Sunday, April 10, 2005

Birthday Girl

Rally sleeping
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar.

Thirteen years ago today Miss Rally was born. We got her from her breeder the first weekend after we closed on our first house.

Larry and I were living in Madsion, WI. We were married on May 30, 1992 in NH, not far from my mother's home. At the end of June we bought our first house. I remember it being the Fourth of July weekend when we drove down to Illinois to pick out our dog. We stayed overnight with a friend and went to a baseball game that night.

The previous spring I had gone to dog shows and talked to a far number of dachshund breeders. It was hard work tracking down standard smooth dachshund breeders, much less those with puppies. My perseverance paid off when I finally found a litter of pups that were available. There were two female puppies left in the litter. We had a hard two choosing between the two. Both were black and tans, one was a little bit smaller with a kinked tail. It was Saturday when we saw the puppies. That night at the ballgame we talked about the two girls. We finally settled on which one we wanted, the smaller of the two pups and picked her up on Sunday.

We named her Rally, which is short for Floralia, the spring fair at our college. It was at Floralia where Larry first asked me out on a date. We thought it would be fun to commemorate our first date by naming our first dog after it.

She is a typical smooth dachshund, a bit reserved around strangers and very smart, with some atypical characteristics. She loves the snow, unlike most smooth dachshunds. She really comes alive when the temperature is around freezing. In the summer she likes to go swimming, a trait more often found in longhair dachshunds. Her tail has a very distinctive kink in it. At first glance it looks as though her tail is only ¾'s of a normal tail in length with a little bump at the very end. But if you look closely through the thick, lush fur you will see that her tail forms a compact little corkscrew at the very end. It almost looks like a little knot.

She has shown her intelligence in many ways over the years, this particular one is one of my favorites. In our first house there was a heat vent on the floor in a corner of the kitchen. We placed the dog bed nearby. It was the best seat in the house during the winter months and we called it the comfy spot. We got a second dog, Crunch, in January 1993. He is bigger than Rally and hogged the comfy spot. Rally discovered that if she barked wildly at the back door Crunch would get up to see what the fuss was about. We would open the door to let the dogs outside and Crunch would barrel on out. He was convinced that something big was happing outside. Rally, meanwhile, would calmly saunter over to the comfy spot and settle down. Larry and I were puzzled at first. Why would she make all that noise and not go outside? Finally we clued in to her little game. Crunch, however, never did.

Her tan points have mostly faded to grey and she is a bit faded and worn, but she is still chugging along. Today she had a very special day. She got to have her own bowl of ice cream with the kids during snack time. After dinner all the dogs got to have a piece of a bacon cheeseburger "cake" with french fries for candles.

Happy birthday old girl!

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