Tag Archives: Dachshunds

The Dogs Fault

Dogs come and dogs go.

Lou, our beloved, slightly deranged 14-year-old dachshund, will leave us soon. His health is poor; his quality of life declining with each passing day.

But this story is about mostly Toby, my aunt’s 4-year-old maltase mix. That’s 28 in dog years, for those of you contemplating the math. 28 to Lou’s 98. Quite the disparity; quite the gap to mind.

Louis and Toby lived together, as brothers, for three glorious days (or maybe the relationship was closer to great old uncle and weird little nephew). My aunt gave Toby to us because she was recovering from an illness and believed she couldn’t handle the all the work a dog entails. Dogs are, admittedly, a lot of work.

We picked Toby up from her house with Lou in tow to make sure they’d get along.

No fights. Lou remained largely indifferent to Toby, much to Toby’s disappointment.

That night, the texts and emails began.

Hello Cindy! How is Toby? Can you send me pictures? I am sure he will be happy with you because you are young and can take him to the park and for walks and things.  

Hello Cindy! Did he cry in the car on the way to your house? I hope he ate all his food.  

Hello Cindy! Did Toby sleep well last night?  

Hello! You took the dogs out walking together! Did Toby have a good time? 

Hello! Did Toby eat his food this morning? How much did he eat?

Hi! Is Toby still OK? How are his eyes?

Hello Cindy!

Hello!

Hello Cindy!

Hi!

Hello, Hello, Hello!

On and on it went. I was inundated. I have never been quite so inundated before, in my life, ever.

Finally, a phone call on the third day: “Auntie, do you want Toby back?”

She came the following afternoon, a stressful trip as I had inadvertently gave her my old house number instead of my new one and she had to stop at more than a few gas stations and ask to use their phones because she doesn’t have cell phone and didn’t have any change in her pocket but then she couldn’t reach me because my cell was acting up and didn’t receive any of her phone calls until, finally and all at once, it did.

But that is another story.

And although Toby seemed to have settled rather nicely into his new life at our place, he was as overjoyed to see my aunt as she was to have him back in her life. Lou, as ever, remained totally unaffected.

End of story.

Except.

A month later my mom told me that Toby had taken ill. Addison’s disease. He needed emergency surgery and will be on various medications for the rest of his life in order to manage this otherwise debilitating condition.

“Your poor auntie,” said my mom. “But lucky you. You see?” It was, to her, all a matter of simple fact and she let it die right then and right there.

Not so for me.

You see? See what? What did that mean, you see?

That you shouldn’t give something away unless you are sure you don’t want it back? That fate, it seems, can intervene and undermine even the best of intentions? That Mom Knows Best?

Whatever happened, it’s not the dog’s fault. The dogs are blameless. As far as I know, Toby is doing well (better, at least, then poor Lou), but the medications are expensive and my aunt is not sure how much longer she will be able to afford them.

Still, it’s not his fault. After everything, he is totally without blame, completely without fault and actually there was never a need to exonerate him, ever, was there?

He didn’t do anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Change, Death, Dogs, Family, Pets, Relationships, Time

A One Of Those

 
Collections horrify me, a little, sometimes.  I’m not entirely sure why.  But if I had to guess, I’d say it’s because of what they imply.  Questions of what, (sometimes) how, and why always why are always implied.  The kind that tend to zero in on matters of taste, identity and (especially) pleasure and in its many, many connotations.

(Loneliness is probably in there too).

Thimbles or belt buckles, Fabergé eggs or skin flakes, the answers vary but the questions remain the same.

Why? Why? Why?

I have tendencies that lead me to collect but I try not to collect, despite myself.  I don’t always succeed.  Being broke helps less than you may think, but it helps. Sliver lining.

Sometimes, though, collections are thrust upon you.  They just happen.

I am having a collection thrust upon me happening.

It started with this:

Jealous of the dog.  That's a new one.

This is what a dog’s life looks like. If he’s doing it right.

It – he – is a wirehaired dachshund (as far as I can tell and just to simplify everything already).   Then slowly, almost imperceptibly, came more.  And then they came at intervals: Christmases, birthdays especially.

And more.  So much more.

Not pictured: the one-foot chocolate dachshund that Stephen’s mother gave us one Easter, every birthday card from the last seven years with a dachshund on it (in other words, almost all of them), and the book I got for Christmas about the lady detective agency that had a picture of a dachshund on the back cover.

Perhaps eventually it will become a tradition.  A bon-a-fide ritual coming at me from the outside, needing really only my tacit permission in order to do what it is doing to me.

Am I complaining?  Not exactly.  But the next time I move, I’ll wonder, you know.  I’ll wonder about these all these little dogs and whether I have truly become a One of Those people:

  • A Dog Lady
  • A Dachshund Enthusiast[1]
  • A Doxie Lover
  • The Weiner Dog Girl
  • Der Hund Frau auf der Straße!
  • The Hot Dog Queen[2]

I’ll admit it is shaping up to be a quite handsome collection.  Beyond that, what to say about it, my/The Collection?  Does it give me a sense of pride or any kind of satisfaction?

Actually, I’m kind of flattered, which is probably closest to the truth.

 


[1] In particular I’d be a dachshund enthusiast, but more generally this would make me a “breed person”.  Not just a dog lady but a one of those people who for whatever reason(s) attach or devote themselves (sometimes entirely) to certain breeds of dogs, nicknames (i.e. “Doxie”, “American Gentlemen”, “Merry Cocker”) and all.  At a dog show I attended one time, there was this contingent of retried people who were all West Highland Terrier enthusiasts whose aim, as far as I could tell, was to psych out the competition with their incessant cheers and catcalls (HA!).  Actually, thanks to them, I’m kind of put-off “Westies” having conflated the two in my head.  The bastards.

[2] My favourite.

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Filed under Dogs, Routines