Wiener Dogs

I don't have a lot of pictures of my first wiener dog when he was a puppy. There were no smart phones, and I didn't have a camera handy. These were the days where photographs were said to look like someone's "last known photograph": photos being valuable, and cameras not always being available, the most recent photograph of a person was often taken by someone else in passing and out of focus. Every picture of me at the time looked like my last known photograph, unless it happened to be Easter or Christmas.

I don't have any mementos of the day I first got him, either. Well, not anymore. I sent Chauncey to be burned wrapped in the baby blanket he came home in. So I don't have that blanket anymore, just the ashes.

So it may be that old Chauncey had purebred papers. Whether he did or not, I wouldn't have held onto them, but given that I got him from a cardboard box out behind a Shoney's in Commerce, Georgia, odds are good that his documentation was not in order. But it's hard to fake a wiener dog.

As I hemmed and hawed over whether to get this puppy, born of a breed I did not know, my good friend Dave (who is still my good friend) told me, "Bill, if you don't buy this dog, you are never getting a dog." And so I got him. He ended up being a loyal friend for a long time, and a notorious food thief.

Cameras are easier to find now. Here is Chauncey at the vet this February.

My right arm occludes the IV access on his leg that they will use in a few minutes to euthanize him. I will give them a signal that I have had enough time with him (I have not) and they will come and do it. And he is whining, because he is unhappy. Because he has always been a whiney little dog. Because he is at the vet. And maybe because he can't move his right two legs anymore; it's hard to say.

Now here is Sam.

Sam is eight weeks old. I did not pick him up from a pickup truck by Shoney's in Commerce, GA; I picked him up by a Wal-Mart in Brookhaven, MS. I can say for sure that Sam does have papers; they are from the Continental Kennel Club. This does not seem to be a reputable organization. His coat, however, is neither short nor long nor AKC admissible. It will probably be a good compromise between the San Francisco chill and my own refusal to own a longhair, which I consider effete. (They lack the reckless courage of the shorthair.)

The morning I picked up Sam, I felt sure that when I met him my feelings would get the best of me and I would fall apart at my seams. That is what happened after Chauncey left, and so I thought that meeting this new puppy would collapse the years and electrify the wrinkles Chauncey left in my brain.

But that did not happen, because he is not Chauncey. He is Sam.

Sam is somehow already something like 11 out of 14 for pooping outside. He's attached to me, but does not cry overlong for a dog his age like Chauncey did. He prefers to know that I am around, but he does not want to sleep under the covers right next to me, like Chauncey did.

And maybe that's a sign that I'm a different dog owner, too. I am now the owner of two wiener dogs. Sequentially.