Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: I’ve taught bird care / training techniques
Posted February 25, 2014
Max came to us on a rainy night in Texas. My dad went to close the garage door and found him laying in a pile of laundry. He looked apologetic for being there, but Dad left the door open so he could leave if he wanted. The next morning he was still there.
We don't know where Max came from, but he was a beautiful purebred dachshund and guessed to be about two years old. One of his hind feet had been badly smashed somehow and it was painful to him for most of his life. He also was suffering from major separation anxiety. Even if we held him and pet him, he still licked us. Nobody could leave the room without him following. If my mother put him outside in the yard he would literally ram the door and cry until we let him back in. If we left him alone in the house he would chew something up until it was shredded. The first several years with Max were trying to say the least!
As time went on, Max did settle down a bit. He appeared to have gotten some housetraining somewhere along the way but he was always very clingy, also appeared terribly guilty if he peed in the house or did something wrong. He would eat about anything, and begged all the time. At dinner he learned that if you pointed at him, and he looked away, that he could stay as long as he didn't watch you like a hawk while you ate.
Max became "my" dog and slept in his bed in my room. I do remember it was a hassle to be a late-night teen and having to get up early to let him out - he would wake me up and whine. He was always a character though. He absolutely loved going for walks and if you took him for a ride in the car he whined and worried the whole time even as he obviously loved being invited. To placate him I would put him in the wheelbarrow and wheel him around the yard. I would also put him in the car and pretend to drive (I wasn't old enough to drive). He would look out the window and whine like always, and when we got out he seemed satisfied we had gone somewhere.
Thankfully Max only suffered a couple of health problems. He got heartworms once and we had to give him some very scary medication that required us to "keep him calm." Another time two Chow Chows attacked him and beat him up pretty good, but he managed to survive. We did learn that keeping his weight down was important to make sure his back stayed strong.
Over time Max settled down more and more. He saw me through elementary and high school, and when my nieces lived with my parents he thought it was just great. The last few years of his life he got pretty senile. You would open the door to let him out and he would walk behind the door and just stand there in the corner until you pulled him out and put him out the door. But my nieces loved it because they could dress him up and he didn't mind a bit because they were paying attention to him. The last picture I have of him, he was wearing a New Year's tiara and a feather boa. He died about two months later, but I think my family agrees that the last picture of him was quite fitting.