Adopting another dog was the last thing on my mind when Hanni, an adorable Dachshund/Chihuahua mix (a Chiweenie), was dropped into my lap. She’d seen at least two homes before mine. I can only guess how her life began, so I’m going to stop here and let her tell her story in her own words:
Hanni’s story as told to me (she barked and I typed):
Sometimes you get up before I’m ready to come out from under the covers (I sneak under the comforter as soon as you fall asleep, but of course you know that and just let me keep doing it—thanks, Mom). But most days I need to lick your face to remind you it’s time to get up. How many times do you need to press snooze, anyway? I can’t get too mad, though; you may not be quick to rise, but you’re awake and your hand finds that special place behind my ears that makes me sigh. As I roll over, you get the hint and rub my itchy belly (I’m allergic to grass so even with my allergy meds, a little extra rub to soothe the itch is welcome). A dog’s life is not so bad—at least not now.
Life wasn’t always so comfortable. Memories of my puppy days with my first family are sketchy—all I know is one day I saw a squirrel and everything changed. I found a hole in the fence and chased that rodent till my legs were tired and, to add insult to injury, the little varmint ditched me. There I was, miles from home—no squirrel and no family. I hadn’t counted on getting lost, but I was deep in the woods without my people, my house or my doggie blanket.
As the daylight faded and darkness surrounded me, I started to shiver—nights are cold in Wenatchee even in the springtime and without my blanket, I didn’t know if I’d make it through that first night. Then I heard the coyotes—I’d been told they eat little dogs and I was a lot smaller back then. I hid in a hole in a log that was big enough for me, but too small for a coyote or, god forbid, a cougar.
Of course, I survived that night. I wouldn’t be talking to you now if I hadn’t lived through those three nights in the wild. Lucky for me, I made it out to the highway and was rescued by passing car. I don’t know how I can ever thank them enough (although I tried with about a million doggie kisses) for picking me up and taking me to Wenatchee Animal Rescue. The cage was small, but they took me out daily for a little play time. I didn’t feel much like playing and when I heard them say they couldn’t find my family, my heart sank. Would I spend the rest of my life in this little cage?
No, I would NOT. After three weeks, they loaded me into a big van and drove and drove and drove. Where were they taking me? I shook and whimpered the whole way wondering if I had misjudged these people—were taking me back to the woods? When we stopped, I saw lots of people and animals. We were at an Adoption Fair in Woodinville, WA and they were about to put me on display.
I don’t even remember my puppy name, but these guys named me Clover because the little girl in my old family had painted my nails green. Sitting on her lap while she fussed over me was something I already missed, but somehow I knew I would never see my old family again. I was up for adoption and there was no guarantee I would find a better family. But, I did! Your sister, Sue, and her husband, Lucky, saw me and picked me up. They let me lick their face, so I knew they were dog people. I would have been happy to stay with them forever—there was just something so loving in their touch. But there was a twist to this story.
Sue and Lucky wanted to keep me, but your mom, Nyda, had just lost her dog, so they delivered me to her—she was grieving and needed me, so I became a resident of an Assisted Living facility. It was actually a nice place with lots of funny smelling old people fawning over me day after day as your mom paraded me through the lobby. Since Clover seemed like a dumb name to me, I was happy when I was re-named, Hanni. Apparently, it’s a German name that honors my dachshund heritage.
Life was different here. No more squirrels and not much outdoor play, but a nice comfortable life. Nyda fed me well—too well—but, I wasn’t complaining. I had deli chicken for breakfast and dinner along with some boring dog food. She also, gave me ice cream and candy and although it tasted great, I started to feel uncomfortable. I had gained four pounds!
Then, something changed. Nyda’s memory was going and she was seeing things that weren’t there—she was scaring me. She’d forget to take me out for a walk, so I had to pee and poop on the carpet. She would forget to feed me dog food, so I was living on ice cream, donuts and chicken—a diet I was really enjoying but my expanding waistline wasn’t. It was time for me to move again. That’s when I found you.
I know you were not ready for a dog again—or were you? You embraced me with open arms and even as I infringed on your independent lifestyle, you realized just how much you needed me. And, I needed you, too. I didn’t like the fact that you took away my ice cream, but after losing two pounds, I felt great. Replacing the ice cream with pup-peroni treats turned out to be the best—I think I am addicted to that stuff. I’m not dumb. I know you used that to train me to pee outside; you rewarded me with a pup-peroni every time I was a good girl. Now I have you trained. Every time I go outside for any reason, I expect a pup-peroni and you always give it to me. I think you know I haven’t peed, but that’s our little secret, so thanks!
And, thanks for this loving home. I know this is my last stop and although the journey was rough, I arrived at just the right place for me—and for you.