I’ve had two types of dogs in my life, Dachshunds and Schnauzers. You can’t help but have a special place in your heart for the things you are familiar with, and having bonded for decades with these two breeds, I have to admit, I’m biased towards them. I love all animals equally, just a familiar few are a little more equal than others.
Dachsunds are members of the Hound Group of dog breeds. Bred to chase prey into burrows (Dachs Hund translates to Badger Hound), these comical looking dogs have big hearts and diverse personalities. Our DeeDee was a very protective girl, she was about 4 when we had our daughter Mary. DeeDee never complained when Mary would crawl over her, or yank a jowl as she was playing. A mothering instinct that made for the most wonderful pet.
When we got her, we lived in a “No Pets” apartment on the 10th floor in downtown Toronto with a very snooty superintendent. Keeping her a secret was tough. She didn’t bark at all, so that part was easy. Taking her in and out, we figured that out real quick. Jackie had a Mexican dufflebag that was the perfect size for DeeDee, she could scoot right in, and then up over the shoulder she’d go. We’d get the occasional stare on the elevator if she was a little antsy and squirming around. Out, around the corner, and we’d put the bag down and she’d scamper out. Off for our walk, and when we got back to where we let her out, put the bag down, and scamper back in.
She made the move with us to Winnipeg. Actually, she got to fly here while we drove. Lucky girl stayed with my sister while we made the journey by car. She started to slow down with her years as she, like many Dachsies, gained weight. We had a very tough time getting her weight down. We eventually found a senior dog food that was high protein and low fat, as opposed to most senior foods that at that time were low protein and low fat. Luckily, things have changed now, and most senior foods are high protein, low fat. The higher protein levels seemed to keep her energy up and preserved her muscle tone while she lost weight. It was like getting a new dog at age 8.
While she had AKC papers, she was never a show dog. She had the cutest kink in her tail, an accident when she was a puppy. Interesting thing is, as a “working dog”, a broken tail does not count against them in the show ring. A noble wound as it were. Apparently broken tails happen often when they are being extracted from holes they have chased their prey down.
We sadly had to say goodbye to her when she was almost 15. While most of her body was still going strong, it seems cancer had taken its toll on her bladder and brain. Her quality of life had diminished, and she was far too good a companion for us to allow her to suffer through surgeries and therapies that would possibly extend her life but not necessarily improve it. Seeing a red Dachsie always brings back memories or her, she can never be replaced in our hearts.