My story, faithful friend, happy companion – a dog.

Puffball’s Return – The Good, The Bad and The Very Ugly

As you know I am a laid-back  Aussie Tibbie. I am tolerant of others, I accept the differences of those around me and I do my best to be polite and kind where I can.

I don’t throw my weight around and I don’t keep having to prove I’m top dog with The Princess. The only time we’ve had words is over my dinner plate, that is not for sharing! She knows this and only does it occasionally to check I’ll still grumble at her.

Beloved is pretty easy going too I think. But recently something occurred which got us both mad. As a result this is a longer post than usual, but it also has lots of pictures.

You may remember the VIP. The Very Important Puffball. Let me fill you in a little just in case you didn’t know.

Once upon a time there was a Very Tiny Puffball. She was a Bichon Frise. A French breed of dog, fluffy, white and known to be gentle and loving.

Our Puffball once looked like this little puppy happy & carefree

This little puppy Puffball found a loving home with two elderly people one of whom was a vet. They already had an older puffball so she moved in with this family and was loved by all. She had her fluffy pal and two doting people. At night she slept on the bed with her family and her little world was safe and secure. She was happy.

Another Bichon puppy

For five years this life continued then tragedy struck the little home. The wife died. Puffball was sad and knew too that her remaining person was sad but life went on pretty much the same for her and her pal for a few months.

Then her person met an old friend he hadn’t seen for a while. She was alone too and pretty soon she moved in with him. This could have been the happy ending that all stories should have but sadly it was the beginning of great unhappiness and confusion for our puffball, called Brie. This was when it all began to go horribly wrong.

The new lady friend did not like dogs and Brie and her pal found themselves not only shut out of the bedroom but shut out of the house and kept in the garage. Her old person was sad because he loved them but instead of telling the lady to go he began looking for another home for his two puffballs one of whom needed special care because of eye problems.

Brie and her pal used to be groomed in the village and the owner of this shop was concerned about what might happen to these two loving little dogs and agreed to put up a notice and help to re-home them.

This is when Brie, the Very Important Puffball came to our notice. Not because of Beloved, she is more than happy with The Princess and I and is not looking to add to the pack. No, she came to our attention because of Beloved’s parents who decided she sounded like the perfect pal for Prissy Paws, their Shih-Tzu. Huh!

Prissy Paws – happier being an only child

We wrote about that incident. About how Prissy Paws ignored her and made out he was miserable and then Beloved’s mother became Ill and they decided that although Brie, renamed Mimi, was a lovely dog it wasn’t fair to her to keep her, that she would be happier elsewhere. They were very wrong.

The first we heard of the decision was when Beloved phoned them one afternoon and heard that the VIP had gone to another elderly couple who had wanted her when they saw her advertised. Beloved wasn’t pleased about it. The Princess and I were sad too, but we hoped Mimi (alias Brie) would be happy.

Meanwhile the Puffball’s little pal had found a forever home with a vet who was able to deal with her health issues so she had fallen paws up or should that be down? Anyway, she had a good home.

For two days nothing happened. We heard reports that the Puffball was a very loving dog but a bit spoilt. Well, I guess that was true though not through her own fault.

Several days later we heard that the elderly couple who had taken her did not want her after all and all our fears were realized. She was too much trouble. She wanted to be with them all the time, she wanted to come inside the house when they were in as she was used to and not live in the garden.  What a nuisance!

We discovered that she had been passed on temporarily to another family who would not allow her in the house but kept her outside and punished her regularly for whining and wanting to be with the family inside the house. They were going to take her to the local pound today if no other home was forthcoming. Beloved wanted to take her then but before she had a chance to step in another home was found.

We were furious but what could we do? Beloved spoke to the lady at the shop who with the best of intentions had tried to find a loving home for the Puffball and she was also angry and upset.

Then we heard more about the new home that had been arranged and we became concerned. This was a home with two children which could be lovely for Puffball. But it was a home who had never had a dog before and the family were out all day. They were instructed by the people who then had her that the dog just needed a kennel and would stay outside all the time.

Poor Brie. From being an inside, doted on pet she was suddenly shoved outdoors and left alone in a frightening world. Beloved thought of The Princess and knew how she and I would feel if this was happening to us and she was upset.

Then owner of the grooming shop stepped in. She met the new family and told them that the Puffball had to be an inside dog, but she couldn’t stop her going to them at that time, she didn’t have the authority. Later that day she spoke to the former owner and got ownership of the Puffball transferred to her so she could step in and make sure she was being looked after.

Poor little Puffball had had five different homes in a matter of a few weeks and again we were cross but hoped that perhaps the family would love her and the children would be loving towards her.

Within 24 hours the family called the lady at the shop to say that they had taken her to a vet and the vet had found a lump in her mouth which he thought could be cancer. They would not keep ‘The Dog’. We were a little surprised about the lump because she had already been checked by a vet and given the all-clear, but in part we were also relieved that the family had called and were going to return her. She wasn’t going to be passed on somewhere else. When the owner of the shop called Beloved she said at once that we would take her, not forever because I know I am a little high maintenance with my health issues, but until the lump is checked out and until we are certain that the right home is found.

Making Brie feel welcome by getting her bed in order with the right smell

This may look like I’m resting but I’m just ‘pawsing’  before the hard work of getting this bed to smell right begins again

Apparently there is an elderly lady who is at home all day and who expressed an interest in having Brie (Mimi didn’t bring her much luck so Beloved has reverted to calling her Brie again). This might be the perfect home, but the lump needs to be checked out first or Brie could be facing another tragedy.

When Beloved picked her up yesterday she felt very sad. The confident happy little dog of a few weeks ago had been replaced by an anxious Puffball with confusion and fear looking out of her big brown eyes. From being a doted on pet who once slept on the bed she had become an unwanted nuisance who someone felt it appropriate to train by literally picking her up and throwing her physically into an outside kennel until she obeyed them and stayed there. What is worse they actually spoke about it as if this was an appropriate way to train wayward dogs.

Fortunately the Puffball remembered us. Within minutes she was playing with The Princess and licking my nose.

Inside and safe

Beloved and her beloved are giving her lots of love and with AJ still here at the moment we have three laps to go around.

She is still a little frightened. Last evening she was too afraid to get off her bed and for some reason wanted her lead next to her so Beloved took it down from the hook and let her sleep with it along with the rest of her toys and her little jacket.

With all her wordly goods around her, toys, jacket and lead she wonders what is in store for her next

We don’t sleep on the bed with Beloved, The Princess snores. But we sleep close by. Brie whined a little when we went to bed but she was reassured by our presence.

This morning we have all been out to the dog park and you can tell that The Puffball hasn’t done too much, if any, walking on the lead. She is worse than The Princess. And when we got to the park she kept getting stuck in the corners where the most smells were, she had never been to such a rich place before.

It was a bit cold and windy so we couldn’t spend too long there but Beloved told her beloved that for Brie it was the equivalent of him going into an art gallery stuffed with Impressionist paintings and we should give her time to sniff and savor.

When we came home we all had a run and a play and then we went into the bedroom to make sure AJ was awake – he was when we’d finished saying hello!

She still has a way to go. She whines when Beloved, her beloved or AJ goes out. We have told her that AJ doesn’t live here all the time but she is falling for him.

The Puffball making eyes at AJ

Beloved is going to talk to the lady in the shop on Monday and they will decided what to do about the spot in her mouth and what to do about the new home. One things for sure, Beloved and her Beloved won’t let her leave here unless they are confident that she will be loved as she deserves. Which might mean she stays a long time! I don’t mind except that looking after both Brie and The Princess in the park is rather a lot for my aching muscles. I was having to go between the two of them this morning and it got quite tiring!

So what went wrong? Why did a loving, happy little Puffball have to go through all of this?

Perhaps I’m being a little unfair to her elderly owner here because circumstances did change for him but pets are never to be undertaken lightly, they are or should be a lifetime commitment. They are not to be ‘got rid of’ when it becomes inconvenient.

A moments thought would have made it obvious that a Puffball who had been as sheltered and pampered as Brie should only have been passed on to a special home and not separated from her lifelong pal who was her security.

Sometimes circumstances arise which are beyond our control, an owner dies or becomes unable to care for their pet but these should be exceptional circumstances. You only need to see the lists of pets looking to be re-homed in newspapers to know that sometimes it is just that people haven’t understood the responsibility of being a pet owner.

Brie’s original owner never asked for any financial commitment from her new owners. Sadly, giving a dog away free is not always in the interest of the pet. If someone’s has to pay something they are less likely to act on a whim and more likely to value that pet.

We hope in the future to bring happier news about The Puffball. We hope she doesn’t have cancer and we hope that if she does go to a new home it will be a home where the new owner understands that Brie is a loving little dog with special needs of her own. The need to be loved, to be with her owner most of the time and to be made to feel safe again.

Now, having shared my indignation with you and caught you up on this sad story, I am going to find a spot near The Puffball and The Princess and keep an eye on my ladies whilst I have my morning nap.

Today I leave you with a picture of our Puffball Brie safe in her bed (smelling of me) and finally getting the love she deserves


18 responses

  1. Zac – Puffball looks very happy safe in her bed BUT you look even more gorgeous in that second shot of you making it smell nice (how thoughtful!)

    It’s a very sad story. Bella is an inside dog, too – and would struggle having a kennel outside now. I hope Puffball’s future is much happier than her recent past.

    August 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    • Thank you, I do like my guests to smell nice!
      We are all hoping the Puffball finds the perfect home, though I am beginning to wonder if she hasn’t already found it 😉

      August 5, 2012 at 10:10 pm

  2. Zac, we wish all the best for this little cute Lady, I will hold my paws crossed for her.

    August 5, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    • Thank you Easy, paws everywhere crossed for her health and her happiness 🙂

      August 5, 2012 at 10:10 pm

  3. Oh Zac, what a very sad time little Puffball has had since you last spoke about her. We think that some shelters can be too demanding in the type of household a rescue animal can go to but this story underpins their reasoning. It’s not just a dog you’re taking on, it’s the whole history, if you’re lucky enough to have this. Beloved has done a fine thing, as have you and the Princess. The lump has obviously got to be checked out but let’s hope it’s one of the many benign ones dogs do get. Good luck to you all working out what’s best for PB but in the meantime, have a ball 🙂

    August 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    • Thank you for your support.
      At this moment in time Beloved is enjoying having her own pack of three, not as hard as she had imagined when they are all so well behaved as we are – I have shown the way of course and introduced Puffball to our little routines and tried to assure her she is safe and that has helped 🙂
      I wonder if Beloved’s beloved is at all concerned about the way that the little Puffball is worming her way into our hearts.

      August 5, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      • There you have the real question – is there any way back? You’ll all be the judge of that question once you know she’s fit.

        August 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm

  4. this story completely tore me apart but I am grateful that you shared it with us. I am also grateful you will keep this precious baby with you until an appropriate, reliable, loving and caring home is found. This poor baby! xoxoxo

    August 6, 2012 at 1:12 am

    • Yes, the whole thing has got us pretty upset too. She is here now, lying with us and Beloved can’t help wondering what the future is going to hold for her. We have made ourselves responsible now, but whatever comes (unless she stays forever of course!), it will mean more change, more confusion for a time and a new person to get used to. It is not a good story, but we are hoping for a fairy tale ending – or perhaps that should be fairy tail!

      August 6, 2012 at 9:15 am

  5. Best wishes to Puffball xx

    August 6, 2012 at 4:56 am

  6. That’s so very sad, but she is lucky to be able to stay with you now. I don’t know how anyone can expect a dog to go from living inside and being part of the family to living outdoors in a kennel. I hope the lump is nothing to worry about.

    August 6, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    • We have just come back from a visit to the vet and he doesn’t think the lump is anything to be concerned about which is good news. Beloved is now waiting for a call from a lady who is interested in taking her. The Princess and I hope that she will turn out to be ‘The One’.
      We are all getting very fond of her and it is best that she find her forever INSIDE home very soon for her and for us!

      August 7, 2012 at 10:55 am

  7. This story touched my heart, Zac. If I could I would give Puffball a forever home and, man, how I would spoiled that sweet little doggie. I hope she’ll find a forever home that she deserves, where people have a heart!

    August 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    • Thank you, we are working at it and hope that she finds someone to love and who will love her.

      August 8, 2012 at 6:41 pm

  8. Zac, believe it or not, your blog is one of my favorites, ever since I read the post about the senior neighbor I’m somehow hooked to your blog, I don’t leave a comment in all posts cuz not always I have something smart to say, but I’m a big fan.
    I hope that little furry thing finds a nice family soon.

    August 8, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    • Wow! Thank you. You just made my day – I have a big smile. Yes, we’re hoping for a forever home, in negotiations again with someone but they haven’t got back to me so that may have fallen through 😦
      Another one who wanted to lock her outside, but at least this was only when she went out and not the whole time. We were talking about dog door for her so she could get in and out but haven’t heard back.

      August 9, 2012 at 11:30 am

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