I love dachshunds. They are like potato chips, you can’t just have one. Growing up, one of my aunts had a dachshund name Kimba and I fell in love with the breed. They are so funny looking. To me they look like little coffee tables with tails. When Molly & I were in college we almost adopted one, but wisely decided against it. It wasn’t until few years out of college when we finally got our first Doxie, Roxie the Doxie.
The decision to get Miss Roxie was a random one. In 1999 Molly had just lost her beloved Maltese Beasly and did not want to get another dog. We had gone to a dog show that day and decided to stop by the local mall to pick up a few items. In those days they still had pet stores in the mall and we stopped to look at the dogs.
Molly & I have always been against pet stores and were well aware of puppy mills. This particular store (now closed) was owned by a well know local vet who got her dogs from reputable breeders. As soon as I saw the little dog, I was in love. She was the cutest and friendliest little red dachshund puppy. Like a little boy at the toy store I nagged until Molly agreed to let me get her.
That weekend we got our apartment ready for the arrival of the new addition. Molly and I had just gotten engaged and lived in a small rental that did not allow pets. Our new condo close to San Francisco was scheduled to be built in few months so we figured even if we get caught, by the time they kick us out of the rental we would have our new place.
Roxie came home the week before Valentine’s Day 2000. If puppies are menaces, dachshund puppies have to be blood relatives of Satan. During the first few week we had Roxie, she made enough physical damage to the place that we politely gave up our $1,200 security deposit and prayed not to get an additional bill.
When Molly and I moved into the condo, we knew with both of us working long hours it was not humane to leave Roxie in the condo alone, plus she would destroy the place. That’s why we decided to sign her up at a local Doggie Daycare called Planet Pooch three days per week. It was really cute, just like a child Molly & I would take turns picking Roxie up from school. Planet Pooch had a webcam and at lunch time we would get on conference calls while watching Roxie online. Looking back, this was such a nice simple time.
Like I mentioned Roxie was a menace with her biggest weakness being her mouth. This dog ate anything she could get a hold of and since she had a sensitive digestive system, more than few times we walked into a condo covered in diarrhea and vomit. Our place was wall-to-wall carpet and cleaning up the mess was not a fun. Needless to say the thought of donating the small football size K9 to science crossed our minds more than few times.
Roxie’s was an equal opportunity menace and made sure everyone got their fair share. In the winter of 2000 one of the owners of Planet Pooch Ken and his life partner who was also named Ken (Uncle Ken & Aunt Ken) agreed to babysit Roxie for a weekend. Few days after we picked her Uncle Ken called me and told me about the “bad girl” thing Roxie did while she was at their place.
Uncle Ken & Aunt Ken loved Roxie very much so she was able to sucker them to let her sleep in their bed. Apparently Roxie had gotten up in the middle of night in dire need of pooping. Ken & Ken slept on a very high bed so Roxie decided it was better to poop on Aunt Ken’s pillow than risk jumping off the high bed and breaking her back. When Uncle Ken told me this I wanted to start apologizing but for some reason I started laughing out loud. I just couldn’t help it specially when he told me Aunt Ken discovered the poop by rolling his head on it. They never babysat Roxie again!
During the thirteen years we had Roxie, she managed to have several bouts of food poisoning, got stung by a bee, broke her toe, had several cuts and lacerations, and on and on and on. One of the best investments I ever made besides buying a home in Silicon Valley, was getting dog insurance. Roxie was a VIP at our local vet.
Out of all the crazy mischief Roxie got herself into, nothing prepared us for to the time she got herself sprayed by a skunk. For some reason Molly did not notice the smell and let her walk right in the house. When the pungent odor finally hit us we immediately grabbed her and put her in the bathtub.
The scene in the bathroom looked like a comical version of the movie Psycho. Molly was pouring everything that was tomato based on top of the poor the dog’s head. We went through tomato juice, ketchup, salsa, and spaghetti sauce , but none of them were able to get the potent smell out. I finally looked up on my iPhone and realized that tomato does not get the smell of skunk out and the secret formula is a hydrogen peroxide mix. After we were able to get most of the smell out we went to bed exhausted. For months afterward every time we gave Roxie a bath the odor would surface again. It took almost three months for it to completely dissipate. Looking back, it was actually very funny but at the time it didn’t seem like it.
Roxie was an extremely sweet dog, and she was devoted to us from day one. She knew when we had a bad day and tried to cheer us up. When we had our daughters, she was very protective of her human sisters and tolerated their constant abuse. This was however a mutually beneficial relationship since dachshunds are gluttons and toddlers are like all you can eat buffets. Miss Roxie gained about 5 pounds after the girls were born.
Roxie lived until she was thirteen. She developed a very nasty cancer in the summer of 2012, and only lived for few more months. We were all heartbroken the day we had to relieve her of her pain. Up until the faithful night when the surgeon told me my wife had cancer, it was the saddest day of my life. The girls were heart broken. We never imagined they would hear the word cancer again nine months later, this time their mother.
Without Roxie the house seemed too quite. That weekend after she passed away, we went to the Northern California dachshund rescue, and got Mr. Roofus Berry. Roofus was abandoned by his previous owners and was picked up by the local animal shelter in Modesto. Modesto’s animal shelter is one of the most over crowded pounds in state. The recent housing market crash in the area has led to many people abandoning their pets after loosing their homes.
Roofus was deemed un-adoptable by the evaluator and was put on the kill list. He was saved miraculously when a member of the rescue team spotted him when he had returned back to the shelter to get his keys.
Roofus is a gentle soul who was about six years old when we adopted him. He had been at the rescue home for months because nobody wanted to adopt an older dog. He is a charming little boy and ladies love him. Every time I take him for a walk, he gets flocked by women who cannot resist his charm and good looks. We are so glad to have this loving animal at our house. If you want a dog, consider adopting an older dog instead of a puppy. They are so many of them being euthanized every day. Take it from us puppies are menaces 🙂