It was six years ago that we got a call from our good friend Leslie asking if we could rescue a doxie puppy, her owner has died. Little did we know then how much our lives would change. We arranged to go see her and we knew instantly she was leaving that place with us. She had just been washed and allowed to run soaking wet on cold tile floors. The little thing was cold and shivering and walking with her tail between her legs. We heard that she was once taken care of by a man that really loved and spoiled her. He suddenly died of a massive heart attack and was dead for hours before he was found with the little doxie sitting on him. The widow did not want her and passed her on to a niece. The niece had a husband who hated the dog and she hated him. He even threw her in a pool to drown and was fished out by the niece/wife. This we discovered while talking with her. On a funny note, the little dog would actually go down the street where he had a shop just to stand and bark at him! We bundled the speckled dapple longhair in a towel and took her with us.
Her name was Pepper because of her black coat and streaks of silver. We would also call her Freebie, little did we know then how untrue that would be! Pepper turned out to be a needy insecure dog but that was to be expected. She would constantly follow us around wanting to be picked up unlike the rest of our gang, which were much more indepentant. One day my wife BJ picked her up and was talking to her and asked her if she was her 'little chickadee' That pupper went wild. She asked her again and she kept getting excited when asked. So she went from Pepper to being called Chick-a-Dee which was shortened to Chickie and sometimes just Chick.
Chickie became jealous of the others and would nip them as they were being picked up or were getting attention. We had to break up some serious fights over the first few years and had to be aware of where everone was while giving attention. We really worked hard with her to become part of the pack. We also discovered that she did not know how to 'play' with toys like the others. She did not know how to play tug of war or chase things that were thrown. We never did find out much about her puppyhood except that she was the guy's special pup. Chick was just coming out of her shell and learning how to play just before she went down.
It was two years ago this April when I let everyone in from going outside and Chick came over to me and sat down and I could tell she was in pain and hsd trouble walking. We knew the signs of IVDD because of a false alarm with our Mosh, another doxie. We got her to the vets right away and x-rays were taken. You all know x-rays can't show much but there were signs of calsification. So the usual meds were given and she was sent home for crate rest and close observation. There was one more bit of bad news, Chick had a small bladder stone forming.
The next morning Chickie was completely down so off we went to the emergency clinic where a myelogram was given and she was sent into surgery. It was lucky this clinic is only three miles from the house and has some very competent surgeons. Chickie spent five days at the clinic and we visited her up to three times a day because it was so close. She regained bowel control but still needs bladder expressing. Even after trying holistic, acupuncture, water therapy, herbs and supplements she has not been able to walk yet. She has been fitted for a cart from Eddie's Wheels. The bladder stone grew and caused complications and had to come out this past April. She had a really fine board certified surgeon that had to perform special surgery to remove the stone and stitch her up a certain way to avoid complications because on needing her bladder expressed. They kept a catheter in her for a week to allow the bladder to heal. We were more worried about that procedure than we were about the IVDD surgery. It has been ten months since then and Chickie still battle UTI's and needs periodic antibiotics and holistic medication to control the bacteria.
Chickie leads as normal a life as we can give her. She spends her confined time in a pen on top of the dining room table where she can look outdoors at everything going on. BJ calls her our security system. She lets us know when the cats are walking by, the mailman is delivering the mail. She has since learned to play with toys and loves to bring her yellow banana to be thrown time and time again. She loves to go out and 'boogie' as we call it and always runs at a full trot the last block home from a walk. We take her to as many people/pet functions as possible to talk about pets with handicaps and about IVDD with other dachshund owners. She is our 'Little Chick-a-Dee!'
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