Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can You Believe It's Been a Month Already?

Our little Sally died a month ago today. I find that shocking, that so much time has elapsed and the sadness of missing her is still so sharp and fresh. The shock of her loss can come through the smallest of things. The other day, I opened the drawer in the kitchen where we keep the dogs' collars and leashes to get out the tape stored there. I was so sad that Sally didn't run out to the kitchen and up to me, dancing on her back legs, hoping we'd get out for a walk. She knew the opening of that particular drawer often spelled good things for them.

With the loss of Sally, it's interesting to see how much she drove the actions of the two pups. For example, the dogs regularly barked throughout the day at trucks going by on the street, whenever cars came up the driveway, if a particular leaf blew outside (in other words, sometimes the barking seemed to be for no reason). Well, that was all driven by Miss Sally, who was very engaged with the outside world. Ruby hardly barks at all. She'd rather stay nestled with Skip on the bed then bother to get up and bark. I used to be embarassed with the pups' barking when we got dinner delivered. Last night, the food was delivered with nary a peep from Ruby. She didn't even bother to get up until I already had the food in the kitchen and was starting to put it on a plate for Skip.

Sally claimed me as her "human." This made it difficult for Ruby to be comfortable getting loving from me. You could always tell she was a bit nervous when I was snuggling just her, worried that Sally would come over and intervene so all the love would be sent her way. Now, Ruby knows she has no competition so is much more comfortable getting love and affection. She even sometimes snuggles along my thigh on the couch, the spot that was always claimed by Sally.

Even though they had a funny dynamic at times due to Sally's alpha-ness, we loved having the two pups together. They played together quite a bit, snuggled together throughout the day and you can tell Ruby misses Sally's company, just as Skip and I do. We plan to get another dog of the same breed (smooth mini-dachshund) and similar coloring. We thought a bit about buying an adult dog to avoid some of the challenges that come with having a puppy, particularly housebreaking, but we decided a puppy would be best. We want to start the spoiling in the dog's formative months! We've found a breeder within a few hours' drive of the house who breeds mini-dachshunds who will likely have some piebald (that's the coloration of Ruby and Sally) puppies ready for adoption in the May/June timeframe. By then, we'll be fully into spring so the new girl can spend a lot of time outside while her bladder is small and the urge to pee is strong. After all, we're expecting by that time that Skip will be spending more time out on the patio, as she did last year. I plan to take some vacation when the puppy first gets here so I can concentrate on housebreaking and such without work concerns competing for my attention.

A new dog will never replace Sally, but we will love her and welcome her into our home, knowing that two dogs are definitely better than one.


zoomdoggies said...

Is this what you call a win win win win situation? You and Skip get a new pup, Ruby gets a new buddy, the puppy's breeder gets the kind of buyer most breeders dream about, and the puppy gets a wonderful home.

A new dog never replaces the one you lost, but you can love him/her just as much.

Herrad said...

Hi Cranky,
I can't believe it is already a month later.
Glad you will get a new dog.
A little puppy will also be nice for Ruby to train.
Have a good evening.

steve said...

BR and I were out at a bar last night, enjoying the night air on the patio, when a barking basset hound stopped by to check out BR's chair. When he started sniffing around the catheter drainage bag, I envisioned the headline, "Area man pees on dog."

Best wishes for a quick and successful housebreaking!

Cranky said...

Zoom - what a good way to look at it. Yes, I believe breeders will love our situation with a fenced-in yard, canine companionship and owners pretty much always at home.

Herrad - you're so right, Ruby should help train the new pup.

Steve - I'm glad you guys got out for the evening. I can't remember (literally) the last time Skip and I went to a bar.

Diane J Standiford said...

We can remember the last time we went out dancing, forever etched in our minds. We still mourn the loss of our parakeet. It has been over 20 years. People find that odd, but we can't handle the pain again of losing an Arthur, not that we even consider there could be another bird like him. We both want a dog. I'm pushing for a dauchsund---but our hearts are with bug dogs that we can't handle. We really can't handle any pet now. That is the reality, our health, the rest are excuses. You and Skip et al will love the new family addition. Before we were ill, we always had dogs.

Cranky said...

Diane - I can remember the last time Skip and I danced. It was at the reception of our Civil Union in Vermont in April 2001. Skip was still able to stand, so she got up and clung to me, we did a slow dance, there in front of family and friends. I'm sorry that you feel your combined ill-health will keep you from having a dog, no matter what size.