Thursday, January 3, 2008

HEXI: January 3, 2008 - A Rough Day For My Family

When I woke up on the morning of the third, I was none to sure I'd be going to work. I was still achy, stiff, coughing and feeling fairly miserable from my cold or whatever it is I have had for the past several days. (I am still feeling it as I write this.) After a bit, I decided I was okay enough to go into the job, but figured I was going to be at least 2 hours late. As I warmed up the car, yes it was pretty cold, I checked my voice mails, and whoopee I found out I had to work a 2PM to 10PM shift. As it turned out I would not be late, and wound up in the office about 2 hours early. I got a lot of stuff dome I needed to finish up, and before I knew it it was about 6PM and I was headed out to do some surveillance on a drug case. At about 8:30PM I called home and no one answered. I tried again a little while later still no answer. I was not all that concerned, I figured my wife was out with the degs (our pet name for our dogs), or relaxing after a hard day's work and not wanting to answer the phone. Lucky for me at that time, I was in my government vehicle staying warm it was 21 degrees outside and getting colder.

Maybe about 930 or so, the surveillance was over, and I headed home. I called home again just to check in. When my wife answered and I asked how everything was, I could tell even before she said a words, that something was not good, I heard her sobs. Then she stammered that things were not too good. When I asked what had happened she told me Hexi, our 7 year old dachshund, had to be put down earlier in the night. Hexi had recently suffered from what the vets had led us to believe was a badly slipped disc that caused her to be paralyzed from about what would be your waist down. We had been set to live with that and Linda had ordered a doggy cart for Hexi, so she would be able to get around using her front legs for movement and the cart for rear support. The cart had not even arrived, heck probably had not been assembled yet at the factory, and Hexi had taken a turn for the worse. She was shaking and apparently having some sort of seizures when Linda came home from work today. Linda, Celina, Brendan, and Julia (Brendan's girlfriend) rushed Hexi back to the emergency veterinary clinic where the vet told them there was no hope for her, and Hexi had to be put down. They tried to call me, but Mr. Knucklehead had forgotten his cell phone at home today, so Brendan left me a message at the office. I only got the news when I called home later on as I said above.

It is a tough thing to lose a loved one, even if that loved one is only a deg. Hexi was a true bundle of joy from the first day we got her. She was Brendan and Celina's favorite out of the 3 of out dogs. Gosh, even my mom liked Hexi, and my mom has no great love for dogs or cats or other critters for that matter. Yet Hexi was able to warm her heart more than I had ever seen another dog do before. Hexi was lovable, and she surely was one of our loved ones. As a matter of fact I don't think she ever even growled at anyone let alone nip at them. She would rather have licked you to death, and she was always seeking or showing affection.

I don't know if it has really hit me yet in its full force, and as a matter of record I am pretty sure it has not. When I got home only Brendan and Julia were up. Linda had gone off to bed and Celina was at her boyfriend's house. I could see Brendan was hit hard. I got him to talk about what had happened, and I think it helped him a bit, but I could see the pain in his eyes. Julia was down in the dumps too. In the short time they have dated (must be 8 months already) she also fell in love with Hexi. it is as if the little witch (which is basically what her name means in German) could cast her loving spell over anyone. As for me, I think I will get the full force of this blow either when I talk to Linda about Hexi tomorrow, or when I awaken some night on the futon in the basement after having fallen asleep in front of the television and I realize that my little loving leg warmer is not cuddled behind my curled knees. It is difficult to think she is really gone.

We had Hexi, and she was a member of our family, for 7 or 8 years. I thought it was 8, but Linda told me 7 and I'll have to assume she knows better than does my muddled middle aged memory. Still though I remember when we went to the breeder (actually the son of a breeder) who was selling some dachshunds. Over many protestations from Celina, I put down my foot and refused to even consider a cream colored dachshund that surely must have been the runt of the liter, and which was the first one shown to us. When Hexi came out, I had convinced Linda and Brendan that she was the better choice, and we should take her (I did not even need to see another). They agreed but Celina, who wanted the other one flipped out. It was not too long, as time flies by though, before Celina agreed that Hexi had been the better choice than the runt we had seen first. Hexi casting that magic spell I told you about, it just took a bit longer with Celina - but not much for sure. As it turned out, we were all perfect for each other.

Well perfect for us and even for Sprocket our other dog at the time we bought Hexi. Sprocket too took a short while to get used to Hexi being there. At first she did not know what to make of her, and seemed afraid that she would accidentally hurt Hexi. But as time wore on they both grew to be extremely fond of one another, and Hexi brought out a playful spirit we had not seen all that much, if ever, before in Sprocket.

Hexi was not the perfect dog for some mind you. She was afraid of cars big time, and over the years we tried to walk her on the local streets to almost no avail. She would whine and pull, and be terrorized if a car drove by with even a hint of unmuffled noise. So she wound up spending most of her so called walks in out small backyard. If she ever got off the leash back there, she was away like lightning, usually to our neighbor Jessica's backyard, more to tease us than to run away I think, and could she be hard to catch or lure back (but we managed to get her back each time sooner or later, either with a cookie or witht he promise of a ride in the car and an open car door). She also ate like a vacuum cleaner, and we had to make sure to watch her weight for her. We kept her at a fairly good size. She could have been trimmer, but she was no porker for sure. She tended to bark a lot too. Anything outside our house would get her into a barking frenzy. She was very protective of us and the house. She kind of outgrew this to some small extent and got much less likely to bark at just anything, reserving her barks for the mailman, other dogs barking in the neighborhood, someone walking their dog outside our house, and bogeymen. Lately though, in about the last two months she again started barking more, but this only when she went out in the backyard for some reason. All that mischief, but yet she was perfect for us.

All that barking had one certain effect. Hexi taught our third dog, a mini-Chihuahua, Pepe (named after Pepe Le Pew), how to bark. We have had Pepe just over 2 years now, and for one whole year he never, and I mean never, barked. Then he started barking right there next to Hexi atop the arm chair near our front window. We don't know what prompted him to start, but he followed Hexi's cues and started to bark up a storm as far as Chihuahua barking goes. Of course, Pepe and Hexi were also great pals with one another, Hexi had that effect. Since Sprocket is so old now (I would guess about 19 or 20 years old) she is not as playful as she once was, so Hexi found a new playmate, and a ball of fire, in Pepe. He could run circles around her, but man did she ever get exercise in the house that she was missing because of not going for walks. Pepe would pester her into being playful, into play fighting over their dog chews and toys, and just run her in circles for the heck of it. Hexi loved it, and we know that because after not all that long she started teasing Pepe to get him to play.

I can only imagine that Sprocket and Pepe will miss Hexi as much, maybe eve more, than we do - in their own dog way. Linda and the kids, they are devastated. When my mom, mother-in-law, sister, brother, sister-in-law, brothers-in-law, and nephew, find out, there will be plenty of tears shed, they all loved her too. There is a lot to miss about her, I only scratched the surface in this memorial. As for me I miss her, so much so that a few seconds ago I thought something walked beside me and as I looked down. I swear, and I mean that literally, I saw what I thought must have been Pepe walking next to my chair, then realized it was nothing, but I swear I saw something reddish brown walk by my left leg toward the cubby hole under the desk just like Hexi used to do to sit at my feet while I wrote many of my blogs. It wasn't Pepe, he was sill in his bed with Sprocket next to the radiator on this cold, cold night. All I can imagine now is that maybe it was Hexi passing by to say her last goodbye to me; I wish she would have stayed a while longer. The vision was their just for a moment and was gone, just like Hexi and her life. My eyes are starting to tear up right now, I've got to stop now. Maybe more on her tomorrow or the next day. Maybe not. What more could I say than we loved her ever so much and we will miss her more than I ever could have imagined.

Glenn B