I remember the moment I first held you in my arms. Your eyes had barely opened and you weren’t much interested in the world around – not as yet – you just snuggled close and continued to sleep with your little head on my palm.
You walked in a slightly wobbly manner and slipped once when running too fast after a squirrel. That made us laugh and we decided to call you Tipsy. True to your name, you loved to lick up drops of beer that spilled to the floor.
‘Tipsy’ was soon lovingly distorted to ‘Teepoo’ — spelt with a double ‘e’ and double ‘o’ to distinguish you from ‘Tipu’ – the brave Sultan of Mysore, who died defending his fort of Srirangapatna against the British — for you did not display any signs of bravery and hid under the couch whenever your brother unleashed his hexbugs on you.
Your days were spent running up and down the stairs, giving futile chase to squirrels and sometimes going on long drives with the wind in your face and ears flapping in the breeze.
Then one day was different. You stayed put in bed too long and seemed to have difficulty walking afterward. We thought it may be a tummy ache from the donuts you’d slyly stolen the evening before.
But days passed and we decided to let your doctor have a look at you.
“IVDD, Intervertebral Disc Disease,” he pronounced. “Pretty common. One in three dachshunds will suffer from this due to their long bodies and short legs.”
You had to go for an MRI followed by a surgery. You were in hospital for 3 days and the house felt sad and quiet without you.
We have you back home now but you can’t walk yet – your hind legs are paralyzed and it’s hard to watch you drag your back around.
You no longer scamper off after squirrels or run up the stairs and jump onto my bed, despite me rolling my eyes and saying a firm NO. Neither do you plonk yourself on the sofa, right on top of the TV remote where no one can find it.
But you continue to fill up our lives with love and light just the same as ever. I know it is only a matter of time before you will be up and about on all fours again. Meanwhile I am happy to carry you around in my arms, just like the time when you had newly come into this world and looked up at me with barely open eyes.
This post is the fourth in a series of 26 posts that I am writing throughout the month of April as part of the A to Z challenge 2016.