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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Post #20: PD Gets a Sibling

PD survived his too close encounter with poisoning, and continued to thrive.  As he got older, his attachment to me became stronger.  We had started leaving PD at the house, rather than taking him to work because he was outgrowing the little pen we had made for him.  PD started to demand my attention most of the time that I was home.  When I could no longer walk across the room without PD grabbing my pants leg, I decided it was time for PD to have a brother or sister.

Wife agreed that PD needed another dog in the house.  We felt guilty about leaving him home alone all day and thought another dog would keep him from becoming so needy.  We also hoped that another dachshund might help to teach PD the ways of doggy hood.

PD, by the way, is a short-haired red dachshund who was supposed to be a “mini.”  We believed he was a mini, until we learned otherwise.  PD is actually a “tweenie.”  He is longer than most mini’s, and is too small to be considered to be a full – sized dachshund.  PD’s fur is exceptionally smooth.  It is softer than any other dog we have owned.  The down side of this is that it is difficult to resist cuddling him.

PD was about seven months old when we started looking.  Our first stop was the local animal shelters.  We found Jelly at the dog shelter in Rockport.  Jelly was a mottled black and tan short haired dachshund.  She was about two years old.  The pound named her Jelly because of her coloring.  Her deep black fur looked almost purple.  Her shiny black coat contrasted with lighter black markings, making her look like grape jelly.  When we met at her at the local shelter we could see that she something wrong with her skin.  She wasn’t just mottled, she was also losing some fur.  The shelter assured us that Jelly had been checked over by their vet and that the skin condition was no big deal.

We decided to adopt Jelly.  They said we could take her home overnight without adopting her to be sure.  I was confident that there was nothing that would prevent us from keeping her.  So, we paid the fees and took Jelly home.  There was no real tension between Jelly and PD that first night.  Jelly slept in our bed, but we kept the two dogs separated, until they got better acquainted. 

The next day, we took Jelly to get checked out by our vet.  We found out that the minor skin condition was mange.  We started Jelly on the ointments and pills and brought her back home.  Then we changed the sheets, changed our clothes, took baths, scrubbed PD, scrubbed everything Jelly might have laid down on, and hoped for the best.

I don’t know if it was the added tension in the house because we now knew that Jelly had mange, or if Jelly was feeling bad, if she just had a possessive nature, or if she was reacting to PD’s possessiveness of me.  But the tension between PD and Jelly grew.  The honeymoon period was over by the next afternoon.  Jelly snapped at PD over a toy and the two of them got into a growling, barking, snapping scuffle. 

Wife and I decided the pairing just wasn’t going to work.  It was with much regret and some sorrow that we made the decision to return Jelly to the shelter.  We had really only given her three days.  But, in the end we were worried about PD’s safety.  I took Jelly back, told them they could keep the adoption fee as a donation, handed over her prescriptions and instructed them on her treatment for mange.  I hope Jelly was cured of her mange.  And I hope she found a new forever home.  I am sorry that we were not the home we wanted to be for her.

And so the search for a sibling continued.

We found a dachshund breeder outside of Sinton, Texas.  We drove out to the breeder’s home and saw a herd of dachshunds running around behind a large fenced in enclosure.

This time, we brought PD with us, so he could help us in making our decision.

After visiting for a while, the breeder told us about Henry.  Henry was three months old.  He was a short-haired black and tan dachshund.  Henry had already been adopted by a family with a ten year old boy.  The boy did not treat Henry well, so the family brought him back.  He was getting old for a puppy and becoming less adoptable.  This sounded perfect to us.  Henry would already be well past the early puppy stages and had been among other dachshunds long enough to know the ways of the doggy world. 

The breeder brought Henry out and put him on the enclosed porch with us.  We brought PD out, and put him on the porch.  We continued to talk to the breeder while PD and Henry first got to know each other, and then sort of ignored each other.  Wife decided that the two of them got along well.

We took Henry home.

Henry was a really sweet, respectful puppy.  He was lovable and never met a human he didn’t like.  It took a bit of adjustment for the two dogs to get to know each other, but there was no snapping or fighting.  Whatever signals PD was sending out, Henry seemed to be capable of reading and respecting. 

After our encounter with Jelly, we were thrilled when days passed and PD and Henry were still getting along.