I decided to post our exciting news on Mother’s Day because I am about to become a mother again. I know what you are saying: “At her age?” (either with a healthy dose of skepticism or rolling your eyes and laughing hysterically).
Let me tell you the backstory. In March of 2019, our precious Archie, a piebald dachshund, crossed the rainbow bridge. Because of Archie’s personality, he was our only four-legged family member at the time. We have lived with dachshunds since 1988, but after Archie’s passing, doxie toenails were no longer clicking on our oak floors and the house seemed so empty and quiet.
Over the spring and summer months, we grieved Archie. We had always had cats, as well as dogs, but I had developed a severe allergy to cat dander. So John and I rattled around in our house, not quite ready to commit to another dog companion.
Then, on a vacation in September, we met Rusty. a middle-age Jack Russell terrier. Rusty’s fur reminded us of Archie, and when we held him, it felt a bit like holding Archie. Little by little, the aching memories of Archie’s final illness were softened by the balm of holding another furry creature. Memories of good times with all three of our dachshunds were recalled, and we started to look toward the future.
So in mid-October, I wrote a blog entitled “Time to Take Up the Leash Again.” But we had some hard issues to figure out: the age of our new addition(s), adopting from a rescue or purchasing from a breeder, and finally, how many? Breed was never a question; we are dedicated dachshund lovers.
Through it all, one thing always stood firm: we believe in rescuing dogs and have rescued several, not to mention many cats. But now we are of a certain age, and there are important factors to consider that can stem from the unknown history of a rescue animal.
The first is behavior. Our dear Archie, a rescue who came to us when he was four years old, was a handful (to put it mildly). Despite working with an animal behaviorist, he was always risky around other humans of any age. Eventually, he could not even be left with a sitter. He nipped his last person about six months before he passed.
The second consideration is the unknown medical expense. We like to say that Archie was a very costly “free” dog (think: tens of thousands of dollars, and if anything, I’m underestimating that figure). Archie went through spinal surgery and three eye surgeries, along with multiple trips to the vet for gut issues, removal of sebaceous cysts, and dental issues.
None of this was in any way his fault. His genetics, his upbringing, the environment he had lived in—so many factors went into making him who he was, and we know he did the best he could with what he’d been given. Still, I think he led a good long life, passing at eighteen years, six months. And we loved him. Once he crossed the threshold of our home that first time, he was ours. We still miss him.
After struggling with the decision, asking friends and praying for guidance, we finally decided to find a fully accredited breeder with one specific talent: breeding for temperament. So how do you find this type of breeder?
It seemed like our quest was being guided when we talked to doxie-lover friends Lois and Luis, who recommended Desert Heir Dachshunds. After doing a little research, we talked to Lisa, and we knew we had found our breeder.
Because John and I are older, we wanted to tilt the balance, and in the end, we decided to get two puppies to keep each other company—hopefully, a male and a female. But it looked like our babies, one male and one female, would not be available until winter 2020 or spring 2021 because of a waiting list.
Then a miracle occurred. Most of you know we lost our grandson James in February. On James’s birthday, April 12, an all-male litter was born at Desert Heir. And since it was also Easter, we were especially moved. We had our male puppy. The next day, another litter was born, and because someone changed their mind about the sex of their puppy, we had our little girl.
Lisa figuratively held our hand through this whole process. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, we are unable to visit the puppies. So we converse via phone and email, which Lisa answers promptly. She sends photos and videos and has supported us through out the entire process. We are so grateful.
We are also excited, nervous, and questioning our sanity. And we’re reading all the latest literature on raising dachshunds, knowing all the while that they will be training us. So the weekend of June 7, I will be a dog mom again. It feels so good!
Oh, and by the way—Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms!