Just got home from running a couple of errands, and when we got back, Mellon was dead.
She was fifteen years old, and not in good health, so I'm not all that surprised, but it is like losing a family member. This has not been a good year for me, in any way, shape or form.
She was a pureblood dachshund, black and tan with a silver grey dapple on her. Her name was out of Tolkien elvish, "Friend" it meant, and she was. No champion dog she, but one of the most eye-catching dogs you ever saw, and she loved attention. I knew when I bought her that her hips were bad, but she was such a sweet little dog her whole life that everyone loved her, even though she started losing her mobility before she was five. All she wanted out of life were regular meals and a little affection. I did my best to provide those, and in return, she loved everybody. She never so much as growled at either of the kids, or anyone else for that matter (except Julia, who I felt guilty about introducing into the family with her so old and hampered).
She may have started losing her mobility early, but until recently you could always tell when she was happy. She would run little circles of joy when something good happened - special treat, mommy and daddy paying attention to her, or even just mealtime. She'd go round and round, hips pumping despite how damaged they were. She wasn't in pain, she just couldn't move as easily as most dogs any longer. When she lost the ability to run in circles, we bought her a little canine wheelchair that she hated because she couldn't get under the couch to take shelter from Julia. She couldn't run and play like the puppy, so the girls started ignoring her, but she was still happy with whatever anyone would give her in the way of affection.
Like every other dapple dachshund I've ever seen, she started losing patches of fur quite early. She was such a pretty dog when she was young, but even my wife (whom I met when Mellon was about three) had never seen her with all of her fur, and all of my pictures of her when she was younger (the way I want to remember her) are in storage. Luckily, she lived in San Diego, and she had a sliding glass door her whole life that got good sun in the afternoon. You always knew where you'd find Mellon in the afternoon - right there in that sunny spot.
Goodbye sweetie. Whereever dogs go, may you always have a warm sunny spot and as much food and affection as you need, without any young puppies who don't understand that you're old and can't play like that. You helped me in a very bad time of my life, and I will miss you badly.
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