Dachshund Rescue of North America
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Lily Tag #2016
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Story submitted 2012-08-28
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We got Lily, a boar-colored dachshund-chihuahua mix, from DRNA in 2003. She was a glossy one-year-old, so small and fragile-looking when she hopped into our van that at first, I thought we’d rename her Cricket. But her chihuahua-like vocals proved her a talker, and her dachshund playfulness and catlike authority put her firmly in the position of empress. My husband interpreted her imperial barks: “I am Queen! I am Queen! I am Queen!” She bossed dogs three times her size, and once killed a rat with her bare teeth for daring to cross her path.

Lily was also gentle and intuitive. She picked up every trick I taught her with ease, and some I didn’t think to offer. She was my companion dog when I lived alone with agoraphobia. When nothing else got me outside of the apartment, I could still walk her. She laid on my legs when I couldn’t use them and licked when I was upset. When I brought my firstborn son home prematurely, she sat next to us, facing out, protecting her new baby.

My mom got a DRNA dachshund in 2004, Ranger, because of how wonderful Lily was. They were great companions. He was a shy guy, but Lily taught him to growl and tug. At Christmas, we took both of them to my in-laws. They got their own stockings and enjoyed stealing bones from one another. When my oldest started toddling around and proved dangerous for Lily, she went to live with Ranger at my parents’ house. She loved cuddling with her buddy on the big bed and chasing him outside.

Over the next year, Lily began to get used to my oldest son, and he began to understand how to handle dogs. She’d give him many face-licks whenever he came to visit grandma and grandpa. He favored her, calling her “his dog.” Now that I think of it, I’m still not sure whose dog she was. She was everyone’s dog, loved by three households. She’d take any lap and make it her throne.

This August (2012), we put her down. She had a genetic defect common in dachshunds: degenerative disc disease. She had multiple ruptures and bulges; the spine of a twenty-year-old dog. It was hard to learn, harder to make that call.

I just wanted to thank DRNA for nine years of wonder. You invest so much effort into these sweet little creatures. Being loved by a dog is a humbling experience. Lily had so much personality in such a small body. I can’t imagine a better dog.

Vanessa Phin