Among his other great dislikes, Happy hated having his paws messed with. It had not always been that way. Before a certain traumatic experience he had allowed us easy access to the places between his toes so we could pick off ticks. But afterwards he got very touchy. Again, if only one of us worked with him he tolerated our ministrations.
When it was time to check his paws I'd get down on the floor with him and the conversation would go something like this.
"Okay, Happy, I'm going to look for ticks." Because he already knew what was coming he'd growl. "Okay, Happy, I'm going to look at your paw." And while I inspected a paw he's raise a lip and growl some more. "Good boy." There's be more rumblings as each paw was inspected and the ever present ticks were removed.
What caused him to become touchy about his paws was this. It happened when he was a year or two old. We had moved from Gifft Hill to Caneel Bay. It must have been the week-end because I remember both Erva and I were home with Mom when Happy appeared at the kitchen door bleeding profusely from a front paw. And I mean profusely. He'd cut an artery because every time his heart beat there was a spurt of blood. Somehow he'd sliced open the bottom of his paw between the large back pad and his toes.
Of course we were all frantic and trying to help him and because there were three of us he was being most ornery about it and fighting us. Finally Mom shooed Erva and me away and she managed to wrap his foot up with clean rags that the two of us rushed around the house to find. But he would have nothing to do with the binding. Every time Mom got the blood to stop spurting and his foot bound up he'd rip off the bandages which of course caused him to start bleeding again.
It wasn't until he got weak from loss of blood that we were finally able to keep his foot bound. He got so weak he could barely raise a lip to growl. Even though he knew we were trying to help him he remained true to his personality. We nearly lost him. And no, there was no veterinarian near-by we could take him to. We were on our own. I think it was about three days before he could raise his head enough to eat something proper. He got pretty thin.
Somehow he survived and from that day on he was very touchy about his paws. Here we are with Himself on Christmas Day perhaps only 5 or 6 months after his near-death experience.
Other things he didn't like: Being carried, going on a boat, having his ears messed with. Now that I've thoroughly convinced you he was a mean, ornery cur, I will in future posts, relate stories of some of his better qualities.