I Still Miss Reggie's Spunky Spirit
This is the story of how Reggie, that adorable spitfire Dachshund, came into my life. He gave me so many moments of joy, but there are some moments in life that one just doesn't forget. And as I get older, and collect more "moments," it is the most indelible ones, like oil through water, that always rise to the top.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love dogs and how my dogs are my kids, really. Just like a bumper sticker reads that a dear friend gave me recently reads, "All of my children have paws." At this point you might be thinking I am going to blog about my sweet (soon to be 18-year-old) Golden Boy, Ernie, but no, not today. Today I want to write about Reggie, our 17-year-old dachshund.
Reggie came into my life when I was a junior in high school. My parents had recently divorced and I was living with my mom. We already had two dogs, and occasionally cared for my sister's dog. In other words, our house was already all paws. When I got home from school my mom was in the kitchen preparing dinner. Standing at the stove browning some ground beef, she seemed very distant and distracted.
"What's wrong?" I asked. "Well, I went to get Mikey and Ernie (our other two dogs) some bones today at the pet store and I saw the most adorable dachshund puppy," mom explained. I will never forget how sad she looked thinking and talking about him. "He had the biggest brown eyes and he was all by himself.... he looked so scared. Plus, he is on clearance." mom continued. "Where is your ATM card?" I asked. "I'll go pick the little guy up." That is really all the convincing it took. Reggie was already in mom's heart, she just needed someone to give her desire voice, and to NOT say what she was really thinking. That is, we did not NEED another dog.
Sure enough I got to the pet store, and there he was: adorable, shaking, alone, full of a timid character, just waiting to be taken into a loving home. I told the clerk I wanted that dachshund right away. I never did tell my mom that another family was looking at him when I arrived.
Becoming Part Of The Family
Reggie was already nearly seven months old at that point, so he blended with the family routine fairly quickly, not having a lot of the puppy stages to go through. He loved to play fetch with a blue rubber ball. Mom and I could throw it for hours and he'd never tire of it. His intelligence has always impressed me. I remember scolding him once for scooting his bottom on the carpet. At the time I was laid up on the couch and he knew he was out of my reach. After his first attempt to scoot, I yelled at him not to do it. In the next moment he planted his butt firmly on the carpet and scooted about five feet, looking at me directly in the eye the entire time, as if to say, "Oh yeah, whatcha gonna do about it??
Mom died in 2006 and both Ernie and Reggie, her two surviving pets, came to live with me and Drew. They have always been my dogs as much as they were hers. And she knew that. It was an unspoken understanding that I would care for them as well as she did.
Now, Reggie is in the later stages of Prostate Cancer. He doesn't run for the blue ball anymore like he used to but he still likes to squeak his squeaky balls. There is no cure and surgery isn't an option for him. We are doing the best we can to make sure he is comfortable, happy, and not suffering. Every day is a blessing with him. He and Ernie both. I am not crying tears yet, rather, I am choosing to hug him a little more, a little longer, and remember all the happy, good times.