Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: Crate, Puppy, Socializing, Obedience
Denver, Colorado, United States
Posted September 4, 2016
A friend asked us if we could provide emergency foster care for a three-month-old puppy for a few days. We quickly agreed, and welcomed the little Dachshund/Jack Russell mix into our home for the weekend. She ended up staying for eleven years.
Iris was small, maxing out at 19 pounds at her adult weight. Everywhere we went, our little pup drew comments from curious passersby. She was light brown and gray with a silver dapple pattern that betrayed her dachshund roots, long-bodied and low to the ground, and had a little whip of a tail that curled up at the end. Her eyes were a brilliant ice blue, which everyone commented on.
Iris was a laid-back girl, content to trot beside us on walks and then retire for the evening at the end of the couch. Although her couch potato status was well-earned, Iris was fond of chasing down a tennis ball. Iris dashed after her ball with a speed and finesse that left bigger dogs in her dust.
Her best friend was our calico cat named Snickers. The two of them would curl up together and offer each other their grooming services. They played and snuggled together with seemingly no care that they were different species. In fact, Iris seemed to prefer the company of cats to dogs.
Iris was not a perfect dog; she had her faults. She would bark at the slightest provocation and then continue to serenade us with her vocalizations long after the perceived threat had moved on. She detested larger-bodied people and viewed pregnant ladies with particular suspicion. Men with beards were not to be trusted, either. I would occasionally find Iris barking at dead or disabled bees. When my husband and I went out on a date night, we had to call the sitter to put Iris outside before our car pulled into the driveway or she would wake the kids up with her incessant barking.
We lost Iris two years ago to an undiagnosed heart problem. She died in the middle of the night on the way to the emergency vet. One of the hardest things I have had to do was to tell my children the sad news when they woke up in the morning. Iris lives on in our hearts.