Heidi came into our lives when my uncle was driving down a road in Houston during a strong thunderstorm. My cousin saw something outside and asked my uncle to stop. When they opened their doors, Heidi jumped right on in. We unfortunately do not know when exactly Heidi was born, but she was most likely a couple of years old at this point in time and this happened in roughly 2001. We are not sure why Heidi was out wandering the streets in the rain, but wherever she was at previously clearly wasn't working out. She had a large scar on the top of her head... which led us to believe she was either injured by her previous owners or maybe while she was wandering the streets. Heidi was too sweet of a dog for someone to hurt her, or for someone to want to get rid of her. Lucky for her though, this meant she acquired a new home. My grandmother and granddaddy took her in, along with their other small dogs, Pierre, Sweetie and blackie. My grandmother spent most of her time in a Lazy Boy chair, and Heidi was always cuddled up right next to her under her blanket. Heidi had it made. She had a large yard to run in and never went hungry.|
Unfortunately in 2009, my grandmother passed away. I can only imagine how Heidi reacted to her death since she was there with her when it happened. This is where my family came into the picture. We went by my grandparents' house after the funeral, and it had been decided that our family would take Heidi. We drove from Houston to Fort Worth with our new little weenie dog. We kept the name our grandmother gave her, Heidi. She loved it when you said "weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenie dog" and "weeeen!" Even though she had been through such a traumatic experience, she was happy to be with us. I personally was never a big fan of dogs, but I had always wanted a weenie dog. And for some reason... wanted nothing to do with my other siblings and only wanted my attention. It is funny how that works. I was sitting in the front seat of the car, and she wanted to move to the front to be with me. My grandmother and I were a lot of like when it came to animals. We were born with a bleeding heart when it came to pets, and I could not say no to Heidi. Unfortunately this is when we found out that Heidi had not been taken care of as well as she should have. Her breath smelled like rotting food. When we finally got her home, we took her to the vet and found out she would need surgery. Her teeth had begun to rot, and if we did not do anything about it, the disease would spread to her brain and kill her. We went ahead with the surgery.
Heidi ended up needing one more dental surgery, and when it was all said and done she only had two bottom teeth left. Not bad for a 11 year old dog! From the time she chose me, it was my duty to give her the best life I could. And in return, I received unconditional love and always knew she would be there for me. I took her on a walk for at least 15 minutes a day. I would try to give her a 30 minute or longer walk a week. She enjoyed hanging out with other people (more so females than males) and liked hanging out with other animals too. For some reason she never liked my nephew and would intentionally scare him and bite at his ankles. I have a niece that she loved though and would follow around. I would say she liked being around women more so than men, but she would cuddle with my dad when she was at their house. Her bond with me though was something completely different. I looked forward to going home and taking her outside. Her happiness, was my happiness. I was always afraid of her hurting herself when she would fly off of the couch to run after me or to get food. I was also afraid she would hurt herself when she would stand up on her hind legs and dance around in exciting whenever I was home or if I had a visitor. She never hurt herself though... she was a resilient dog. Even though I am certain she had a good life when she was with my grandmother up until she died, I feel like her best years were with me and my family. She was excited, full of energy, and so loving. Because she was older when I got her, I was careful with how long I took her on walks for. If it was during the fall/winter/spring, I could easily take her for one hour walks. If it was during the summer, it would be 20 minutes max because of how hot it was in the DFW area. Speaking of weather, she HATED thunder storms. She always wanted me nearby if there was a storm. She would shake, and either hide under the blanket or hide under a table/desk. She was with my grandparents when they had a hurricane a few years before we got her. I am not sure if she was traumatized by that, or maybe she was always afraid of storms? We will never know. Heidi was also the best study partner... she would lay down next to me while I studied for class. It was a great studying at home because I would sit and pet her while I was reading or doing homework. Her tail would wag and she would lift her head and look at me if for some reason I stopped petting her. She was so needy, but it never bothered me. Also, if I decided to lay down though, she would try to lay her head next to mine and cuddle. she was the best dog to cuddle with... hands down!
Heidi was never formally potty trained, so during the few years I had her I worked with her on that. I would allow her to sleep in my bed, which was fine. She knew better to pee in my bed. But for awhile there, every night she would jump off my bed, go into my bathroom, and pee on my rug. I must have washed that rug at LEAST 100 times. Finally I started waking up every time I felt her move to the end of my bed. I would sit up, grab her, and pull her up next to me. After we went there this several times a night, over several weeks... she finally got the hint and stopped. Dogs are interesting... they are almost like humans. Heidi liked laying her head on the pillow next to mine, or laying her head on my arm to cuddle. I feel like a dog's emotions run deeper than anyone can imagine. This is cute, until the dog likes to lick you. I feel like it is something particular with the dachshund breed, but she would lick you non stop if you allowed her to.
Even though Heidi liked being around other animals, she really only liked being around them if it was on a one on one basis. She hated the dog park! I would take here there and get excited because a local Dachshund group would meet up once a month at the park nearby our apartment, but she didn't want to have anything to do with them. She would chill with one dog, but if other dogs came up to her she didn't want to have anything to do with them. She was the only dog in the park that would start walking to the gate after 5 minutes. We were able to go a few times when there were very few dogs in there. She got to romp and playing in the grass and loved every minute of it. She really loved rolling in the grass... it was so cute!! Anytime I tried recording her though, she would stop. When she ran, she hopped like a gazelle. She would sometimes trip over one of her back legs... you could tell she wasn't exactly good with coordination but that didn't stop her.
The last year of Heidi's life was happy, but unfortunately age started to slow her down. While she lived with me at my apartment, she weighed 11-12lbs, which is great for her breed. When she moved back into my parents, she gained weight. I was worried when she started weighing 16lbs, but was even more worried when she gained more. Even though she was not receiving as many walks as she used to, she had a yard to play in. Then we found out why she was gaining weight. Heidi was diagnosed with Cushing disease. By the time this happened, she was having issues with arthritis, and her eyes were milky and her vision was increasingly getting worse. This broke my heart... Heidi was only in our lives for 5 years, and we knew going into this she would not be with us for a long time, especially not forever. Two weeks ago, a dog we have had since our childhood passed away... he was 17 years old. And for the past week, Heidi had stopped eating. She no longer wanted to follow my niece around to beg for food, go on walks, or even go outside of that matter. She would lay down by her food bowl and drink water all day. She was taken into the vet on Monday, October 13th. She passed away on October 15th. Even though Heidi had been to the vet not but a few months ago and the only thing she had going on was the Cushing disease, she was sick. Very very sick. She had kidney disease, diabetes, possible liver failure, hypothyroidism, and her pancreas levels were high. Her liver count went from 1600 to 8500. We found the results out on Tuesday, October 14th. We debated having her put to sleep on Wednesday, but it is so hard to say goodbye to someone who means so much to you. I have never loved any pet as much as I loved Heidi. She began to eat a little on Wednesday, so we thought maybe she would be okay. It was going to cost roughly $1500.00 to have a test performed to figure out how much insulin she would need daily. I found a way to pay for this procedure but unfortunately it was too late. Heidi was ready to go. Wednesday night Heidi began to have seizures. It was not just one seizure, but multiple seizures. As soon as she was out of one, she started to have another. She was taken to an emergency animal hospital, where they administered the drugs needed to ease her pain. Heidi came out of her seizures long enough for the family to say goodbye. I unfortunately could not be there in person, but my kind sister held her phone up to Heidi's ear so she could hear me. She went into another seizure, and passed away. We let our baby go, but it was her time. Our grandmother would be proud of the life we were able to give her. She was spoiled, loved, and cared for more than any other dog. Even though a selfish part of me hopes she will be waiting for us at the rainbow bridge, I know she has returned to her first true love, my grandmother.
Heidi, you meant more to me than anyone will ever know. I am sorry I was not there for you during your time of need, but I am glad you were happy with us. You deserved ever bit of love and attention you received and more. My heart is broken because you have left us, but I understand it was your time and we will see each other again. Hopefully now you can eat dog bones and all of the things you could not enjoy while you were with us. I miss your smile, your licks, your dances, your warmth, and your love. No longer will I be able to call out "Heidi hoooo!!" or "Heidiiii" and see you come around the corner with that wagging tail and perfect two toothed smile. We love you, and we will never forget you.