Meet My Pet: Phyllis Hudson & 2 Havanese April and Portia
Author: Phyllis Hudson Date Posted: 15 January 2021
I stripped off to shower before taking my two fur babies out for their walk. As the weather was changing, I walked to the lounge room for a sneak peek of what people were wearing. I live on the top floor of a high rise building. I discovered a young lorikeet trapped on my balcony, flying against the glass railing. The young ones haven't yet learnt to squeeze between the gaps or fly up and over. My sliding door was ajar, so I quickly tried to shut it, but April was quicker. She zipped out and grabbed the bird. So, there was I, at 6.30 am, stark naked out on my balcony, yelling louder than the poor bird. I grabbed April by the scruff and shook her, and she let go; then Portia zoomed past us, but I grabbed her in time. Dragging them both back inside, understandably upset, I roused at them about the poor bird. They followed me about with sad eyes. Poor Darlings. I relented, and told them, "It's not your fault - you're made that way".
I was too busy to notice if anybody saw it. By the way, it wasn't a pretty sight. I am 78 years of age.
Note: The lorikeet learnt that morning to fly up and over. April and Portia are my precious rescue dogs, are 10 and 11, and have been with me 12 months.
April and Portia’s Story:
April and Portia are Havanese, a breed I had never heard of. Apparently, it is the national dog of Cuba - capital, Havana, thus Havanese.
I sensed they were worried I was going to give them away. They always welcomed visitors excitedly at the front door, but when they left would go nowhere near. Two months after their adoption, I received an email from the animal shelter - you adopted April and Portia and obviously, they didn't suit, so now we have a boy dog you might like, and went on to describe him. I suspect they pulled my name out of their computer by mistake, and someone had, indeed, taken them back; and who knows how many times that had happened, poor little Darlings. The reason would have been that the breed has extremely sensitive skin, and the flea and tick preventative they were on had the side effect of dermatitis. They scratched, bit and licked themselves 24/7. I reached the stage of thinking 'I can't put up with this', but then pulled myself up and thought, 'I'm only watching - these poor little things are suffering it'. I had continued the treatment on the shelters recommendation. I wondered if it was the cause, so changed to another brand, and saw a slight improvement. Still not happy, I have now changed them to flea/tick collars, and they are so much better.
They have very different personalities. April is the dominant one, and Portia seems quite content for it to be so. When they first arrived, they sat across the room on a lounge chair watching me warily. I remember thinking, 'Gee, these are boring dogs.' After day three, April decided to sit on my lap for a cuddle and has continued to do so. Portia took four months to even look like settling in. She fusses excitedly over men whenever she has the chance. I feel she was the man's dog, and April, the woman's, and perhaps she thought April belonged to me, and she had no-one. Poor little Darling. However, I'm very pleased to report she is really happy now.
I was told their owners wished to travel around Australia and didn't think it fair to take them.
Adopting two senior dogs has been expensive. April was ill recently but after veterinary treatment is well now. They really freak out with storms, so I have purchased thunder shirts and calming drops. At my age I feel adopting older dogs is fair on them - we might all go around the same time.
One of my favourite sights is when seeing a friend off at the door recently, there they were, sitting side by side, peeping around my L shaped hallway, watching her leave. It was like they were saying, we enjoyed your visit, but we're not coming home with you.
My worst sight was getting out of the lift on the ground floor, (I live in a high rise). There were a few people, but for some reason, April (who is normally stuck to me like glue), stayed behind with a woman we didn't know. The doors closed and the lift went up to level 5. I have them together on a double lead with a big handle. Portia was out in the foyer with me, being dragged towards the lift, while I was yelling, 'Has anyone got scissors?", over and over. Our lovely manageress rushed out from behind the desk and cut the leads. When the lift returned, there stood the woman with April in her arms. She had slipped her collar. The stuff of nightmares. I am more careful now, and also never go out without a pair of scissors.