Here is the story of how Otto came to be a fixture in our home. I say fixture, since I think he has over stayed his welcome and needs to head on out…the children disagree. I do have to take some blame for getting him here, since I made the initial suggestion..believe me, I’m kicking my self in the ass, repeatedly, for this slight in judgement.
For many years, my husband had told me that he wanted a wiener dog. His grandparents had them when he was growing up and thought it would be fun to have one. (Having this one is not fun, by the way) So, last February, around my lovely husbands birthday, I just happened to be glancing through the classifieds and came across an ad for Miniature Dachshunds. (The fact that I’m actually reading the classifieds is strange, in and of itself, since we don’t normally have the newspaper!) The ad said he was a “pure bred, first shots, wormers, $150”. I thought this was a reasonable price, considering there were others more expensive. This should have been my initial red flag, but nope, I tell the hubby about it and he said he didn’t know if it was a good idea. I said “well, he’s cheap, and you’ve always wanted one and he could be your birthday present!” He told me to call and talk to the lady that had him and she informed me that she was a breeder, he was 10 weeks old, all black, with a little tan on his face and paws, he was the last one and a little bit bigger than the others had been, so that’s why she had lowered the price. After much deliberation, the girls catching wind of the conversation, and some begging on their part, he decides, ok, we can get this puppy. Sight unseen, this German critter already had been graced with the German name, Otto. Here’s where the rest of the flags should have been thrown…
It turns out that the woman lived in Darlington, WI. Upon writing down directions to her home, my husband and his buddy, take off on a road trip set to retrieve the dog. Mind you, they take nothing to contain the dog in, thinking that he could just chill out on someone’s lap or in the back seat on the way home. How much trouble could a 10 week old puppy be in a car anyway, right? Riiight. After, getting lost on the way there, because it turns out that the woman lives in what would be considered BFE, they arrive. Flag # 2 should have been screaming at this point because from what they said, besides the fact that there were many animals roaming around the property, the house looked uninhabitable…and that was just the outside. There were boarded up windows, holes in the porch, miscellaneous things piled everywhere, and some talk of chicken wire somewhere it shouldn’t have been..again, this not even into the house yet. They get out and go to the door, only to be greeted by the old woman, around 15 other dachshunds barreling out the door, the overwhelming stench of urine and dog crap, and from what was described, nothing short of a disturbing episode of Hoarders. Umm..Red flag #3, much?! She invites them in, tells my husband some particulars about the dog, some other ramblings..including the fact that her furnace isn’t working (keep this in mind), and tells him that this 10 week old puppy is a fan of farm fresh scrambled eggs for breakfast. Yes, this means that this woman got up every morning, scrambled a couple dozen eggs, then set them on the floor and let the mass amount of four legged wieners fight to the finish for their fair share of the feast. She then sends him on his way with a dozen eggs ‘fresh from her, obviously, free range chickens” and a ziplock bag of puppy food in exchange for her $150. Back to the car…
Conversation on the way home was, obviously, interesting to say the least! I wasn’t with them, but I heard the re-caps plenty of times to know! Once they get back on the road, little Otto is shaking. This is seemingly normal, since this poor little dog was living in some questionable conditions, he’s now in a moving vehicle, and he has no idea who these two guys are. I’ve received a few picture messages by this point, letting me know they are on their way home, showing me what he looks like and just how stinkin cute he is. (The opinion that he is cute has not changed..it’s really the only thing he has going for him) Here starts the fun! While letting my husband know a thing or two about the dog, the fine old lady never mentioned an anxiety issue. By anxiety issue, I mean this dog is panting, whining and drooling all over! They decide to sit him in the back seat, so maybe he will just lay down and possibly sleep? Oh, no…in starts the after effects of little Otto’s breakfast of eggs. He has gas. Remember, it is February..not exactly roll down the windows and enjoy fresh air kind of weather! Regardless, the odor emanating from this 8 pound animal is enough to get the boys gagging and rolling down the windows. Only, it isn’t just gas. The anxiety attack that the dog is having, has him pacing the back seat, shaking, drooling and foaming, has surpassed gas by way of diarrhea and they are only half way home. This is the part where I wish I was a fly on the windshield! The vehicle smells so bad, that it has both guys hanging their heads out the windows, coughing and gagging. Coughing and gagging then turns to vomiting, which has them pulling over to try to rectify the situation. See..Red flags everywhere! It turns out that, he crapped on the bag of food and all over the carton of eggs, so that was easy enough to get rid of..but, what was on the seat, they couldn’t get off because they had nothing to wipe it up with. Strange, since they had my vehicle and I usually keep napkins handy for the kids. Back on the road, dealing with the left over stench and the dogs continuing freak out session, he loses it a couple more times, and they make it back to town in one piece…all three of them missing their breakfast, though.
The girls and I return from the baby shower we were attending and they are instantly in love with this little guy with long floppy ears and big, brown, puppy dog eyes. They boys relay the days events, saying that the conditions at that house were so extreme that they actually discussed calling her in. They decided against it, since it seemed like the animals were what kept her going and they didn’t really want to interfere with that. I’m sure if there were children involved, it would have been a different story. I realize that she didn’t give my husband his papers or his tag, so I decide I will call her the next day to see if she could mail it. Otto seems to have calmed down, considerably, now that he is no longer in the car and everything seems to be going smoothly between him and the girls and our other dog Dexter. I’m not gonna say that Dex wasn’t slightly put off by us bringing a new dog home, but he is pretty laid back. End of the night is near and we get the cage ready for Otto, since he is new here and we weren’t giving him free reign of the house. We get him in the cage, the girls go up to bed, we go in our room, and so begins the howling and whining! By howling, I’m telling you it sounds like someone is inflicting serious injury upon this dog! We figure this is because it’s a new environment and he will calm down after he realizes that everyone is quiet. WRONG! He continued all. night. long. The girls came down several times to ask if we could make him be quiet so they could sleep and we told them that he just had to get used to being here. We ended up moving his cage into our laundry room so we could shut the door and try to make the best out of what was going to be a rough night of sleep. The next morning, we go to get him out of the cage and realize that the anxiety issue is not only a “car ride” thing. He has completely defiled his cage. Ok..this is fun! We get him outside, get the cage out, clean him and the cage up and again, he seems fine. While cleaning him up, though, we notice he has a bump on his side. Almost like his rib was sticking out..I make note to ask about this when I call the previous owner in a little bit. I call, ask about the paperwork, mention the fact that he didn’t do too well his first night here in the cage and ask about his side. The woman acted as though I were some barbaric being for putting him in a cage all night and informed me that all of the “puppies” slept in bed with her on a heated mattress pad since her furnace was out. WHAT? 15 freakin dogs in a bed with you? Uhh..negative! Then I bring up the issue of his rib. She says that since the puppies are so little when they are born, the mother often steps on them and they can suffer broken ribs. Umm..ok..and you wouldn’t have thought to have this looked at by the vet when he was there? Anyway, I’m slightly blown away by the confessions of the “crazy weenie lady” and I give her our address to send the info. (BTW, there was nothing to do for the rib, when I took him to the vet. It just healed funny and I’m not entirely convinced that his head wasn’t stepped on a time or two and his brain didn’t heal funny.)
Fast forwarding…the cage situation never got better. He would bark, howl and whine himself into a frenzy anytime he was put in there. We decided to start leaving him out at night and only putting him in the cage when we were going to be gone. Leaving him out of his cage at night wasn’t too bad at first. We expected a few landmines here and there and that is exactly what we got. Even if you let him out right before bed time, we can still expect a fresh pile somewhere in the house. Rubbing his nose in his accidents and/or swatting his back side, have done nothing to cure this issue. We can let him out, watch him go, only for him to come in the house and poop next to the door in the living room within ten minutes. Caging him when we leave is no longer an option, due to the fact that he was some how able to manage to chew through one of the metal slats across the back. Yes, he still has all of his teeth..I checked. I had come home numerous times to things being pulled into his cage and shredded! While in the laundry room he somehow, through the side of the cage, got the laundry basket that was next to it, chewed through the plastic side of the basket and pulled most of the clothes through, into the cage and proceeded to pee on them. Thank you for that, Otto, I LOVE LAUNDRY! The last straw with the cage was when broke the plastic piece that slid through the bottom and was able to walk the cage around the house. (Never actually witnessed this taking place, but I did see him trying to poke his head through the back where he had chewed through and with that, I figured out how he was moving it.) He walked it into our bedroom, pulled a comforter off of the bed, pulled it through and chewed it up…stuffing everywhere. He has to be tied up when we let him out and he has cost us countless dollars in collars, tie outs, and a harness, because he breaks them and proceeds run like a raped ape through the neighborhood. Good luck trying to catch him. He is fast and he thinks it’s a game. Countless dollars have also been wasted on shoes, bras, and mini-blinds. He will tear up a flip flop in record time, chew a bra in half, and eat the mini-blinds right off the window, if we are not courteous enough to have opened them enough so he can look out the window and bark at the wind. He, also, likes to nibble on small people and bite my husband and draw blood.
Since this is mainly posted on Facebook and Twitter, you all have heard the stories of my daily dealings with Otto, aka The Notorious Mr. Weenie, aka Hou-Weenie, so I thought I would give you the back story! We can all concur that I am not a fan and I wouldn’t be the least bit heartbroken if he choked on a flip flop or didn’t make it back after one of his leash escapes! Through reading this and realizing the environment that he came from, you should be able to see why we think it wasn’t just a stomp to the noggin that set him on this track to idiocy…we are pretty sure that his parents shared the same DNA! I am long passed convinced that this is a puppy stage and things will get better. So, as long as he is around, I’m sure there will be more to read about his struggles to stay alive!