The little nipper is an 8-week-old miniature Dachshund. The proud “mama”, my daughter Stephanie, named him McGee after her favorite character from the NCIS television series. She has wanted a pooch of her own for years, and we gifted her with the pup as part of her college graduation present. Though he receives attention from all of us, he somehow knows that Stephanie belongs to him; she is the love of his little doggy life.
While McGee accepts us as his pack, our gray cat, Bailey, refuses to acknowledge his existence at all. Maybe she thinks if she ignores him he’ll go away. Our other cat, Tabby—aka She Who Reigns Supreme—hisses and stands her ground to let McGee know that she is the boss; he believes it and gives her a wide berth. Rigby, our yellow Lab mix, cocks his head and furrows his brow as if to say, “How do you keep winding this thing up?” Penny, our black Lab mix, is the most relaxed with the newcomer and lays down to let him play. Both dogs outweigh the diminutive McGee by 45+ pounds. It is amazing to watch them interact; they seem to know he is a baby who requires their patience.
Housebreaking the little two-and-a-half pound squeak toy is a joint effort. Mostly we try not to step on him. He trots around with the big dogs like he owns the place and I love the Rottweiler attitude in the little hot dog body; when he grows up he may just give Tabby a run for her money in the “bossy” department. I don’t know yet if he is really that self-confident or just too clueless to realize he’s the size of an hors d’œuvre.
McGee was the runt of the litter and since most miniature Dachshunds max out at eleven pounds, we aren’t expecting McGee to amount to much, if you know what I mean. My guess is he will always be small, bright, silly, and—yes, he’s won our hearts—utterly irreplaceable.
Until Stephanie moves into her own apartment we will be a three dog family. I don’t think of it as extra fur balls and muddy feet. Any dog lover will tell you it just means triple the love. Rawr.
Til next time –