Missing Tigger

We used to breed miniature Dachshunds.

The moms would usually give birth in our front bathroom. The official bathroom name was “Hotel Bathroom.” Although I suppose the Birthing Center would be more appropriate. We saw several liters come and go through that bathroom.

Tigger is the male. He doesn’t normally get to stay in Hotel Bathroom.

But, for the past two weeks, Tigger has been staying in “Hotel Bathroom.”

We think that Tigger ate something poisonous. Whatever it was, he stopped eating. He has lost so much weight that his bones are visible. The veterinarian explained that the toxin he ingested had damaged his tiny body so extensively, there would be no recovery.

Tigger breathes laboriously and eats precious little. We gave him IV liquids through his skin and other liquids with a syringe by mouth. He actually took the Pedialyte and chicken broth – but the vet said not to give him the Vienna sausages – too much fat for his stomach to handle.

Tigger didn’t complain.

Most of the time he sat quietly.

Although he couldn’t really lift his head, I held out hope that he might pull through. The vet wasn’t hopeful. At night, during our prayer time, my 8 and 11-year-old daughters reminded me to ask God to heal Tigger.

“God, please heal Tigger,” we asked.

I was sitting where I am now – typing at my computer – last night when my mother-in-law came through my door.”Tigger umerla” – which is Russian for “Tigger is dead.” I found him lying on the floor next to his box. His little heart couldn’t keep on anymore.

I put him by the garage and called my wife. She cried. A few minutes later, I told the girls. They insisted on seeing him one last time.

A few minutes ago, I took Tigger, wrapped him in some cloths, and buried him in our backyard.

That’s where you bury pets, right?

It’s been more than 20 years since I had to bury a dog. The last one being a Collie – German-Shepherd mix named Snoopy.  He was my childhood dog who helped my mother raise her three youngest kids.

But, that was a long time ago — Snoopy was a good dog. I still miss him. But right now, I really miss Tigger.

About a week later, I was standing at the back door of my house looking at our three remaining dachshunds and wondered if dogs mourned.

But, I knew the answer.

There was something different about one of the females.

“She’s plump,” I thought.

I was about to fuss at my mother-in-law about over feeding her (again) with people food when she said that Snoopy (yes, my wife named this new female dachshund, “Snoopy”) was “beremennya.”

Pregnant!

I thought for a millisecond that this, of course, couldn’t be, as Tigger was no longer with us (and Tigger was our only male).

Apparently, he was busy before he got sick.

I smiled and remembered Tigger and thought of the little Tiggers that were on their way.

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