s white and brindle and looked completely healthy. Anna and her friend suspected that he’d gotten spooked during Red, White & Boom in Columbus just a little while before. He was calm, gentle, and very friendly. They didn’t know about his records because he’d been wandering.
I finally convinced Hojo to at least take a look. We met Anna and Chad at the Ohio State Newark parking lot. Hojo and I drove separately. I’d had Bit at my mom’s and Hojo had just gotten out of class. Hojo was eager to see the dog, although he was still wary of the idea. I brought Bit in my arms.
Anna stepped out of Chad’s truck first and I introduced her to Hojo. Chad got the AmStaf from the bed of his truck. The dog had a makeshift leash and collar around his neck. Hojo was sold. Bit was a little less than pleased to see such a large puppy. He wriggled in my arms and I had to clamp down on him. We chatted about “Knuckles” for a moment and Anna gave Knuckles some Puperoni.
I took the extendo-leash off of Bit to use on our new addition to our family. Hojo, giddy with excitement, took Knuckles in his Jeep up to his parents’ in Mt. Vernon to get cleaned up. I drove up too, right behind him. Hojo got Knuckles in the bathtub, soaked him down and washed him up. The number of fleas that fell off him was amazing!
Knuckles was dried off and he looked bright and beautiful! He quickly took to the other dogs at Hojo’s parents’. Since then, when we had Knuckles at home finally, Bit took it upon himself to try to bully the AmStaf. Bit thinks he’s huge.
Hojo finally decided on a name for our new buddy. Hojo did a little research online and we now call him Churchill. Since July, Churchill has been a great addition. He’s fun, he’s playful, a little mischevious, and very gentle with my tiny dog.
Sometime in August ’09, we’d taken Church and Bit to the bike path. Church hadn’t had his shots yet, which I had a bad feeling about. Hojo, Cai (Hojo’s son), Bit, Church, and I had a great time wandering down the path to a restored train that used to run on coal. It started to sprinkle so we walked back to the Jeep and went home.
Over the next week, Churchill started behaving in a very sickly way. Hojo thought it might be something Church had eaten. I suspected the worst, parvo. I did a little looking around and the early symptoms seemed to match. Eventually, Church wore down enough to alarm Hojo and he took him to the Mount Vernon Animal Hospital. They confirmed it was parvovirus and said they’d keep Church there and treat him.
After the first couple days, we got to go see Churchill. Hojo talked with the veterinarian and petted Churchill who was laying in a metal kennel with a blanket under and over him. I squeezed in to pet the poor li’l guy. His eyes were drowsy and he looked very weak. He’d lost a lot of fluids in the time it took to convince Hojo there was something wrong. I think Hojo was scared that a dog he’d finally gotten really attached to was possibly dealthy ill, his dog. Churchill would tap his tail a little bit when we would talk to him. Cai then squeezed his way in the room to crouch and pet Church too.
Church got up once while we were there to drink some water. He struggled to stand up and when he did, he walked slowly to the bowl in his kennel. He went back to his bed of blankets and laid down daintily. We’d all found a new resolve to keep up on our dogs’ shots that day.
My mom and Mimi (my grandmother) took Bit for the duration and they got all their dogs and Bit their overdue parvo shots. In the meantime, while Church was out of commission at the vet’s, I was busy disinfecting the entire house. I borrowed my mom’s carpet steam cleaner and used a combination of water, carpet cleaner with disinfectant, and Clorox 2 so I wouldn’t damage the carpets. I swept everything from bottom to top and washed blankets and seat cushion covers in either bleach or Clorox 2. I also wiped down all doorknobs, tiles, sink fixtures, and our tub. Hojo used his dad’s chemical sprayer to douse the yard in the places where Church had ‘gone potty’.
After a while, with hydration and proper treatment, Churchill got better. He was thin and gaunt, but he was up and moving. The vet prescribed a bland diet with a specific canned food, encouragement to drink water, and lots of rest.
Since then, Churchill’s been quite healthy. He gained back his appetite within the week and he’s always looking for scraps. Bit has been healthy as well.
Please, whatever you do, get your new pets vaccinated as soon as possible! It’s terribly costly to help bring your pet back to health and it’s taxing on the poor animal’s immune system and body. Take it from me, it’s terrible to see your pet feeling ill.
More pictures of Churchill:
Churchill News Flash: 2 remotes have been demolished. One for the DVD player, the other for the television. Absolutely unusable. I would have gotten pictures, but they were thrown away before I could. A couple days ago, I stopped at Radio Shack and got a universal remote to handle both.
This one will be placed on the entertainment center when we’re gone. No more chewed up electronic equipment! We still need to keep on the lookout for various items that could become interesting though. Hojo decided to start turninig up the couch cushions so Churchill can’t make himself comfortable anymore. The little stinker has gotten used to getting up there.