Pet Tips 'n' Tales©

"Flash" That Doggy Smile!

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"©
Melissa is the first to admit that when her 3 year-old Havanese dog, Flash, falls in love someone he falls head over heels! "He becomes so excited at the site of his beloved(s) that he jumps into their laps, then smothers them with kisses. He is so loving and gentle that 'we' plan to enroll in Therapy Dog classes after 'we' 'retire.'"

TALES

The death of Melissa's Border Collie caused her such grief that two years passed before she felt ready to adopt a replacement. "Border Collies are wonderful dogs, but this time I wanted a smaller dog," said Melissa. "I was talking to my high school friend, Rose, who raises and shows Dobermans, when she mentioned that she had just begun raising Havanese. 'They have wonderful personalities', she said. But, I've always owned and loved herding dogs! 'Well', Rose replied, 'In Cuba, these little dogs are known for herding chickens. If you'd like, I will ask around at dog shows to see if anyone has a Havanese puppy available.'"

A few weeks later, Rose excitedly phoned Melissa from an Illinois dog show to say, "I found a couple with an 8-month-old, black and white, curly-haired Havanese puppy available for adoption!"

"Here is the amazing part!" said Melissa. "The couple live in California, much closer to Cottage Grove, Oregon than Illinois is! Then, the news got even better because the couple were on their way to visit their vacation home in Florence, Oregon with the puppy in tow! They literally would be driving right by my neighborhood! So, no worries about shipping the pup to me, or driving to California to pick it up, then traveling back to Oregon with it. This puppy was definitely meant for me!"

The pup's adoption process went so smoothly that Melissa had him with in the week! His "birth family" hand-delivered him to her and were able to check out his new "digs".
However, during their initial "adoption" telephone consultation, Melissa misunderstood the pronunciation of the pup's name. "They said 'Splash' but I heard 'Flash'", laughs Melissa. "He was stuck with 'Flash' because I had an engraved name tag waiting for him when he arrived, and upon arrival, he ran from room to room in a flash! He did not seem to notice the difference, as long as I didn't call him 'late for dinner.'"
 
"Flash and I have been 'family' for three years now and I can't imagine life without him. The Havanese breed is amazing; if you haven't yet met one, you should. My friend was right: Havanese are happy, smart, cuddly and they love a good walk. Because of Flash's fast- growing fur, he is treated to a monthly professional grooming. Havanese's fur is very silky and requires a daily combing to keep it looking neat. Also, I keep Flash's hair short to prevent having to cord it into dread locks.

Flash is a 'fancy purebred show dog', but he much prefers being just a 'plain old dog'. No Dog Show primping and fussing for him! People constantly stop us to remark upon his cuteness. I swear that Flash understands what they say because he literally puffs up with with pride.

Flash loves squeaky toys. He'll pick up a toy, make it squeak, throw it up into the air, then catch it, amusing himself for five minutes this way before giving me the signal to join in his fun.

What has surprised me the most about having a dog is that there were times that I did not have one. Then, after I get one, I remember how much a dog brings to one's life through their unconditional love and devotion. Flash's sweet spirit oozes with good will. I believe that people have 'soulmate animals' and that Flash is mine. Finally, some words of wisdom: Take great care should you ever encounter a litter of Havanese puppies because after seeing them, you'll be unable to leave that place without one!

TIPS

Sonya Fitzpatrick, Animal Planet's Pet Psychic, has a tried and true method for introducing an adopted dog adjust to it's new "siblings": "When I bring a rescued dog home, I leave it in the car while I fetch the 'sibling' from the house" said Sonya. I then let the rescued dog out of the car so the dogs can meet and play. Then all three of us go for a walk. This promotes bonding and discourages the need to ‘guard' territory. Then we walk 'home' together. It works beautifully every time!"

"I clip out each Pet Tips 'n' Tales column from "The Sentinel" to put into a scrap book," says fan Mary Anne. "This way I can refer to them when we need pet advice for my dogs or a good laugh to cheer us up."

"I print off the emailed Pet Tips 'n' Tales articles and keep them in a notebook," says Jannes in Tennessee, because I enjoy reading them in a 'book' form". 
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