APRIL'S STORY

April, nicknamed "Tadpole", is DeeDee's
first-born daughter, named after the month in
which she was born.  Our desire for a second
hairless Chinese Crested led us to the decision to
breed DeeDee.  Even though DeeDee's pregnancy
and delivery of the puppies was a disaster, April
was one of the blessings of that pregnancy.

April was a fairly good-sized puppy at birth.  
She immediately reminded us of a little football.  
Because of all the problems with her sister,
Angel,  April had her mother all to herself.  She
was able to nurse any time and food was
plentiful.  The outcome of this was that April
just kept getting bigger and bigger.  After her
eyes opened at about 2 weeks of age and she
started crawling around in order to investigate
her surroundings, DeeDee couldn't even lift her
(and she tried so hard to lift her) to return her
to the safety of the crate.

April wasn't handled very often during the first
few weeks of her life because of all the time
required to look after her sister.  Whenever she
was picked up, she would start to tremble, almost
reaching a point where I thought something was
wrong with her.  It just turned out to be a fear
of being lifted off the ground.  She overcame
this fear as she got a little older and is surely
making up for it now.  She insists on being picked
up and hugged almost constantly.

As much as I hate to admit it, April turned out to
be the "ugly" one of the family.  One of her ears
won't stand up and she has a very noticeable
overbite.  Most of her teeth are either missing or
crooked, as is common in the hairless Chinese
Crested.  The funniest part of this is that she is
missing almost all the teeth on the right side of
her mouth.  Because of this, she has a lot of
trouble keeping her extra long tongue inside her
mouth.  Most of the time when her mouth is
closed, her tongue is just hanging from the corner
of her mouth.  Add this factor to the
uncontrollable floppy ear problem and you get
quite a picture of something resembling a gremlin.

April is a very good canine companion.  She is
very loving and loves to cuddle.  I don't recall
her ever getting into any normal puppy mischief.  
Her mother taught her well.  April will be three
years old in April of 2004.  She is still very
attached to DeeDee and I'm sure they realize
they are mother and daughter even though April
is much, much larger than her mother.  This seems
unusual to me because both DeeDee and Timothy
(April's father) are very small.  But then again --
once a football, always a football.
APRIL (RIGHT) & ANGEL (1 DAY
OLD)
APRIL - 3 WEEKS OLD
APRIL - 3 WEEKS OLD
APRIL - 5 WEEKS OLD
APRIL - 6 WEEKS OLD
APRIL (RIGHT) & HER MOTHER,
DEE DEE
APRIL - 12 WEEKS OLD
APRIL - 16 WEEKS OLD
APRIL (RIGHT) & HER MOTHER,
DEE DEE
APRIL (LEFT) & HER MOTHER,
DEE DEE
APRIL (CENTER)-DEE DEE (RIGHT)-
SISTER, ANGEL (LEFT)
APRIL (LEFT) & HER MOTHER,
DEE DEE
BEFORE
AFTER
TONGUE
YIKES!!!
My sweet girl, you had to leave us yesterday at about four o’clock in the afternoon.  As I sit here this
morning, I just feel numb.  As I look around the room, you’re not here with me as you have been every day
for eleven beautiful years.  Yes, you just celebrated your eleventh birthday last week.  But there was no
party this year.  You were beginning to show signs of whatever illness had taken over your body.

You had so many battles to fight over the last few years.  First there were the mild seizures that started in
2006.  Even though you only had one mild seizure each year, they scared us immensely.  Then in the fall of
2008 you developed IBD.  Inflammatory Bowel Disease followed by chronic Pancreatitis ruled the rest of
your life, but we did get it under control with only occasional flare ups.  One major seizure after a serious
flare up in February of 2009 introduced you to Phenobarbital, which may have led to the problems that
eventually claimed your life.  You were fine….no more seizures after starting the medication, but was the
medication quietly destroying your liver?  Every six months you had a blood test to check your liver and all
the tests came back normal until the very last one ten days ago.

IBD flare ups continued periodically but you still enjoyed life so much.  Just two weeks ago you were still
doing your zoomies around the backyard and howling like a hound at dinnertime if you didn’t get fed fast
enough.   Then on Friday, April 13, your stomach looked a bit bloated.  So a visit to the vet was in order.  
At first they thought you may have inherited your mother’s and sister’s heart problems.  But a blood test
revealed your liver was failing.  For a week I cared for you around the clock, looking for a sign that you
were improving.  The sign never came so on Sunday, April 22, we took you to a clinic where there’s a staff
of specialists.

They ran so many tests and found so many problems.  Cirrhosis of the liver was the major problem, but you
also had an abnormal spleen.  Your red and white blood cells were diminishing rapidly and the doctors
couldn't stop it.  The cause of your blood cell loss couldn’t be found, but that’s what ultimately took you
from us.

As I sit here in a haze of tears, I remember just eleven years ago I was holding a squirmy one-week-old
puppy in my hands.  I imagined the wonderful life I’d have with you and your mother,
DeeDee, and your
sister,
Angel.   We did have that wonderful life together but it all ended much too soon.  You are once again
reunited with your mother and both of your sisters at Rainbow Bridge.

We’ll never forget you, April.  You will forever be our little “Tadpole”.  You left us so many wonderful
memories but you also took a big piece of our hearts with you.  The hole it left will never be filled.   Run
young and free until we meet again.

(April’s original story continues below)
A special thank you to my friend, Ann, for creating
this beautiful picture of April.
Published
4/25/12
CLICK BELOW FOR BENJI'S
STORY--THE HOMECOMING