Story submitted 2011-06-29
I got an email from a gal in MI that posts about the dogs in her local shelter. She said a local woman was told by the city to reduce her dog inventory or else! She said that if this city had a puppy miller, this woman was it. Apparently she brought in several small breed dogs. Among them were 4 dachshunds. I first heard about two 8 year old ones. Seems the shelter put them down nearly immediately for bad teeth. Obviously they didn't know that dachshunds can eat pretty well with little to no teeth! Persistence is a breed characteristic! Then there were two more available on a first come, first serve basis. I was 250 miles away and had to wait a few days to arrange my journey. The next morning the shelter called and said they were adopted out. Good News!
Well, a few days later my contact summoned me again. While she was at the shelter doing her normal rounds, it seems one of the doxies was brought back because she "wasn't potty trained." She had taken the little girl home so she wouldn't be checked back into the shelter. I met my contact that weekend. I had planned on having her spayed right away but when I saw her, I canceled the appointment. I didn't figure she would have survived the surgery. She was 7 pounds and you could almost touch your middle finger and thumb around her waist. She had been starved and was eating her own feces attempting to find nutrition. Nearly all of her hair had fallen out and she had no whiskers or eyebrows. Her tail looked like it belonged to a rat. She had been being bred to near death due to her unusual Chocolate and Tan Dapple coloring. She still had a sparkle in her eye though. She came home to the House of Many Long Dogs to recover. Isabella loved sunning herself on the deck and eating was pure ecstasy. She even smiled while she ate! My other dogs accepted her without question. They knew she was in rough shape. My alpha dox even took to guarding her and looking out for her interests.
Three days later, she quit eating. The vet had said to keep a close eye on her as her abdomen had felt unusual. Bribing her with the usual treats brought no results. A McDonald's cheese burger was mildly interesting. Definitely a problem!
I rushed her to the vet and x-rays were taken. They clearly showed an intestinal blockage, an intussusception to be exact. Her intestines had slipped back on itself like a turning a sock inside out. She required immediate surgery. I sat with a few close friends and held vigil. Would she survive? She was so tiny and frail. But she loved life and that was so obvious.
After several hours the vet called. She survived and the prognosis looked good. Isabella went in the record books right then and there. She was the most expensive rescue I had rehabilitated to date, and she was the first one I just had to keep.
Izzy, as she prefers to be called, has had her ups and downs. She requires more frequent dentals than the normal dog. I don't know if it is breeding or history. She still worries that she won't eat again but we are working on that. She is a bit overweight but I am not worried about that right now. She just celebrated her first year with us and there is no dog that is loyal and as devoted as she is. I call her my Velcro Dox. I recently had a back problem that kept me in bed for several days. Izzy skipped meals to stay with me. For her, that is the ultimate devotion. I am a very lucky hooman to have Izzy in my life. Who really rescues who anyway?
Jill Blasdel, President
Dachshund Rescue of North America, Inc.
contributed November 2005