In Praise of Dachshund Rescue of North America

Hurrah for Quinby! Karen, a representative from Dachshund Rescue of North America, picked her up today. So, Q is off to Cummings, GA, to be spoiled and rehabilitated and spoiled some more.

We had all gotten so attached to Quinby. Me. The kids. The pups. Just look at Quinby and Elloree, below:

I even overheard Scott, who pretends that he’s only along for the fostering ride, tell Quinby affectionately, “Bye, Q. I really liked you. You’re a good girl.” He went so far as to say we would have kept her, if we could have given her the attention she needs, the attention that DRNA is experienced in providing.

My DRNA contact described Quinby’s new foster mother Karen as “the best” of the best. Quinby will be Karen’s second “cart” dog. Karen found a forever home for the first one, even flying with her to Massachusetts to get her there. And she’s fostered other dachshunds with back injuries, some of them improving enough to leave the cart behind.

Karen said that Q will be visiting an acupuncturist, and that she’ll have surgery, no matter how expensive, if surgery is an option. And, if not . . . well . . . Karen said Q will be a “fine ambassador” for DRNA, just as she is.

And we all agree. So, as a goodbye to Quinby, our top five favorite things about her:

(5) That she has a tongue like Mr. Winkle.

Scott and I have always been fans of Mr. Winkle, the stray that became a doggie modeling sensation after being rescued and adopted by photographer Lara Jo Regan. We buy his calendar every year. We’re convinced that he’s dead now. Wikipedia lists his birthyear as c. 1995, and he wasn’t a pup when found. But, the calendars keep coming every year. And every year we buy them.

One of the most remarkable things about Winkle is his tongue, which is out all the time because of a jaw injury. Quinby doesn’t have a jaw injury that we know of, but when she’s relaxed, her tongue will slip out, just like Mr. Winkle’s. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t get a photo, but every time I crept up with the camera, she pulled in the tongue. If only I could have convinced her that it adds to her cuteness, I would have had the next Ms. Winkle.

So, Karen, if you can convince her to stick out the tongue on demand: Get Lara Jo on the phone.

(4) That she looks and acts like a seal.

Well, that’s not the best photo to illustrate the fact that she looks and acts like a seal, but you can kind of see how her back legs just sort of flop over, like flippers.

Quinby’s front legs are so strong that she’s able to carry her back weight easily. In the mornings, we loved hearing her distinctive “click, click, thump” keeping up speed with Emma’s and Knightley’s “click, click, click, click.”

Also like a seal, she puts a lot of expression in her neck, turning it this way and that, especially when she has an itch that needs scratching. Scratching: difficult to do if you’re a dog and your two back legs don’t work like they’re supposed to. We always knew, though, when Q needed help by the way she craned her neck. And we were always happy to oblige.

(3) That she uses the toilet. — sometimes.

I have cleaned up a lot of potty accidents since getting Quinby. Dr. Currie had warned me that “the bathroom thing” would be “the hardest part” when I took Q in. He wasn’t sure she’d be able to feel when she has to go. And, we’re still not sure if she does or doesn’t. As a puppy mill dog (yes, we’re convinced she was one), she was probably never house trained, so it’s difficult to know whether it’s (A) that she can’t feel she has to go; or (B) that she just doesn’t know not to go in the house.

Regardless, for a few days I felt like I was cleaning up all the time. Scott and Jack didn’t help. When I started fostering, Scott agreed to it, but he said  I’d have to clean up any “dog pee and poop.” And he’s taken so much delight in pointing out potty accidents and watching me get to work with paper towels and cleaning solution that Jack has gotten in on the fun:

“Mommy! Pee!” he’ll say, pointing at water from an ice cube melting on the floor. “Mommy! Poop!” he’ll say, pointing at dirt A. has tracked in.

SIGH.

But, just when I was about at my wit’s end, I read a blog post written by a woman caring for a similarly disabled dog. She also talked about those days of endless potty accidents, and of coming to terms with them. — which she finally did when she started repeating the following as a mantra:

THERE ARE WORSE THINGS IN THIS WORLD THAN POOP.

And indeed there are.

Once I relaxed, Q did too. And then she used the toilet. — several times, for both me and Scott. We couldn’t have been more proud of her.

(2) That she has spunk.

Quinby’s back legs may not work like they used to, but her nose still does. And, when she picks up a scent, she’s off. — whether that means she has to hop or roll.

Jump off a couch? No big deal.

Bounce/roll down a flight of stairs? Not a problem

Knock larger, more fit dogs out of the way? Done and done.

It’s like Q doesn’t know that she’s different. Or, if she does, she just thinks it works to her advantage.

(1) That she’s a cyborg wiener dog.

Really: enough said.

Finally, I’m thankful for Quinby, because she’s the reason I met the wonderful people who work with Dachshund Rescue of North America. I sent the following email on the day I picked up Quinby, Sept. 22:

“Dear friends at Dachshund Rescue,

I’m in Columbia, SC, and I foster dogs. At the local kill shelter I pull from, they were about to euthanize an owner-surrendered 5 year old dachshund, because she has lost control of her two back legs. HOWEVER, she does not seem as though she’s in pain, and moves enthusiastically by crawling, using her two front legs. She eats and drinks enthusiastically too. I just got her twenty minutes ago, and I admit that I’m out of my league. I just didn’t want to see her put down. Please advise.”

I got a response within the week. Please visit their web page and consider donating, in Q’s honor, so that they can continue the work they do so well:

http://drna.org/

And, no offense to the handsome dachshund in the featured photo on their web page, but I think Quinby should have a turn. 😉

Until then, I’ll close with one of my favorites: Q,curled up for a nap. Her tongue is sticking out, no doubt, but she’s hiding it from me.

Thank you, Karen, for giving her a safe place, where I know she’ll thrive. — because she’s Quinby. And thriving is what she does best.

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3 Responses to “In Praise of Dachshund Rescue of North America”

  1. Susie Yates Says:

    Very sweetly written w/ lots of love! Yes, these ‘special needs’ animals teach us SO MUCH!! Admire & love their strength, determination, spunk, & all the love they have to give!

    A member of DRNA who thanks you for saving ‘Quinby’.

  2. fisknp Says:

    Thanks so much for your comment, Susie! — and for all the good you do with DRNA!

  3. Vernon Nabert Says:

    Karen
    I was wandering how Quinby is doing now. Did she ever have her surgery or regain the use of her legs.
    We also have a Dachshund that a wonderful neighbor ran off the highway up into our yard just to try to kill. he had both back legs broken in several places and was run over across rear of his torso.

    After several surgary’s he has come improved more than I ever thought possible and like Quinby has hardly slowed down at all. He can fly when he wants to and is the biggest ham you have ever seen.

    He still has a pin in one hip that seems to have slipped a bit and sometimes bothers him but he refuses to let you notice it very often.

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