Lao Tzu makes a statement

I have a dog that makes a fashion statement every day of his life.  He has two drawers filled with clothes.  Now it’s not that he’s vain or greedy, he’s hairless.  His name is Lao Tzu but we call him Shooey.

Hairless dogs need clothes.  It’s that simple.  He has jammies, shirts, blue jeans and shorts.  You name it, he has it and it fills two drawers and a roll out storage bin under my bed.  Shooey get his jammies made especially for him by his Aunt Janet.  He has a made to order Hug-a-Dog harness with a nice, soft lining so it doesn’t chafe his skin.   He has a pretty blue Cuddler from Dachshund Delights and if I do say so myself, he looks very handsome in it.

cowboy pajamas

I met Lao Tzu when I helped transport him from one rescue to another.  As soon as I looked into his big eyes I knew he had my heart.  Just three months before we lost out little Sigmond unexpectedly and now I had another hairless dog stealing my heart.  We did the transport but I mentioned that I was interested and two months later he was mine!  The poor guy was a little timid at first and not very potty trained.  He had originally come from a puppy mill and didn’t really fit in at the first rescue because Shooey wants to be the alpha.  He would harass the other dogs and eventually they had to move him.  I’m so glad they did.

I couldn't resist those eyes

Shooey craves love and attention.  If we are in bed and another dog is laying next to me, he sits on top of the dog and wiggles his way in between us.  If I am talking to someone he will get on my lap and keep touching my face as if to say “Hey, what about me?”.  He does aggravate the other dogs but they just brush him off like he’s the bratty little brother.  Occasionally someone will growl and go after him but it’s more to make him go away than to attack him.  We call him Dennis the Menace.  He’s like a little boy that has to be in charge.

Shooey is still not totally potty trained so he wears belly bands and of course they are made to order for him from Pammer’s Petwear.  Nothing but the best for this little man.  He actually has a dresser drawer full of belly bands.  If you have to wear underwear it might as well make a statement!

the first day in his new home

Summer clothes?  He has a lot of those, too.  Shorts and t shirts and he wears a very high SPF sunscreen with lavender.  Gotta take care of that skin!  In the winter he’s a very light color but one day in the sun and he’s totally tan.  Shooey is a mexican hairless or Xolocuintle.  Xolo for short.  He loves the heat and can lay on the deck all day long.  I have to keep applying sunscreen and replenishing his water.  The boy craves heat.  In the winter he lays on a heated pillow, under a blanket while wearing his fleece jammies.

 

getting my tan on!

 

I’m so glad I met this little guy.  He makes us smile every day and when he looks in my eyes I remember the first day I saw him.

 

Sigmond AKA Siggy, Piggy, Piggy Shoo

I saw Sigmond on Petfinder around the same time I found Butch.  His little face was so sweet and those eyes were looking right at me.  How could I decide which one to adopt?  There was no way I could pick one over the other so I picked them both!  This was Sigmond’s adoption photo.

How could I resist??

Siggy originally lived in Chicago in a hoarding situation.  Animal Control removed several dogs from the house but before they could come back for the rest the house caught on fire.  Thankfully he was one of 10 dogs that survived.  If I remember correctly he was about 2 years old when this happened.  Can you imagine how scared he must have been?  The veterinarian that was taking care of him found the Rescue Alliance of  Hairless Breeds in Akron, Ohio and his life began again!  He was flown to Akron and picked up by his new foster mom, Janet.  He immediately found a special in her heart so she wasn’t about to let “just anybody” adopt him.  He had certain criteria that had to be met.  No small children and he could not be left alone all day.  Luckily for me we were a perfect fit. Janet brought him to my house to do the home visit and see how my other dogs would react to Sigmond and he to them.  I’d only had Butch for about a week or two at this point so adding another dog so soon would be interesting!  He was so tiny and sweet.  I still smile when I think of the first time I saw the little guy.  He was wearing the fleece jammies that Janet had made for him.  Little hairless guys require a lot of care.  They wear a high SPF sunscreen and clothing when they are outside in the summer.  In the fall and winter they need their little fleece jammies to keep them warm.  I know this sounds strange but when they sleep against you they are like little hot water bottles.  I used to take his jammies off when we would go to bed so he wouldn’t get too hot under the covers.

His favorite jammies from Aunt Janet

He had a skin ailment that looked like a bacterial infection and it took a long time to get in under control.  I took him to the only veterinary dermatologist in the area and used several homeopathic creams and shampoos on the little guy.  He’d take a bath and look like a teeny monster from a swamp . . . but in a cute way.  To me he was the most beautiful baby in the world.

I'm too sexy for this tub

Sigmond loved to lay in the sun on the back porch.  We put an ottoman by the window and he would lounge there for hours.  My friends and I would play with him all the time and John would say “he’s not a doll!”.  But Sig loved it.  Do you remember the song Peggy Sue?  We used to hold him and sing Piggy Shoo and dress him up.  One day my friend came over with a rain coat she had bought for him and when we put it on him he froze.  He was so afraid to move.   He was such a sweetheart.  I even made holiday cards with him on the front.  I can’t tell you how much fun we had with him.

Peek a boo!

Rain Man

We were going on vacation to North Carolina to see my daughter and then on to Asheville.  Sigmond was going to stay with his Aunt Janet and have his very own vacation.  She would let him sleep in her bed and he’d get fabulous breakfasts and lots of hugs and kisses.  We dropped him off on November 1st and left knowing he would be a happy boy when we got home.  Two days later I got an urgent voice mail from Janet.  Sigmond had a bad seizure and she rushed him to the ER in Akron.  This vet hospital is like the Cleveland Clinic of vet hospitals.  He was put  in a preemie incubator right away.  His brain was swelling and he was in pain.   We spoke to the doctor on the phone and they were going to do all they could and monitor him all night.  I was to call her in the morning before her shift was over.  I didn’t sleep all night.  I was crying and watching the clock just waiting to call and see how he was doing.  The vet called me before our set time and said he was still in pain and nothing had changed.  I phoned Janet and we reluctantly decided we needed to let him go.   Janet made all the arrangements and I’m so thankful he was with her.  It was like he came full circle.  She was his first mom and his last.   We had a long, long ride home the next day.  I cried all the way from North Carolina to Ohio.  Eight hours.  Just when I thought I was all cried out we got to Akron and it started all over again.  It’s still hard to think about that little teeny guy being here one day and gone the next.  You just never know.

Happy Holidays!

Butch

When I decided I needed another dog I began looking on petfinder for photos of dachshunds.   I found a cutie and was directed to the DRNA website.  I fell in love with Butch.  I still get teary eyed when I think about seeing him.  I wasn’t sure I could take care of him the way he needed to be taken care of so I emailed with Dona, his foster mom, several times just to make sure.  I didn’t want to adopt him and find out I couldn’t do him justice.  He required therapy and he was getting that where he was.  What if I brought him to Ohio and I couldn’t keep it up?  What if I failed him and he really needed me to step up?  Dona explained that he would need ongoing therapy but he would be one of a few at my house and he would get more attention.  She had several fosters and some of them needed therapy also.  He really does love attention and believe me he demands it!

How cute is he!

I met Butch and Dona in July at the North East Ohio Dachshund Picnic.  He was so cute and cuddly looking but he didn’t want to leave Dona.  She had to walk a little ways with us so he thought she was coming with us.  Eventually we broke away and walked around the park checking out the vendors.  At one point I took him out of his cart and couldn’t figure out how to get him back in!  I had to go back and find Dona so she could teach me how to put him in it.

As we were heading to the car a couple with a cart dog came up to me and we started talking about Butch and their dog Denny.   We exchanged emails and I am so grateful that we did.   Jay and Terie were so helpful to me with tips on taking care of him from baths to belly bands to expressing his bladder.  Without their input and Dona’s encouragement I really don’t know how I could have done it.  We all need help and I am so appreciative of the help I’ve received.   I’ve listed my information on DODGERSLIST so I can help others.  It really is easy to take care of a handicapped dog if you know where to find the information.

Butch is the easiest dog to travel with.  He loves to ride in the car in his basket and usually sleeps for hours on end.  When we stop at a hotel we don’t have to walk him in the middle of the night.  We express him in the bathroom!  The funny thing about traveling with Butch is that when we stop at rest areas he gets to “stretch his legs”.  He gets in his cart and we let him run around and sniff everything.

Stretching his legs at a rest area

Butch races in dachshund races and so far is the champ . . . at least in the races he’s entered.  We’ve met so many wonderful people because of this sweet weenie.  We met Tim, Judy and their cart dog Sam at the National Dachshund Races in Findlay three years ago and have become great friends.   We travel to Florida for races and stay with them and they stay with us in Ohio.  Last year when we were at their house they had a doxie picnic with all of their rescue friends from DARE.  We had games and races for the dogs and met some really fun people.

Party time!

Butch still goes for therapy occasionally.  He isn’t too thrilled with the water treadmill therapy or the acupuncture but he needs to go to keep his muscles strong.  He can stand but only takes one or two steps and then tips over.  His left leg just can’t support him.  But we don’t care and neither does he.  He doesn’t have a clue that he’s any different than any other dog.  But we know that he’s special.

My sweet Butch

welcome to my world

I’m sitting here on this crisp December day with my 7 dogs and 2 of my grand-dogs.  It’s nice and cozy in the house with afghans and blankets all over the floor and dogs all over the furniture.  Hmmm.  Something isn’t right about this BUT that’s where they like to sit.  I just feel lucky to be able to be here with them.  We sleep, eat, play, eat, go for walks and eat some more.   I truly am “dog blessed”.

I am a dog rescuer.  Of my 7 dogs, 4 I have rescued and 1 is a foster.  The remaining 2 have been here almost since birth.  I have fostered several more that have been adopted and I miss each one of them.  It’s so hard to have them be a part of your family for however long they need to stay and then they’re gone.  They have all gotten wonderful forever homes and I still get emails and photos from them.  I love that!

The dogs I foster are usually handicapped dachshunds that need a lot of therapy and love.  That makes it so much harder to let them go.  You put your all into helping them learn to walk or get house broken, much like little children, and then they move on.  The first time one of my fosters got adopted I cried while he happily walked away with his new mom and doxie sister.

So let me tell you how I became this crazy dog lover.

In my previous life I had a full time job that left little time for anything else.  I was a police dispatcher for 26 years which meant shift work, holidays don’t exist, you never know if you’ll be working only 8 hours or more until you get to work.   Don’t get me wrong.  I really loved what I did mainly because I loved the people I worked with.  You are more like a family than co-workers because you are with these people all the time.

But there came a time when I felt it was not “me” anymore.  I went to massage school, got my state license and worked at both jobs for the next 8 years.  I retired from dispatching in 2007 and things just took off.

At this point I had 5 dogs.  Abbie Marie was a golden/pomeranian mix that we adopted at 6 weeks old,  Ben and Pistol were senior rescue dachshunds and Rocky and Adrienne are dachshund siblings that we’ve had since they were 6 weeks old.   Sadly I lost Abbie, Ben and Pistol to age related diseases.  Happily, they were all pretty old when they went to the Bridge.

Two dogs?  I only had two dogs?  It just didn’t seem right.  I had enough room to have had 5 dogs so I felt it was only right to have more furry angels come to live with us.  So many dogs need homes and I had room.  I began my search for a dog that needed me as much as I needed to share my life with them.

Abbie Marie

Sweet Ben

Old man Pistol

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