I have always been around dogs. When I was a baby my parents had a Malamute/Lab mutt named Shithead (his real name was “Mr. Magoo” but no one ever called him that). Growing up we had various mixes of Malamute constantly. Mostly Malamute/Wolf crosses. I can’t remember a time frame longer than a couple months where we didn’t have at least one dog, but we mostly always had two at a time.
I have fond memories of all the dogs my parents had, and I have since grown quite the soft spot for the Malamute breed, but when I finally got a dog that was really mine I didn’t get a Malamute. For reasons unknown, I got a Dachshund.
I was used to having dogs that were 80 – 120 lbs and often mistaken for wolves at first glance, but somehow I fell for a 12-week-old Dachshund puppy.
I named him Zim (his full name was Invader Zimmerman Strauss) and he weighed all of about 5 lbs when I got him. Right from day 1, though, he had no idea how small he was. His heart was easily as rambunctious, curious, and determined as any dog 20 times his size. His voracious appetite for life was infectious and I adored him.
Zim and I got 7 years together before his health deteriorated to a point where it was kinder to euthanize him than it was to try to hang onto him. It was very likely poor breeding that ultimately did him in, as he should have lived much longer. He’s the only purebred dog I’ve ever had, and will be the last. He will also be the only Dachshund I ever have.
After he passed I got his paw-print tattooed on my wrist, and while I’ve had many dogs since him, he was the first to truly settle permanently into my heart in a way that no other dog had before him.
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I’ve had small dogs, medium dogs, and big dogs. I’ve had terrier mixes, bully breed mixes, shepherd mixes, and mutts beyond recognition. I want to take my dogs with me everywhere. If they aren’t with me, I’m thinking and worrying about them. I like to hide treats for them to find while I’m gone, or leave the TV on so they have something to watch. I give each dog I know about 100 different nicknames and call them by them regularly. I let my dogs on the couch. I let my dogs in the bed. My love for them all runs deep and I happily count myself among the crazy dog people. I couldn’t imagine a life without them.
As of right now there are currently seven bodies on our couch (me included) and four of them are dogs. If you’ve checked out our About Us page, then you’re at least briefly familiar with Rory, Ryder, Aspen, and now Zoe. Between the four of them, there’s a total of roughly 200lbs of dog. Many people would call us crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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I hope that I never stop being able to allow a new dog to make a difference in my life. The bonds I have formed with and the lessons I have been taught by the dogs that have come into my life are all uniquely important and beautiful. I remember and cherish every one of them and yet still somehow have endless room for more. I figure the least we can do for an animal so full of love and forgiveness is to love them back in every way possible, and I’m gonna keep doing it for as long as I can.
Who knows? Maybe after our lives end here on Earth, there really is a place that we go. If there is, then I hope to be greeted by every dog I’ve ever had, because I’m sure all dogs really do go to heaven and I can’t imagine a happier greeting for the afterlife.