Friday, July 27, 2012

Yesterday was a very special day for our family.

It was a year ago yesterday that we brought a two-month-old Archie home with us.  His Gotcha Day.

in Tom's lap on the ride home
Now, if you're a regular reader, you know that I talk about Archie a lot, but I've never really shared much about what his life before us was like.

Archie was born on May 26 to an Australian Cattle Dog/Basset Hound mix mom.  His dad was a Dachshund, but they're pretty sure his litter (10 pups in all) had multiple dads, because the puppies all looked  so drastically different.  Archie was the littlest.

They lived in small cages in a hoarder's home for the first five and a half weeks of their lives, until, on July 4, they were removed from the home (along with all the other animals that lived there, AND six children).  

Because they had been rescued on Independence Day, they were given patriotic names.  Archie's name was Rocket.

his adoption pic
When they took them to the vet, it was discovered that several of the puppies had parvo, including Archie.  Parvo is very contagious, and is usually deadly in puppies, as it causes intestinal issues and heart failure; puppies don't have the antibodies to fight it, and many rescues can't afford the treatments, so the puppies die.  Thankfully, the vet they took them to was kind enough to treat them pro-bono, and all the puppies made it through except for one.  Their mom tested heartworm positive, but has thankfully since recovered.

Amanda, a woman who worked for the vet, volunteered to foster all  the puppies and their mama (she works closely with a rescue, as does the vet) and helped them recover.

I was browsing Petfinder when I came across the puppies.  I saw Archie first, but originally inquired about one of Archie's brothers, but he was spoken for.  So I asked about Archie, and Amanda invited us to come meet him.  We came over, and my heart melted immediately.  He was so little and tiny (I don't care if it's redundant) and cute; he was sleepy because he had just eaten, and his little belly was all puffed up with his dinner.  We took him outside and he played in the grass, chasing flies around a patch of dandelions.  We couldn't take him home yet, because his poop wasn't solid yet (parvo will do that to you).

He was finally able to come home a week later.

He slept a LOT at first.  My mother-in-law had an extra crate for us, but we weren't able to get it until the weekend, so he started out sleeping in a little organizer basket.  When I woke up at 5am to find him roaming around the bedroom, I realized we needed a plan B, so he slept with us for a couple of nights.

bubby and his ducky (crappy cell pic)
He woke up quite often to use the bathroom for the first month or so (pretty much every three hours), so I got up with him a lot.  We used puppy pads because his poop wasn't entirely solid still (TMI alert: the first night, it was like chocolate milk), and we lived on the second floor of an apartment building, so it was just easier.

he fell asleep hugging his treat jar (crappy cell pic)
Everybody would absolutely fawn over him.  When I'd take him in to Tractor Supply to get his food, the cashier would coo over him.  When we went to get his next round of shots, all the little kids formed a circle around him to pet and pass him around.  He was little and cute and the embodiment of the word precious.

he's so cute (crappy cell pic)
Sometimes I miss him being that small.  I get a little misty-eyed looking at pictures from a year ago. But even so, I wouldn't trade current Archie for past Archie -- I'm really proud of the dog he's grown to be.  He's still adorable, but he's also loving, loyal, smart, sweet and friendly.  We'd love to give him both a human sibling and a canine sibling eventually, but until then, we're just looking forward to spending many happy years with our little guy.

almost a year old!

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