Thursday, July 26, 2018

LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE REDS!

When I was about nine years old, we got our first dachshund, a smooth red named Elia. We lived in Germany at the time, and those were the only doxies we saw back then: a red smooth. Since then, many other types and colors of dachshunds are available, but my heart will always love the red because of my very first doxie. I fell in love with the breed then, and to this day, there just is no other breed for me. Oh, I love many other beautiful breeds, like the Alaskan husky, the German shepherd, the boxer, and the beagle--but my heart belongs to the dachshund. 

We're celebrating the reds today, so here is some eye candy for your viewing pleasure today:

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"What do you mean, I can't go with you in the car?"

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My effervescent granddawg Sunny, who's very feisty!

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Too cool for school!

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"I take my treats on a fine china plate,
covered with a linen napkin."

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"Riiight. I'm going outside to pee in this storm. HAHAHA!"

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Beautiful mama and baby

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Dapper doxie

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"Ahhhh. Your bed is much more comfy than mine.
Believe I'll just stay here until at least noon!"

Dachshunds . . . you gotta love 'em!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

ONE YEAR AGO . . .

I hesitated about writing this post, but I felt compelled to do so: one year ago, our doxie Duke was in the UGA Veterinary Hospital with an autoimmune disease ~ his body had stopped making blood platelets and he was slowly bleeding to death internally. Many of you followed my posts about his situation, many prayed for us, and many of you offered condolences when we had to have him put down because the meds weren't working. We chose to put him out of his misery on July 28, a terrible day I will never forget.

God has brought us through, and the pain over his passing has diminished, but it's not totally gone. I can still tear up when I look at his pictures--so full of life, so full of love, so full of wonderful companionship. He made me laugh every single day of his ten years he was with us, until he got sick. I couldn't laugh then--I was too afraid of losing him. But we made that decision to alleviate his suffering, perhaps one of the hardest decisions we've ever had to make. He was so swollen by then, he was barely recognizable, but he still knew us when we visited him at the vet school on July 27. The meds to help his body produce platelets weren't working, and he was on oxygen. He looked at us, weakly wagging his tail as he lay there. Now that I look back, his eyes were telling us to let him go. But it was a miserable time.

Today, we've moved on with our lives. We're getting older, and we've chosen not to get another pet. This choice is not out of selfishness on our part, but because we just aren't up to the task any longer. I've had pets over the years, but none of them EVER meant as much to me as Duke did. As I stated in blog posts last year, I spent more time with Duke than any human. Clark did substitute teaching nearly every day (we're both retired teachers), our two daughters are married, so Duke and I were home by ourselves as I worked on my books. He went to each room I went to; he listened to me read some portions of my manuscripts, never passing judgment! He was my soul pet, much like a human is a soul mate.

I do enjoy our doxie granddawg Sunny, because she helps fulfill my doxie longing--even Bruno, our boxer granddawg, is so loving. But to be honest, no dog even comes close to what Duke was for me. I
go about my daily life, which is amazing and fulfilling, because I have such a wonderful husband and family, but a part of my heart is still missing, and I suppose it always will be. Duke made me a better human because he was such a wonderful, loving dog. If you've never experienced the unconditional love of a dog, you have missed something in this life. Some of you get that in a cat, a rabbit, whatever. Animals are wonderful creations of our Father. He put them here for our benefit, and dogs love us, no matter what. At times, Duke simply put up with me, lol. At times he'd look at Clark or me like we were just plain stupid, too. I think he understood far more than we ever gave him credit for.

So. Here I am, a year later. I am doing all right. God loves me, my family and friends love me, and I am so thankful for my many blessings, far more than I deserve. I reach out more to other pet owners who have lost their beloved pets, because I now know how much it means to them. It helps tremendously to know that others have trod along the same path. You can't take away their pain, but you can let them know you care.

But I still listen for those little paws along the floor, the long ears flopping when he shook his head (doxie parents, you know what I'm talking about!), and yes, even his very loud bark.

Dogs get under our skins and I don't know of a way to remove that. Nor do I ever want to.




Friday, July 6, 2018