In these first few days since Anneliese’s passing, we decided to leave her bed out so that Arnie and Lili would not be too confused. Well, that only worked a little. They would sniff it and then look around for our girl. Arnie spent part of yesterday quietly crying for his beloved sister.
Today we decided that the bed needed to be picked up washed and put away for later. Jack took the dogs out, I scooped up the bed and vacuumed and sprayed the area with Fabreeze Fabric spray.
However, although Lili came in and did not seem concerned, Arnie came right in and went to the spot where the bed had been, then climbed under the table the bed was next to and cried. I got him out from under the table and now he is lying in his bed.
I wish I could talk to Arnie and let him know that he is loved and that Anneliese is in a better place. All he knows is the sister he spent his entire life with is gone.
Anneliese and Arnie at about 12 weeks old. Best friends and siblings. Together always. So this is very difficult for our little boy.
Arnie cuddling his sister. He did this very often. Sometimes they would fall asleep like this. Devotion.
We will keep an eye on our boy. And try to keep him from getting lost in his grief.
Tuesday was a very difficult day here. Our little Anneliese has not been well for some time. She had gone blind two years ago but still managed a good life. A few times she bumped into walls, but she would shake it off and go on.
She was operated on for breast cancer but seemed to bounce back. Even though we only expected to have her for a few months, she went a year and a half before going downhill. In the last week, she was not eating well, not excited about any table food we offered her. She told us that this was it. We had to let her go.
I thought back over her life. She was the last baby born in Greta’s first litter.
While her sisters and brother Arnie all came out quietly, Anneliese came out with loud puppy screams! It was as if she was saying, “Here I am World!”
She was the smallest pup in her litter, but the girl had spunk! She captured my heart and soul immediately!
As she grew I watched her closely. Her coat was tight and her form was beautiful. I knew that she was destined to have a litter or two.
Our first trip to Germany in 2009 was so much fun. No matter where we were as we traveled people were drawn to Anneliese. Her “wedding” was fruitful and she would go on to have 4 beautiful pups.
But it was our return flight from Berlin that presented me with my best memory of Anneliese. I filled out my Customs Declaration Form.
Are you traveling with an animal? Yes
Color of animal? Wild Boar.
Well as I reached the Customs area I was directed to a man who was checking animals. He apparently wanted to see the “Wild Boar”. As I unzipped the travel bag, the man took three steps backward. Out popped Anneliese’s cute little head and we all started to laugh!
Anneliese was the kind of pup that loved people, but she was also reserved. Arnie is a flirt and gets all the girls, and Greta took no prisoners, she gathered fans easily. Anneliese was a happy girl who did her own thing. People loved her but in a very different way.
Since going blind, Anneliese became a bit more clingy with me. I would trip over her or bump into her, but that was okay. As long as she felt secure. I hand fed her, made sure she had her meds, and walked her each time with a leash, even in the deep snow and bitter cold. I wanted to always be there for my girl.
So today, it was just Anneliese and me who drove out to our Vets. I patted her and talked to her as I felt the life leave her little body.
Rest in peace, my darling girl! Thank you for being part of my life!
(Interesting. This is my picture that this man nabbed for this reading of my favorite dog poem. That’s okay. It’s just what I wanted to say!)
Fourteen years ago, in the early morning hours, Greta went into labor. I was so excited to welcome her first litter of puppies, and I sat with her as she began the long journey to motherhood.
A few hours later, Arnie, Anneliese, and three of their sisters made their debut.
This was the start of something neither Jack nor I had ever experienced. Having two pups, brother and sister, from the moment of their birth, for their entire life.
It’s pretty amazing. Watching these two grow and emerge as two sweet, yet very different pups.
We knew we were keeping Anneliese. I loved the look of her and felt that she would carry on the Dackel Princess line, in her time. She had a great nose (scent wise), and such personality and spunk!
Arnie, who is so sweet, loving, and laid back. Here he is at a month old. A handsome boy then and now.
Arnie was actually sold to a woman from New York State. On the day she was due to pick him up, she called and canceled as her life was falling apart. She explained it all to me on the phone. I listened and gently told her she needed this dog. But she said no.
Arnie was 12 weeks old and I was really crazy about him. So was Jack and so was our young neighbor Emily. He was due to leave on that Saturday and by Monday morning we knew that Arnie was staying with us.
Here they are the first year of their life together. Anneliese and Arnie. Best friends always.
Below is a short montage of their life together, with us. I feel so blessed to have had these two pups in my life every single day of their life. In many ways, although Greta was their biological Mom, I have been their forever Mom all these years. And now that Greta has passed away, her children help me to not miss her too much.
They both are one of my life’s greatest blessings. The years of faithful love and companionship are truly priceless.
Now that they are fourteen, I know their time on this earth is slowly coming to an end. But I think, this phrase sums it up pretty well.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
Back in February of 2009, I took Anneliese to Berlin, Germany for her first breeding, with a handsome German dackel, named Isagrim. In Boston, the airport workers thought Anneliese was very cute, in her little panties as I carried her through Logan Airport Security. (For those that do not know, when a dog is in heat they wear little panties, so they don’t get messy or make your home messy.) I spent a little over a week with my friend Uschi and her husband, and I was able to breed Anneliese twice before it was time to go home.
Now Anneliese is a very good little traveler. She remained very calm in the airports during transport, and on the aircraft, she was amazing, as she settled herself inside her little bag and fell asleep. She had no accidents in her bag, and when we reached Berlin and cleared customs, We went right outside and she did her business right where she should.
It amazed me how she knew just what to do with Isagrim, in fact, I admonished her to play a little hard to get with him, lest he thinks she was a loose woman! But the breeding went well, and then she had a few days to rest before we made our trip back to the states.
We left Berlin and headed back home on a direct flight from Berlin to JFK in New York. As we descended into New York, I was filling out the Customs Declaration Form for the USA.
The form asks: Are you are traveling with any animal?
What color is the animal?
On all of Anneliese’s papers, it states quite clearly…”Wild Boar“. So, I wrote that down.
We landed and I walked through to the Customs Area where I was stopped and directed over to the Animal Import area. The Agent took my card and read it.
“Madam, I will need you to open this bag and show me the animal you are bringing in!” he commanded
And as I reached to unzip the bag, the Agent took three giant steps back! I wish you could have seen his face! He was terrified! Anneliese’s little head popped out and I could actually see the man start to breathe again.
You see the agent thought that “Wild Boar” was what was in the bag, not the actual color of the dog!
This is probably my favorite story about Anneliese, and possibly my best traveling dog story.
Sunday found me giving the two dackels hair trims. It’d been a while and both were overgrown and I also found their fur matted in places.
Both are elderly dogs and I just hate bothering them with stuff like this, but it had to be done. Tomorrow will be a bath day for both of them and me.
Currently, with their fur trimmed, they look absolutely adorable! After their baths, I will strip their coats when they are dry. Ah, this is nice for them. Less fur and no mats!
Here is Arnie after his trim. He’s a handsome boy with a full wire-haired coat. He takes a lot of work to strip and keep up with.
I must have taken a pound of fur off of him!
And, here is Anneliese. She has a shorter, tighter coat and it’s easier to take care of. She is also easier to do because she actually sits still!
So the pups are looking pretty spiffy and they even seem to have a spring in their step! Or at least they do for now. I’m sure when I get their baths done tomorrow in the sink they will be none too happy!
The last few days have found me sort of running around trying to do my very best for Arnie.
Leptospirosis is a tough illness. I am hoping that since I caught it fairly early on, that Arnie will make a full recovery.
Anneliese seems somewhat better, which is a huge relief. She is finally happy with me again, as I finished washing and drying her little dog bed and all her blankies. She is eating well and seems more like herself.
If only Arnie was following her right along. This morning (Wednesday) he was still quiet and not drinking! Call me panicked!
I was wracking my brain on what I could give him that he would like. I called and checked in with my Vet, who reminded me that if Arnie became dehydrated he would need to go to Boston where they could isolate him. (Insert a long string of obscenities here)
I went off, with a car full of garbage to drop it off at the Recycling Center. Only, it was Wednesday and they were closed! Ugh!
I went over to the Grocery store to pick up a few things and I was walking down the soup aisle when I turned and saw Tuna Fish! Arnie loves tuna and he loves tuna juice! Four cans were quickly purchased.
I got back out to my car and upon getting in the smell from the garbage assaulted me! I mean, oh my, sweet mother of all that is holy! The stench!
I drove home with a plan. I would remove each trash container and rebag in supersize garbage bags. Then I set about cleaning the garbage cans.
All I can say right now is that I don’t get paid enough to do this kind of crap!
Arnie loved the tuna and tuna juice and he ate a good lunch and dinner. He is still very weak and all he wants to do is sleep. That’s okay. Right now, this is what he needs to be doing to get well. It is still very hard for me to see him this ill. He is my baby-boy and this just breaks my heart.
So now I need to bring the trash to the Recycling Center today and then get ready for the 4th of July craziness here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.
Despite thunderstorms and heavy rain, the Tourists have all come and my town population is swelling to unheard-of levels. No one wants to fly, so people are taking “stay-cations” and we are a beautiful place to be.
I am contributing to the college funds of several Veterinarians’ children.
On Friday we had Anneliese in with her Urinary Tract Infection. Testing to be done, and medications. I brought her home and began nursing her back to health.
On Sunday, Arnie woke as usual, and just went downhill super fast. One minute he was okay, and the next he was staggering all over the place and couldn’t lift his leg to pee.
This was a dead giveaway that something was going on and it was serious. Ever since Arnie was about 6 weeks old, that boy has lifted his little leg to pee!
At 9:40 I was in the car with Arnie to race the one mile from my home to the Emergency Veterinarian. Arnie was shaking violently by then and throwing up.
At first, we thought it was a simple infection, but then the blood work came back and it showed he has Leptospirosis. (Despite the fact that he has been vaccinated!) It was decided that Arnie needed to stay overnight to get IV’s and Antibiotics.
He was so out of it, that he did not care about being in a cage. However, after some lovely IV Fluid, and antibiotics pumped into his veins, he started to come around.
I called the Vet’s several times to check on him and they told me that he was singing the song of his people! That’s my boy!
He will need a long course of antibiotics and rest when he gets home. This is a serious disease.
Meanwhile, I was washing everything when I came back home. Lepto is highly contagious to humans and other animals. So all my bedding was washed and dried, the floors were washed, the bathroom floors cleaned and tomorrow I will work on the mounds of laundry I now have. At least, my bed is made and sleepable!
So, that is the story of my sick dackels. It’s so hard emotionally to deal with all of this, but what can I do? I put one foot in front of the other and just keep going.
I woke early on Friday morning. The day before I noticed that Anneliese was going down-hill fast, with, what I suspected was another urinary tract infection.
I’d prepared her little pan to catch her urine, and was ready to go as soon as they could fit me in.
At 9:15 I carried Anneliese to the car and off we went. It was a beautiful day, sunny, warm but not humid. The sort of summer day one always wishes for.
The trip took no time and soon I was in the parking area of their office. As I sat out bounded a beautiful White German Shepherd! This dog could have been Lili’s twin! Of course, I had to meet them. I jumped out of the car (putting on my mask) and spoke to the husband and wife. Soon their other dog was brought out. Two amazing White Shepherds!
Beautiful White German Shepherd boys!
Next, it was Anneliese’s turn. She was just burning up with a fever of 104 and she is a very sick little girl.
I knew she was. I hoped she wasn’t. There are moments that I find myself almost holding my breath with the thought of losing her.
I knew Anneliese before she was even born. I recalled the moment of her birth. She was the last one out, the littlest of her litter, Greta’s first litter, and when she came into this world she came out kicking and screaming. So unlike her brother Arnie and her three sisters.
She was a scrappy little thing and I admit she stole my heart at that very minute although, I recall saying, “We sure aren’t going to keep that one!” Famous last words! She might be loud, but quite early on she let us know she had a heart of gold.
Anneliese and me.
That was thirteen and a half years ago!
Thursday night I dreamt of my Vet. He came to me in the dream and told me that I needed to prepare myself as Anneliese wasn’t long for this world.
Needless to say, I woke with a start and couldn’t get back to sleep. Later when I told my Vet about the dream, he said he tries never to say that to his patient’s families, but that yes, Anneliese is slowly moving toward the end of her life. I’m glad he validated my feelings. Now I have to enjoy Anneliese, while I mentally prepare for her loss.
Tuesday was a bright sunny, warm day! Perfect. I always wait until a nice day to give the dackels their baths. This way they can lie by the door in the sun and dry off, without getting chilled.
Anneliese was the first one. I carefully washed her up, taking extra caution around her eyes. The last thing she needed was to get soap in her eyes.
Arnie was next and he shivered all through the bath. But he was actually easier to do. I finished up in no time and now they both are sparkling clean and smell wonderful. Best of all, their coats are soft, and I was able to strip the undercoat after they dried.
I really wanted to get this done before Thursday when Arnie goes in for his dental cleaning.