Woofie! My friends!
I have mentioned my eldest brother, Buddy, who will be turning 18 in July, but I want to sing his praises today!
As I've mentioned prior, I came to live with Mistress in April 2003. I was the ONLY stinker Dachshund then, and became the biggest Stinker (love) of her life! Over the years one Dachshund turned into four Dachshunds as others found their way to Mistress and Master. But, this is not about me or them - it's about Buddy, who came to live here in 2006.
Our story with Buddy started out a sad one....
From his birth in 1995 to 2006 (11 years), he lived a comfortable and happy life with a family. They did a good job training him to go outside (using a doggie door), took him on daily walks (even today you don't shake a leash unless you mean a dog walk), yearly exams and teeth cleaning - and gave him a lot of love. In early Spring of 2006, Buddy's family could no longer keep him and turned him into a local kill shelter. It broke his heart - profoundly. His days in the shelter went by and he withdrew more and more into his depression. Where prior he loved his meal times, he turned his nose against food. Where prior he loved walks and human interaction, he shrunk into the corner of his cage. He made sad, crying sounds and could not be comforted. It was decided he was un-adoptable and his execution date was set. His prior parent kept tabs on him and learned of his fate. Heartbroken, she posted a letter on CraigsList pleading for someone - anyone - to adopt him. While she couldn't take him back, she deeply regretted her decision to put him into the kill shelter. She regretted not researching other options prior to placing him there. Her letter was read by a friend of my Mistress, who told a mutual friend, and she released Buddy from his dungeon one day from execution.
Mistress' friend realized very soon she did not have the time/desire to deal with Buddy's deep depression; so Mistress brought him home to Roo and me. We were happy to have an older brother, but he continued all his withdrawn behavior, barely ate, and (even in his sleep) continued to make his deeply mournful crying sounds. Master would carry him around speaking soothing words in his puppy baby talk voice - no response, but Master continued. Mistress fed him Puppy Food with a spoon, but he'd only eat a bite or two - and would never lick/kiss them. I would playfully push him - little response except his mournful, crying sounds.
This continued for a month while Mistress and Master continued trying to bring him around (to no avail).
One night, after a long walk and promises of cuddles on the couch, Mistress was at the kitchen counter preparing our dinner. As usual, Roo and I were jumping and twirling in anticipation, bumping into Buddy who remained in his stoic stance. Then, a sound. A sound no one had ever heard. It wasn't mournful, sad, or quiet - instead it was a deep, powerful and joyful bark...and it was coming from Buddy! He had started jumping and twirling in anticipation of dinner - barking to get Mistress' attention to not forget him. She was in shock.
From then on Buddy became one of us. His loud bark became a familiar sound, and gone was the mournful song he had been singing for so long. He woofed his food down, jumped for a walk, loved to be cuddled, and became so responsive to affection that I have to admit my jealousy. Our Master won't admit it, but we all learned Buddy is his favorite! It's for a lot of reasons, but one big one is they both like to spend an enormous amount of time on the couch! No, the main thing is the courage our Budster has shown. He overcame a big obstacle, decided to adapt to a different life, and never gave up on being loving or loved.
Unfortunately, time has taken its toll on our Budster. He has almost lost his eyesight, his hearing, and arthritis in his back hips has robbed him of endless mobility - so "walks" are mostly being carried. He still wants to go, but it can't be very far. Mistress thinks he's lost his ability to back up, because he'll go forward until he bumps into a barrier (a patio chair, table leg, a tree trunk, etc.), and will stay there until he's rescued. He'll stay nose to tree trunk, speaking, until he's moved; however, he remains disciplined to do his business outside, loves his meals and snacks, and his people. He tries to jump high in anticipation, but it's more a little 1" off the floor bouncing, bouncing.
He is loved.
We have learned from Buddy that adopting a senior dog has many rewards. Maybe not all senior dogs have the sweet, joyful, friendly, intelligence and gentle personality he has, but we've learned many do! Until he became more dependent on us to be his eyes and ears, he demonstrated tremendous independence and would meet and greet all humans and dogs at the park!
Adopt a senior dog!
And if you have to give up your Pet (and we hope you never do), check out the "shelter" your pet is going to - many put down animals quickly. Look into foster homes - they may also be an option. Look into clubs that are breed-specific, many members (like Mistress) can help you temporarily place your pet.
Kill Shelters don't have to be your only option!
Love 'n Licks,
Nathan, The Dachshund
by: Pet Pawties In A Box