Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 "The New World," is a haunting, beautiful piece of music and one that brings me to tears whenever I listen to the melody. I love that it speaks to me of hope—a new world, especially when it was the last music I heard as I carried my beloved wee dachshund out the door of our home to the vets that day fifteen years ago. Even as I sit here and type this post, my eyes are misted with unshed tears. She was diagnosed six months earlier with massive bone spurs in her spine and other issues that plagued her. The evenings were difficult, and she would whimper in constant pain. Pain meds did not help and surgery was not an option. When her legs began to give out, we knew it was time to send her to the Rainbow Bridge. It will always remain the most difficult decision that my husband and I made. But let me start at the beginning of her incredible life…
Liezzel (named after the girl, Liesl in the Sound of Music) entered our family at seven weeks old. A name was chosen, and the children demanded to spell it their own way. In truth, she had many nicknames over the almost fifteen years of her life—from weasel, brat, nanny, nurse, escape artist, and my favorite, Brunhilda. She was a joy and light to everyone she met. A huge flirt with men, and sassy with women.
Whenever a new garden was planted in the spring, Liezzel had to supervise the planting. She never dug up the vegetables, flowers, or herbs, and not once did she use it as her toilet. She was inquisitive, often times watching me plant and then giving her final approval with an inspection.
Playtime was always an hour before meals. She’d bounce
her ball all over the house for a solid hour. It would drive us crazy. Once, I
took away her ball, but she would find something else and dash all around the
kitchen. I realized it was a futile attempt to silence her. Even toward the end
of her life, her love of playing never stopped.
We’ve had many animals in our family, but this doxie will always remain a treasured family member. Though I have never included a dachshund in my stories (perhaps one day), I honor my love of all animals in every book I write. They add an extra element to the story—one I treasure, and I hope you do, too.