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Happy Tail - A.J. Goes to College
A.J. was the sole survivor of a litter of nine. The others died of pneumonia. She's so active and mobile now she's earned the nickname Miss Independence. 'At seven weeks old A.J. has already attended college. Who knows - maybe as she gets older she'll get a degree in Dog Psychology. - PEG SCHAEFFER
Next earlier Happy Tail: Happy Tail - The Grass is always greener Posted April 20, 2014.
By Peg Schaeffer
Sugarfoot Farm Rescue
Someone called me about a dog that had been roaming in her neighborhood. The dog was pregnant and she was concerned for the dog's welfare. She asked if I could take her in. I love the puppies so I said "yes" without any hesitation. She brought the dog to me at the end of February and in less than a few weeks she had nine puppies.
Puppies all looked healthy at birth but only one of nine survived
The puppies looked healthy at birth. They were a good weight and the Mom seemed to be in good condition. After the puppies were about a week old they started crying a lot. I would pick them up to comfort them and they would whine and whine. You could tell they were in a lot of pain. I treated them the best I could but they started dying one by one.
I took them to two different vets who treated them with antibiotics but they didn't get any better. Only one survived. An autopsy showed they had pneumonia and their tiny lungs weren't fully developed. The mother could have picked up a virus and was strong enough to survive but not able to prevent her puppies from getting sick.
Questioned doing rescue after heartbreak
This is when I question doing rescue. It breaks my heart when they die. It doesn't make any difference how long I've had them or how old they are. I get attached to them and hate to see anything bad happen.
I didn't name the one puppy that survived because I was afraid I'd jinx her. After a few weeks when she opened her eyes and then started moving around I named her A.J. As I said before, I'm a big fan of Criminal Minds. One of the characters, J.J., is played by A.J. Cook. J.J. is a tough cookie on the show; she can kick butt, so I figured it was a good name for this tough puppy.
A.J. got more mobile and earned the nickname 'Miss Independent'
As A.J. got older and started growing she became more and more mobile. She earned the nickname "Miss Independent". She would disappear and you'd find her in a crate with one of the older dogs sound asleep. Since she was the only puppy she only had the adult dogs to play with. And they play with her. Although they're much bigger they are very gentle with her. If they become too rough with her you can hear her growling, sounding like a big dog. The other night one of the dogs was sleeping and his tail was hanging over the bed. She spent almost a half hour playing with his tail. She bit it, she hung from it, and she got on her back and tugged on it. The whole time Dylan entertained her. He woke up but tolerated her antics. Another dog, Celine, is quite the bully. She was sleeping and A.J. started chewing on her ear. Celine woke up but never made a move. After a while A.J. found something else to play with and lost interest and Celine went back to sleep. She makes me laugh and then I know this is why I do this.
A.J. knows the routine. She gets fed three times a day. No matter where she is she seems to know it's time to eat and comes running. I have a small crate that I put her in to eat and as soon as she's done she lets me know. If she gets tired she'll go in a crate and snuggle with one of the other dogs. The other night the wind blew the bedroom door shut. A.J. was in the living room and when she woke up she found the door was shut. I was awakened by scratching on the door and a very persistent puppy's barking. It didn't stop until I got out of bed and opened the door. She's not one to be ignored.
A.J. was a big hit with class at Lindsey Wilson College
One of our volunteers, Chelsey Solomon, is a student at Lindsey Wilson College. Of course A.J. is a big hit. If you pick her up, instead of giving kisses, she bites your nose. She wiggles so much she's impossible to hold. But then she gets tired and she'll sleep in your lap forever. Chelsey asked me if she could take A.J. to school one day for a presentation.
So on Tuesday, A.J. went to college. I packed her backpack with her blanket, a bandana, her dish and some food. Off she went. I was like a Mom on her child's first day at school. I kept looking at the clock. Chelsey texted a picture of A.J. to me. She looked so cute. She was a hit with the students. Everyone wanted to hold her. She went exploring on campus and even got to go to the girls' dorm. She napped for a while before she came home and was wide eyed and bushy tailed when she got back.
So at seven weeks old A.J. has already attended college. Who knows - maybe as she gets older she'll get a degree in Dog Psychology.
Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY 42728 Telephone: home 270-378-4521 or cell 270-634-4675 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This story was posted on 2014-05-04 02:28:45
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