November Arrives Like A Freight Train!

I woke to the sounds of high winds blowing around my house. It resembles a freight train at times when our wind is blowing full force out of the north-west. Not only was the wind blowing, but at 5:30 am our temperature was just 22 degrees (F). So it was very cold!

I stumbled to the kitchen, turned on the coffee maker, and let the dogs outside. As soon as they came in (and they returned very quickly due to the cold!) I jumped into the shower and then into my thermal-lined clothes.

I got my coffee and then watched multiple episodes of The Dog Whisperer. It’s one of my favorite shows. In fact, I’ve been working with Lili training her to do simple polite things, like sit down when she comes in to await her cookie. The dog is smarter than I am.

I made meals, went out to get our mail, only to find I had four packages at the Post Office! I knew they were coming, but all at once? That is something I did not expect!

Tuesday I get my stitches out. I can hardly wait. In the last two days, the site has swollen and been very sore. So I am happy the doctor will be removing the stitches and hopefully, I will get some relief from that.

Tuesday is also election day and so once I am done at the doctor’s office I will swing home and pick up Jack and we will go and vote.

I repositioned my bird feeders today, as with this type of cold weather, the ground will be freezing soon, so I wanted to make sure they were in the correct spots for the winter. We are good to go!

I will leave you with this little joke I ran across. Please pardon the salty language, but this is exactly what my two dachshunds are thinking right now.

6a00d8357e4fe369e20240a49997ad200cEnjoy the day and for those of you who are in the USA, be sure to go out and vote!

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How I Came to Love Dackels

I wrote this back in 1996 when I joined a group of Dachshund owners. It tells the story of a woman who falls in love with a foreign doggy boy, only to find the greatest love of her life is the breed of dog that he is.

I wanted to share my story about how I grew to love Wire-Haired Dackels and how I became owned by one!

Eight years ago in 1988, my husband brought me to Starnberg, Germany, this is just south of Munich, to meet his dear friends Lucie and Otto. I was a new bride and nervous about meeting his longtime friends. As I sat in their living room, in ran a small vivacious pup named Shubi, who was a wire-haired Dachshund. Shubi spoke no English, and I spoke no German, but it did not matter. It was love at first sight! Shubi climbed into my lap and we kissed and that was it.

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The original Shubi!

For the next week where ever I went I was followed by this love-struck little man. When we parted I cried and all I would say to my husband was, “I want a little Shubi dog!” We made four more trips to Munich over the next four years and it was always the same. Shubi became my love while I was there.

Sadly, two years ago Shubi escaped his fenced-in yard and was hit by a car. I grieved for so long. And so did Lucie and Otto.

At Christmas in 1995, we learned that Otto was ill and in February 1996 we went back to Germany to see Otto and Lucie. The house was oddly still with no little man running around the house. It just was not the same cheery home. I said to Lucie at lunch that we should go and find little puppies and have them together. Otto heard us and while we out shopping he found an add for Rauhhaar Dackels, or in English, Wire Haired Dachshunds.

It was 35 kilometers east of Munich to go to the home of the puppies, but we all piled into the car and off we went to Landshut. An hour later we walked into the kitchen of the Lanzingers. There was a small basket on the floor where three baby dachshunds lay sleeping at first, and then they woke and started to squirm around. I went over and a little face looked up and tried to jump up to me.

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The first moment. My Shubi and me.

I picked her up and that was it. She looked me over, decided that I would do, and after kissing my face clean, she settled into my arms and snuggled. Lucie picked up a little boy pup and we were off.

I kept trying to think up a good name for my baby when my husband, who had been oddly silent said, “All I have heard for eight years is ‘I want a Shubi dog’, the dog’s name is Shubi.” And thus our Shubi adopted us as her parents, and her responsibility in life. Lucie named Shubi’s brother, Toni.

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I feared bringing a pup back to the states would be difficult, but it wasn’t. She was three months old, had her shots, and once we purchased a doggie passport and bought her a ticket we were all set. Shubi road Business Class with us from Munich to New York. She was wonderful on the plane and my husband rushed her out as soon as we cleared customs, to the parking area next to the terminal. Bravo Shubi! She did just what she was supposed to.

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We have been owned by Shubi now for three months and I have never had a pup like her in my life. She is warm, and funny, and stubborn and sweet and good and makes me feel like I am the most important person in her life. My husband, who believed that White German Shepherds were the only dogs in the world, now cuddles with this small body of fur as we settle in for the night.

Our 5-year-old White Shepherd, Max is now ruled by this little lady. He watches out for her and plays ever so gently with her and even shares his dish with her.

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And when he gets out of line by chewing on a bone that Shubi decides that she just must have, and gets right in his face and barks and barks, he gives up the bone and allows her to take it.

Shubi has learned English, is all housebroken, and now rules the whole house, and I am happier than I ever thought it was possible to be! We live in Florida and she has become a real southern belle!

And right now I know that I will never be without a “Shubi Dog” ever again!

It is now 2020, and Shubi has been gone for many years. I still think of her often and miss her sweet nature. However, she left me with a great love for all Wire-Haired Dackels. Before Shubi’s passing, we brought home from Germany, Greta in 2004. She has been a faithful and loving companion and gave us the greatest gift of Arnie and Anneliese. As I wrote back in 1996, I will never be without a Shubi dog ever again.

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The Weekend Wrap

I decided this morning to make apple sauce. We certainly have enough apples on the trees, but I must tell you, without proper care and fungicides, the apples are small, mottled and sort of icky.

What this means is that you need to peel and core every apple and discard anything that looks bad. I worked for nearly two hours doing this, at times alone and at times with Jack.

I was trying to keep up with the cleaning and things and I checked on the cooking apples and the apples had begun to burn to the bottom of the pan! Fortunately, I caught it in time and avoided yet another kitchen disaster.

The apples are slowly cooking now and will need a lot of sweetening. I tasted the apple mash, which is cooking down and it sure is tart!

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I cooked a turkey on Friday and then made Turkey Soup on Saturday. After boning the turkey on Friday evening, I put all the bones, a  couple of onions and carrots into a crockpot with a little bit of chicken stock and enough water to cover all the bones, and cooked it overnight to make the soup base.

If you have never made your soup base this way, give it a try. I find you wind up with incredible tasting soup broth!

So, tonight I am taking some of that broth and making a turkey casserole. Turkey seems to sit well with me this day. Although I am sure Jack will complain. (He did!)

Our darling Anneliese shows more signs of blindness. She startles easily and sticks to me or to Jack and to her brother Arnie.

You know, one of the most beautiful things to have watched the last 12 years, is the love that Anneliese and her brother have shared since day one! Imagine how lucky we feel to have shared in their lives. Brother and sister, and we have owned them since the very day Greta gave birth to them.

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At birth, Arnie on the left and Anneliese on the right.

Jan. 20 Anneliese and ArnieAnneliese left and Arnie, right. About 7 weeks old.

Yes, raising your very own sibling pups right from birth has been an experience of a lifetime.

Arnie & AnnelieseArnie left and Anneliese, right.

We are blessed, that’s for sure!

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Also, today is the birthday of my dearest friend, Uschi! I wish her a Happy Birthday and good health and much joy in the year ahead!!!

cheers to success

What a Dog Knows

I brought out my suitcase and tote bag and started packing. I looked over at the bed and there, sitting with the saddest eyes I have ever seen was Mr. Arnie. Each time an item went in, I could almost hear him sigh with unhappiness. He knows what a suitcase is, and what happens after they are all packed. Mommy disappears!

Sept. ,3 002After a bit, I brought him out, and I  decided to trim and clean the hair on his paws. He is so good and just lay in my lap while I trimmed him up.

I decided to do Anneliese too, as she was a bit of a mess. She was nervous, so I didn’t do her as nicely as Arnie came out, but close enough. At least she is cleaned up and matt-free.

I made up a wonderful meatloaf for Jack. Not only was it a good meal for tonight, but it will give him another meal and meatloaf sandwiches.

About the only thing left to do is a little laundry, a little vacuuming, and the printing of my boarding pass.

Crazy Friday

On Friday we needed to take both Lili and Anneliese to the Veterinarians. I knew Lili had bad ears but was unsure of what to do to care for them. Her current drops were not working, so we needed to switch it up.

Lili was dreadful at the Vets. She wiggled and squirmed, and pulled and pushed, and while we all attempted to hold her long enough for an exam, Lili bit her own tongue and it bled like crazy! Not only that, but she shook her head, and the blood spatters hit the walls. It looked like a scene out of Law & Order, or Chicago PD!

As I said, Lili’s problem will be fairly easily solved. As long as she allows me to give her the drops each day.

I heard some strange bleating and wondered at the sounds. I asked and learned that a Mama Goat had just had a C-section and delivered twins! I got to see them as they left to go home. Oh my goodness! The sweetness of those newborn babes!

Then it was Anneliese’s turn. I thought it was simply mastitis. However, there is a reason I am not a Veterinarian. At this time in Anneliese’s life, mastitis would be sort of unusual. She has a tumor, and since the teat is swollen and leaking, it doesn’t look good.

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Anneliese will be operated on this coming Thursday. They will remove the tumor and send it to pathology. I’m not feeling good about this.

I am feeling angry that this sweet little being is getting blindsided with all sorts of health issues at this time of her life. It just doesn’t seem fair does it!

So that consumed most of my day and as I end Friday and look toward the weekend, I have my fingers crossed for only the best outcome ever for my girls!

The Joys Of Owning A Dog!

Being a pet owner is mostly a joyous and wonderful thing. However, there are mornings when I wake up and the first thing I must deal with is, what I’d like to term a doggy disaster!

So it was today, when I got up, opened my bedroom door, and was assaulted with the smell that every owner dreads. Poop!

Apparently, Lili was ill in the night. I am so careful what I feed her, but she must have gotten into something that did not agree with her because there was poop on the rug near my door. There was poop on the rug near the outside door. There was poop in the hallway, and poop on the kitchen floor.

It was one giant (Think German Shepherd size!), mess!

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So, I went around getting up everything I could with paper towels, I washed down the places I could with a mop, and then took the throw rug to the basement and tossed it into the wash.

When I came back upstairs I got out the carpet cleaner, made especially for dog messes (yes, they make these), and I cleaned the carpet by my bedroom door.

I did all this before coffee!

After I had everything washed and cleaned, I sat down at the computer to write about all of this, and for some reason, that I still cannot fathom, my computer did not instantly connect to my Wifi and I had to go through a repair process.

Seriously, I was tempted to say the heck with it all and go back to bed!

After that, I finally had my first cup of coffee.

A Bit Of Everything

I used to travel a lot. Packing a suitcase and heading anywhere was nothing to me in the way of planning. Somehow, since I have not traveled for a while, the part of my brain that does all the preparations is a little slower than it used to be.

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In the old days, (Berlin 2009) all that I needed fit into that green suitcase. I still have and use that suitcase, but now I have tote bags as well!

I already know I have over-packed. Since we are not flying, I can bring whatever I like, and I would be all set if I wanted to change my clothes three times a day.

Of course, this is silly, but I do like to have backups for any situation. And I am also bringing shoes to match.

You know I bet Princess Kate doesn’t bring this many clothes when she travels. Or perhaps she does. She always looks perfect for any and all situations.

Now it is not just me that I am packing for, but Jack as well. I asked him what he wanted packed, and after mumbling a few things he abrogated all responsibility for his suitcase. Ugh!

Jack did prepare the car today, and tomorrow we will finalize our packing. I would like to have the car completely packed on Monday afternoon so we can just relax a bit before the big drive.

Here is our route.

Our Trip2

Our house sitter came again today, and all is set with them. But in the year since they were here so much has changed. New air conditioners, new coffee maker, new toaster oven, etc. They jokingly said I needed to write instructions in a little book! Honestly, I think of all the little eccentricities of my house and the dogs living in it and I believe that the house sitter is correct!

It’s bedtime now on Saturday night,  so I will get this set to post in the morning and off to bed I go with my Arnie-man, pup!

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The New Normal

I started Wednesday by going to WW Class. I did very well this week, and I feel like I am starting to actually live the plan.

It was tough to get up and actually get ready for class today. I hadn’t realized how much I’d actually been doing for Greta recently. I would carry her outside, wait for her to finish, mostly carry her back in, get her little panties on, and then try to start my day.

Today I actually just got myself ready, with no distractions, but boy, did I miss my girl! You know, she had this way of kind of, growling, talking, that no other dog I have had did. I miss that.

Arnie has been spending a lot of time under the coffee table in what I call the Man Cave. All you can see is his little face peeking out. Anneliese has been sleeping on the rug by the back door, and she has been looking for Greta. And when they aren’t doing that, they are sticking together.

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Lili is confused and she also keeps patrolling the yard on the lookout for our departed darling, Greta.

It’s tough, you know. After fourteen years of having this little being in your life, to suddenly not have her just plain hurts. You go on, but it isn’t the same. Even the dynamics between the three remaining dogs has changed.

It’s the new normal.

Yearly Exams

Monday found me bringing the dackels out to our Vets for their yearly exams. All in all, things went very well. The three had their shots and did fairly well with their physicals.

Of course, Greta is almost 14 (three more weeks!) and she is slower than she once was, doesn’t see as well as she once did, and has become more and more dependent on me. But at her age, I guess that is to be expected. She weighed in at 23 pounds, which is a little heavy but heck, it is just 1 pound off.

I have never had a dog that has lived as long as Greta has. Every day I share with her, is a very good one and I feel blessed to still have my darling companion.

Arnie did well too. He weighed in at 22.5 pounds and is one long, lean dog! He has a little growth on his chest, that is probably just a fatty tumor, but it was a little harder than she liked to see, so we are watching it for now and if it changes in any way, we will have it removed.

Surprisingly, Anneliese passed her exam with flying colors. She was at a perfect weight for her 19 pounds, had no problems to speak of and she continues to be my little cuddle bug in bed.

Interestingly, both Arnie and Anneliese are 11 right now and they are in the category of Senior Dogs, along with their mother, Greta.

If I had one wish it would be that my pups would live as long as I do.