Doris

This is a different kind of post from my usual outdoor adventures and family fun stuff. Our little dog Doris, my sidekick, got really sick last weekend. So many of you got in touch and have been texting me so I thought I write something down. If you are tired of dog pictures and my updates on social media just move along.

Doris is a 2-year-old dapple miniature dachshund. She had a rough start in life, but she is a real fighter. We got her when she was 4 months and she was so tiny. She is all grown up now and she weights smashing 4kg. Life with Doris is never ending fun and sometimes a bit frustrating. She is stubborn, moody and have always had trouble sleeping. But she is my buddy, best friend. If I walk two steps, she walks two steps, if I do laundry, so does she. She is very small but mighty. She guards the house and take it seriously. Rabbits and birds have no chance to even get close, it’s her yard and she communicates with all the neighbor dogs loud and clear every day. She loves to hear her own voice and she has no clue that she is only 4kg. She loves trail walks and strolling around down town Redmond. Horses scares her and she can’t figure out how to be relaxed around kids. She gets so happy and excited when she meets her favorite people that she pees a little and spins in circles. The best time of the day is when all her humans are at home. She only eats if we all are sitting down to eat dinner. She doesn’t like food very much, never figured out the treat thing, but lamb and a little spoon of vanilla ice cream can brighten up her mood.

Last weekend, in the middle of the night she started screaming and was in a lot of pain. We ended up in doggy ER and went back the day after again and she got admitted to the ICU. We got the talk, now or never, this is it. They gave me 10 minutes to decide what to do. Brjann sat on a plane to Europe, I cried, the kids cried. No time to think and research.

Many dachshunds, around 25%, get IVDD, Intervertebral disk disease. It happens in both miniature and standard size doxies and usually when they are quite young. It’s important to be careful from a young age. Not too much jumping up on furniture or playing too rough. Their long backs can really ruin their life. You often get the option to try to do a conservative treatment, crate rest for months or go ahead with surgery. Since surgery is expensive you usually try a conservative treatment plan first with crate rest and medication. Doris didn’t have a choice, she got sick so fast. She lost her ability to walk and pee and she was in so much pain. So, our option was a very expensive surgery or to end her life. Doris is in good shape; she exercises daily, and she is not overweight. This helps the recovery and she is a good candidate.

This was a hard decision and I thought I could be more rational and tough. A dog is an investment. First in money but also in time, but the biggest investment is emotional. They have a tendency to take over your life. Doris is such a loving and loyal family member. But even if you want to make this about your feelings you always must think of the dog. Would she be able to live a good and full life? Does she have chance to recover? We felt like we had to give her a chance to get well. She is a spunky dog; she has been a fighter from day one.

She had surgery Monday, on Sofia’s 18th birthday. We sat with her a few hours a day the first 48 hour and then we got to bring her home Wednesday night. She is tired and I am exhausted. She doesn’t sleep, I don’t sleep. We share the floor and my bed has been empty for 10 days. We walk around hours every night and she is bundled up like a burrito resting in my arms. We lift her outside to sniff and pretend to pee. Lift her when she needs to drink and eat. She is not too happy that she can’t move. Her back and tummy is shaved, and she has a 11cm long scar on her back.

She is starting to move a little and her legs seems to respond. It’s going to take months, but I am very confident that she will be able to walk and possible run again this summer.