Our time dog sitting Bubba, Lucy and Big Daddy, the senior wieners
A wonderful doggie mom contacted us about dogsitting her dachshunds during her mother-daughter European vacation. She’s a very caring soul, and in her good-heartedness, rescues dogs that are difficult to place. That’s how we had the opportunity to love Bubba, Lucy, and Big Daddy. (pictured left, left to right)
All seniors (around mid-teens) these three are like a little sibling family, each very different, but bound together emotionally. Big Daddy is on the giant end for a standard smooth dachshund, pushing 30 pounds and built very low to the ground. Perhaps not an Einstein in doggie intelligence, he has such a sweet, undemanding demeanor. But first, you’ve got to get past Bubba to be part of the “circle of trust.” Besides being the oldest, Bubba is the protector of them all. Until he knows and trusts you, he will put himself in between you and his family – barking, snapping, and even biting to keep you away. He is a toughie, until you figure out his “kryptonite” — his teeth are so worn and sparse, he can’t hurt you. 🙂
The trials of puppy mill rescues
I tell it as a light-hearted anecdote, but his back story isn’t a happy one — he and Lucy, his mate? daughter? (their unique and similar coloring, and their attachment to each other, make it likely they come from the same breeder), apparently were discarded from a puppy mill once they reached old age. Bubba has an ineffective bite, but Lucy’s teeth were so bad, many of them had to be removed. Now, in a darling but sad way, her little tongue slips out when she’s asleep or resting. It’s not hard to empathize with Bubba’s distrust, aggression and protectiveness when you have a sense of what they’ve been through.
Still, they’re happy kids, once you break through. They love snuggling on the couch together, they LOVE LOVE LOVE mealtime, and, getting them out for a short walk is like doggie nirvana for them. These usually sedentary elders get all puppy hippy hoppy when they see their harnesses and leashes, especially Big Daddy. It is seriously hard to get Big Daddy off the couch, but not when he thinks he’s going for a walk!
One of the other “bless her heart” issues their kind owner has to deal with is accidents. It doesn’t appear to be age-related incontinence, it seems as if there are just times they decide to “release,” and it’s not always outside the doggie door. We have heard that’s pretty characteristic of puppy mill dogs, because for years, they’re just kept in cages until they’re called upon to “perform.” (It really is remarkable how these little ones can come through so much and still have the capacity to love and be happy in a good environment).
Even with all the “extra” that comes with dog sitting elderly dachshunds, it’s impossible not to love this trio and deeply appreciate good people with big hearts! 🙂