Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dogs, Love and Death, part 3

There are a couple of items that I've written about on my blog that I never quite finished.

The first was the story of the dogs that I have owned and loved.   I wrote parts one and two and never brought it up to date.  I guess it was mainly because to write about my dogs, I have to write about death and even in January of 2009, I found it very difficult to continue discussing them.  These days, it's even harder and I am glad that I wrote about the toughest parts of my dog owning history then rather than now.  But there remains the story of Heidi.

Heidi was the second of the two miniature dachshunds that I adopted in September, 1999.  She was older than Alpha--the vet thought she was 8 or 10.  Heidi was  more of a dowager and she possessed none of Alpha's energy or personality.  She, however, was a great mother.  After Alpha died and we adopted Scooter, she welcomed him to the family and spent a great deal of time grooming him and making Scooter her surrogate puppy.  She had blue eyes with brown flecks, which her owner assured me was typical for a tri-color miniature dachshund.  She was a good sport, uncomplaining, and she loved her food.  She would 'sit' as we ate at the table, to beg for scraps.  And given that she had an ample rear, she could 'sit' very well.  Her reserved bearing meant, however, that she received less attention than the other two.   But that seemed not to affect her, as she was always willing to go for walks without complaint even when it was hard to keep up with the rest of the pack.

In late July of 2006, Seattle had a scorcher of a week.  The dogs were in the back yard, which is quite shady, but this week, the heat seeped into even the shady parts.  I had been busy for two evenings, preparing dinner for the crew that was re-roofing my house and I was not paying close attention to the dogs.  Friday night I had a date to the adult party at the pool where we had been members for 13 years, so I was even more distracted.  I got a call from my boys 2 hours into the dinner party that something was very wrong with Heidi.  Tim, my date and a dear friend, took me home quickly and when I arrived I found that Heidi was having many, many seizures.  She could not walk and was drooling suds. 

We bundled her into the car and the boys and I drove to the emergency veterinarians on Lake City, where they took Heidi in immediately and we paced for an hour.  Finally, they brought us back to the exam room, and although Heidi was calm, she was not focusing at all and was still having petit mal seizures.  The doctor said that as soon as they would stop injecting her with the anti seizure drugs her seizures would start again.  There was nothing we could do.  So I held her and the boys held me as they  put Heidi to sleep via injection.  The boys and I cried long and hard that evening. 

A week later, Heidi's remains were returned to us after cremation, and she rests under the cast stone statue of a dachshund that originally was placed over Alpha's grave in the backyard of our old house.  Heidi  was a good dog.  I'm sorry I don't have a better picture of her to share.   The one above shows her waiting for treats from the table at the old house with Max, having given up on her traditional method of  'sit' to cajole me.  
I grieved for her, much longer than I anticipated.  It's those steady dear friends that you take for granted, whose passing tears a bigger hole in your life than you thought possible.  As a result, Truffle did not join our household until almost three years later, in June, 2009.

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