RIP, Andy

I haven’t really said anything for a while but rest assured, I have not accomplished anything much in the last few days. There hasn’t been anything recorded or anything like that. In case you weren’t able to read my Twitter feed, I’ve had a rough week. My MacBook Pro decided that it was going to bite the bullet and stop working. (I think the hard drive finally failed after a really rough run. The thing’s been giving me trouble since I got it.) And secondly, my dachshund in Texas had to be put to sleep over his irreversible health issues. He was suffering a lot by that time, and the last time I saw him, the poor little guy seemed like he was having a lot of issues. I’m just really sad right now about it and it’s put me in a bit of a funk over the week so much that my husband and his family have been asking what’s wrong. I finally told them.

I got a playful dachshund puppy Andy (who I named Andrew–I totally believe in giving dogs people names) in 2003 in the spring. (His birthday on his certificate was 14 March.)

I loved my little puppy so much, really. I went to the farm (it was a real farm, not a puppy farm) to pick up a puppy. I had already picked one of them out but there was this puppy who ran up to me excitedly and brought me a ball. I threw it. He brought it back. I decided that he was the one that I would bring home instead. I got him home and he still wanted to play ball. In fact, he wanted to do this constantly.

I also thought that this would be a dog that wouldn’t sleep in bed with me but I’d put him into his kennel but that never went very well. I let him out and eventually he won that battle. He was always really good to sleep next to. Really warm, really still and when I was ready to get out of bed, he’d be there right with me ready to eat breakfast. (My parents kept this up with him until his last days. As he got older, he’d eat, then head right back to bed.)

This dog loved the water. He loved to swim and my parents had a pool that he’d swim in. You could throw his ball into the pool, and he’d go fetch it. He’d get out, and you’d throw it, and he’d get it. I’d regularly take him swimming when I finished mowing the grass and he loved it.

The bad thing though is that he’d chase his ball until he’d get completely exhausted. When he’d recover, he’d want more.

I got him a toothbrush but he grew to hate that thing for some reason. I would take it and say “here, let me brush your teeth” and he’d move his head out of the way. It was pretty funny.

He ate his fruits and vegetables like a weird dog.

I could bring him places with me and hold him, and he’d behave. He’d let people pet him (and then he’d try his hardest to get them to play ball with him).

I could bring him in the car with me and he’d be well-behaved. He always wanted to sleep on me while I drove. He’d sleep curled up in my lap or with his head on my shoulder. He was so happy to go anywhere. I loved to bring him everywhere with me, if I could. He was well-behaved on the leash as well.

He barely showed any anger towards me at all except when I told him I was going to bite something on him like his ears, legs, feet, or nose. Then he’d make the scariest face and sneeze a billion times. He never bit me though.

I could say “Who is it?” and he’d start barking. Or I would say “bark bark” and he’d start barking. Or “tell me” and he’d bark. He was quite vocal about what he wanted, even when it was mostly for someone to get his ball. We had to keep it out of reach or he would completely exhaust himself or get it caught under something and injure himself.

For most of my early adult life, this dog was one of my best friends (and I’d tell him that, because you know, he should know). When I was about to move to Australia, I was going to bring him with me but I couldn’t face what I’d feel like if I made him fly for 20+ hours and then be stuck in quarantine for a few months. So my parents adopted him. I knew they’d take care of him, though I would get quite upset to see him get fatter when I would come back home.

It was hard seeing him grow old. I just didn’t know whether I would see him for much longer on my last trip so I spent some time making some videos and taking pictures of the little guy.

It’s hard losing a pet and since my mom has had him most of his “adult life” I know making the decision she did wasn’t an easy one. I really feel for her and I was worried that she might think that I’d get upset for her making that decision. I loved Andy a lot but I don’t think I would want to prolong his suffering either. I am sure it took a lot of courage to do it. So, I can’t be mad or upset with her. I’ve had a dog live to be 20 years old and it wasn’t pretty. I wouldn’t wish that on another animal.

I wish pets could live forever but nothing lives forever, and over the years I am understanding that a lot more now. So rest in peace, Andy/Andrew/Mr Weens. I will miss you.

I’m still really sad. I am sadder now that I had to find a picture of him.

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