Following up with last week’s blog post, I decided to write this one about my other dogs, focusing on them one at a time. Though it’s in no specific order, I am somehow unconsciously going backwards by youngest to oldest so I’m just going to keep going with that theme. So, without further ado, let’s talk about Chipper.
If his name doesn’t already tell you everything you need to know about him, then I’ll keep going, only because I love talking about my dogs. Whenever people come over to my house, Chipper is the first dog they’re drawn to, which I think has something to do with the fact that he is actually the sweetest dog in the whole world. I know everyone says that about their dog, but this is no exaggeration. He really is the kindest, most gentle, loving dog I have encountered. People also inherently feel bad for him because he walks with a little limp, a result of initial elbow dislocation, now elbow dysplasia.
His backstory is also tragic, and it was quite unintentional how we got him. I was in the fifth grade, and by this point we had only had Coco. My mom desperately wanted another Shih Tzu, and despite her pleads to my dad and our efforts to convince him, he never conceded. I guess my mom finally decided to say “Screw it” because around the time of her birthday in April, she came home with a new little pup. I had just gotten home from a friend’s house, and there sat my mom on the couch, cradling a puppy with a teddy bear face and a heart-shaped patch of fur on his back.
She explained to me that she drove to PetLand and found him buried underneath a group of his sisters, as he was the only boy in the litter. One of the store employees told my mom that they rescued this litter from a puppy mill, so not a lot of people wanted them, and soon they would be sent to the kennel. My mom, softie that she is, scooped him up from the bottom and instantly knew, I guess, that this dog belonged to her. My dad was furious. She didn’t care.
We later found out that they were all adopted, so no need to freak out. All of his sisters are ok.
This was my mom’s dog, that we all knew. She had bought him for herself, named him Chipper after his happy yet dopey personality, and babied him throughout his puppy years. But he loved all of us just the same. He sat on any lap with any blanket he could find, chewed on any toy, never once caused a problem. Until one day he jumped down from the couch, and he let out this loudest cry you had ever heard. My mom rushed him to the vet, frantic and overcome with panic. I remember being in the car with her, cradling Chipper like a baby and holding his arm to take the pressure off of it.
The vet had said he dislocated his elbow, but that it would have eventually given out anyways. He said that sometime when he was a puppy, his elbow got tweaked in a way which wasn’t enough to cause pain, until it was. With time, it got better and worse. He became a favorite at the vet’s office and spent days there, while they tried to figure out what to do with his arm. He couldn’t stand on it. I don’t know when they finally concluded that his dislocation had led to dysplasia, but I remember his surgeries. He’s had five in all, expecting another. He has to take daily pain medication, has to go get weekly pain shots, and is at the vet practically every other week. However, he is still the happiest puppy ever. You wouldn’t even know if he was in pain, and if he is, he doesn’t show it. He’s a playful pup, mischievous and clever, and as chipper as he’s always been.
My mom still holds him on his bad days, comforts him when he needs it, but we’re just lucky that he’s here.