Woof! My Friends...
Mistress realized one recent day that our home was a Senior Assisted Living
home because all the 4-legged inhabitants had reached that status...
- Buddy, The Dachshund (almost 18 years)
- Sascha, The Dachshund (almost 13 years)
- Nathan, The Stinker, er, Dachshund (10 years)
- Roo, The Dachshund (borderline senior at 9 years)
- Catya, The Tuxedo Cat (13 years)
We are "only" assisted with good food and home-baked treats, soft bedding, couch cuddles, daily pills for Buddy and Sascha, and our good fortune of Mistress no longer being distressed over hair on the couch and the occasional accident on the floor.
Catya, the cat, is often ignored in my blog posts, so I want to dedicate this one to her; after all, she hasn't scratched me once when I've chased her around the house!
Before Catya, The Tuxedo Cat
(black/white markings), there was ClaireBell (the Previous Tuxedo Cat
) who only lived for 4 years. ClaireBell came to live here in 2000 very serendipitiously:
In the late 1990's no pets lived here, (the last one, Sneezies, had gone over the Rainbow Bridge). Mistress had decided that was the way she wanted it. She was traveling a lot for business, and living a very self-centered life. It was lonely, of course, but the clean house was the reward! Tami visited one day, noticed the empty life, and suggested they go to the Cat Shelter to pick out a kitten - "No!", Mistress said emphatically! "Well, if you found one", Tami continued, "what would it look/be like?
Mistress said (believing it would quiet Tami), "It would be a girl, with black and white markings like a Holstein Cow, 10 weeks or less, intelligent, pink-nosed, not feral, and her name would be ClaireBelle!".
So, as the story goes, that was the end of all discussions regarding Mistress' kitten adoption. Little did she know that a few weeks later Tami received a call from a friend who was vacationing on Kipu Kai Beach on Kauai. She told Tami about a wee (5 weeks old) black/white female kitten (with a pink nose) that had followed them (while plaintively meowing) during a morning walk. The puzzling thing was there weren't any buildings or people around them - where did this wee kitten come from? Nevertheless, the kitten was picked up, immediately cuddled down with all who held her, purred relentlessly, and stole hearts. No one claimed her, and not one of Tami's vacationing friends could claim her as their own - but all agreed she couldn't be left behind because she was so engaging, sweet, and intelligent. The call to Tami was a plea - "Do you know anyone who can take her?". Tami said, "I have someone! You have found Mistress' ClaireBelle!".
ClaireBelle found a home in California, and Mistress' life changed.....Mistress opened her heart to all of ClaireBelle's love, and felt the weight of loneliness lifted.
Pets often create an awareness of brilliant realization, and Mistress understood after ClaireBelle entered into her life how acute her loneliness had been. She sublimely accepted pets do enrich life; and ClaireBelle was the purrfect pet to do just that.
With great sadness ClaireBelle came down with FIP and crossed over the Rainbow Bridge at a mere four years old. Mistress was devastated, and with a mournful heart felt the loneliness creeping back.
During this time Mistress' field of work (the Dot-Com industry) was going through a serious decline. Mistress was in a senior position at her company, but knew so many were getting laid off it could happen to her...It did. Just 3 days after ClaireBell passed, Mistress was laid off. She was devastated because nothing like this professional rejection had ever happened to her. At home, there was no cuddling/purring to comfort her, her new man lived 2 hours away, and the days were so long! Mistress decided ClaireBelle's lesson to love remained in her life - so off to the Cat Shelter she went. There were 100's of cats in cages that day, and Mistress began to feel she had made a mistake - it was so sad to know she couldn't free all of them from their cruel oppression...and that she hadn't met one that tugged hardest on her heart strings to adopt. She had just decided to leave and come back another day. Then she saw it - a tiny paw waving frantically through the bars of a cage Mistress had walked past earlier. "What's this?", she thought while walking back to the cage. The waving paw said, "Pick Me! Over here! Pick Me! - with distinct plaintive meowing...There our Catya was, black/white, 6 weeks old, and so much like ClaireBelle except her nose was black and pink! "How did I miss this baby?", Mistress thought...then learned that sometime after she had passed these cages, Catya was caged - she had been in a foster home until she was big enough to adopt. She only spent a total of 15 minutes caged in the Cat Shelter before she was adopted :-)
13 years later Catya thrives - she sleeps on Mistress' bed, purrs on demand, and is a constant Mistress shadow....we, The Dachshunds, are jealous of her, but know Mistress loves us all equally. We will always be thankful for the sweet ClaireBelle who taught Mistress the heart can open to many.
Love 'n Licks!
Nathan, The Dachshund
by: Pet Pawties In A Box
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
We're So Sorry we've been away for so long...Firstly there was the beautiful and romantic Wedding Reception; then there was the honeymoon, and lastly all the holidays!
My Mistress is so happy to be up about and almost 100% since her hip surgery and recovery from that and the subsequent back issues, and she has put together plans for a NEW and IMPROVED store/site!
We're soooo excited, and we want you to be too! Pet Pawties In A Box is re-opening BIGGER and FULLER with expanded store sections - specifically in the pet-themed baking and decorating areas - with 100's of NEW ITEMS! I've been howling with joy (and been told to quiet down on a number of occasions)!
by: Pet Pawties In A Box
Mistress has been working on the store/site since January - planning, ordering new products, and programming for our store/site's GRAND OPENING in a week!
Stay tuned! It's happening soon!
Love and Licks,
Nathan, The Dachshund