Since losing his sister last week, Arnie has been very sad, very needy, and very clingy to me. For fourteen years Arnie had his little sister and he’s struggling to find his place in this new world.
Arnie was the only boy in Greta’s first litter. He actually wasn’t supposed to stay. He’s been reserved by a woman in Upstate New York. But at the last minute, she changed her mind. By then, we’d fallen in love with Arnie and he stayed.
Arnie had all the girls swooning. He is such a sweet and personable doggy and everyone who met him fell in love.
Arnie always fit into our household. Besides being born here, he was the dog who always played well with the others. He was the one who actually comforted the other dogs when they were hurt or sick.
And as the others got sick and left us, Arnie has been the one that has comforted me.
He’s such a handsome old boy. At fourteen he has a few gray hairs but his eyes are still bright and he still has that marvelous swagger when he runs outside. I am hoping Arnie will be with us for a very long time. I’m not sure I can imagine a world without him in it!
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.
This year, after a year of isolating and being cut off from so many of my friends and family, I prayed for one thing. I just wanted to spend Christmas Even and morning with my two grandchildren.
Well, I was blessed because I got to be with grandchildren on Christmas Eve, make cookies, play and visit and share, and then wake up on Christmas Morning and see their wide eyes as they surveyed all that Santa had brought to their home!
Stockings were opened and enjoyed! My former husband made us all breakfast and the friendship between us, his wonderful life partner, Rachel, and I made the entire event feel like life in this crazy world, we were all family! Bob’s son was also with us and his daughter was there via Zoom!
Family. Blended and working. I am ever so grateful for this!
After breakfast, we began the herculean task of opening Christmas gifts! So much fun and so much shared happiness and joy!
Then I called Jack at home to say Merry Christmas and he told me that there was something wrong with Arnie. He wasn’t eating, or drinking, and it seemed his skin infection had returned.
Try as I might to not let this concern me too much, I was overcome and I said my goodbyes quickly, packed what I could in my car, and in almost record-breaking time I was home!
I grabbed my doggy thermometer and Arnie was feverish. He also wasn’t moving much, although I got a little tail wag with happiness upon my arrival.
I called the Emergency Clinic, which is just down the street, and brought Arnie right in. Because of Covid, I had to wait in the car, while they took him in.
Yes, bad fever and infection are on his back. (skin) He was also dehydrated and needed an IV and antibiotics. We decided he needed to be admitted for the night at least.
The next morning I went to pick him up, and although he is better, he is hardly well. I’ve been sitting with him, also doing laundry and feeding him, and making sure he is drinking.
So, Christmas was full of blessings and a lot of love and in the end, it seemed I was right where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there.
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!”
Sometimes after a long week and several frustrating things occurring, something will happen that restores my faith in the human race.
On Monday I saw that there was a reimbursement check in my mailbox for me, for Arnie’s care. As you know, it never arrived, despite the Informed Delivery Photo that showed it was on its way.
On Friday there was no check again. Jack and I decided not to wait until Monday, but to call the Pharmaceutical Company and tell them what was happening.
I called them and I have to tell you that they couldn’t have been nicer to me. They asked all about Arnie and took down all my details. Then they opened our file and the Accountant stopped payment on the missing check and told me she would be issuing a new one today. By early next week, the new check will arrive and all will be well.
Well, that just ended my week so very nicely. I am going to be able to relax and not think about this all weekend. Yay!
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!
Arnie is doing better although we still do not have all the blood work in.
So, this means we are in a wait and see act with the Pharmaceutical Company. I am sure they will try to get out of paying for Arnie’s care. Meanwhile, I wait to hear from the Emergency Veterinary Center, as they ran tests before he was given antibiotics.
(Update: Arnie’s bloodwork came back from the Emergency Clinic and he does indeed have Lepto!)
After speaking with my Vet today we’ve decided to keep Arnie and Anneliese on Doxycycline for another month. We want to be safe with them both.
Jack helped me carry my 6 bags of too-big clothes down to my car. There were three items I kept. I will put them away, but these three items were my favorites. They made me feel safe. Hidden.
One of these items is a sweater. A big old wrap around-sweater. I won’t wear it in public, but I will use it when I am feeling sick as a cuddle. Did you ever have a sweater or robe or sweatshirt that you wear when you don’t feel well and it is comforting? That is what this sweater is for me. I could not get rid of it.
Well, life goes on, doesn’t it? I think all one can do is the best that they can do.
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.
On Monday morning at 7:30, I drove over to the Emergency Vet and picked up Arnie. He came out the door and looking around, and I said, “Hi Arnie!” and as soon as he heard my voice his head went up and his tail began to wag! I got him in the car and we drove home.
At 8:30 I called our regular Vets and they took over Arnie’s care. They had just vaccinated him for Leptospirosis in January of this year. Anneliese as well. Lili was vaccinated in May. So on paper, everything is current. But for some reason, Arnie’s vaccine seems to have failed.
My Vet is helping me deal with the Pharmaceutical Company, as they will cover much of Arnie’s treatment.
He also began with a good protocol and schedule for treatment. I had to go out to the office with Arnie and both the doctor and the technicians that work there were very concerned about this happening to our boy!
The other dogs were happy to see Arnie. I was surprised at how delighted Lili was. She was dancing around Arnie with her happiness.
Anneliese sniffed him a lot and her body language said so much. And of course, Jack and I are both thrilled to have him home.
I’m still washing everything I can in the house. My washing machine and dryer have been going non-stop, morning until night.
At least I know I will sleep better tonight. I will have my boy in bed with me and I can listen to his muffled breathing. Such peace.