Let me begin by thanking everyone for the outpouring of sympathy and support after losing my canine companion of seven and a half years, Dozer Fitzgerald Gamel. That little miniature Dachshund had more fans, friends and supporters than I could ever have imagined, and he will always be missed. Your cards, emails, flowers and memorials mean more to me than I could ever possibly convey.
I realized very quickly that I not only wanted to get another dog -- I needed another dog.
I began by looking at what our two local rescue organizations - Ole Yellow and Second Chance -- had in their foster programs. I knew that I was going to have to find another Dachshund, so was disappointed when I thought it would take a longer time to find another dog than I had wanted.
Then, I began looking at rescue organizations and shelters in neighboring towns. Thanks to the internet, it's very easy to see photos of dogs that are waiting for a new home at these facilities. On a Monday, I stumbled across the Christ-Yoder group in Buchanan Dam. They had two Dachshunds waiting. One was a three month old mix, and was almost so ugly that he was cute. The other was a black and tan Dachshund, just under a year old. I emailed the facility about their hours, costs and requirements on a Tuesday. On Wednesday, August 20th, I was ready to make a trip over to find out if I "clicked" with either of the two dogs.
I knew that if I did adopt one of the dogs, I would need someone to help me in the vehicle on the way home in case they turned out to be a nervous traveler. I was able to convince Kelly Standard to go with me, and on Wednesday afternoon, I found myself in the exercise yard at Christ-Yoder with both dogs running around me.
The mix was bouncing about all over the place, was affectionate, and just wanted to play. The Dachshund, Jasper, was excited to be out of his enclosure; but, would play for a moment, then would trot back over to see if this new person was someone he would be able to trust. It only took a few moments with Jasper to know that he was the one for me, and he seemed to agree.
I filled out lots of forms, paid the adoption fees, put a harness on Jasper, and we were on the way back to Mason. Jasper immediately laid down on the console armrest, laid his head against my arm and went to sleep.
In the two weeks since then, he has gotten to know the News office cat, Small Wonder. He has learned how to let me know when he needs a trip outside. He has figured out the walking route when we take our breaks, and he knows to respond and return to me when I call.
I've already learned that he doesn't like staying at the office by himself while I go to games. When I went to the Blanco scrimmage, he found a way to open every shutter on the News office windows so he could watch for my return. When I got back from the Ozona game, he was actually sitting in the window of my office. As soon as he saw me walking up the sidewalk, he wagged his tail so hard that his entire body began shaking. He met me at the front door and was at my side as I shut down the office and got ready to head home.
A new pet doesn't replace the one that has been lost. Jasper's personality is completely different than Dozer's. Jasper doesn't really bark nearly as much as Dozer, and he is not a lap dog as Dozer was.
Jasper and my dad have already gotten to know one another, and get along very well. Of course, I've realized that I need to pull Daddy's door shut in the mornings or Jasper will head in for a visit while I'm taking my shower.
Jasper has met Steve and Merlina's dog, Eve, and they get along quite well. He has finally established a relationship with Sean's dog, Sam, and they now tolerate one another, with a friendship slowly developing. He hasn't met Randy and Connie's dog, Freckles, yet; but, I'll remedy that soon enough.
Be sure to stop by and introduce yourself to the new arrival when you're down by the News office. He will, quite literally, be the doggie in the window!
It’s all just my opinion.