The purrrfect dachshund…

Author: Kim  //  Category: Ashas, Baby, Isabella, Pompeii, Sasha

It’s been a little over a year since we lost Baby… While I loved Baby very much, she had grown to be a very independent cat. She spent many hours lying on the back of the sofa in the summertime purring away with the utmost content. In the winter she frequented the floor vents, as sort of her own personal heated utopia. It had been years since she prowled the house looking for trouble. In fact, the most trouble she had come to instigate was tormenting Isabella by teasing her from the aforementioned perch atop the back of the couch. Isabella has since claimed it as her own, almost from the day Baby was gone. I mention her tormenting only Isabella because Sasha and Baby spent many more years together as cat/dog sister/brother and frankly, they were both about as mild mannered and docile as either species could be. While not exactly smitten, I’d say they were respectful of each other. There were times after Sasha became sick when Baby would seemingly come to check-up on her during our many long sleepless nights.

I miss them both, terribly…

Ashas never knew Baby… which brings us to present day. As of one week ago, the house is once again filled with the sound of purrs, meows and now the quiet tinkle of a tiny bell attached to the collar around a little black kitten. And by little, I mean tiny… Meet Pompeii…all 2 lbs. of her!

We adopted her last Saturday August 13, 2011. Kitty fever had been growing for a couple of months now. Doug had made up his mind that he really wanted another cat. I was hardly one to resist as I’ve almost always had a cat. My entire life has been filled with many pets, often gerbils, fish, rabbits and many other species as well but always a cat in the mix. Cats are wonderfully adaptive and can live in just about any setting be it country living or city apartment living and being an animal lover I usually got my fix with a feline or two.

So here we are once again with 2 dachshunds and a cat. You might be wondering how it’s working out so far?

Upon making the decision to go for it, we hit up the adoption event at our local Petco looking at the kittens available for adoption. Doug spent a good 30 minutes playing with a litter of two month old black kittens which had been dubbed ” The Winnie the Pooh kittens” There were three left, 2 boys called Tiger and Eeyore as well as a little female named Piglet. A fondness began to grow with little Piglet and soon we knew she was the one. We had the pups with us and I felt like the rapport was to be expected. Both Isabella and Ashas had a strong curiosity for the kitten who returned the curiosity with a few meows but when the pups got a little anxious and Piglet would hiss and the pups would break out in barking. Frankly, it’s exactly what I would have expected. Some vocalization of boundaries but nothing too ferocious which led me to believe that within a matter of weeks or at most a month or so the lines would be drawn and feline/canine co-existence would be well at hand. We took the pups home, grabbed our travel crate and went back to pick up little Piglet who would soon be dubbed Pompeii. (Doug’s pick and a very nice one which turns out to suit her perfectly)

After the adoption, and shopping for new kitty essentials (food, scratching post, collar, kitty litter, catnip, etc.) we went home, put Pompeii in Doug’s room to let the adaption period begin.

Upon bringing Pompeii into the house Isabella began her typical excitement, aka stress whining. She basically sat at Doug’s door and whined for the rest of the day. It’s the sort of whine she does when she loses her ball under the couch or when she knows you’re getting her dinner ready and she has no patience to await being served. Ashas on the other hand was just super excited and giddy with the smells he was tracking under the door and his excitement manifested in a rambunctious scratching at the door and barking as if to say, “hey, I know you’re in there…let me in or you come out and show yourself!” Against all advice, we even decided to see how they might handle a close up encounter a couple of times just to see if that would be better than the increasing and ceaseless angst spewing from both Isabella and Ashas in unison. One good snap at the kitten from Isabella and we knew that wasn’t the best idea so back to opposite sides of the door. As you might imagine, somewhere about 5 hours in, I was almost questioning what we had gotten ourselves into. None the less, day one ended with Doug and Pompeii locked up in his room and me locked up in my room with Isabella and Ashas, trying to get them to forget about the furry little intruder and get some sleep. It was a long night of: dogs jump down, Mom scolds them back onto the bed, sleep two hours…rinse and repeat.

Did I mention we intentionally embarked on this adventure on a weekend? So glad I didn't have to get up and work the next day!!!

Day two: If you’re a doxie parent you are well aware that typical dachshund sleeping habits don't involve getting up early if they don't have to…today, they were bouncing off the walls at daybreak! They had apparently NOT forgotten the furball locked up two doors away. So day two started out a little better. Isabella wasn't nearly as stressed on the whole, but as soon as she would hear Pompeii's bell jingling she would run barking to the door and start the incessant whining again.

We took a multi-phased approach to day two. First, a little 1:1 time in turns behind closed doors where one of us would hold one of the pups and let the kitten come up and investigate while the other pup remained on the outside the room. That went fairly well until Ashas wiggled loose and cornered Pompeii… for a brief minute I saw a vision of fur strewn around the house by Ashas followed closely by the hallucination of sitting in the Vet ER with Ashas eyesight in question.

I mentioned a multi-phased approach…like many dachshund owners, we have gates around the house… We have a gate at the top of the stairs, bottom of the stairs and several doorways around the house to contain the pups in desired areas. We decided to let Pompeii acclimate to the upstairs while we kept the pups downstairs with us. That actually worked out great. She ventured down a couple of times but had a very quick escape path back over the fence and up the stairs when needed. She did use it a couple of times too but for the most part this was a successful day and I was feeling a little better about how things would play out. Perhaps a few weeks of this and things would be settling down.

Day three… the turning point. What happened on day three has me completely smitten with our pups and our kitten!Isabella’s curiosity turned into tolerance and Ashas… well he found a pal. This picture below is from that day, the day I knew all was well in the world of cats and dogs.

Here we are a week later and sleeping habits have returned to normal, the gates have resumed their normal positions and are used once again as dachshund trapper keepers instead of enemy lines drawn between feline and canine.

Ashas and Pompeii have bonded. Completely bonded…they romp around and wrestle just like he and Isabella do…it’s a hoot to Pompeii wrapped around his head while he rolls over to trap her or to see her pounce his tail when it wags and he leaps around on the defense only to start licking her ears, just like he licks Isabella’s ears. Pompeii doesn’t use her claws with them either. She bats playfully as Ashas tries to decide a proper return of attack. Pompeii tries to play with Isabella and they have a mutual interest in each other but it’s not yet to the level of trust and play Ashas and Pompeii…perhaps the bliss of youth!

At this point I’m convinced that Ashas is convinced that Pompeii is just another dachshund no different from he and Isabella except that she has her own bathroom, isn’t allowed outside and makes a funny noise…the purrrrfect dachshund!

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Happy 2011!!!

Author: Kim  //  Category: Ashas, Baby, Isabella, Sasha

In an effort to start the new year out right, I put together a brief look back over the last few months of 2010 since my last post. Of course, what would looking back be without a snapshot or two of Sasha thrown in to bring back happy memories of past years, and maybe one of Baby!  My apologies for the poor quality on some of these pics but you have to admit that what cell phone cameras lack in quality, they more than make up for in convenience and without it I wouldn’t have anythign to post! :-)

Sorry it’s been so long since I posted but as you will see, Isabella is just as precious (and spolied) as ever…Ashas is now 9 months old and quite a character and maybe I’m just biased, but tell me, how cute is this little guy? At any rate, please enjoy…

We had a beautiful fall here in the PNW with plenty of sunshine and well, everyone knows that if the sun is shining, a dachshund’s favorite place to be is basking in it and soaking up the rays….  Is that sheer pleasure or do they smell cheesburgers in the air?

 In true dachshund style, Isabella threw her back out and spent several weeks on medication, bed rest and a heating pad.  She had no issues playing the diva, being carried up and down the stairs, in and out for potty breaks, etc. She was more than happy to share the bed when her mom got sick and of course, there was no shortage of sympathy from Ashas who made sure they had plenty of company!

Prednizone is known for some behavioural side effects and thankfully, Isabella’s back issues improved so she was able to stop the meds and she’s back to her sweet self once again! A sweet little princess who loves snuggling with her mom every chance she gets! Check out their matching x-mas jammies! :-)

Speaking of snuggling, Ashas has at least one thing in common with Sasha which is the love of a laundry basket full of…well, just about anything, clothes (be they clean or dirty), toys, you name it! You could often find Sasha snuggled up in a basket or even a pile of clothes or toys sawing a few logs, zzzzzzzz.

Ashas also likes curling up in baskets, including a fondness for the shoe basket in Doug’s closet.  He especially loves hiding there when the monster (aka  the vacuum) is whirring around the house…he’s even been known to fall asleep there waiting for the monster’s retreat back into is cave (aka the garage). Isabella loves laundry too and as you can see, she goes all in when helping her momma put the clothes in the dryer!

I threw this one in just for fun…Ashas has just about outgrown the sink now but seriously, would you rather have a sink full of puppy or a sink fill of dirty dishes?  Look at that pitiful look on his face! Poor mistreated little pup…

Winter finally came and with it the rain and a couple of light snowfalls in the last month. Isabella wants to have nothing to do with the rain and her idea of coping with the snow is is pretty much no nonsense, take care of business and back inside under the warm covers!  Ashas on the other hand, does pretty well with the rain and after only a few timid exploratory treks in the white stuff, he has discovered the fun of pouncing about and making puppy tracks all around the yard. Oops, I think he’s checking out yesterday’s poopsicles…

Aside from mischeif, we all know a dachshund’s favorite hobby is napping and Ashas is no exception… Whether he’s curled up in a ball, contorted beyond belief or streched out like a foot long coney, adorable is just one word that comes to my mind to describe this sleepy little boy.

I think my favorite is “sleep squeeking” as I like to call it; where he falls asleep with a death grip on his toys… It is fairly common that one minutes he’s squeeking away and the next, he’s snoring away!

Not only has Ashas won our hearts, he has won over Isabella as well and they are truly buddies now…they hang out together, play together, sleep together; he follows her around true little brother fashion and mimicks her every move…including the bad habits, like barking at the neighbor dog. :-(

So to wrap things up, we say good night to 2010…

…with a few favorites from Christmas’ past and present..

…and a big hello to 2011.

From our family to yours, Happy New Year everyone!!!

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Goodbye Baby…

Author: Kim  //  Category: Baby, Misc

Today we say goodbye to Baby… 1992 – 2010

 Baby was a young cat when we got her, we think maybe a year old.  It seems like yesterday when we chased her around a family friend’s yard to catch her and bring her home with us but in reality it was 17 years ago.  She’s been a great pet and we are left with plenty of wonderful memories that will keep her in our hearts forever.

 In her younger years she was very much a part of our everyday lives.  Always in the middle of things and ready to partake in all the family activities.  She was there to comfort me through divorce, lend a purr to the kids when they were in bed with colds and always keeping her regular vigil over the house…making her rounds through each of our rooms at night checking to ensure all was right in the world with her family.

She was an outdoor cat when we got her but aside from the occasional excursion into the back yard to check things out, she has been an indoor cat since joining our family.  I think she liked living indoors.  She was never an extremely playful cat and wasn’t the type to bring us present like mice or lizards.  Instead she was a mellow, laid back soul which filled the house with a sense of calmness.

She went through half a dozen moves with us, including the relocation from Texas to Washington which included a 5 day cross-country drive.  I wouldn’t exactly call her the travelling type but she made it through the trip and easily adjusted once we arrived.

 The last couple of years have each been increasingly difficult on her and we began to notice changes in her health. She stopped grooming herself and her water intake increased dramatically.  Her eyesight declined from both cataracts and glaucoma according to the vet so she has been blind for some time.  Last summer, on the heels of losing Sasha, we thought we had lost her as well to the heat, however she cashed in on one of her remaining nine lives and amazingly made it through.

 Last night she really started acting strange and just wasn’t herself.  She had the same look Sasha did towards the end so in my heart I knew something was up, especially since she was no longer purring when we were petting her.  After discussing with the kids we all agreed this was serious and had an idea it might be time.  She had already stopped eating so we kept an eye on her overnight and by this morning she had stopped drinking as well.  We took her to the vet who confirmed that Baby was suffering from a metabolic shutdown which, given her age, was not surprising at all.

 Together we made the call that it was time to let her go and we sat with her while she slipped away to be with her long time friend, our dear Sasha. She’ll also be surprised to find her old pal Bailey up there as well, it’s been years since they had the chance to torment each other!

 Peace be with you, Baby…until we meet again on the other side.

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