Adopting a Weiner Dog Dachshund

Miss Birdie: My $3000 dog project.
My Adopted Kennel Dog

On my wedding anniversary I drove down to South Carolina to adopt "Birdie" from a kennel. She was five years old and her sole purpose in life had been, thus far, to mate and make puppies. I wanted to give her better. I could only imagine what may happen to her if not adopted out.  She was getting two tablespoons of food per day and not much human contact.

Dachshund Adoption
Birdie was okay in the car. 
You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks 

Now imagine my husband asking why I'm driving from Maryland to South Carolina to adopt a dog, better yet, missing our anniversary. Add up the gas and hotel fees and the fact I had to "buy Birdie aka pay for the spay which was the adoption fee" and I couldn't really tell you why.  When I saw pictures of Birdie I just knew I wanted to give her a good home.  I guess I wanted to save her.

dachshund at play
Birdie loves it at work, she has 3.5 acres to run and play. 
Beautiful Yet UnFriendly

Birdie is probably the most beautiful mini doxie I've ever seen. I'm not just saying that because she's mine.  She's super long and her legs short. She almost looks like a fake stuffed animal she is so darn pretty--even down to little kinks in the hair on her bushy tail that looks like a child crimped her hair and styled it.  Her parents were Canadian show dogs who have won all kinds of perfect-Dachshund awards. I can only assume Birdie's children were as gorgeous as she is. Unfortunately, that beauty was only skin deep. She has major issues--for one, she does not know what to think of all the attention.

Birdie doesn't know what to think of all the attention. I think she likes to be alone.

Day One: 
When I got her to the hotel I noticed her teets were leaking all over the sheets and she was loaded with fleas. The former owner told me that she didn't believe in using harsh chemicals on her so I had to deflea her in a hotel the best I could, and start her on flea meds as soon as she got home.

Update: This also meant several trips to the vet to deworm her. Keep in mind I have other dogs and a cat so this was a sheer joy. As for the teets leaking, this was "her body getting used to the spay."

Day Two: 
Within 48 hours Birdie's belly swelled up to the size of a small football. I thought for sure she was having another litter, and was going to ask for a refund of my "spay fee."  However, after a quick run to to the vet's, I found out Birdie was having a life threatening hernia that had wrapped around her stomach and could kill her if I didn't get her operated on. Something like that, I couldn't understand how this just happened (especially when she just got fixed) as I was in shock with the $1000 quote. I was not at my normal vets and there was no time to get her there. I explained I had rescued her and then somehow my $1000 operation was now $600, but still, wow, what a hunk of change.

Day Five: 
Birdie now associates me with taking her out of her element, of which was her home and what she felt safe. Not only does she associate me with a long car ride, but flea baths (she never got them before) and a huge operation. When I call her name she runs the opposite way, and often hides from me. I kiss her and hug her but she shows no sign of reciprocating.  She is healing but we are going to Maine on vacation and we are driving. She's coming.

Hound Dogs
Birdie sticks with the basset hound, but not the other mini. 

Month One:
I carted her off to Maine with us, on top of the operation and the new surroundings, Birdie is scared of everything. Our five year old Mini Schnitzel and her do not get along. He immediately tried to welcome her and she bit him. He has not forgave her and growls to protect himself when she comes around. She feels comfortable with Buford, the 13 year old basset hound. She has no idea what to think of the cat. She is good with the doggie door but I had to teach her steps, she had no idea what they were and at first, rolled down them (on top the newly fixed hernia operation this was a real scary thing.) Common noises scare her. Horns, car, television, radio, door slamming, washing machine, the Dyson  and especially humans.  It is a whole new world for her.  I had to teach her steps. She wants to stay outside, and hide in the bushes. She is especially fond of the fenced in back yard, of which she will often sneak out and spend the night in the yard, instead of in the house.   I think she feels like she's home in the yard.  She ran into the neighbor's corn field at work and I got all scraped up with thorns trying to rescue her.

She somehow gets out of this fence. 
Month Two: 
Birdie ran away from me at work again. We have 3.5 acres and she takes off like a bat out of you know where. This time she went into the creek of which I had to go in after her. How does she fit under this fence?

Update: I have poison ivy on my face thanks to Birdie.
Update: I have it now  all over thanks to Birdie.
Update: I have scarring from itching the poison ivy all over thanks to Birdie.

She's hiding, again.

Month Three: 
Birdie has gotten a dental cleaning as she was having tooth trouble, one of her main teeth was rotten and actually fell out. Not sure why or how. She got all her shots up to date and she is getting used to eating at dinnertime, but won't go and drink out of the community dog bowl. She will actually NOT drink unless I hold some up for her. She is allowing me to pick her up and snuggle with her more.  She still hides, but not as much. Oh, she ran into the creek again and again I got poison ivy.

God and Dogs
I realized Birdie was sitting in the sun's rays and it looked like God was smiling at her new life.

Month Four: 
Birdie has been getting better, not staying outside in the yard as long--meaning she spends nights in the house with us human folk!  I called to Birdie at work and she went into the neighbor's corn field instead of coming to me. I got scraped up but got her out. She and I are taking three steps forward and two steps back.

Red Dachshund
I figured since she was Canadian maybe I should start talking to her in French? Doesn't work.

Month Five: 
Birdie took off like a bat out of hell and ran away from me at our work this time we could not find her. We have 3.5 acres of property and she snuck under the fence and hid in the creek all day. My husband and I went up and down the street, called her all day, walked the perimeter. She must have stood there looking at us, because when dinner time came she ran into the garage area like nothing ever happened. Damned dog.

who me
Birdie looks so innocent but looks can be deceiving.

Month Six: 
Birdie does not like the cold winters in Maryland, or at work in Pennsylvania.  She will literally run right in after she goes out to do her business. She still finds a corner in the house where she feels safe and hides. Schnitzel still hates her and growls when she is around.
dogs in the car
They looked so cute in the car I snapped it and used it as an Etsy photo!

I find the beauty rare moments when they tolerate each other and hope for the day they become BFF's (or so I wish.)  My husband gives Birdie a fair amount of attention and she seems to be okay with that.

Six Months Summary: 
It has been exactly six months with Birdie.  Still, Birdie does not wag her tail when she sees me.  When I come home and into the house she does not come out to greet me like my other dogs. Has there been progress? Yes, but slow progress. It's not like a puppy, where you can teach them something new. This is trying to break what she is used to. I find her liking country music, oddly, and so sometimes when I snatch her up and hug her I sing to her.

kennel dog
Birdie: Vet Bills $3000+    Adopting her = Priceless

It is only at night that when I remove her from the corner and snuggle her up with me, when she thinks I am sleeping does she plant a little lick on my face. Perhaps it is then when I know, somehow, she is accepting me and after much time and patience, she may just come around. ♥

Update: February 16, 2014  A stray dog burst into our yard and killed Birdie. It was horrible, and the story is here.  We have since tracked down her daughters and and have adopted them into our home. You can now see the wonderful adventures of Kendall and Nala at Doxie World.   

See them on instagram:
Dachshunds, Mini Doxies, aka Doxieworld on instagram

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