Thursday, August 07, 2014
Pappy Byrne, ??? to August 7, 2014
Twelve years ago Bob asked me to show him a Papillon. I went to Petfinder and brought up a picture of a bedraggled middle age Papillon with one broken ear who had been rescued from the streets of Cincinnati. Bob's reply: 'We should get that dog and take care of him.' And we did.
Pappy spent the first two weeks at our house mostly under the bed in fright. It was obvious he had been abused and neglected. But even the first night, in the dark hours, he crawled out from under the bed, jumped up beside me and snuggled in to sleep.
After the first two weeks, he started doggy school. Trainer Gail gave us instructions on how to retrain his fear into trust and love. Pappy was a very intelligent dog and quickly learned that life could be safe and fun. He also learned how to play and have a good time.
I read that Papillons were bred in the 1500's to be companion dogs and castle mousers. Pappy loved hunting on the back three acres and caught mice, voles, and shrews. He walked along on the leash and would suddenly jump into the weeds and come out with a creature in his mouth. Unlike a cat, he didn't play with them. When he caught them, they died.
I guess that is noteworthy for a Papillon. I always wished he wouldn't but is was inborn and he loved it.
Pappy went to doggy school for seven years. The first thing he learned was obedience. He was a very smart dog and learned it well, but his greatest pleasure was to be there with his dog friends.
This picture is one of my favorites - Pappy in a chair at the doggy school Christmas party. He wanted those cookies so bad, but he was a good boy and knew it was a big no no.
Pappy hated dressing up, but would do it for me if I wanted. We only did it on very special occasions, like the doggy school Halloween party. Pumpkin Pappy.
His very favorite thing at doggy school was the agility. Before his eyesight started to fail, he would race around the course and do everything with gusto. It was a sad day when his depth perception became so poor he was relunctant to play on his formerly favorite equipment.
Today a very old Pappy went to the Rainbow Bridge to meet Bob, Glory, and some of his friends from doggy school. I am sad but it was time. Maybe a little past time. He was a much loved dog and I will miss him.