My wife explains to me that dogs should officially be named with an “ie” at the end, which explained the names of Nipsie’s predecessors, Ribbsie and Teenie, both of which were also dachshunds. I’d like to know where she got that interesting tidbit of information.
Since Nipsie is older than dirt, he does three things these days, eat, sleep and poop. All three require the loving attention of my wife Christine. I look at this poor little remnant of what he once was and I feel a lot of pity. Sadly, I look at him and I see myself in twenty years after I’ve outlived my usefulness.
The good news dogs and humans are living longer, thanks to advances in medicine in both worlds. The bad news… we’re living longer and we’re unable to do the things we used to do.
I can’t remember the last time Nipsie actually barked. I guess he says to himself “Why waste the energy?” My guess is that is almost totally deaf and nothing registers these days.
He no longer runs and barely walks. The days of taking him around the block for an evening walk are long gone. Poor thing can’t make it across the street these days. So we keep him comfortable in his own
little version of a nursing home (his inside cage). He actually prefers to be outside because he has no hair to warm him and the warm Florida weather does a pretty good job.
The exception is during the blistering days of summer. No animal can take the Florida heat. That’s when he comes inside to his doggie day care center known as the cage.
Nipsie always has this innocent look on his face, as if to say, “I’m so glad you’re home because somebody pooped on the porch.”
We used to have him in the house when the family was trying to eat, but he always had that look on his face: “Every meal you make, every bite you take… I’ll be watching you.”
Dachshunds are notoriously territorial and possessive. They’ll take on dogs five times their size just to make a point, always hoping their master is close by to rescue them from bodily harm.
When in the house, Nipsie and his predecessors investigated every obvious cavity of the home and some you haven’t considered, ranging from the dishwasher, to the toilet, to the garbage cans. His latest M-O is to venture into the toy room where Ashley and Ava are playing, searching for a belly rub or some other form of affection.
All dachshunds don’t respond the same. Some remain territorial. For instance, I’ll arrive late after a long day and I’ll bend down the kiss my wife and Nipsie growls and tries to bite me. Rank has its privilege I guess.
I’m in three to four homes a day in my insurance practice and I’m always greeted by dogs barking. I’ve found that the smallest dogs are the most dangerous. In 40 years of entering people’s homes, I was never bitten until this year.
As I was entering the client’s home, she shooed away the bulk of the dogs but decided to pick up her smallest and most aggressive, a dachshund. She cradled the dog in her arms and proceeded to open the
Because the entrance quarters were a bit tight, I had to pass in front of her. The dog was having none of that and she took a nice bite out of the muscular part of the arm, leaving teeth marks that I still have today. It’s a good thing I had a long sleeve shirt on to buffer the bite.
Nipsie’s prayers have to include asking for forgiveness from every UPS driver and every garbage truck. As often as they come, you’d think that he would get used to them. Nowadays, he can’t even hear them, so he lay quietly, sleeping 23 of every 24 hours every day.
I envision Nipsie dreaming that he’s a Judge dictating terms to me in his sleep. “First you’ll sit, then you’ll shake, then you’ll roll over and then we’ll see if you’re a good boy.”
Michael Aun is a syndicated columnist and writes a weekly column for this newspaper. To contact Michael Aun, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.