Friday, 20 June 2008

Our Special One: Hazel...




Hazel...





Today, I want to tell you about the special member in my family, Hazel. Hazel is a Dachshund (colloquially known as the 'sausage dog' or 'lap-cheong kau'), with pure-breed Doxie parents. The term 'Doxie' is fondly used by Dachshund lovers to refer to the breed.


Although Hazel's parents are certified Doxie's, Hazel, unfortunately, didn't turn out so 'perfect', which is why she ended up staying with us.




It started with my mum's life-long love for the breed. We finally got a lovely Doxie from a pet-shop at the age of 6 weeks. We called her Princess Toi-Toi (It started out as Princess, but dad kept calling her Ah-Toi...Don't ask why)...

Unfortunately, the little darling died at the age of 6 months from a severe infection, the day after Christmas...This, despite the hundreds we had spent at the vet's, and the round-the-clock IV-fluids we had given her...

Heartbroken (we all were), mum declared she was never to get another Doxie ever again...



And then I saw an advertisement at the vet's, about a Dachshund for sale.

And on Mother's Day, we took mum to the house to have a look at the puppy, all of 6 months old.




Mum, of course, said she would only have a look (Dad said: "Yeah, right!")...We walked in, and the little dear was in a cage, whimpering and was very happy to jump into our laps. All her brothers and sisters had been sold off, months ago.

We took one look at her, and knew she was a discard, a dog that no serious breeder (or those who prized perfection) would ever buy. And we also knew, she needed love and care...And we paid good money for a dog that nobody wanted...





And so it was, we ended with Hazel in our home. I remember my dad shaking his head when we came into the car with Hazel in our arms, knowing that once again, we had let our 'kesian her' rule...He adores Hazel, by the way...




Our Hazel is special. She has front legs that are about one-and-a-half inches shorter than her hind legs, which gives her the appearance of a dog who walks with her butt in the air...literally...Her hind legs are also bowed, and she has extra toes on her hind feet...Her jaw is also deformed...






The best shot I can get of her jaw as she hates the camera flash...




Doxie's generally have lower jaws that are somewhat shorter than the top jaw, but in Hazel's case, they are much shorter than the top...In fact, if you turned her upside down, you will see her teeth protruding out! So much so, when we took her to the vet's for a checkup, the vet burst out laughing, while exclaiming: "Oh My! Your Hazel looks more like a mole, upside-down!"...


When we first brought her home, she hid under one of the chairs and refused to come out, despite the calling, and treats offered. My sighed: "Oh dear, do you think she is also a little mentally retarded?"



There were also many worries, like, would Hazel be able to eat properly with such a mouth?

"Not to worry, I'm sure she'll be fine", said the vet.



Boy, was he right! Our Hazel is a champion eater. She will eat anything, and I mean, anything...She has been known to eat durian (she begged for it!), ice cream, manggo, tomatoes, cabbage (yes, we have ourselves a dog who eats vegetables), apples, pears and a whole list of things! Even garlic!

And surprise! With that deformed mouth of hers, our girl has been known to pick up dropped-screws, 5-cent coins, papers (we once found our electricity bill in her cage), pebbles and anything you would think she can't do...



We gave Hazel a cage of her own. One we send her to if she misbehaves (like tearing all the newspapers), if we have visitors or if we're mopping the floor ("Hazel, jie-jie mopping, where should you go?", and she saunters into her cage!). She also uses the cage when she is unhappy with us, and will go there to sulk. She would stick her head through the bars and refuse to look at us! She also uses the cage to sleep (the door open).






I'm a Pro at this: "Don't go out too long, mummy...Promise?"




And her big butt and bowed legs? It helps her to beg, for food and cuddles, something she does everyday without fail...She can 'sit on her butt' for up to 15 minutes in a row, without so much as a wobble! She also greets us by going onto her butt...


What Hazel lacks in aesthetics, she makes up for with loyalty, and obedience. She adores us to bits, and will always follow us around the house, even if she is very tired. If we're washing the plates, she lies at our feet. If we're doing our work in the study downstairs, she lies under the table. If we're scrubing socks in the bathroom downstairs, she lies on the mat outside. Sometimes, we see she is so tired, that we will 'order' her to "Go sleep, Hazel", so she won't keep waking up to follow us from spot-to-spot.



Doxie's are known as obstinate creatures, and are considered hard to train as they can be very stubborn. Hazel, on the other hand, is a dear. You can see she has her Dachshund traits of stubbor-ness (you can actually see it in her eyes she is not in favour of what we command, at times), but out of obedience, she will do as commanded anyway.

"I think she's grateful we took her in", mum reasons...






A Daily Ritual: Checking for insects between her paws...




She is also one patient dog who will allow us to do almost anything to her, including the once (or twice) a day search of her body to see if she picked up any ticks or skin-infections from her roam outside, early in the morning. As her body is so close to the floor (short ma), she is very prone to moisture making her skin itchy, and also to insects that are in the grass or floor...


Hazel once suffered from seperation anxiety. When we come home, we would find the tissue, papers, newspapers, cardbox etc shreaded to bits. Only with gentle reminders we will come home (like spending extra time with her before we leave, and giving her a 'grand' cuddle when we get back), did she finally break the habit.






The Human Lap is the best place to be: A cuddle after checking for insects.




She also has her own set of bedding, which she guards zealously. Hazel has this idea that all little pillows and thin-mattresses belong to her, and because she keeps going on them, we end up giving it to her...A habit, we deduce, she picked up from Baby, our 13-year-old cat who passed away from oral cancer 2 years ago (Baby's Story, another time!)...


She will run after us when we take her bedding out to wash and sun, and if she is in the area when we try and remove it, she would plant her butt firmly on the bedding, and immediately sleep! The picture below is one example. Note that the bedding on the right is not folded properly. Why? Because we were attempting to remove it, and Hazel jumped onto it!






Feigning sleep: "All mine, you hear me?"




We all adore Hazel to bits, and deformed or otherwise, we have no regrets taking her into our home. I guess you could say we have a soft-spot for 'kesian' cases. Like my other dog, dear Sheba, whom we adopted from the shelter.

I'll tell you her story another day, as well as Baby-the-cat who was rescued from the roads, but for now, if you have extra space in your home and your heart, why not go down to one of the shelters and get yourself a dog or cat? There are many animals who need homes, and love.



You'd be doing yourself a favour too, because animals have been known to lower blood pressure, and increase overall happiness! And God knows we all need more happiness in our lives, what with the uncertainties in our cost of living and all the other problems...

Sure, it will cost more to keep a pet, but hey, which is more important? Health and happiness...or money?



22 comments:

Jo-D said...

Hazel is very cute daph! You all have been taking very good care of her. How lucky she is. I have a dog also but he recently died as he was old. We are thinking of getting anotther puppy right now.

Akmal said...

Hi Daph,
Hazel is adorable alright :) But I am surprised she eats durian, even begged for it hahaha.
I was once owned a cat, but my mum scolded me because it worsen my asthma...that was a long time ago, I was at standard 2 I think ;P

Anonymous said...

Ow what a cutie~! She sure has a good life with you and fly. And I am sure your life is good too with Hazel. GOd bless.

Rita Ho said...

Hey Daph ... Hazel sounds awesome and is very blessed to have you & your family as family. She and Lola could be absolute partners-in-crime where food and velcro-ing is concerned. Haha!

Come August, it will be difficult for you and her to part ways, albeit temporarily. So, happy storing-up the joy & fun times!

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

Hazel's cute, and intelligent too! and...eh, hold on. so that means i cant lepak your house la like this. no any other reason, i'm just scared shit of dogs. period. unless you confine hazel and sheba in the room, i'll RUN a thousand mile.

*once had a pair of terrapins. pampered them with beautiful home, with fountains and all (for Feng Shui reason). but had to ditch them after a while becos as they age, they'll turn ugly.

Anonymous said...

TO KERP. YOU ARE DISGUSTING HEARTLESS AND CRUEL. HOW CAN YOU SAY YOU DITCH AN ANIMAL BECAUSE WHEN THEY GET OLD THEY TURN UGLY? HOW YOU LIKE IF YOUR PARENTS SAY THEY DITCH YOU COS YOU ARE QUAD OR IF THEY SAY BECAUSE YOU UGLY?

Anonymous said...

We sound alike. I'm a rescuer of unwanted, abandoned and injured critters too, much to my mums annoyance.:)) Even the last time I was back home, I rescued a beautiful, injured tabby kitten sitting outside Guardian Pharmacy in Bangsar. My mum isnt a cat person so I had to concoct all types of "white lies" to keep this cat:)) Great grand children of the cats I'd rescued across the years roam our backyard in KL now... and my mum still feeds them:))

Re the lap cheong dogs, my mum loves them too. Long time ago, when I was in primary school, our school bus driver had this little mutt he wanted to get rid of.He convinced my mother that it was a suasage dog..you should have seen this cutie..he was black with curly fur..as far from a suasage dog as you could possibly get. When my mum told him it didnt look like a lap cheong dog, he said to her " lama2 lagi panjang panjang lah" We kept the dog, needless to say it remained a mutt but was much loved.Even up to today its an inside joke in my family..when someone tries to rip us off we say" lama2 lagi panjang2 lah">>:))

You dog is a cutie and is lucky to have found a home with you + your family.
kl_gal

J.T. said...

Hi Daphne

Hazel has something in common with my Peanut - some kind of imperfection in the body. Peanut has a scar that runs across his sides. No one knows how he got it. The vet who took a look at it said he could have been bitten by a big dog (when he was little). Another possibility offered by a family friend was that his previous owner could have tied a string around his abdomen (how cruel!) and left the string to cut into his skin. I hope that is not it.

Anyway, despite his imperfections, he has been, thus far, my perfect little pet. He keeps me company and follows me wherever I go. He is so lovable and loyal despite the occasional lecture he gets from me for misbehaving. :)

Your Hazel certainly sounds very special. She is so cute too. Oh yeah, she is lucky to have your family. I bet there is just so much love and affection she receives. Enjoy her.

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Jo-D,

Hazel is very good at looking cute just so we will feed her. She memang pro at her job!

I'm so sorry to hear of your dog. I'm sure you miss him, huh? Animals grow on you. I remember crying for over 2 weeks when my first dog died. She lived with us for 12 years.

Do get another puppy once you've gotten over your doggie's death. Many need homes, and I'm sure you will give her/him a good one! =)

*Hugs*

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Akmal,

You're not the only one who's surprised. We were too. She was begging when we were eating durian, so dad said "Let's give her since she asked. Sure won't dare to ask anymore next time"

We all thought so too. Wrong!

She took one lick, and begged for more! So we deduce, this Hazel-Girl, eats anything!

Aiyo, as for you ar, if you're asthmatic and animals make you worse, better don't have furry animals lar...Or get a hairless cat! Won't be such a bad idea, come to think of it, since Malaysia is so hot...;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Anon 22:08,

You're right! This relationship goes two ways. We give her a good home, and she gives us plenty of love, loyalty and laughter.

Simbiotic to the core. Hard to say who got the better deal =)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Aunty Rita,

Haha! I tell you, from reading your blog about Lola, and exhanging emails, I can tell you Hazel and Lola are very alike. Soulmates, in fact!

Both of the same colour (generally, lar), both love to eat, both could do with weight-lost, both darn loyal, both know how to 'I'll bark to make you think I'm working, then ask for food or cuddles', both are made of velcro material, and both very much loved!

Haiyo, I will surely miss Hazel dear. Sheba too. If I can miss the four-legged family members that much, imagine how lar the two-legged ones? Sigh...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Kerp,

Sheba stays outside. She can't stay indoors cos she has a habit of knocking everything down! Anyway, she's big!

As for your terrapins, I will answer in the following comment, along with Anon's...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Anon 00:18,

Ok, I hate to be rude, but I have to agree with you about it being heartless that people dump their animals because the animal is getting old.

I volunteered at the animal shelter for 6 months, and many people do that. I must say I was disgusted at the way people treat their animals.

And as much as Kerp is my friend, I have to agree with you.

But could you please not 'shout' ar next time? And I think your comment was pretty under the belt lar...I thank you for standing up for animals though...=)

As Sirius Black (Harry Potter's GodFather) said: "If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Gurdeep @ KL_Gal,

Hey, soulmate! I used to bring home a lot of critters too, much to the chagrin of my parents.

Birds, kittens (dad would take them away before I got attached), the school terrapin during the holidays, hamsters etc etc etc...*Lol*

I even brought home bats (and fed them kiwi fruit! haha) and grasshoppers. I finally stopped bringing home injured grasshoppers (the big variety) when my cat Baby managed to get into the container and ate the pair! =(

Haih...

As for "lama2 lagi panjang2 lah", haha! My mum sometimes says Hazel isn't long enough and dad would say: 'You take the front legs, I take the back and we pull! She's bound to stretch!'

Like the bus driver said: Lama2 lagi panjang2 lah!

Haha!

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Jacqui,

Oh dear. Poor Peanut boy. I don't understand how people can be so cruel sometimes. I really hope it was just a birthmark or some weird marking of some sort.

We suspect Hazel was abused as a puppy too. It would explain her sometimes timid behaviour, and how she can gobble food, like she wasn't given enough as a puppy, and the habit has carried over...

It could also be that in her litter, she was the most timid (being physically deformed, after all) and always lost in the hierarchy, which would affect how much food she gets...

Makes it all the more important that Peanut and Hazel both get love now, to make up for the past. I hope we're doing enough, the both of us.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

ok, sincerest apologies to anon and the blog owner. it was totally uncalled for and down right insensitive from my part. i can assure you there was no ill-intention but nonetheless no reason to be writing something as disgusting as that. again. my apology.

rina said...

so sexy la your dog.

mott said...

Ah...i wanted to write that it takes full commitment from a person to keep a pet. Guess Anon 'shouted' that out for me! heh!!!

In my case, I'd LOVE to have a dog..for my kids, for my home. I think it teaches them responsibility and helps hone their nurturing skills. I had 1 mongrel and 1 skinny alsation (saved from the streets) before. Adored them to bits, broke my heart when they passed.

I guess, only when no.3 is bigger, than I'll take in a No.4 (from the shelter)...heh!

Hazel looks sooo adorable..I'd be patting her butt alot. Hehehehe!

Salt & Turmeric said...

shes lucky to have found a home with u, Daphne! im sure shes very happy now. but have to let u kno tht 'sausage' dog is not 1 of my fav. im more of the wolf kinda dog. hehe.

whre4arthou said...

UHHH... but your Hazel is SO FATTTT!!!

She needs a diet!! Hehe..

Otherwise she'll keep cleaning your floor with her tummy like the last time I saw her!

I don't think Hazel really likes me though.. maybe its because Baby the cat sort of marked me so much that Hazel didn't want to mess with her posession!

Hehe!

Chicken Pie and Wibble are doing very well.. and Wei Chieh and me are so happy to finally have them!

(I guess I paid good money for a partially blind rabbit too.. except though that a rabbit is so much cheaper than a dog.. but I'm so glad I took them both, I can imagine how lonely one would be without the other) =)

peiyun said...

Hi Daphne,

Have been visiting your blog for quite some time :)

I admire you for your compassion and courage, in caring for others and pursuing your dreams.

Wish you all the best!