I was sitting in front of my computer looking at a blank screen and thinking how quiet and peaceful it is. Outside, the weather is cold at a chilly 45 degrees and it is a dull grey and sombre day. It is one of those days when you know that it is not going to rain any amount, a much-needed blessing in my part of Texas, but just dull and cloudy. There is enough cloud that the sun is not peeping through, not even one little bit..
Because it is so quiet, my mind turned to the dogs and cats and what they are doing. Bebe, the oldest of the four dachshunds who is now probably at least 14 or 15 years old and getting a little deaf, is curled up in one of the new doggy baskets that I had recently bought them, fast asleep and seemingly, not a care in the world. Whenever she can, she will sit behind me in my office chair resulting in me having to make do with just half a seat. It’s a little uncomfortable for me but Bebe seems to like it just fine. Bebe has one goal in life and that is food, any kind of food one of which is raw carrots She had previously had some medical issues that required taking out her thyroid resulting on her having a special diet. As far as I know, carrots are not on the list of food she is not supposed to eat but again, it would truly be a dog’s life is she couldn’t have any treats. Bebe is a black and tan and the only one different in color. She is supposed to be a miniature of the breed and does have very short legs and the outlines of this small breed of dachshund. Unfortunately, with her love of food and her medical problems, she does not have the sleek lines of Richie and Ginny.
Abigail, the next oldest, is a standard size dachshund weighing about twenty pounds and is the bully of the group. Not that she attacks or bites the other dogs but rather that she uses her size to push her way in and them out-of-the-way especially when we are all on the couch in the evening watching television. Well, maybe I am the one watching television and they are all asleep! She also likes to eat and can devour food at an amazing rate and is usually finished before the others have hardly started their food but she never tries to steal theirs away from them. She too likes carrots but I am not sure if she truly likes them or just does not want any of the other dogs to get them. She is sleeping on the living room couch which she calls her domain.
Richie is the only male and is pretty laid back unless he feels that one of the others needs a lesson. Only then does he assert himself and puts them back in their place in the pecking order. He spends his days out in the yard searching for the rats and mice that are there. He is pretty good at catching them and generally either buries them or eats them. He does not just hunt rodents, he goes after the squirrels of which there are quite a few, especially when they come down to steal the birdseed out of the feeders or to get water. He loves to chase the buzzards even though they are circling and wheeling up in the sky. He madly dashes from one end of the garden to the other when one of them flies over. I saw a small feral kitten the other day in front of the house and being a good Samaritan put some food out for it. That was a mistake as the kitten found its way into the back yard and ran into Richie who promptly killed it and half buried it. He has this thing against cats and even though there are two in the house, I always have to put them in a separate room away from the dogs when I go out. He has managed to have a go at both of them resulting in one losing her tail and the other developing diabetes,. Not sure if that was a direct result or just discovered when he had to go to the vets to get sewn up. There was a previous third cat that didn’t make it through the night after Richie’s close attentions. He is a sweet little dog except as far as other animals are concerned although he makes no moves at the cats when I am home and even shows signs of affection for them. Probably knows he will get the crap beaten out of him if he so much as tries. Right now, because it is cold out, he is sleeping on the couch that is in the bedroom that he has taken over as his own personal spot.
Lastly, there is the latest of the bunch, a small breed little girl named Ginny who weighs a little over twelve pounds. She is without a doubt the funniest of them all, always in a hurry tearing around wherever she goes. Always at top speed. She has this thing for cat food and whenever I have to go into the office which is now the cats room, she tears in ahead of me and does her little prancing dance just to get the cat food. She is really sweet and affectionate and a great bed warmer as she sleeps under the covers against my back. All of them are rescue dogs coming from various and different circumstances. At the present moment, Ginny is practicing her imitation of a hot water bottle and is snuggled under the covers in the bed. With the exception of Bebe, all of the others are the regular orange brown color of the typical smooth coated dachshunds.
All four of these dogs are employed by the Dachshund Watchdog Service Company that is supposed to patrol the yard and keep the Heron away from eating the fish. Unfortunately, they have recently been quite literally sleeping on the job resulting in the heron having some success in the goldfish pond.I have told them that this is the last chance they will have to do the job right and unless they shape up, I will have to get another watchdog service and have them replaced.I am waiting to see the results of this discussion…
The two cats, the tail less one named Ellie and the diabetic one, named Brown Cat (he is a Siamese), are sleeping in their usual spots, Ellie on the bed keeping Ginny company from a distance and Brown Cat in one of the closets. I envy them sometimes, two squares a day and all of the sleep they want in a nice warm house. What could be better (as long as they are not alone with Richie).
As I mentioned previously, we all sit on the couch in the evenings and generally Brown Cat will make his way up there as well. So if you can picture Richie to my right, Ginny on my lap, Bebe next to me on the left, Abigail next to Bebe and finally Brown Cat either between them or on the end. If I get up to get something, they open ranks and spread out and I have a devil of a time regaining my original spot. In the evenings when we all retire for the night, they all join me in the King sized bed with Abigail and Ginny always under the covers, Bebe on the top but usually covered by her own little blankie and Richie on his couch until he gets cold then he climbs under the covers with the rest of us. The two cats position themselves wherever they can find a spot and sometimes I will wake up to find that Ellie is sleeping next to my face. She seems to be doing this more and more just lately. I guess its her way of showing more affection as she grows old.
My dogs and cats are great company for me and can always cheer me up if I happen to be down which is not often. They give me another angle to my life as I am responsible for them and take that very seriously. When I have to make decisions about their quality of life, I generally cry like a baby if I have to put them to sleep and every animal I have lost has left a void in my heart which I generally fill by getting another rescue. Now though, I am seriously thinking of the future and what may be down the road. I want to outlive all of my pets if that is at all possible and even though I have no control over it, that is my wish. So, in all probability, these are the last pets I will have as we all grow old together. Currently, there are eleven dogs and sundry cats buried in different places in my yard, the end result of thirty years of friendship and love.
BTW, the hundred or so goldfish and Koi that are in the five ponds are not considered pets at least the same as the dogs and cats. They get sick and die with no warning and after all, its hard to get affectionate with a cold-blooded thing with scales that lives in (cold) water….