Sunday, January 14, 2007

A tribute to my sister Holly ....

Hana asked about Holly and any other furkids our family our family has had. I can only tell you what I know from the stories I have been told because I am only 3 years old and I was not around then. But this is what I have been told.

This family has had their share of furkids .... or scalekids in the case of the fish. They have had hamsters, and fish and a couple of rabbits. The hamsters were fun. The girl in the family really wanted them and as I remember from the story, got them as a present. They were supposed to be two boys but turned out indeed to be a girl and a boy and so successfully introduced the two humans kids to the "birds and the bees". The kids found that the hamsters ran around in their cages at night and made so much noise that they had to live in another room a lot of the time so that the kids could sleep. The hamsters raised a couple of litters of little hamsters that grew up and went away to pet stores and soon they had separate accommodations and lived solitary lives until they went to hamster heaven. The boy won a goldfish at the school carnival that lived several years as a solitary fish!!!! The rabbits were fun for a couple of weeks but after that they were kind of a pain. They were somewhat wild and were too much for the kids to handle. They scratched them because they did not really want to be held, and because they scratched, no one wanted to handle them often enough to get them used to being handled. If they got away, it was impossible to catch them because the family did not have a fenced in yard then. So, they soon went away to live at a farm.

The human kids were old enough now for a dog and asked for one often, particularly the human girl. When the girl human was in the fourth grade, her teacher was a very big fan of dogs and this only served to fan the flame of the girl humans desire for a dog of her own. So one day Santa Claus brought the boy and girl a wiggly brown dachshund puppy. Now, I know that people discourage Santa from bringing puppies and kittens to people for Christmas but this was planned and executed well and made the best Christmas ever for two little kids. The kids had just watched a Haley Mills movie and decided to name the puppy Haley. Then, because it was Christmas, quickly changed it to Holly.

Holly was the perfect dog. She ran after the kids and played with them in the woods behind the house (where I am not allowed, I might add!) She had a great sense of smell and could track the kids from the house and find where they were playing in the woods. She went camping in the neighbors yard with the boy and ate marshmallows and hot dogs off the ground (Hey, I never get to do that!) She jumped in the creek and swam down the creek to follow the boy when he ran along side it because she could not make it through the brush. She had scars on her chest from her adventures with the boy.

She would let the girl dress her in doll clothes and in costumes at Halloween. She went to a pet show with the girl and wore a blue bow around her neck. She would sleep with the kids every night and especially loved slumber parties where she could sleep in the sleeping bag of every child throughout the night. She would lay next to them 24/7 if they were sick. She understood what it meant when Mom or Dad said "Go wake up _____." and would go upstairs and jump in that kid's bed and lick them and wake them up. She waited up for them when they went on dates.

She would go on long car rides to Grammy and Grandaddy's house and chew on purple monster in the car most of the way. She had her own little dufflebag and knew she was going too when her duffle bag came out of the closet. When she was there, she barked at their many squirrels and scratched up her chest hunting the lizards in their rock garden.

She had managed to get her two kids through college and had gotten them both married. In the meantime, I (Copper) came along and was adopted because my Mom knew it was going to be be hard for her to let Holly go. We never played much togther but she grew to like my company, even if my puppyness irritated her a lot of the time.

She had bladder stones and got urinary tract infections, but an expensive canned dog food managed that problem well. She developed cloudy eyes and started to not see well. She put on some weight, as dachshunds are prone to do, and we later discovered it was probably due to a malfunctioning thyroid. Medication for her thyroid was needed now. She eventually got skin problems that were insurmountable and memory problems that combined with her now almost non-existence eyesight and lack of hearing and old age (15) made her not a dog anymore, but an addled, confused, sick animal who was scared and hurting and afraid all of the time. She got lost in the house and didn't respond to us in any way, except to be afraid when you surprised her by coming near her. It was terribly sad, in the end, to continually see her with her nose pointed into yet another corner of some room, stuck there and unable to think of how to get out. It was just too sad for us to watch.

Miss Cindy finally put Holly to sleep one day about sunset, on her own front porch, in her own front yard and she is buried not far from the porch where we can all be close to her. The plaque says "Good Girl" because that is how the family used to praise her. She was indeed a "Good Girl."

The plaque is really a flat brick that the now grown girl painted for her as a marker. The pot-dog is made of clay pots.

Me and Holly in a bed in the kitchen.

She loved to be covered up, especially in cold weather.

I am a year old and Holly is 14 in this picture.

Visiting Grammy and Grandaddy at Christmas. She couldn't find her way around the house. She was tired and even though this was right by the front door, she just laid down and went to sleep right in a busy spot.

Towards the end at about 15.

Rest in peace Holly. You were a good girl.

Dogfriends - As an aid to other old dogs and to honor Holly, please feel free to copy and paste the hint about scents in the entry below titled "For doggies who can't see very well anymore." and post it on your site.
It is a hint worth passing around. Thanks.


hershey the doglet said...

ok mom, thanks i just cried through that! i was the the little girl human. that was the sweetest ulogy of her. the day she was put to sleep in my arms is still one of the worst and saddest days of my life. she is the reason i have hershey.
kirsten (hershey's mom)

by the way i think you should tell how LONG the goldfish lived and tell about THAT!

oh AND the when i got the two hamsters we thought they were both BOYS until they had babies and then obviously one was a girl!

Anonymous said...

My Mom cried too - I could barely understand her when she read this to me. Silly Mom. Holly was lucky to have a really great life. Sounds like you've got a great family, Copper!

Elizabeth K said...

Holly sounds like she was a terrific dog and much loved

Dachsies Rule said...

Holly sounds like she was the best doggie sister to have raised your human brother and sister and taught you when you came along. Mom cried even though she knew Holly had already gone to the Bridge. She looks like she was a "good girl" and very loved and very lucky to have such a great family. We hope our mom remembers us the same way some day.

Roxie, Sammy & Andy

hana said...

That was a wonderful sweet remembrance of your sister! It sounds like Holly was such a sweet girl. My mom said it brought a tear to her eye.

My mom had some of the same pets your family did... dogs, a hamster (or maybe it was a guinea pig), and LOTS of goldfish. Why do pets have to go to animal heaven. They live such short lives. Wish they could live as long as the humans.

Do you have any pictures of Holly dressed up in doll clothes?

I think all blogging dogs should post a tribute to the past furkids or scalekids in their family.

Thanks for posting about Holly.

JustMeCopper said...

Hana, somday I will dig out some pre-digital pictures of Holly, including some in doll clothes or costumes, and scan and post them. They are all in a pile in film form unfortunately.

hana said...

Thanks Copper! It would be so cute to see, but yea, if they're on paper, it does take time to scan in and stuff.

Did Hershey know Holly too? Maybe Hershey is too young to have met her.

JustMeCopper said...

No, Hana. Hershey was adopted after Holly passed away.

salchicha & lilly said...

Holly sounds like a sweet dog. Mom is still tearing up from the has such a soft heart. We did get a few extra hugs tonight after reading about Holly. Thank you Copper for reminding our mom and dad we are all special..