My daughter Shelby, who moved to Austin, Texas, in July, sent a text asking me what I thought about her adopting a dog.
Having gained one “granddog” when my son moved and couldn’t take his dog, I was not particularly encouraging.
She lives in an apartment, has a heavy work schedule, and as I pointed out, it would be more difficult to fly if she had a dog.
I also suggested that if she went forward, she should get a dog that was about a year old—easier to train, and generally the canine is through the puppy chewing stage. My neighbor lost a sofa to a lovely springer puppy.
As many moms realize, advice – even if it is requested — is just like “white noise,” meant as background noise. (Note: Most times advice, even if grounded in experience, is not really sought from a parent.)
On October 5, I received a happy note from Shelby that she had adopted a black dog from the pound. My daughter had done her homework and decided on a small one that could easily adapt to apartment living.
She sent a copy of the adoption papers, with the photo of a cute little dog with the breed listed as most likely a dachshund. She named the dog Luna — and my daughter was a happy pet parent.
Then came the trials and tribulations as she learned to get up in the middle of the night to take the puppy out to pee.
She worked on a pee “pad” in the apartment and at one point texted that she thought her dog would never be potty trained. But eventually, Luna was able to make it through the night.
Those reading this might remember that mom suggested a year-old dog – but never mind.
Then in November, I received a photo of the dachshund, which had outgrown a doggy bed and now weighed 21 pounds. The dog showed really long legs. I looked up the stats for dachshunds and saw that they are generally 8 to 9 inches tall, and the final weight is between 16 to 32 pounds.
My daughter wondered how much bigger her four-month-old dachshund was going to be.
Given that the baby was well on its way to the top dachshund weight, I suggested that maybe a DNA test could be done.
Although a wiener dog might have been a good choice for a first dog in an apartment, I wasn’t sure that’s what she had.
Shelby decided to have Luna tested and while waiting for the DNA, went through puppy problems associated with teething, puking and putting everything it could find into its mouth. I listened, but didn’t offer any advice, because . . . .
My daughter called when the DNA test results came in – and the dachshund portion of this dog was listed as four percent.
The result proclaimed that Luna was 100 percent good dog, but mostly Belgian Malinois with a dose of Australian Cattle Dog and Cocker Spaniel, maybe seven percent Chihuahua and five more breeds, including the dab of dachshund.
Turns out a Belgian Malinois needs stimulation, physical activity and requires a lot of training and attention.
According to Dog.time.com, “In the hands of an experienced dog person, these canines are intense, intelligent, and athletic companions. However, with their high energy and exercise needs, they may not fare as well in apartments or small living spaces. This breed is not likely to suit a first-time dog owner.”
My first-time pet owner and her “dachshund” are highly amusing to watch. Shelby has upped the exercise, works on training with it and has plans to sign it up for agility training.
Shelby’s dog is now on a wait list for doggy-day care—and she is worried that when she drops her dog off for the day of observation, the “dachshund” will not be accepted.
Continuing with “white noise,” because that’s what moms do, I tell her Luna is lovely; if she doesn’t get in at this “elite” day care, there will be others.
One Palisades resident said they was upset because now that Covid lockdowns are over, many dogs are being returned to shelters.
As my daughter has demonstrated, dogs aren’t pieces of clothing that you return just because you decide you don’t want it anymore – or it doesn’t fit your life – or the adoption didn’t turn out like you thought it would.
And I’m proud of her – and her now, 34-pound baby dachshund.