Sunday, July 22, 2012

Duchess, aka The Cheese Dog: April 4, 1997 to July 22, 2012

We had to take our long-time pet dachshund to be put to sleep today. As dogs go, she was a wonderful pet and companion. Loved everyone and everything, even cats—after a fashion.

Duchess: the Cheese Dog
If nicknames can be a measure with respect to how much a dog was loved and played a part in the family, then Duchess strutted her stuff. Besides Duchess and Cheese Dog, she was also:

Cheezer (short for Cheese Dog)

Weiner Dog or Weenie (what a surprise, mostly when Mira or Genevieve was talking to her about food—pretty much Duchess’s favorite thing, or asking her how she's feeling)

Weenie Tot (she had a little song I’d sing to her carrying her up and down the steps to go outside, and especially if she wasn’t having a good day health-wise)

Swammy Cheese (when she’d poke her head from under towel or blanket, cloak or turban and survey what was going on)

CD Gangland Puppy (when she was trying to assert herself, especially with respect to our other dogs Rainbow—her muscle and Maddy—her scout)

Dutch-Cheese (when she was musking)

Franken-Weenie (when she had her back surgeries and twice bore six inches of metal sutures along her spine)

Little Cheese or Cheeze Wiz or Little Cheeser (variations of Cheezer, mostly used when she was invloved in some of her goofy antics)

Bean Head, (a short lived name when she first came home for acting goofy and for the little knot she had on the back of her skull)

She answered to all, but I think she was fondest of Cheese Dog, especially when called by Genevieve and Mira.

Duchess in the yard with her buddy Rainbow
Back when she was five years old, she had two back surgeries to repair where bone had built up, blocking her nerve paths, leaving her hind legs paralyzed. She was a tough pup. Came though those, and up until the last year or so, she’d done very well. Slowly, despite medications to lower inflammation, she was losing strength and coordination in her hind legs. Still, she could muster a semi-run to the kitchen for food on good days. She also became very adept at spitting out her pain meds, even wrapped in cheese or other foods—while not missing one bit of the surrounding food. That’s a problem with a smart, stubborn dog.

But mostly she was friendly and loved everyone. And was loved very much by folks who met her, but especially by us her family.
Cheese Dog sleeping in her bed

She’ll be missed.

Right now, Mira is reading Rainbow the book Dog Heaven, and explaining it to Rainbow, so she can explain it doglike to Maddy (who won’t sit still long enough). Sure, it’s a kid’s book but it’s a good book for anyone who’s cared for and lost a dog.

Fifteen years was a good run, it just seems like it wasn’t nearly long enough. Miss her already, and it’s only been a couple of hours. Will miss her early tomorrow morning—miss her shaking her head, making the smacking/flapping sound with her ears, announcing she’s up and ready to go outside.


  1. Oh, I'm sorry. It's hard to lose a beloved pet like that. Hang in there.

  2. Dachshunds get into your heart. I know Duchess, Cheese DOG, held your hearts and that her passing is painful. I also know 15 years is old for her breed. Her long stay with you shows the quality of her care and your family. Cherish the memories...they last forever. Truly sorry for your loss.

  3. Thank you Dean and Angie.
    It was an odd and empty morning today. Seeing her picture, her face when I went to check my blog brought a tear to my eye. The other dogs sniffing around, looking for their little buddy didn't help.

  4. Many years ago I put my dog to sleep. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. Heart wrenching. I offer my sympathy.

    1. Thank you, Phyllis. Sorry about you having to lose your dog as well. It's part of having them in our lives.

      The vet determined Duchess was suffering from a series of ongoing strokes, but we'd already determined putting her to sleep was the right thing to do for a host of reasons. And as you know, that didn't make it easy in the least.

      Thank you for taking a moment to read and comment.