Friday, October 27, 2006

Of Little Wienie Dogs

My parents have a dachshund named Mandy. I let myself into their house the other day when they were gone, only to find Mandy lying on one of their recliners, listening to classical music. He has a good life!!

I never liked it when anybody called my sweet little Fritzie a "wienie dog." But here I am calling him that very thing. It just made for a good title.

We had several dogs when I was growing up. I don't remember particularly bonding with any of them. But when I was college age, Mom and Dad got a little dachshund named Tuppence (she had been Penny when they got her, but Tuppence seemed more sophisticated - a British coin instead). Tup gave them several beautiful litters of pups, and I adopted one of those my first year of teaching. Unfortunately, she didn't adapt well to being by herself all day, and became accustomed to eating my shoes - only one of each, of course. At that time, I had good Italian leather shoes that I wore to teach school - high heels on my feet all day. No wonder I have bad feet today!

I ended up giving Mindy away to a loving family and stayed petless for quite a while. That changed after I was married and had children and they were growing up afraid of all dogs. We started watching the paper and one day found an ad for a litter of dachshunds for sale (DC was also fond of this breed and had one as a kid). He made the trip over to the house and there were two left. One ignored him completely, and the other one headed right into his lap and into his heart.

It was a Wednesday night just before dinner when he made the trip back with the money (far more than we ever intended to pay), and brought this wonderful gift into our home and our lives. We had to go to choir practice, so I tried to devise a way to keep him safe and off the fairly new carpets while we were gone. Nothing doing. He got out of everything I tried. I ended up taking him to church with me under my coat. He was so tiny!

One Sunday morning we were outside showing him off to some neighbors when a tomcat came around, thinking he had found his breakfast. He headed straight for Fritz. Thankfully, I already had my purse over my shoulder, which I wielded at that cat's head and sent him packing.

Fritz became a huge part of our family, for such a tiny little creature. He was very affectionate and liked to be very close to each of us at different times.

Fritz in kev's shirt (Small)

Fritz On Dad (Small)

fritz with both kids

fritz on dwight2

Fritz at piano with Kristen (Small)
He truly exhibited the best thing about pets - unconditional love, no back-talk, total forgiveness, and such eagerness to see you at the end of the day. He knew when we were coming down the culdesac, would be up on the chair watching out the front window, hear the garage door open, and be at the back door before we could get there.

He was also very helpful! Here he is serving as a weight for me as I did my daily exercise with a video (note the bags of beans I used for weights - recommended by Debbie Reynolds as I exercised with her each day).

fritz exercising

When we traveled, he went along. He wasn't content to sit in the middle of the front seat beside us, or in the back seat with the kids - no, he had to be right on my lap - no matter how hot it was that day!

When Kristen came home from anorexia treatment at Remuda Ranch, which she discusses HERE, Fritz was her constant companion, and made her recovery much easier.

Fritz lived to be 14 years old, slowing down and going gray at the end of his life. He had his own bed in the basement, which he loved, but had to be carried down there the last few weeks of his life. He exhibited old age as many of us do, with gray hair, but never lost his fun personality:

fritz upside down

Fritz in a blanket (Small)

Fritz died in his little bed, peacefully, on Valentine's day when he was 14 years old. It was the day after Kev's birthday, and we were thankful it wasn't a day earlier. He's buried in our back yard. He will always be in our hearts. We have never replaced him. He is irreplaceable.


Kristen said...

Awww. I miss my Fritz. There's never been another pet like him since. He lived a long, full happy life!! Great post and great pics!

Morning Glory said...

Cute pictures!

Pamela said...

Fritz, looked to have been a wonderful sweet and cuddly little dog. Such cute pictures. I especially like the one of him laying on your hubby's back and the one between the two cute kids!

I feel the same way about my Shih Tzu, Shivan and I will be sick when we have to let him go. He has a slipped disk in his back and they said when it goes he will be paralized and that will be that. He is my shadow. :) Love your post Dawn!

PEA said...

You were very lucky to have Fritz and he was very lucky to have you!! I had a dog named Scamp while growing up and he was my companion through my teenage years...he listened while I poured my heart out and licked my tears when I cried...he jumped all over my bed when I was happy and never ceased to make me laugh! I loved all the pictures you posted, Fritz certanily did seem like he loved to cuddle:-)

Nancy said...

I loved reading about Fritz. This was a great tribute to Fritz and the loving family where he enjoyed life. Dogs are definitely a great blessing.

Sue said...

Fritz was very obviously a much loved pet. He's crossed the rainbow bridge and free of all pain and cares. Sounds like he had a wonderful life and family with all of you...

Looney Mom said...

Oh how sweet and so sad. How do we just love these little pets of ours so much. It's amazing the love they are capable of giving. We could really learn something from them, huh?

Grafted Branch said...

Makes me want one of those sweet little lap dogs. My howling beagle is a little bigger than we thought she'd be.

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

what a sweet little thing! and a beautiful tribute too.

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

"which I wielded at the cats head and sent him packing" - that cracked me up and I'm a cat lover. Our next door neighbors always had weinie dogs, the last one was named Romeo. He was the fattest thing, and they loved the daylights out of him. I've always worried about losing a dog that little, so we usually have one that weighs in at 80+ lbs. You dont generally lose that kind.

Lala's world said...

that is so sweet! nothing like a good dog to be part of the family!
I need a good dog! right now I have 2 really bad dogs!!

Linda said...

That is a sweet story Dawn. Reminds me of our Shep. He was the special pet I will never forget.
My granddaughter had a little "weinie" dog when she was very little. Her name was Rosie. They didn't keep her very long (she was rather sickly), but my granddaughter talks about her to this day.
Dogs are just special I think. They are all you said.

Kathleen Marie said...

Dawn, My sister has a little mini dachsund, Milo. He is SO cute. I am a cat lover but have often thought I would love a little pup.

kpjara said...

That makes me cry! I look at my 'girls' all the time and can't imagine how I will 'deal' when they pass...they are so much a part of our little family!

Thank you for this tribute and the wonderful pictures. Dachshunds were our family dogs for many years in my childhood.

Barb said...

All these photos of Fritz are adorable, Dawn, especially the one on his back with his little legs up in the air. I know what you mean about not being able to replace a pet like this - when Chloe died last year we were so sad. We got Chelsea because we both love having a playful little dog but she wasn't a replacement - just a new kid!

Maggie Ann said...

What a wonderful post/tribute to your little buddy. I enjoyed seeing the pictures showing his love and interest in everything your family did. He sounds like he had a personality that shone head & shoulders above a lot of pets. We had boxers growing up...and Dad wrestled with them, so I was a little afraid of them..they were Dad's dogs. Handsome but..I enjoyed your post very much Dawn!

Tammy said...

What a sweet tribute. Fritz looked ike such a cutiepie!
Dogs can become such treasured members of the family. I still remember my special childhood dogs and miss them to this day!

After the passing of my hubby's old dog last spring, we are about to get our first real family dog together- and first puppy! We're going to start looking in just a couple weeks!