Friday, January 13, 2012

Happy Birthday, Hazel!

On Tuesday we celebrated Hazel's 3rd birthday. I can't believe our sweet puppy is 3 already! I just want to take a moment and relive the story of how Hazel became a Timko (because I'm a proud mom and love reminiscing about this!)...

Andy and I had always wanted a dog but couldn't while living in Panama City Beach because the apartment complex where we lived wouldn't allow them. I tried squashing the need for something cute and cuddly by getting a dog substitute. And Carlos the guinea pig would have been perfect had he not bit and growled at Andrew. Apparently male guineas do not take a liking to other males of any species. Who would have known? We had bought the full setup for our new furry friend... a deluxe cage, bedding, food, toys, an exercise ball, and even a harness and leash. I had dreams of evening strolls with my little furball and us cuddling on the couch watching late night TV. But Carlos didn't like being put in a harness and walked, and he wouldn't stop pooping long enough to let him roam free in the house. I was tired of cleaning his cage and Andrew was tired of the unrequited love. So we packed Carlos up and took him back to Petsmart where I like to think he was adopted by a family who was a better fit. When we moved to North Carolina we had two Betta fish, Frank and Rosalita, that we loved. They were easy to clean, cheap to feed, and I loved watching these two and their long, pretty fins (Frank was a vibrant blue, Rosey was a deep red). But they weren't warm to cuddle or fun to play with.

In January 2009 I had taken a trip by myself to Panama City Beach to visit my parents. One day I got a text from Andrew that said "coming home in 2 weeks!" and a picture of an adorable baby puppy:

The picture that was sent to me

I immediately called him, confused, excited, and giddy. See, we had never decided to get a dog. It was always something we talked about but never had said, "Ok, let's do it." So this was thrilling. The rest of my time in Florida was spent researching dog "stuff" and talking on the phone with Andrew about all things dog... food, exercise, gates, crates, toys, vaccinations, potty training, where she'll sleep, what her name will be. Lots of names were thrown out there. Other contenders were Minnie, Mabel, and Meatball. But Hazel was the winner.

When I returned to North Carolina we made a trip to buy all the supplies we would need for the new member of our clan. Then the big day came to pick her up. We had to wait 6 weeks from her birth to bring her home. I think this is the recommended time that she needed to spend with her nursing mom and also to get her first round of vaccinations. The breeder led us back to a room in her house that had a baby's crib and there inside was our sweet girl. She was so tiny that she felt too small to put in the crook of my arm so I held her with both hands against my chest. She was so small and fragile I was afraid I'd hurt her. It was hard taking Hazel away from her mom. The mom didn't want to let her go. The breeder also liked Hazel a lot. She said she was so pretty that she wanted to keep her as a breeding dog but couldn't as she was not sure of Hazel's dad. Yep, Hazel's mom had gotten out of her cage and had a tryst with an unknown male. Scandalous. Since the breeder was pretty sure Hazel would be a full-blooded dachshund but couldn't be positive, she couldn't breed her and sold her to us. Good for Hazel, good for us. She asked us what name we chose for our new dog. When we told her 'Hazel', the hard-of-hearing woman said in a shocked and disappointed tone, "Weasel!?!"

We had brought her new cage with cozy bedding to keep her comfortable on the ride home but I couldn't set her down. She was shaking and scared. So she sat in a blanket in my lap crying the whole ride home. Although we were happy about our new addition, Andy and I were also a little heartbroken having to tear her away from the only home she had known.

When we got back to our apartment I laid on the floor with her on my chest. She stopped crying and we both took a nap in that position.

How Hazel felt most comfortable in her new home

Here are a few other puppy shots that make me melt from her first days with us:

So, as it turns out, we don't think Hazel came from 2 full-blooded dachshunds. Her dad was either a miniature dachshund or a chihuahua. Which actually turns out to be a great thing. She is much smaller than a full dachshund (just 10 lbs compared to 25-30!), and she has long legs that will hopefully aid in supporting her long back better than the short stumps that cause problems for most dachsies.

To celebrate the big 0-3 I took Hazel to get a few things at Petsmart (thank you Mike and Hannah for the gift card!). 

We walked to the park that night so Hazel could spend some time running off-leash (yes, we're holding her in these pictures but she did spend time running, too. Poor puppy. She's smothered by us!).

When we got back to the house we celebrated with a peanut butter/banana cake with yogurt "frosting." 

Needless to say, she loved it.

...And ate every last crumb.

Happy birthday, Hazel! We love you!

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