No, this isn’t a post about the city. Paris is the second dog in our house. We have no idea how he got his name. When we found him at our local Humane Society almost eight years he was already 3 or 4 and had that name, and it didn’t seem like a great idea to change that for him, so he was and is Paris
Paris is what a friend, who is an animal behavioral consultant, calls a “sensitive dog.” He was at the shelter for many months because he was depressed there, and made no effort to even look at people. He just kept his head and eyes down, was silent, and attracted no attention from potential adopters. He was so depressed that he was 30 pounds underweight. We didn’t look at him at first either, but the shelter folks thought highly of him. He wouldn’t make eye or much other contact with us, but he didn’t avoid us either, and we took him home.
He parked himself with his butt up against the back door, and pretty much stayed there for the first couple days until he decided that we were keeping him, and maybe it was time to check things out.
At 3 or 4 years old, Paris had had maybe 2 minutes of training. He couldn’t walk on a leash, and once he realized he was home, he jumped on us endlessly. He chased the cats and was generally a handful. But he was also smart, and he was easily trained in a couple weeks (using positive reinforcement!)
Paris is a total daddy’s dog, and follows Marley around. Paris’s very favorite thing is sleeping with Dad.
In the last couple years he has had more than his share of medical challenges, largely difficult to diagnose. He began to lick himself incessantly, and we have been down the road of anti-anxiety meds/behavior modification, as well as every medicine for nausea in the arsenal. He had an ultrasound about a year and a half ago, and goes for another one on Tuesday. We know he has irritable bowel disease. We’ve tried every kind of food that exists, even hydrolyzed proteins, and nothing really helps. Except one medication which costs $9/pill, which helps for a few hours. Two other meds helped, but one caused neurological problems and the other sent his liver values flying.
Paris’s most interesting medical adventure was an unexplained high fever out of the blue one morning (what the vets call a fever of unknown origin). He spent the day at the vet’s with a catheter getting fluids and massive doses of antibiotics and his fever finally broke mid-afternoon. They sent him home overnight (to be brought back in the am) with his catheter capped and wrapped. At 4 am, he decided to chew the cap off the catheter and send blood flying all over the bed…heck of a way to wake up. Luckily I have a good pet first aid kit, and I pulled the catheter and re-wrapped the area. No need for coffee that morning.
Despite his medical issues, Paris loves his daily walk with Dad, hanging out on the couch with Butterscotch, and occasionally using Butterscotch as a pillow.
He is a sweet boy most of the time, with a bark that can (literally) be heard two blocks away. No one is breaking into our home unannounced! He scares mail carriers and delivery people who don’t know him, but he’ll stop barking the second you pet him. He just wants to be loved!
I can’t imagine how Paris ended up at the Humane Society. He is a smart dog, easily trained using positive methods, and despite his sad sack face, he is generally a happy boy. He’s probably 11 or 12 now, which is pretty senior for an 80 pound dog with health problems, but he goes for an hour-long walk (more like a stroll) each day, and seems content with his life. We’re pretty content with him too, and so glad that the staff of the shelter matched us up with him many years ago.
Here’s one of my favorite pictures of him surveying the day – I call it Noble Paris!