Saturday, 30 July 2011


                       Charlie Brown Clown

        I called him my “little brother”.  Charlie came to live with us when he was 5 years old and I was a senior in high school.  The year was 1995.  I had always wanted a dog.  Family members had raised dachshunds, so I was very excited to welcome Charlie into our home.  We were adopting him from my mother’s coworker.  She had two very young children and another dog and things where just getting a little tight in their home. 

        Charlie had a rough transition into our home.  He was used to a noisy home filled with kids and other animals. Our home was a library compared to his previous abode.  Only days after coming to live at our home, my mother’s mother passed away.  Charlie was a blessing for my mother dealing with this loss.  Charlie suffered with stomach troubles.  After several weeks and several trips to the vet, even a suggestion to take him to the state vet school for more tests, things settled down.  

        In the fall, I went off to college.  I loved coming home on the weekend to find Charlie waiting for me at the door. Charlie and I would “fight” for the end of the couch.  I had my spot on our old blue couch.  Anytime I moved to get a drink, answer the phone, or change the channel (remember when you got up to do that?) Charlie would steal my seat.  It would be treacherous to move him; he would show teeth in order to urge me not to move him out of this coveted warm spot on the blue couch.  On Sunday afternoons, when I had to pack up and head back to school, Charlie would follow me around the house.  My mom would call me on the road to say, “Charlie keeps going to your bedroom looking for you.”  His big sis had to leave, and it would break my heart to know he was “looking” for me.  
        Charlie had many mischievous acts in his nearly 15 years.  He once played “Cowboys and Indians” by scalping the hair off some baby dolls.  He got his paws a prized possession of mine, a rubber ink stamper. His greatest feat was getting a new can of peanuts out of a low cabinet, removing the plastic lid, peeling back the metal ring seal and dispersing the contents all over the kitchen floor while feasting on his tasty treat.  My mother and brother came home to find this mess and Charlie still grazing on the nuts.  Momma said, “Jason, pick up the peanuts and put them back in the can.”  Jason replied, “Yuck, we are NOT going to eat them?”  No, my mom just wanted to see how many Charlie had eaten.  No harm came to this little nut thief from this misadventure, but he wasn’t hungry for quite some time.  

        Charlie loved the warmth of the sunshine in the Mississippi Delta.  He was that preverbal wiener dog in the sun spot on the floor.  He was very adept at holding a bone or tennis ball in his front paws while chewing away.  Outside, Charlie loved to chase a ball or toy; he wasn’t so much for bringing them back to you though.  Once, he enjoyed an afternoon of running around the backyard with the water hose in his mouth.  He has a few tinkle accidents after that.

        In his later years, Charlie was a perfect role model for my wiener babies, Chuck and Basky.  Uncle Charlie taught them how to folic and play the wiener dog way.  He had a furcousin, Ben who he spent much time with at Paw Paw’s house.  Ben was trained to fetch newspapers and slippers.  Charlie had no such formal education.  Charlie’s time came in the spring of 2005.  He left behind a family of both human and wiener that loved him very much and still celebrate his memory today.  

Chucky and Basky's Mom

Friday, 29 July 2011


I need to tell you about Leo...

Leo came into my husband's and my life at the perfect time. We adopted Leo on June 23, 2010. So much was going on that year. I found out I was in renal failure, Bruce was laid off from his job of 23 yrs and his mother had passed away that June. In fact we were flying up to ON for her funeral which was why Leo didn't get picked up until the 23rd. We actually adopted him the Friday before but the rescue group agreed to keep him as it wasn't fair that we would have him the one night and then be flying out to ON to see the family.

As you can see Leo was a rescue and he is a senior. When we adopted him he was 9 yrs old. What we didn't know was how bad his aggression issues were, but we persevered. We took basic dog training classes which helped a lot! We read about the breed, we watched The Dog Whisperer and At The End of My Leash and read. I joined what groups I could find on the internet that were breed specific.

I was so thankful that I found the group,
the knitterly dachshund, on Ravelry (a knitting and crochet community) as they ultimately helped to save Leo. You see January 1, 2011 he went down. He was dragging his legs and his back was scrunched up. He looked as if somebody had smooshed him together. January 5th he had surgery. He was penned for 6-8 weeks and the group helped me on suggestions for all of us to deal with this. Leo is doing much better although this summer has been particularly hard on him because of all the rain. Sometimes if feels like we live in Vancouver, BC rather than sunny Alberta.

Leo has taught me patience, tolerance and above all unconditional love. He is the best!

Sincerely yours

Cora Shaw

Hi doxieposse and anipals!  Just a reminder to put on your leash and harness and take a walk over to Kenny and GiGi's fabulous website and give it a look and a listen at  We all love our Kenny and Ginger!!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011


I will be honest, I am high-maintenance. I love to have my hair done; love manicures and pedicures! I don’t like dirt or to get dirty! I have satellite tv, and even though I can only watch one channel at a time, I pay for over 900! I am a military brat, born in Japan, but raised in Texas. I sometimes think I’m a country girl living in a city girl’s body because there are times when I long to just sit in my rocking chair on my front porch and watch the world go by. I’ve never had a dog, always had cats. I have a wonderful life and I’m blessed in so many ways.
Rewind to 2006. I loose my best friend, my mother, on my birthday. I go through a very ugly divorce. Things aren’t looking too good and I’m exhibiting the signs of Depression 101. My saving grace is my son, who helps me pick myself back up. I also have an amazing boyfriend who is a true God-send. The polar opposite of myself, he was born and raised on a farm, had many cats and dogs, and even raised Great Danes! EEWW, dirty big dogs? My motto: Cats rule, dogs drool. He allows me to get 2 cats, littermates/sisters, and they are my little lovely girls. However, I can see his longing for a dog. Every time we go out to his parent’s farm, he sees his Great Dane and I can tell he misses having a dog around the house. I secretly start to look for one for him.
Keep in mind, I know absolutely NOTHING about dogs at this point. I am in uncharted territory here! I see an article in the paper that someone has Miniature Dachshunds for sale. I call the people because they live right across the street from the place where I work a part time job. They say that they have 4 of them, 1 being already spoken for, but 3 available to look at. I tell them I’ll get back with them. I go online to the local animal shelter website, and there is a Great Dane/Boxer mix puppy. I call my boyfriend and tell him about it, and he immediately goes there to see this puppy. He can tell she will be a good little girl, but that she won’t be little for long! Our house is not big at all (hence the reason his Great Dane lives out at the farm), and he was a little concerned about not giving her enough space to run and play. (A good note: there was a couple at the shelter wanting to look at this puppy, too, and ended up adopting her right after us!) It’s cold and raining outside, my boyfriend is clearly upset, so I tell him about the Mini-Doxies. He has never had a "small dog", but he really wanted a dog, so he entertained the idea of going to look at them. I call the people and make the appointment. THIS IS WHERE MY LIFE IS CHANGED FOREVER!
I mentioned earlier that I have never had a dog. I am now 43 years old (39 at the time this is occurring), and having cats was plenty for me. He was constantly telling me that there is nothing like the love of a dog. I didn’t listen because I was completely content with my cats. But, he longed for the companionship of a dog, so we go and look at the puppies. We walk into this tiny apartment, and the lady brings out a tupperware storage tub. I look down in the tub, and my heart races. There are these 4 little black things yipping and wiggling around. OH MY GOD, with the exception of my son as a baby, these could be THE cutest things I’ve ever seen in my life! The lady puts them all on the floor, we sit down, and my boyfriend tells me to just sit there and let "the one" come to me. Here comes this adorable little black and tan thing, sniffs my legs, then crawls into my lap and plops down. I am now in tears as I’ve just been "claimed" by the love of my life. I pick him up, and smell the most hauntingly beautiful smell I’ve ever smelled. My boyfriend says, "Honey, that’s puppy breath." I can’t put him down. I feel this rush of calmness come over me, like this little thing knew that I needed him to give me peace and happiness; to change my life forever.
I will be honest, I am high-maintenance. I love to have my hair done; love manicures and pedicures. HOWEVER, since my dog has come into my life, things like that aren’t as important as they once were. Oh, I’m still high-maintenance; but if I miss an appointment, it’s not a problem. There will always be another one. I am a much better person now because of my dog. He has taught me compassion, patience, humility. Most of all, unconditional love. I truly believe that this was my Mother’s way of saying that it was ok that she was gone. I can live a happy life and know what true love really is. My dog has taught me true happiness, and I can’t say it enough: I’m a better person because of my dog. And we will call Thing One: Thurman. My sweet baby Thurmie.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Billie's Beginnings

Billie is my heart.  God gave her to me when I needed her the most.

Billie was born on March 2 2005 in horrible conditions. She lived in a tiny cage with her mama and brothers and sisters at a small breeds puppy mill.  My dad, who once raised doxies, was called to the site because the rescue organization knew him well and thought that he could help with what they had found.  When they had arrived Billie's mama and siblings had all passed over the rainbow bridge.  Billie was hungry and cold.  My dad picked her up and put her in his shirt and took her home with him.

Now it so happened that 4 days after my dad met Billie it was my birthday.  We already had a spunky little doxie named Freddie who ruled the roost.  My dad thought that Billie needed another doxie, since we all know that they like to have a friend. He  drove 2 hours and brought Billie to me, grinning from ear to ear, telling me happy birthday!  I was thrilled.  I had grown up with at least 5 doxies in the house at all times.  Billie was beautiful.  She had gorgeous long ears.  She was a black and tan standard smooth and her back was very very long.  I looked at her long back and looked at my dad, raising my eyebrows, wondering why he, a man who knew a good doxie bloodline, would bring me a doxie with this problem, and he told me her story. 

Here's where the story takes a turn, so take a breath before you read.  My beloved dad, the BEST dad anyone could every hope for…..left me that day forever.  On his way home from giving me my Billie, the front wheel on his truck sheered off and he was killed.  Billie is my heart. 

Billie grew into a very long doxie with fabulous ears and the most beautiful almond eyes.  She has the sweetest disposition.  After we lost dad, she was my touch stone.  My one thing...the last thing he touched.  She helped me get through some very hard times and always seemed to know when I needed those special cuddles.

When Billie was 4 years old things started going wrong.  Really wrong.  My good friend and I would take our dogs for walks.  Her dog, Stanley, a beagle, liked to play and he would jump on Billie's back with his front feet when we were out walking. He did this repeatedly for weeks. 

One day when we got home from our walk Billie went and laid down on her pillow and wouldn't get up.  She wouldn't eat.  I took her to our vet and explained about Stanley.  The vet thought that Billie's back was sore and said just to let her rest.  So rest she did.  About 10 days later she seemed to be fine and back to her old self, but then she started coughing.  She would cough and cough and not be able to stop.  I felt her nose.  It was hot and dry.  Her ears were hot.  She quit eating and would only drink.  I drove her up to the vet, her head laying on my lap. I was terrified.  The vet took my poor sick girlie from me….I had to leave her there.

The vet phoned me an hour later.  Billie was close to death with severe pneumonia. If I hadn't taken her to the vet she would have passed within hours.  Billie had to stay 12 days at the vets.  She was so sick.  I went up every 2 days (it was a 40 minute drive) to see her.  When the vet phoned that I could come and get her I was so excited!  I immediately went to get her.  She jumped and danced!  We got in the car and she jumped around….and jumped in the back seat…..and stopped. 

I thought something was odd? When I got Billie home she was dragging her left right leg.  I didn't understand.  I called the vet.  She said bring her back-right now.  I had the worst feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Every part of me was screaming no!  When we got back to the vets she did some tests and said Billie needed to go to the emergency pet hospital in the city so away we went. 

At the hospital in the city the specialist took Billie away from me. They x-rayed and did tests and then had me come and watch as they tried to help her walk.  The Dr. told me he was sure that Billie was going to be fine.  To take her home and let her rest.  I went home feeling so much better.  Billie was going to be fine! BUT….

The next morning when I got up Billie wasn't moving….she was paralyzed.  She had IVDD.  Her tail didn't wag and neither one of her back legs could move.  She had no bowel, or bladder control.  I called my vet.  She told me to that there was nothing to be done and that the best thing would be to put Billie to sleep. 

Now please understand dear reader that despite having had doxies my entire life, never once had I encountered one with IVDD.  I had no idea what to do...none.  I was husband took the phone and listened.  He made an appointment for Billie to be put to sleep.  I went and laid beside her on her little bed.  Stroking that precious head. I cried and cried.

My husband came and stood over us.  Looking at us he said 'Let's give her some time.'  We agreed that we would give her a week.  We called back the vet and rescheduled the appointment and the vet told us how to express her bowel and bladder

Every day was the same.  I expressed Billie's bowel and bladder as the vet had instructed me. I tried to get Billie to eat.  I cooked her little sausages.  I would chew them up first and then she would eat the little people this was an act of true love...I'm a vegetarian!

Day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5...nothing changed.  On day 6 I went off to play for a commitment I had. There was no music in my heart as I went.  I sang. I played. With no soul.  When I arrived home, all I could think about is I only have 1 more day.

When I got out of my car I saw that my husband had Billie outside with him.  I was horrified!  He looked at me and said 'Billie kicked her leg'

I said ' I think you are just seeing things'

He said ' no I'm not!  I know how she loves the sun and thought I would let her lay out in the sun...this one last time...and she kicked her leg!!'

Still not believing him I walked into the house.  I put my harp away in my studio and picked up a dog magazine that I had been reading.  At the back of the magazine were the Dachshund adds.  One of the adds said 'Fight IVDD go to Dodgers'   I sat there...looking at that add wondering if there was hope, when my husband called me in an urgent voice.  I went running….and saw her leg kick.

We called the vet.  She said if Billie's movement was going to return it would return in the reverse of what it left. That is what happened.  The vet offered me no other help...none.  I didn't know what to do.  Remembering the add I went onto and there I found the fabulous Linda Stowe.  With Linda's help I learned that Billie needed to be on complete crate rest for the next 6-8 weeks.  That water therapy would help Billie gain her strength again.  Gradually Billie got better.  Her tail wagged!  She regained bowel and bladder function, and then finally on the 5th miracle day, her other leg moved! 

I cannot thank Dodgers List enough. Linda emailed or phoned me every day for two weeks.  She answered every question and had invaluable information for me.  She cared so much.  There are just no words that can express the gratitude I have to Linda.

Billie wobbled for a while.  She would stand up and fall over.  For a while Billie could run but could not walk.  She developed anxieties from being kept in the crate.  To this very day, she hates that crate.  Eventually though, she regained her motor control and could walk, but for several months you could hear her back toe nails drag very slightly.

We put in ramps every where!  She no longer was allowed to go outside using the stairs.  She was no longer allowed to jump on or off the couch.  New commands were taught in our house. The first and most important being no jumping!  The next thing was to get rid of the collars. No collars ever!  Only harnesses….so much easier on their backs.

Billie continues to have some health problems.  The pneumonia damaged her heart and we battle with heart failure now.  She is on quite a lot of medication for that.  This past winter she broke her tail and that caused her some back pain, so back in the crate she had to go.  She was NOT happy with me over that one.

I strongly encourage all longdoglovers to go to and educate yourself about IVDD.  Learn the signs.  Learn what to do!  Don't be caught off guard like I was.  And above all….if your dog is diagnosed with IVDD don't give up.  If the worst happens and Billie goes down again, there will be no thought what so ever of putting her to sleep.  Dodgers List has educated me!  Billie will have cool wheels, but of course I hope that will never happen.

Secondly, most of Billie's problems are most likely because she is the product of a puppy mill.  Let's work together to ban these horrible horrible places.

Billie is my heart.  God gave her to me when I needed her most.


Welcome to Doxie Tails.  This section of our doxieposse blog is dedicated to the exploits and life stories of our fabulous Doxies.  If you have a Doxie Tail that you would like to contribute please email and I will get it posted.  Your Doxie Tails can be funny, sad, inspirational or just plain silly! Watch for a new Doxie Tail every week.  Enjoy!