We walked into the Wilmington Humane Association on A Street looking for something. We had just lost the dearest Shih Tzu/Pomeranian mix – Pearl – to cancer and shortly before that, lost the most cantankerous Yorkie in the world – Coco – also to cancer. Like I said we were looking for something – actually we were looking for something BIG.
After two weeks of lamentations and daily “Never again” protestations, we were sitting at the Purebread Deli, just a stone’s throw from Christiana Care, talking about getting a dog to be a companion to Buzz (the lone Spitz survivor). We pulled out our smart phones – having recently joined the 21st Century – and searched for local adoptable Mastiffs.
We visited one and he was nice enough, until he tried to take my arm with him into his play area without me being attached, and decided he wanted to chew on my wife’s shoe with her still in it. It wasn’t a fit. I mean our body parts fit nicely in his mouth, but he wasn’t a fit for our family.
So we wandered over to the Humane Association to meet a big baby girl Mastiff, Shelley. She too was nice and best of all, she didn’t try to eat us. So we put in an application. Anyway, while we played with Shelley the strangest dog kept watching us from a corner kennel.
His name was Dexter and he had this terrible under bite causing his jaw to jut out and his bottom teeth to catch the floppy part of mouth that covers his teeth; he looked like he was in a perpetual snarl. He was hard to get to know because when you went out the front/inside part of his kennel he ran to other end.
Terribly shy we thought.
Our application for Shelley was not approved. The Humane Association was afraid of putting her in with an older geriatric dog. At first we were hurt, but afterward thought we had dodged a bullet.
“Want to go back and look around,” one of us said.
‘Sure. Why not?” the other said.
I’m not sure who said what, but we went back and strolled the along concrete indoor walkway where dogs wanting adoption put on their best airs. Dexter continued to run in and out of his kennel with his perpetual lip-caught-on-tooth snarl.
We stood in front of his kennel. He ran to us, stopped, snorted, and ran back outside. He was quite comical. The thing is Dexter is a long haired Double Dapple Dachshund. That means – I discovered – he is multi colored with patches of white. He gallops rather than runs.
Dexter was brought up in a puppy mill and caged for his entire life. The staff loved him and soon we were giving him serious consideration. We asked to see him and at that first meeting, he snowed us. He slowly waddled, out the way Dachshunds do and cutely lifted his front paw and put it on my leg. He won.
We said we’d take him.
Well if you haven’t been to adopt a dog lately, the days of pick ‘em and take ‘em home the same day are long gone. We had to bring Buzz in to meet Dexter and we answered more questions than an NCIS a suspect. It’s for the best.
The meeting with Dexter and Buzz was non-eventful and that’ exactly what the staff wanted to see and exactly what Dexter gave them. Buzz unknowingly played into the Dachshund’s grand design. Kate and I were snookered too.
We brought Dexter home the next day and he was wonderful all the way home; I think I heard him giggle. When we got him home, he decided we weren’t really good pack leaders and he needed to take charge.
That’s where I’ll stop for now. He’s still here … laying on Buzz’s blanket. I’ll tell you more about it later, but suffice it to say Dachshunds are devious, manipulative, grudge carrying buckets of mischievous love.
Oh and his name is Spike now – when he deigns to acknowledge us at all.