Flash forward several months. Similar conversation, different parking lot. This time, the man and I were at the airport cargo terminal, where I collected a medium-sized crate containing two 11-week old Miniature Dachshunds - one smooth black-and-tan female and one smooth red male.
As I opened the crate, Red instinctively maneuvered to block the opening, as if to protect his little sister from abduction. No use, as the large man reached past him to secure her. She was to replace the black and tan doxie I saw several months prior. Apparently, in a repeat performance of their pizzeria parking lot antics, the dogs had once again darted out of the car ahead of the man. But this time, the black-and-tan’s luck had run out. She was struck by a car and died. The remaining dog was with the man today - this time on a leash. Perhaps they had BOTH learned their lesson. Her tail wagged uncontrollably at the sight of a new playmate. “Better in pairs” said the man with a grin, “Better in pairs”.
I took Red home with me and gave him his first official bath - the plane ride had stressed the poor snausage so badly that he had peed and pooped himself. The crate was a mess! After a thorough cleaning I introduced him to his new bed, bowls and name - OzzY - the biggest, most badass name that I could conjure for such a little dog.
|OzzY at 11wks|
OzzY grew to be a very smart little firecracker. He learned how to sit, stay, jump, play dead, and roll over. He knew to grab his velcro fleece sweater at the slightest hint of going outside into cold weather. One could barely keep him from his car carrier the instant it hit the floor. Since he spent most days indoors while I was at the hospital, he learned how to use a litter box. He was the most amazing dog in my world, and he could do no wrong. But the fun was to come to an abrupt end.
I graduated medical school and was accepted to a residency training program out of state. Living arrangements were made hastily, and the apartment that I ended up renting did not allow pets. I had to leave Ozzy with my then-girlfriend - also a medical student - who intended to follow me to the same residency program. The relationship soured before our plans came to fruition, and she took Ozzy with her. My hands were tied. I couldn’t move to a new place, nor did my first-year schedule allow me time to spend with the little snausage. To be fair to him, I had to let him go. One of the toughest decisions of my life. I never heard from my ex-girlfriend again, but have seen pictures of the little guy on her webpage. It’s bittersweet to know that he’s doing well.