After the Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society saved the life of a Siberian Husky named Antoine, Janet Curran became his human companion. In this Quick 5 interview she talks about what a courageous and inspirational dog he is and how she has helped him thrive.

After the Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society saved the life of a Siberian Husky named Antoine, Janet Curran became his human companion. In this Quick 5 interview she talks about what a courageous and inspirational dog he is and how she has helped him thrive.

1. Janet, how did you become Antoine, the Siberian Husky’s human companion?
I learned of Antoine from seeing pictures of him at her local shelter. He was about 6 months old and immediately pulled on her heart. Hopeful that there might be something I could do for him, I arranged with Andrea Mamaux — Antoine’s original foster mom — to have Antoine come to Kansas City to be assessed by my veterinarian at the Fairway Animal Hospital. It was clear further intervention would be required. I adopted Antoine with Andrea’s blessing and took him to Colorado State University for surgery.
 
2. How did Antoine become disabled as a puppy and how did the Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society save his life?
The CSU team researched Antoine’s background and found he had likely contracted Neospora during fetal development.  If treated properly at that point, he would have likely been fine but as it was not, he was born with bilateral stifle and tarsal hyperextension—his right leg was completely rotated around his hip.
Antoine’s quality of life was limited but his love of life was boundless and infectious. 
The caring staff of the Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society, knowing his immobility made his future uncertain, worked hard to help him become mobile, trying braces and some wheels but ultimately, the best thing they did was find the right adoptive parent for Antoine—someone who was aware his needs would be constant and able to support his unique situation.  
 
3. What will you focus on in the book you are writing about Antoine’s journey? Is his story also being told on social media?
My non-profit Antoine’s fund will be publishing his full story later this year explaining how he came into my life and how I brought him into Connie Fredman’s life.
Connie has been caring for dogs receiving treatment at CSU for nearly 15 years at her Canine Health Resort in Fort Collins, Colorado.  She has seven permanent dogs, three of her own — Axel, Kerry and Spree. 
And she is surrogate mom to Antoine, Moose, Dexter and Molly. 
It was clear early on that Antoine’s best quality of life would be with Connie, however I am  still very much in his life and visit him when I am in Colorado. 
The book is to draw attention to the many people touched by Antoine and the incredible work Connie performs.
We are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @antoinesfund.  

4. How has Antoine’s determination and spirit for maintaining and increasing his mobility impressed you the most? Why is he a good example of how to live life to the fullest despite obstacles?
One of the most special qualities of Antoine is that he doesn’t even know he’s different. 
He just gets on with life and having fun.  Of course, he may be a little worn out by his therapy three times a week but he seems to know its importance and he loves the therapists who have cared for him from the beginning.  Antoine was walking with help a week out of surgery because he persisted and made others want to as well.
 
5. What would you tell people who feel empathy for animals like Antoine, but who may feel that caring for a disabled animal might be too difficult? How does Antoine enrich people’s lives the most?
There is joy in helping anyone live a more fulfilling life. And you need to remember sometimes even the littlest effort makes a big difference. 
Connie began by simply walking dogs awaiting cancer treatments at CSU so they weren’t stuck in kennels all day. 
There is always something to offer to others.
Even Antoine gives back.  Connie and I had Antoine registered as a therapy dog with Pet Partners a few years ago. 
He’s worked with special needs children at a local elementary school and a number of Dog Nights at CSU when he and some of his friends visit with students who may be missing their own pets while away from home.
 
 — Rimsie McConiga