Ari is my four year old Frenchton. Your asking yourself what is a Frenchton? His large over sized ears are great for hearing all his cues, but also do to being part French Bulldog. Yet his beuatiful shinny, black and white coat comes from being part Boston Terrier. I must confess he really is a Mama's boy. He was not always the well behaved little prince he thinks he is...LOL far from it.
All five pounds of this puppy at 2 1/2 months, was full of mischief and energy. Which proved to test my patience throughout his first year of life. Starting from day one he was food aggressive. Within two days he learned, "You don't bite the hand that feeds you"! I knew from early on he was smart and a quick learner, yet the terrier in him showed he was going to be defiant at times. He learned his basic commands as quick as I could teach him, which lead us into his tricks. The first trick he learned was to Ring a Bell to tell me he needed to go out to potty. The next was to play Fetch with balls or his favorite stuff toy. Being a small dog, he loved to stand on his hind legs, as most smaller breeds do. I turned this unwanted behavior into a wanted behavior. Yes, I taught him to Dance, while standing on two feet. Later he would go on to amuse our guests with his Army Crawl and Roll Over.
Let me fast forward to his second year when I decided to add another dog to the pack. Zekey, a white Boxer, joined our family at the age of 15 weeks. Ari welcomed his new playmate and even took on the roll of big brother. Part of Zekey's house training required him to drag a short leash. At any time I could tell Ari, "Go get Zekey", and he would grab the leash and bring him over to me. Ari taught Zekey to go in and out the small doggy door, which lasted for the first few months. Being a Boxer, Zekey grew quickly. Within six months, the only thing that he could get through the door was...His Head! Zekey had a good 40 pounds on Ari, but that did not deter Ari from keeping him in his place. What Ari lacks in size has nothing on his quickness and determination. Zekey grew to learn that ringing a bell meant going outside. Ari also helped me show Zekey that our property was a much safer alternative then wondering out of sight.
Both boys favorite past time involved retrieving balls and chasing each other around the lawn. This all changed for Ari the morning of September 14, 2016. He awoke after a good nights sleep very stiff and in pain. He was not interested in going outside with Zekey to do potty, nor having breakfast. Something was clearly wrong, but I had no idea at the time. His stiff walk and out stretched neck, soon followed with a dragging of his right back leg. By the time I reached the Vet, he had declined even more. The Dr on call thought it was a neurological issue because Ari was not reacting to any specific points of pain. This lead us to taking an hour drive to Middletown, CT to see one of the top Neurologist. With the way the day was progressing it was no surprise the news was not going to be good. Both Ari's hind legs were limp and he had noticeable pain in his back. He had to spend the night in the hospital after they did an emergency MRI. I received an early morning call from the Neurologist, with telling me the prognosis was not good. The MRI showed Ari had three discs that herniated and damaged his spinal cord. His hind legs were now paralyzed. I had to make the choice for an emergency surgery to relieve the pressure or euthanize him. Ari was soon to turn four the following mouth, I had to give him a fighting chance. Surgery was successful with relieving the pressure and his pain, but he never regained feeling in his lower back or legs. So here we are today with his new Eddie's Wheels, and a new chapter in his life. This little fighter gets around pretty quick and has never lost his will to play or chase balls.
Well it has been 8 months since Ari had his surgery and I have to say he has come a long way. He received his CGC (Canine Good Citizen) and is a Pet Partners Therapy Animal. As aPet Partners Team, Ari and I have visited several Elderly Shut-Ins, where he has been welcomed with many kisses and hugs. Pet Partners also has a Read With Me program that Ari is a part of. Believe me if that required him to read to children in the schools and library's, he would conquer that too. He just get to enjoy the many books and stories that others share with him. Starting this month he and I will expand our visit's with the Danbury Hospital. Some of the areas he will be visiting are, Oncology, Rehab and Mental Health. We look forward to our next adventure as a Therapy Team and bringing comfort to others.