Wednesday, September 29, 2010

6 days

In six days Pixie has gained some ground.
This very morning, I was standing in the doorway to the mud room. The little one walked passed me, behind my legs. She did not scurry, she did not drop her tail.
Tonight, she was glimpsed dragging her belly across the laundry room floor. She was pulling herself along the floor with her front legs, her little tail wiggling nicely.
She has become more bold in her explorations of the house. Tonight, she made it into the living room and was standing in front of Poppy's cage stand.
There is still so much ground to cover.
She will sniff my fingers, but will not let me pet her. I limit my rubs and scratches to her ears and the nose area between the eyes.
We leave the back door open a touch and she walks in and out on her own for over two hours. When she finally comes into the house, we sneak by her and close the door.
She has taken to sleeping in Bugsy's old bed at night, abandoning her nest area in the bed room.
At one point, she was lying in Bugsy's bed and Bug came over and laid down in the bed with her. She did not give ground by stepping out of the bed.
We are so happy with each small step, each gain. And we pay so much attention to avoid any set backs what so ever.

I'll keep ya all posted.


Thursday, September 23, 2010


As if the poor dear did not have enough challenges in her life, we got a thunder storm last night.
Fortunately, the storm passed near but did not roll over us. But there was a wonderful light and sound show going on in the heavens.
K got Pixie and sat on her love seat holding the little one while we watched TV. This way Pixie would not be alone through the storm. It really could have gone either way; she would be fine or she would be afraid. She started to tremble a bit and K said her breathing increased quite a bit.
After the storm passed and it got calm again, we prepared for bed. Pixie was allowed free roam of the house. She likes to wander in and out the back door when it is left open. But I was talking to my sister when K motioned for me to follow her. I waved her off because my sister had a REALLY bad day. I missed Pixie nosing her way under Puppette's lounging pillow and rolling on the blanket there. So she is under the pillow, on top of a blanket rolling around. She did this three times.
Every day I get home from work, I carry her out into the yard where Puppette and Bugsy are relieving themselves and sniffing the evening news. Puppette says hello to me with a WOOO WOOOOOOOO and then runs a few feet off and flops onto her back, paws up in the air and rolls contentedly with little grunts of pleasure. Did she see her do this and is now emulating? Did she do this in her cage/crate back in the hell she came from.
So many questions, but now, so many smiles.

Another day.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What does she think?

I watch an over weight white and red miniature dachshund waddle across the yard.
What is in her mind?
Did she ever have this type of freedom in her previous life? Was she allowed out to walk on grass, smell the smells left by the passing day?
She looks aver her shoulder every few steps to see if there is a human watching her. If there is no seen observer, she sniffs more, looks up and down, left and right to see the yard.
Walking up to the make shift fence we put up to keep her out of the poison ivy. She probes it, every inch, methodically and with nose as well as mistrustful eyes. Once she reaches the end, she doubles back and looks from the opposite angle. The one opening she finds, she sticks her nose through. I can only assume she sniffed the air on the other side of the fence, gathering information on the world outside her yard.
The backward glance over each shoulder scans for the observer. I am inside and back lit. She sees me looking at her and she immediately walks forward to hide against the house. When she reaches the house, she lies down with her back to the wall and tries to get as close to some other object as possible to insure anyone coming to pick her up can't come straight at her. I duck to the side and she spots me through the next window and speeds up to lie next to the house and the water spigot.
What does she think of this new freedom?
Did she live in a cage with a wire floor and spend her days with no solid ground beneath those soft foot pads.
They told us her nails were so overgrown they had curled into her toe pads. Her tiny toes are so soft, like a creature who has not had toes on hard rough surfaces, she has no calluses.
Today she rolled in the dirt, four soft pad feet to the sky and wild abandon. She stood up and rubbed herself against the wall on the left and then the right side.
K said she had run toward the house tonight.
With all the bad things she has experienced in her life, she has intelligence, spirit and a drive to stay alive.
I smiled at her rolling in the dirt.
Small slow steps.
Or maybe, a few fast ones, when no one is looking.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

She is Home

We brought a nervous and doped up miniature dachshund home Friday. She has slept a great deal.
For the first 25 hours, she did not pee. We were getting worried, but stuck it out. She had been drinking water and did manage to eat some boiled chicken.
Last night, sometime, she peed on the incontinence pads in her pen area. Then she went outside and pooped.
Most people would not care, but this is all important to us that she thrive.
Tonight, she was more awake. She will not follow when we walk, mostly she walks away from us to avoid contact.
But tonight she was avoiding faster. Pixie walked along a section of brass pen fencing we had out, she looked it over closely and then found the one opening that would allow her to disappear into the underbrush, where the poison ivy lurks. One look over the shoulder, one look at the underbrush, one more look at me and the decision was made to walk away, into the yard and away form the poison ivy.
See ate well again tonight. After polishing off the chicken, she even managed a few kibble.
She shies away from me. If K pets her, she is good, no real problems. If I pet her, she shies away and her skin literally contracts away from my touch.
I wonder, so deeply, what has happened to this poor soul that she does not trust humans and physically reacts negatively to human touch? What horrors of neglect and mis handling did she find at that puppy mill.
She will take love and time and oh so much gentle handling to make any inroads.
It is early yet. We are ever hopeful.
Welcome, Pixie dog, time to heal.


Thursday, September 16, 2010


Since the death of our little dachshund, Poni, back in June we have been mourning and looking for a cause of her death. It is profound how large a hole a 9 pound life can leave in your world.
K started looking for another dog after about a month. We had our hopes pinned on a little one from Louisiana, but the woman turned out to be as flaky as grammas pie crust, just no where as good. After several false starts and promises, we had to cancel that adoption. It seems the darling Star, a blue piebald miniature dachshund, had a skin condition called pyoderma, or puss in the skin.
We then tried to adopt an adult from Connecticut, but the woman running the adoption foster group had to leave suddenly to be with her daughter who was, quite ironically, bitten by a dog.
So now we search more, or K does.
A group of rescued puppy mill dogs was sent up to LI and a colleague found a picture of them in A little red piebald mini dachshund named Rikki caught our eye. She is small, but chubby and has a story to tell.
I am inferring and assuming many things here, but I doubt I am far wrong.
She was kept in a cage and used as a breeding bitch. If she is 7, as the adoption group has listed her, we can assume the puppy mill operators ( I want to call them so many worse things, but not her, not now) started to breed her around one year of age. If she had 5 litters at 4 puppies each, then she has borne about 20 puppies. She is a little fat from that. Her feet are soft and smooth, not rough like a dog who walks on concrete, grass, gravel, floors in a home. the tiny nails at the ends of her toes are pointed. Any dog that walks on any surface that can abrade, has flat ends to their nails. A white scar crosses from shoulder blade to shoulder blade, a swath with no hair in it. One of the volunteers offered it is probably a bite from another dog.
Rikki is in heat now. They won't spay her due to the increased vascularity in the uteri. Hopefully, she will be spayed today and come home to us tomorrow. But there is still a chance we will have to wait.
We go see her when we can. She relaxed enough, while I held her yesterday, to rest her head on my wrist. This is a very good sign.
I want to bring her home, to live with us and have a chance at a normal and full life as a dog, a friend, not a slab of attractive dog meat that produces money on four legs.
Soon... soon she will be here and integrated into our family.

Waiting is.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Who Knows...

It has been a long ass time since I posted a story.

So much has happened. Puppette blew out her CCL, the canine equivalent of the human ACL and now has a permanent limp since she is a poor surgery candidate.

Poni died in June from kidney and liver failure. We still have no idea what caused this. This was the first time I ever had the gift of being present at the death of my loved friend. Sad and wonderful and painful and amazing and horrible all at the same time.
We are rapidly running up on THREE years here.
I look forward to the colors of fall.
We have seen two Broadway performances, Wicked and Loan me a Tenor, we went to the Jimmy Buffet concert at Jones Beach. Mark Cohn is next month.
We are looking at adopting a rescue dachshund, Rikki, who lived the first 7 years of her life as a breeding bitch at a puppy mill. So we will bring her into our home and give her a loving retirement. She is shy, uneasy around humans and not house trained. Let the challenges begin!

Does any one still read this. Does anyone post comments besides spam bots?

Peace, all.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A long time

Since my last post...

I have been looking at the artifice of time.
Why do we parcel and portion the day into minutes seconds and hours. What are days... thos are defined by sunrise and sunset, moon rise and moon set. Seasons are defined by temperature, foliage, growth death and quality of light.
But really, what is a second? What is a minute but and arbitrary 60 seconds. An hour even more arbitrary being built on the shaky foundation of seconds and minutes. Who defined them, where did this dicing of the day light come from.
I am ignorant.
But the older I grow, the faster it flits away on the wings of hummingbirds and snap dragons.
Puppette's face is white.
The floor is lower and harder for both of us to rise from.
There is not enough arbitrary hours in the definition of sun up to sun down to play fiddle, love K, work, love my dogs, train my dachshund, fly my kites, talk to my nephews, stare out the window at a furious passing winter storm with sheets of rain you see in movies.
It goes faster.
When summer vacation came in school, it lasted a long time. By high school it flashed by like a roadside billboard advertising your life while the car sped by at 65 and the windows allowed a whirlwind of sound and smell and activity to mix around you.
I work in geriatrics, by definition people over the arbitrary age of about 60-65. They are defined by years, measured in the farthest most point the sun reaches at solstice in the summer and winter. Summer and winter are defined by heat and life and cold and dormancy. My geriatric patients are young and old in heart. Some stove in and rounded down by the erosion of the seasons and the defined. Some stand slightly eroded to soft edges but still solid and resolute to stand and resist the arbitrary minute, second and hour that pulls away your life.
I am not old. No, in comparison to my average patient, I am still young and alive and have so many things to see and do.
If only there was enough time.
What is time?
What is time.