A very tiny person arrived in our life on 3rd April 2003, one of a litter of two, born far too early, to a mum who had no milk and no aspirations of rearing a litter of puppies!

Her brother died within the hour and we were left with a pathetic little mouse weighing less than 2oz, she fought to get some milk and screamed loudly when none was forthcoming, her mum was not happy and constantly moved her round the box thus she was getting colder and hungrier. We decided to try and bottle feed her and managed to get her through the night, by the next day she was holding her own but being so tiny she couldn't retain her body heat so had to be wrapped on a hot water bottle.

By this time her mum had totally lost interest and every time we moved away she buried her so she was getting colder and colder. We then found her at the back of the whelping box cold and going stiff, so drastic action was called for, luckily we had a bitch who had given birth to a single puppy 8 days earlie, so we chanced our luck and placed the puppy in with her, fortunately she took one look at her, cleaned her, tucked her in and fed her, so by topping her up with the bottle plus her new mum we were delighted that she seemed to be pulling through.

At 3 weeks disaster struck, she started to bring the milk back down through her nose. Having checked her mouth we couldn't find a problem but she was so tiny and choking on the milk that we questioned ourselves were we being fair? So we decided to call it a day and took her to the vets, to our suprise he examined her and despite being shocked at her size he couldn't actually find anything wrong with her, but weighing in at 14 oz at three weeks old he was doubtful she would make it anyway, so gave us the option to take her home and give it a go, after all we had nothing to lose.

After this she picked up, then a week later she developed breathing problems and was gasping for breath so enough was enough, back to the vets we went and he told us her lungs were under developed but didn't think it was life-threatening. Back home again she held her own and started eating solid food but had terrible problems digesting it and at nearly 5 weeks weighed just 1lb 11oz (less than a bag of sugar). After another bad bout of breathing problems we trooped back to the vets. We had given her every chance but didn't want to cause her any more suffering, so we said our goodbyes and, would you believe it, after a good check-up and antibiotics home she came again! This kid was not going to give up without a fight!

At 8 weeks old she weighed in at the grand weight of 2lb 5oz and has gradually picked up the odd ounce ever since.

Personality-wise she is wonderful, she is incredibly helpful round the house, redistributing the washing! Her main hobby is gardening and we are so lucky to have our very own alien hunter, she ensures that there are no aliens living under our grass and digs craters to ensure our safety. The aliens that Petal hunts for are special mud-slinging aliens, they are the same ones that hold her down and sling mud at her every time she passes the hole where the clothes prop lives!

Finding a name was easy, she was never going to be big enough to be a flower so Petal she became.

She is convinced that visitors to our house come solely to see her, and be assured her friends are always welcomed by Petal leaping on their heads.

She has all the family trained, and most of the visitors, she rules our house, adores her canine friends who treat her like porcelain, always snuggling up with her to keep her warm. She is totally demanding and completely and utterly spoilt.

At a year old she is now 8 inches high and weighs the fine amount of 3.2kg which is half what a normal Apso should weigh, she is however healthy, happy and full of life.

She will obviously never grace the inside of a showring or be bred from, and when she is in our opinion big enough she will be spayed, we did say that we would look for the right home for her if she made it but could you part with her?

We feel priveleged to have had the opportunity to share our lives with this rather special little lady, who lives her life to play and is convinced that is all anybody else is there for too!

What more could you wish for when you've got Petal!






© Askja Lhasa Apsos