As you may have seen a few weeks ago on Instagram, I adopted a dachshund. A handicapped dachshund in a wheelchair. Her name is Maui. Maui Coconut. Her family dumped her when her back legs stopped working due to IVDD (disc disease that’s pretty common in dachshunds), and she was scooped up by the rescue group.
I blame a stew of pregnancy hormones and grief over my Dixie Chicken. I wasn’t thinking straight. And if I’m being honest there were plenty of days and nights that found me sitting with her curled up in my lap, tears burning my eyes, the wind screaming outside my winter window, thinking “what have I done, I can’t take care of you, I’m ill suited to this awesome responsibility. What if I mess it up? What if I break you?.”
(Do forgive the state of my kitchen, we’re living [squatting?] in a half demolished construction zone that is the second half of a duplex we bought, and also working on a house we just bought so our entire existence is coated in dust and debris and drywall mud as far as the eye can see. Not to mention wolf fur. Confined husky in a 700 square foot space equals fur literally raining from the sky. It’s truly maddening and we are just as anxious to move into the new house as he is to run free in its backyard.)
See, Maui can’t go to the bathroom on her own. Well, she can, but she has no control over it really. It’s not that she leaks all day, but I do have to take her to the potty and express her 3 times per day, meaning I press in certain spots and she goes. If it’s not done it will happen on its own, in a much less convenient place. Speaking of convenience, boy is it ever convenient to have a dog who can use the actual toilet on a blustery March night.
Toast would like to add that he has confirmed her suitability as a booster seat.
In the mornings I take her to the potty and then put her right into her wheels. After Toast and Dakota go out and everyone has had breakfast, including the humans, she goes into her scoot suit, which is a little blue outfit that’s waterproof in case of accidents and protects her skin from the floor as she pulls herself around on her two working legs. She does this thing where she sort of flaps her good feet up and outward when she scoots, like a clown in giant red shoes. It turns me to mush, every time.
Some people (ok most people) might think this qualifies me for the nut hatch, but it’s truly not so hard now that I’m getting the hang of it. And she’s the sweetest little soul. A complete love bug. When I first brought her home, she wailed if I left the room without her. I can’t imagine all she’s been through. First she lost her ability to walk, then days later she lost her family, then she was bounced from place to place and now she’s here. I think she’s been a pretty good sport about it overall.
It’s been a little over a month. She’ll sometimes sit by herself if I get up for a short time. If I leave her with JD on the couch she’s generally pretty happy. I think she’ll feel better with time.
At night she sleeps in a basket filled with blankets at the foot of our bed. And during the day, while I work, she sleeps under a blanket in her bed next to my desk chair, the space heater her constant floor-mate.
A dog loves unconditionally. People don’t always show them the same kind of love. This tiny little thing in her wheels and her scoot suit and her effervescent charm, she has a lot to teach us humans.