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Old 03-10-2007, 04:11 PM
cometsmama cometsmama is offline
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Default Mitsu, a Dachshund and a half

Mitsu was a shorthaired black-and-tan female Dachshund that our family had when we lived in South Africa. I think she was a miniature - in between a standard and the tiny type. She had really good proportions and a good looking head.

Although it's been thirty years since I last saw her, she left a forever impression on me. We couldn't take her with us when we emigrated to New York and within about a year we heard she was dead, at only six years old. Our parents had said they would send for her, although I'm not sure that was the truth. The people we left her with, the original breeders, were told it had either been a heart problem or the neighbor's rat poison...

What made Mitsu special was her incredible spirit. Every new house and town we moved into was an adventure for her (I think there were eight abodes in ten years), and she helped us kids accept the changes with her enthusiasm. She took turns sleeping under the covers (no idea how she breathed!) with us each night.

She was amazing with snakes. She saved our family from two puffadders (like a rattlesnake without rattles, not the North American kind of puffadder), and a king cobra who got a little too up close and personal. She was so fast that she could nip at these snakes' tails and get out of the way of their fangs, barking hysterically the whole time to get our attention.

She ran off a potential burglar one night - the glass French doors were wide open when we reached the living room... I also once saw her freeze a big dog in his tracks twenty feet away when she was guarding our beach towels.

She did this very funny thing with our black tomcat "Tom" who was about the same size, in one house with a very smooth, shiny floor. Tom would lie on his back and Mitsu would open her mouth wide, grab the cat's head in it, and pull him along. They both seemed to enjoy it. They'd also play tag - Mitsu would chase Tom across the lawn, and then they'd suddenly switch and the cat would be chasing the dog! Wish we'd had a VCR back then...

Another thing I wish I'd been able to capture was when she was digging so furiously after a mole in one garden that the dirt blinded her and she didn't notice when it ran right between her legs!

Occasionally our family would travel and stay in hotels. Mitsu would be zipped up into a carry bag and smuggled in. She always knew to stay quiet.

She hated mailmen with a passion. We were rounding the corner in the car one day and she was on my lap on the passenger side, one paw on the open windowsill. She saw a postman about fifty feet away and flew out of the car after the poor man. We were amazed she didn't break or sprain any legs.

Her stamina was something else. We'd go hiking and she'd run circles around us. Her selective deafness (which I think a lot of dogs share) led her into being left at the railroad station one day when we had collected my father from his Cape Town commuter train. She managed to hide so we couldn't find her. We gave up and went home. The next morning we went back and there she was, trotting up and down the platform, clearly looking for my dad! She pulled that stunt another time at the place where my horse was stabled...

Anyway, although my dream dog was a white German Shepherd, she left me with a great fondness for small dogs. Because our family never talked about her or our other experiences in Africa after we arrived in America, it took me about twenty years to properly grieve her premature death. The connection was so strong, I feel sure I'll see her again somewhere...
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Old 03-11-2007, 08:50 AM
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Barb04 Barb04 is offline
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Mitsu was definitely a special dog. Mitsu will be in your heart and memories forever.
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