||Most friends and acquaintances know Juno is mommy's boy because I take him with me everywhere. I don't know how many know Chester has my
heart just as much as Juno. In fact, I could never decide which one I love most. While I could not say one is smarter than the other, the two use their
brain in different ways. While Juno uses his intelligence to figure how he could work towards achieving his goal, Chester uses his intelligence to get
me to give him what he wants. Attention! That being said, he is a very sweet boy, he just HAS to be in the middle of everything, whatever is going on.
Chester I saw available as a puppy on VanGelis Papillons website with the picture below and this ad :)
"This little gorgeous male is for sale to a Show home. He is very stunning and has got a great personality. He is of small size and with a gorgeous coat.
We were planning to keep him since he is such a stunning little boy but he is too small for Sweden. He is 12 weeks old today and he weighs only 1.7
I was already in touch with Lena from Golden Leafs Papillons, but I was still waiting for my puppy, and as soon as I saw Chester's pictures on Sanna's
website, I fell in love with him! Being interested strictly in a pet, his small size sounded like a bonus, as I was planning to carry him in my purse.
I emailed Sanna right away, only to find out Chester had already been promised to a show home in Norway. After exchanging a few emails, Sanna
gave in, and worked something else out with the breeder in Norway, giving me the opportunity to purchase Chester.
|Sharing with a heart as big as the ego. To this day, even though he has the most drive and is faster than all the Paps
in the house, he did not provoke any fight, ever. He dominates when playing, but he is never mean and plays fairly
even when his offspring manage to get the toy from him. This is another reason why I love him so much.
|The best sensor for garden leaking faucets.
|If nobody else was up to playing, that's OK. He could wear out the kitty.
Here is the tough cookie at 5 months old. Looking now over all the Paps' photos, I couldn't help not to notice how similar in type are his first
two offspring (who are also living with me)..While sorting out my emails because I changed providers, I found in a draft the ad Chester was
listed available for sale, for weighing only 1.7 oz at 12 weeks old. I forwarded the ad to his breeder for the sake of the old times. Sanna
emailed me back this note: "Yeah! That's how it all started.... BUT he is not too small for Sweden! I think it was his tiny bone mass (do you say
that in English?), and not his size."
Sanna was correct. Chester matured at 10" which is the ideal Papillon size, but he doesn't weight much because his bones are very light,
quality which he also passed to his offspring Juno, and Jasmine (pictured below). I told somebody who only saw his son Juno in pictures, that
Juno weighs 4.5 lbs, and the reaction was "Oh, he is tiny". While Juno is slightly over 9.5" inches, he is certainly not tiny. His daughter Jasmine
is also only 5 lbs at 10" even. They have the height of a medium sized Papillon, but the weight of a tea cup pup, because their bones are very thin.
|I tried to make Chester sleep on another pillow, which was laying flat on the
sofa, but he kept climbing on top of this pillow. I could not make him understand
this pillow was not sown to the sofa, and he would fall behind it. But he loves to
be on top of the world, whatever top he could reach. So I let him have it his
way, and I grabbed the camera, waiting to see for how long he will last, as he
was slowly slipping down, behind the pillow.
|Waking up at my laughing ( the pillow was now barely holding him). He couldn't
understand why I was so amused. He found out the very next moment, when he
suddenly dropped behind the pillow. Unfortunately the last photo came out fuzzy.
What made it so amusing; Chester always thinks he knows best. It was a delight to
see his face while dropping from the top.....of his "world" :)
|My heart, my love, my life.
I don't want to leave the impression I am only soft with Chester. While I do have a soft side, most Papillons need to know you also have a firm side,
otherwise they rule over you, and over your house. Chester almost does it anyway. However, while stubbornness is a trait specific to most Papillons (not all),
the level of stubbornness and naughtiness in Chester, is the highest I have personally seen in any Papillon I met, owned, or bred.
That being said, the last words almost every guest or pet home, say on their way out, is something about Chester, with a smile on their face. Chester is a
No person is stranger to him. On every human being he sees written with bold letters, FUN! If anybody comes over, he brings his toys, climbs on their back
with a toy in his mouth, places the toy on their shoulder, and pushes the toy in their face with his nose, reacting at every single move they make, challenging
them to play with him. You cannot possibly carry a conversation with Chester in the room, because he makes sure he is the center of attention. Better said,
he only does what comes natural to him.
One day, I stepped by the street with a bag of trash, and I allowed Chester to come with me. I only took my eyes off of him for two seconds while I placed the
bag on the ground, and he vanished! I quickly looked in the back yard, then towards the street, but there was no trace of him! Having no other option but to
go into the main street around the corner, I saw him running like crazy after a bicyclist! I ran after them, again calling him from the top of my lungs, and
luckily the bicyclist also slowed down. He turned back, running towards me with a smile on his face like he won the lottery! I don't know if he will ever get
that his adventures could have consequences. This last time I no longer chastised him, I just tried to explain to him the danger with the same intonation and
wording I would explain to a child. It seemed to have sank in, as he calmed down and looked me in the eyes.
I know they study everything we do, all day long. While they do it in adoration, they also read and learn everything about us. They study how we react, how
the intonation of our voice changes in certain circumstances, they learn our language.... We are their focus their entire life. By the way my Paps respond and
interact with me, I feel they know me like a book. Probably that's why nowadays I talk to them with normality, "Don't sit there now because there's a piece
of paper" and so on. I am amazed how much intelligence God 'invested' in His creatures. Their disadvantage is they cannot talk to tell us how much they
actually know. Going further, I think it goes the same for all the creatures, but we are too busy to notice how much they all actually know.
|Chester at 12 months old, posing sweetly.
I'll use this space to share a story about Chester. He is a bright boy, and he learned to use the doggie door right away. He also
figured fast he is not supposed to go potty in the house. But he could not agree with me not paying attention to him all the time. To this
day, we battle this issue and he uses whatever weapons he can figure, to get my attention.
Back then - at the age in the photo above, I was one day browsing the Internet. Suddenly, I realized it is too quiet in the room.
I looked around, and Chester was next to the kitchen island, staring at me. As soon as he saw me looking towards him, he hiked his
leg as to mark (knowing I don't like it!). I told him right away, "Chester, don't even think about it!". With his leg up, he looked at the
doggie door, then he looked at me, again a quick look at the doggie door, then back at me, and quickly marked, then ran out as fast as he
could through the doggie door.
He knew what was waiting for him next; the stick! (I never really use it, or I use it by hitting the walls, pretending I can't get to
them, just enough to scare them. Nowadays I just have to ask "Where is 'bota'?"- the Romanian word for stick, and they all go hiding.
The guests always have a big tick when this scene is playing :) So I quickly grabbed the stick and I was waiting for him, knowing he
wanted me to go chase him in the yard. He stood outside for a few moments, then only got his nose and eyes through the doggie door,
enough so he could see where I was. As soon as he made eye contact with me, he pulled his nose back and ran back in the yard. About
two minutes Later, seeing I'm not going after him, he came back, sticking again only his nose through the doggie door. He was using me
to have FUN! To this day I have to make an effort to pretend I am mad with him, because in spite of his naughtiness, he makes me laugh
(unless he catches me in a bad mood. When that happens, he knows what is best for him if I only give him the look).
I will share another story. Unfortunately, Chester is not afraid of anything. He is restless and he is brilliant. Ironically, reasons
why I also love him so much. Life is never dull with him, regardless of how tough circumstances can get. Back then we lived on 10 acres,
the house being placed right in the middle of the property. The neighbor in the back of the property had a few rescued cows and horses.
One day, Chester escaped somehow through the front door. When I realized he was missing from the house and he was not in the
fenced yard, I quickly ran outside, looking for him all over the property, calling his name from the top of my lungs. He was nowhere to
be found. I was starting to have a panic attack, fearing he was gone for good, when suddenly, all of my neighbor's cows and horses
came running by the fence that divided our properties, with Chester running between their feet. I know only God saved him from being
Obviously 10 acres to roam around were not enough for him. He stretched himself on my neighbor's pasture through a hole
he found in the fence, but when he heard me calling, he could no longer find the hole and started running along the fence, automatically
also herding my neighbor's cows and horses, who were following him, running frantically back and forward with him along the fence.
Thanks to God for the happy ending! I hoped he learned a lesson, but unfortunately it only made him feel like the man of the day.
He kept running on our property, only stopping to chase his tail every so often, or to quickly jump on me all the way to my chest, then
resume running towards the house, with a smile on his face all the way to his ears. All so fast, you can barely process what he's doing.
That's the only lesson he learned. The more extreme things he does, the more my attention is focused on him.
|The same photo session, quickly wondering if this could actually turn into fun.
His muscles are so strong, a few people compared him with a solid piece of rock.
|Pictures taken at 1 year old.
Chester's conformations and movement are a delight for my eyes!!!
|Curiously checking out a little chick that hatched in a box with doves, on their way from
California to Florida. The seller of the doves gathered some pine straw from the ground to
place on the bottom of the box, without noticing he also picked up a wild quail egg.
Chester I officially started to show after I championed his son Juno. I was still needing a few singles on his daughter Jasmine and I decided to also show
him if I was entering and traveling to a dog show.
We arrived at the show site in Deland, FL in the last minute. I quickly brushed him, and waited for our class. Once in the ring, Chester was clearly not
happy! I attributed to his stubborn personality, and for not being familiar with dog shows. Half way around the ring he began having diarrhea. A day prior
he got on the table and ate my meal (nowadays his spot IS on my table, next to my laptop).
With supplies provided by the ring side, I quickly cleaned the floor and wiped his pants, assuming we were certainly done for the judge. To my surprise,
the judge, Mrs. Ann D. Hearn, gave us 1st in the class, and told me to take Chester ring side and clean his pants as well as I could, as she would wait for us.
That I certainly did not see coming! Especially since both me and Chester were new faces to her, and competing against established competition.
Back in the ring Chester was his usual self. The judge gave us Winners, Chester getting his first points towards his championship. In the breed ring the
judge gave us Best of Winners (also over females), and told me, "It's been an honor". What a start, especially when you assume the show will be just for
Chester proved to be real fun to show. While I was not at every show in good spirits due to tiredness, Chester won the first major show gaining 5 point
(the maximum), with Best of Winners, under Mrs. Dorothy A. Dalton. At all other major shows I had him entered in the cluster afterwards, exhibitors either
didn't show up, or pulled their Paps. All the majors broke. We were needing one more major to finish.
I was also receiving emails from other show homes wanting to know what shows I was planing to enter. That prompted me to keep quiet about entering the
major cluster in Franklin, TN as I feared some of them will no longer enter or pull on us again. In Franklin, Chester went reserve to the major the first day,
and finished his championship winning Best of Winners with a 4 point major the second day.
|Candid picture taken at 3-4 years old.
Candid picture taken at 5 years old. Growing fringing all over again, after moving
to a new place and living through the remodeling with it's dust and everything....
|Son - Juno at 13 months old.
|Daughter - Jasmine at 3 months old.
Chester's version of training on the show table. Couldn't care less what I wanted him to do. When I mean business he does obeys, starting with a yawn.
I will add a few more stories about Chester at a later time, as I feel people could
learn what not to do, in order to avoid being manipulated by a mischievous Papillon.
Also how not to play, to avoid possible injury.
One important thing I forgot to mention about Chester's personality (I don't want to scare anyone, so I mention again; I have never seen
or bred another Papillon hyper and active to such an extreme.
Even though he slept in my bed from the day I brought him home as puppy; at only around 3 years old he was willing to cuddle next to me.
Petting him all that time was also out of the question. If you tried, he quickly jumped and took advantage of your attention to bring you his toy.
At around 3 years old we had a few cold nights. Something clicked in his brain, and ever since, he cuddles under my right arm, off and on
during the night. For the past two years I have also been able to hold him in my arms for about 30 seconds, sometimes a minute, and give him
kisses on his chicks.
Why only for about 30 seconds? Something happens when I love on him. Imagine a thermometer with the red dyed alcohol that goes up
with the temperature, representing Chester's level of joy and excitement. When I kiss him, his joy and excitement would make the
thermometer burst! He almost jumps from my arms (I firmly hold him and put him down myself so he won't hurt himself) and immediately he
starts jumping on my leg climbing up to my chest, trying to get me play with him. If I don't, he starts chasing his tail, running in circles while
joyfully barking. Yes, he figured to change directions every few circles, so he doesn't get dizzy.
Chester proved to be anything but a cuddler. For the first three years he was not willing to cuddle
next to me not even in bed at night. If I touched him, he moved a feet further.
While he is awake, if you can imagine a bomb exploding endlessly, you get a pretty accurate
picture of his personality.
After not finding any direct flights to Florida, Chester was flown cargo from Sweden to Chicago. Once I picked him up from the
cargo area in Chicago, I eagerly entered the airport as we now had to fly together from Chicago to Florida. I couldn't wait to make
it to the waiting area so I could hold him in my arms!
Finally, the big moment! I opened the crate, holding the camera in my hand to capture the event, sweetly baby talking Chester
in Romanian, and asking him "What is the little one doing?" But! instead of happy puppy kisses, with one firm barking and a
serious look, Chester made the point he is NOT to be treated like a baby! I was so shocked that I shook the camera, turning it off
instantly! Here is the 6 seconds recording.