It was 1987, and Schatsi was almost four years old. I had decided that he needed to be retired from the show ring, and he was happily enjoying his work as a pet therapy dog and couch potato. However, I had so much fun showing him, and I decided that I wanted to continue with a show quality dog, so I went back to Schatsi’s breeder and was able to purchase my little girl Happi.
She’s the first dog I’ve ever owned who had her name before I ever laid eyes on her. We had to come up with a bird name for her at the breeder’s request, so we named her “Happi Go Larky” as a twist on the phrase “happy go lucky.” If ever there was a dog who lived up to her name, Happi was that dog. She was the smiliest, happiest dog I have ever known, and she had a joy for life and her family like nobody’s business!
She was delightful to show, and she enjoyed her show career. She had a beautiful head and moved very nicely. I could hardly feel her at the end of the leash! She didn’t know a stranger whether human or dog, and was always popular when we were out and about. She was also a pet therapy dog, and loved her work! She was such a social butterfly at the hospital…making sure everyone within eyesight got an opportunity to admire her and offer her pets and attention of all kinds. She was wonderfully intuitive about how to behave with people, and ramped it up when folks wanted a playful dog, and toned it down when she knew that she needed to be calm and gentle.
Rather than finish her championship, I retired her and bred her. She and I happened to be pregnant at the same time, which was very special indeed for me. I remember times when she would lay next to me and she would offer up a little “Arf!” when a puppy moved into an uncomfortable place! I always looked knowingly at her and said, “I understand, Girlie! I’m saying Arf too!”
Being a mama is where Happi really excelled. I wanted her to be a good mama, and she went way above and beyond my expectations! She was so very proud of her little charges, and she was dutiful in how she cared for them!
One of my very favorite stories involved Happi and a puppy we named Sunni, because he was just like his mama…happy and sweet! Once the puppies were weaned and motoring around their play area, I noticed that every time Happi saw Sunni, she would pin him to the floor for no apparent reason! I scolded her, and received a really dirty look from her….every time I scolded her. I just couldn’t figure out why she was picking on this poor puppy! Well….one day I figured it all out!
The puppies loved playing under my Grandmother’s antique china hutch, which had a scalloped, decorative piece at the base…which allowed fun holes for puppies to dart in and out. Happi was always a bit irritated that the puppies would get under the hutch, because she could hear them barking and playing, but she was too big to get under there to police things. She would stick her snout under the hutch and bark out her orders, but she just couldn’t physically do anything, and it drove her nuts!
Well, one day, I happened to notice that when the puppies were under the hutch, if Happi walked by, Sunni would sneak out, nip her on her hock and dive back under the hutch! I watched him do this several times one day, so my guess is that when Happi pinned him, she was only dishing out some paybacks!
Next to being a mom to puppies, Happi adored her girl, Lindsay. From the very moment that I brought Lindsay home from the hospital, the moment Happi laid eyes on her, she was absolutely thrilled to have a baby in the house! I remember vividly having five month old Lindsay on my lap while the dogs were playing nearby her. Happi came over for a little pet from me, and Linsay quickly grabbed Happi’s muzzle, twisting it in her chubby little fingers. Happi’s eyes watered, but she waited so patiently while I frantically pryed Lindsay’s little baby fingers off Happi’s face! Happi simply licked her little hands, and held no grudge against Lindsay.
When Lindsay was toddling, Happi contracted some form of parvo and was very, very sick! For days, she couldn’t eat anything and keep it down, and alternated throwing up with diarehhea. I was very scared for her, and so fearful that somehow I would lose all of my dogs if it spread! I was taking her to the vet on a daily basis while they checked her over from day to day….charting her vitals, and making sure she was going to recover.
I had been gating her in our downstairs bathroom, just off of the kitchen so she had room to walk around, but was not able to have access to the other Corgis, and I could tend to her more easily. One day, I was in the kitchen, getting supper started, and Happi started barking an alert bark from the bathroom. I hadn’t heard her bark in days, so I was just sure she was starting to feel better and asking to go outside. I peeked my head around the corner of the doorway to ask her if she needed to go outside, and she stared at me with a very intent look on her face as she sharply barked and then looked at the basement stairs. She looked at me and barked, and then looked at the basement stairs. She repeated this two or three times, until I looked at the basement stairs, expecting to see a closed and latched door. Instead, I saw Lindsay, standing at the top of the cement stairs, coming very close to toppling down them, which would have caused some serious injuries or even killed her!! I have NO idea how that door got open, but I credit Happi with saving Lindsay’s life that day….despite being so very sick! What a dog!!
Happi was the best helper for me when it came to getting Michael and Lindsay out of bed! Neither one of them are morning people, so getting them out of bed in the morning was always a bit challenging. I tried a time or two, and then warned them that if they didn’t get up, Happi would be sent! She loved to get them out of bed! It was one of her very favorite jobs, and she took it seriously!! She was masterful at getting under the covers, and she would lick and lick and lick until they begged for mercy! Mission accomplished!
Happi was my heart dog. I just adored her, and when she died in my arms one morning, I didn’t know how I would ever get over her or find another dog who could come close to holding her place in my heart. She was one dog in a million, and I feel so blessed to have been able to share my life with her for so many wonderful years.