In May of 2006 we had to put one of our two 13 year old dachshunds to sleep. It was unquestionably the most devastating thing that I’ve had to do so far in life.

Rollie-Poly was the rotund cheerful male and I will always remember him in different ways: Deputy Dawg (always checking up on us late at night to make sure that all was well with the world); The Peacemaker (he’d be right there putting his paws on our feet and looking up at us with those huge liquid brown Marty Feldman eyes if either of us spoke out of tone); The Orphan Kid Crying for his Supper (each morning and night he’d start whimpering exactly five minutes before meals because he was absolutely convinced his Mom would forget to feed him if he didn’t); and The Digger (he loved to wrap a ball in a blanket and then ferociously start “excavating” for it). However, I guess I’ll remember him most fondly as “The Little Boy in the Outfield”.

Each day after I’d get home from the office he’d plant himself in the guest bedroom waiting for me to play ball with his sister and him. From down the hall I could see those baby seal eyes, that black button nose and those floppy ears, and Rollie would automatically assume what quickly came to be known in our house as the “Flipper stance” (body slightly reared back on his butt with his paws pointing outward in opposite directions) waiting for the ball to come his way.

When I’d toss it to him from the kitchen, the closer it got the more I’d see an increasing look of panic on his face just like the chubby little leaguer with his cap askew in far right field who’s terrified when a fly ball is actually hit in his direction.

When the ball eventually reached Rollie he’d hunch his shoulders and jerk his neck and head up without ever leaving the ground (sort of like an overweight middle-aged guy trying to jump on a playground hoops court) and it would sail right on by.

Nine times out of ten, Lanie Girl, our female, would streak in and snatch it and then Rollie would come chugging back to the kitchen wagging his tail furiously and grinning like he’d just made the defensive play of the game… priceless.

I think it was Sir Walter Scott who once penned something to the effect that, “God in his infinite wisdom saw fit to give the majority of dogs an average life span of only 12-14 years because if it were twice that long their passing would be altogether unbearable for the humans who loved them”.

Sir Walter (or whoever the author was) was exactly right…

MarcĀ from AZ