Day Twelve: A picture of something you love
This is Tuffy. (3/5/97-12/9/2010)
I admit, I had to take pause when writing this blog. Tears filled my eyes as I thought about my four-legged little buddy that died this past winter. I sobbed. Still am, now.
I got Tuffy Mother's Day, 1997 and he was no doubt my baby. I don't know why I wanted a dachshund, but I did. My mother said someone I knew had them, and while yes this is true, I don't remember being really close to anyone's dog. But, I decided I wanted a dachshund and we drove to Caldwell, TX to get him. He was in what I now understand to be a puppy-mill. There were dogs EVERYWHERE. I'd never seen so many weinie dogs in one place in my life, but Tuffy stole my heart.
The minute I laid eyes on him, I knew he was the one. I took him home, stinky as can be, and he sat in my lap with his nose tucked into my shoulder stretched out lengthwise from my lap to my chin as still as a statue. I bathed him and loved him and named him and he was mine.
He was a super smart little doggie. He played fetch with a ferocious nature; I assure you you've never seen a dog chase a ball like Tuffy. We joked that he had OCD when it came to playing ball. He was also overly fond a stuff carrot that we kept in stock all the time because he would slowly but surely rip all of the fuzz out of the carrot to remove the squeaker. Petsmart didn't carry carrots for a very long time, but the day he died Jerry went to Petsmart looking for something to put in his grave, and wouldn't you know it? There sat a stuffed carrot. He is buried with it in the back-yard. I like to think of him chasing it over and over and over again until his puppy heart is content.
Tuffy could also do tricks. He did a standard dachshund beg by balancing on his tail and hind legs, but he would also shake, give you a high five, lay down, roll over, turn around and roll over combination, sit, stay, and dance....yes dance. If he was feeling particularly sassy, I could get him to sit on his back legs and balance and flick his little paws up and down to the beat.
He could also swim. It was hilarious to watch. He would dive into the pool after the ball and then swim circles around the exterior with the ball in his mouth using his tail as a rotor. It would go around and around in a circular motion propelling him back to the steps.
Tuffy was my greatest protector for a long time. He was wary of strangers, especially men and he did not have a little dog bark. From the other side of the door you could be certain a rottweiler or doberman was ready to rip your arm off. While there were times I wished he would shut-up, I must admit, his bark did a lot more than his bite on multiple occasions.
Tuffy was my snuggle buddy on the couch, and until I got married, he was my snuggle buddy in bed. See, Tuffy is a burrow dog and he liked to go down under the sheets to sleep. He put his cold, wet nose in Jerry's backside one too many times and got bumped to a bed on the floor, but I assure you he was still spoiled rotten.
When CJ was born, Tuffy welcomed him home with open paws. I was worried. Little dogs are not known for liking children, but Tuffy was a trooper and he never hurt CJ no matter how much he was tortured. He gave a few warning growls over the years, but CJ earned each one. Tuffy also tolerated a barrage of other dogs in the house, mellowing a bit with each new arrival. His favorite was by far, Buddy, the golden retriever was still have (who is snoring so loudly it actually interrupted my typing). The two of them spent many nights just hanging around and while they never really played together (Tuffy was much too old), I think Buddy misses him sometimes.
Tuffy had back problems, as many dachshunds do and they were eventually his demise. I don't know how he hurt his back the final time, I just know that at 13 years old, he was in pain and I couldn't help him. Jerry had to carry out the act of the veterinarian intervention because I could not do it.
He would have been fourteen this March and I know on the 5th, I will take pause and remember my dear friend. And the crying begins, again. Tuffy - I miss you.