Story submitted 2011-03-17
Eeyore came into our lives as fast as he left us. In the four short months that he roamed our home, Eeyore (named for the Winnie-the-Pooh character) changed our lives. His foster mom Yolanda asked me to come meet him before finalizing the adoption. I walked into her home and saw this pathetic and sad little dog lying on his bed. He barely raised his head for me, but I already knew that I was going to take him and love him.
The first week was tough. Eeyore had bad arthritis, and wouldn't eat or pee. He had a significant head tilt (we referred to him as "lopsided") and would often stumble. At his first vet visit with us, it was determined that he had arthritis, rotten teeth, vertigo, and bladder stones. After a good teeth cleaning and daily arthritis medicine, he was feeling much better. His new food was also helping his bladder stone problem. Once he started eating, we learned that he was the pickiest dog ever! He would only eat at certain times and in certain places of the house!
Eeyore was definitely a large alpha male in his heyday (and the longest dachshund we had ever seen). He was a solid 25 lbs at 16 years old, and he looked skinny! He would walk up to the other animals in the house and push them around with his nose. He tried to chase the cats when he first moved in, but quickly realized that, at his age, he was out-matched.
Eeyore may have been hard of both sight and hearing, but he still loved life. His favorite thing to do was to sit out in the front yard at dusk and roll in the grass. He loved ear scratches, playing in piles of blankets, and being held like a baby. He would lie next to my husband as he was studying (he was a first year law student, so this happened quite often). He was the slowest dog alive when on a leash, but take him off his leash and he hopped like a rabbit. This is one of our favorite things that he did, and he always looked back at you to see if you were following him.
It was obvious to us that Eeyore never really knew how to be a dog and therefore, we never took the little things for granted with him. He wouldn't get into your lap or beg for attention. He wasn't full of energy or easy to care for, but he had the most beautiful expressive eyes that could tell you everything. He was grateful for a soft bed, ear scratches, and treats (which he always took so gently). He did lick both me and my husband, once each. He wagged his tail one time when we played tug of war, and always gave a little wag when I would take him out on cooler mornings. He wasn't the quintessential perfect dog, but he was the perfect dog to us.
We lost Eeyore too soon. His last morning started with our usual routine. He had his morning walk, got a treat and an ear scratch and then settled back into his bed. Within an hour-and-half, he had a stroke. We looked into his eyes and knew that it was time to let him go.
We knew going into his adoption that we would not have him for years and years, but we were hoping for more than four months. We look back on our experience as one of the best and most rewarding of our lives. We will rescue again in the future, for Eeyore and because of him. He was that amazing.