Baboushka - AKA Bibi - My amazing little Daxie!
Hello Big World - I'm Here Now!
Meet Bibi - comedienne - healer - protector - and general, well not quite, dogsbody - no definately not that! But Heaven sent Angel, Given to us when we really needed her more than anything else.
This little scrap of fur and huge paws came into our lives after a long, arduous and finally sad journey from a hot and dusty country far away from this cold and strange place where the noise and smells were so different to what her precious little predecessors were used to. We left our homeland with two little silver dapple daxies - dad and daughter - after a profound and heavy hearted decision that took over ten years to make to come to a really alien place, far from familiarity and terrifying at times but safe with the family as a whole.
Our little Duke was given to me while I worked in a veterinary surgery as he was the pick of the litter and I had matched his mum with a black and tan sire to be told that we would be lucky to get one silver dapple pup let alone seven! He was gorgeous and went on to produce three healthy litters and a single double dapple bitch who became the apple of the whole family's eye for eleven years. We spent a small fortune bringing our pets with us and thanked God we did as not long after pets were being attacked and killed by disgruntled folk who believed people like us were the cause of all their woes.
I felt, at the time, it was a major financial choice to make but would never have forgiven myself had I'd left them behind to discover events like that transpiring. It was the right thing to do and I or we I should say, never regretted that choice. My two little tweenies went on to live long and healthy lives having a happy and very much loved old age launching themselves at buses, bicycles and scooters as this was a new experience to them never before witnessed and fair game to be dealt with! All things considered and when our precious Lucy passed on I discovered through research that double dapple bitches don't usually live past eleven years of age and she was right on cue. That sort of helped me deal with the pain of losing her or at the very least, come to terms with it. They also can't have pups but my experience with her was that of wonder as she had the most amazing, loving character of all daxies I've ever known and kept us in stitches, laughing at her antics for many years - a special little girl!
My darling daughter, feeling my pain as well as her loss found our Bibi on the internet with a Belgian breeder and we decided to take a chance with her, booking our little girl and then agreeing a collection date when she was 10 weeks old. We drove down to this quaint village in the real Belgian beautiful countryside and met her breeder who then drove us to the home where she was born. Bibi's mum, a very unusual liver coloured (Weimaraner colour) female who was three years old at the time, came bounding out with this amazing tail that never stopped wagging and still as playful as a pup. Her dad is a magnificant black and tan with a long, straight back - I was in love! We had tea and then Bibi was introduced to us. She ran straight towards us with the same wagging tail as her mum and look of joy in her eyes as she greeted us, threw herself around the place, ignored her mum and sibling and just wanted to play! With all the formalities over, we departed and I worried about the moment a new pup leaves their mum for the first time, they usually cry for a bit which I find so upsetting. Bibi wimpered for half a second in the car on the way home after which she never looked back. We stopped at a roadside restaurant for refreshments and Bibi went crazy in the lush green grass, running around furiously, as if to say "free at last!"
I, actually, never fancied daxies as I likened them to "grannies dogs" - as a child I was bitten by a mini pup called "Schnapps" who left a small vertical scar under my bottom lip - evermore vowing to never own one! That was until I was lucky enough to work in a vet's surgery and had the pleasure of meeting Duke's mum.
TUNE IN FOR MORE AMUSING TAILS OF BIBI - SOON................!
The first time we took our new baby for a walk. we decided to find the nearest forest and give her an early taste of "the bush" or as close as we could get to it! It was a crisp autumn day and the forest smelled wonderful,Bibi was so excited to be off the lead and just wanted to run everywhere and smell everything - that is until she managed to find and fall into the one and only puddle of water for miles! She was devasted - in shock at the sudden iciness of it and her coat took hours to dry - not that she cared - she'd had her first bath and decided it wasn't all that bad really as it was outside in this wonderland of sights and smells.
When she came to live with us, we still had our Duke and one morning early I awoke to the sound of something plastic being jumped on with nails! Bib had taken it upon herself to alert us to change the water in the the dish as Duke had just had a drink from it and she refused to drink the same water so we had to refresh it! She, stangely enough, applied this same habit to the food and snack dishes - first one for us as my other two had to be fed seperately or WW3 would break out in competition over food!
She was to be an early riser as one Saturday we wanted to sleep in late and Bibi had other plans. There is nothing funnier than a tiny Daxie pup pulling the duvet off (totally) when you're trying to get in a few extra ZZZ's!!!! Will stay with me forever!
Bibi is the master of the art of inventing her own games indoors when the weather gets colder - hates her walks then and I think necessity had given rise to invention for her as she has invented several of her own games that keep her occupied for hours if she has the wherewithall. The first is was I call the "pull me - push you" game. This entails lying on the couch with her tennis ball - a fixture in her mouth at all times - and pushing it as far as she can with her nose and catching it before it falls. She has mastered the art of catching it when it bounces once on the floor though and spends hours at this game while we're watching TV, chatting or on the lappies! The downside of this game is that the damn ball tends to shoot off under the couch sometimes and guess who spends a lot of time, rear in air, retrieving it with the swiffer vowing to fill the gap one day or better still, invest in a couch with no feet! A rather clever variation on this game is the "under the couch - hide and go seek" game - she throws throws the ball under the front of the couch and runs to the back (we have a corner couch suite!) to retrieve it except when it gets snagged on something and then it's rear in the air time again! The " shopping bag game" always comes after her daily ball throwing time when she manages to put the ball into a plastic shopping bag accessibly placed for her use by herself and proceed to "mock attack" it to see how long it (the ball) stays inside - closely followed by rear in the air again tidying up the little pieces of plastic that don't survive the game and have to be cleared away!
Another favourite game was one learned at an early age and has come in quite useful at aiding my recycling activities! This involves a cardboard box that is usually sealed with duct tape, and a tennis ball placed inside the box before sealing. This keeps her quiet for ages and she skillfully destroys all unwanted cartons with the dexterity of a paper shredder - makes life so much easier when recycling card and paper as we have bins here for the purpose and saves an awful lot of space!
I think the funniest moment we've experienced with our little angel so far is the day she managed to break the glass in the front door and totally terrorise the junk mail delivery guy! She hates anything coming through the mail flap and usually creates havoc when this happens - no amount of training has rid of her this habit and although she sniffs the scents on the mail, never destroys it so I guess we should be grateful for small mercies there! The day the door broke was a normal junk mail delivery day and Bibi did her usual threatening bark running down the passage and up to the door. Suddenly we heard this almighty crash of glass breaking then silence. When we arrived at the scene, Bibi was standing on the inside of the door and the poor youngster was standing outside staring at her, bewildered, in a sea of broken glass with a totally shocked look on his ashen face! After checking that he was not injured and that Bibi was ok we saw the humerous side of it and laughed for ages after that. I think the funniest part of the whole event was the looks on both their faces at what she had just done - classic! Needless to say she still terrorises any mail pushed through the flap and has not learned her lesson from that one bit although when mail is now delivered, the deliverers tend to stand well back in case of flying glass I guess!
TO BE CONTINUED.............!
I would like to dedicate this paragraph to the training and discipline of my Bibi as I feel it is paramount to instil into people the importance of training animals WITHOUT violence because violence only begets violence whichever way you look at it and every animal I have owned ranging from Afghans to Scotties to Rottweilers (My son once said that the only damage my Rottie would cause to any human being is if an intruder broke in and FELL over him as he always lay down for people, even strangers rub his tummy - just the biggest softie you ever did meet and huge to boot!) to Staffordshire (Staffies) cross terriers to Yorkies and now Daxies has never ever shown violence to me and neither have I to them in so having long, happy and memorable lives with each other! I watched an excellent British TV documentary called Dog Borstal with brilliant dog trainers giving firm but totally sensible and valid advice on how to discipline dogs that really worked well with Bibi. One invaluable gift imparted was the use ot the water spray when disobedience occurs. I have strategically placed plant water spritzers around the house and use them liberally when required - they work a treat as no dog likes a sudden squirt of water in their face when in full psycho mode and if your pet is of a larger breed try using a plastic drinks bottle filled with pebbles - shaking it firmly in their face when they don't listen until they do. Advise visitors at this time to just stand still avoiding eye contact while this is happening and you should solve the problem reasonably soon. If you shout or raise your voice at a time like this then it is a signal for the dog to behave more aggressively or carry on with it's impossible behaviour as in the wild the Alpha male in charge of the pack will bark loudly at any intrusion acting as a signal for the others to react accordingly - natural behaviour for an animal so shouting just aggravates the situation. Many years ago I worked in a vets surgery and the lady vet I worked for suggested that a rolled-up newspaper used as a weapon to discipline unruly dogs was better than a hand or fist although whether this works or not I don't know and have never had the misfortune of trying out. One piece of useful advice she did give and I carry with me when Bibi and I are out and about is if you are threatened with the possible attack of a viscious aggressive type dog the quickest way to protect yourself is to punch with your fist under his jaw firmly. Never tried it though and do believe you could break a jaw using this method but I think it's better than having your face ripped off or small dog eaten and would be prepared to face a law suit if push came to shove or punch as the case may be! Plus it will be easier and less cruel to repair a broken jaw than say a damaged eye.
TO BE CONTINUED...............!
I always thought that daxies were not affectionate dogs until Bibi came to us. My other two were affectionate in their own way but we lived on a large property with my husband and I working most of the time and the kids at school so they pretty much did their own thing during the day only having close contact with us at night. Of course, they slept in bed with us but life consisted of, for them, being normal dogs, foraging and hunting and living a pretty much carefree existence until we emigrated to Europe. My two little feral pets as I called them, had never seen a bus or scooter let alone heard or even travelled on one! The first time Lucy saw a bus, her response was to launch herself at it in serious attack mode with a similar response to scooters, motorbikes and bicycles! Hilarious actually, but a bit difficult on the nerves for all concerned! Snow was another story and they loved it especially when the possiblity of a juicy, fat bird was in the offing, although it did make speed a bit of a drawback, they really enjoyed romping in this strange, white, cold stuff. I never regretted bringing them with us and Duke lived to nearly 20 years when he eventually passed on. (I heard recently, that the oldest dog in the world died at 21 years and just happened to be a daxie - not surprised!) having spent a healthy. eventful, long and happy life with us.We had a swimming pool back home and he mastered the joyful art of playing with a basketball in the pool to the delight of all onlookers - amazing to see but we always had to watch him as he relentlessly attacked the damn ball and forgot he was running out of energy and so had to be retrieved like a drowning rat, dried down and rehab-ed with a drink of warm tea! Duke even managed to put his back out at the age of five and after x-rays, sedation, manipulation and being carried around in a cage for two weeks, regained his feeling and ability to walk again and went on to live an active and happy life as though nothing had happened - amazing dogs.
Bibi has this cute little trick of tapping you on the arm or leg with her front paw when she wants or needs something - such as cuddles, treats, ball throwing or walks. She will also sit up and beg for the same as well as for going up at bedtime as she knows we always hide a special little treat for her at the end of the day! When I call her my healer, this is because when she was tiny, I had a toothache and one morning snuggled up with her in bed, dreading having to make an appointment to visit the dentist. She seemed to understand the problem and stayed really close until I woke up when the pain had gone and a check-up revealed all was well. She hates it when we argue, as all dogs do, but if tears are involved, will readily lick them away and stay close,allowing no-one near until I'm back to my old self. She follows me everywhere, constantly and now it's winter, has taught us to throw the ball for indoors without breakages or accidents! The only downside is we have to do this activity twice a day and so each of us takes a shift and we have one happy,reasonably lean daxie!
TO BE CONTINUED.................!
Rest in Peace my Beloved little Girl:
Moved on to a higher place in Heaven on 27th May 2010 aged eight years young:
I appologise for not posting sooner on this hub, but as I'm sure you will all understand, I have not found the space in my mind to link together any thoughts that would create an intelligable sentence to express my feelings at the loss of my little heaven - sent angel, now in heaven.I felt as though this little, precious soul was my child, best friend and alter-soul mate as we understood each other and gave each other so much love and companionship. I am devasted and will NEVER get over her loss. She will always be foremost in my memory and I will never understand why she had to go. She was way too young and passed on so quickly with very little warning as to her condition that even an excellent vet failed to find. She died of heart failure, in my arms and I held her for hours after, not wanting to let her go. I will give you an abstract of an e-mail I sent to my daughter advising of her passing as I still find it so difficult to talk about:
I didn't know whether to tell you this but it will make you cry. A few days before Bibi left us, she walked around the whole garden, sniffing every plant, bush and place and then walked inside and did the same to every piece of furniture, ornament and plant - everything and then she looked up at me as I walked with her and wagged her tail as if to say," Don't worry Mum, I know it's my time". I said to Dad, it's as if she's saying goodbye and now we know it was. I have grieved so deeply at her loss but one thing I know is that I will go through it again but a bit wiser and it is worth every tear at the end of the day as they are on this earth for such a short while and I have enough love to give so why not enjoy them and let them enjoy us, while we can.
My precious husband cried as much as I did and I felt so unfairly robbed of one of our greatest treasures in our lives, especially going through this difficult time of retirement, the recession and other stuff. His first response was to go back to the breeder to see if we could adopt a blood relative of Bibi's but I felt it was way to early as I was still grieving and didn't know if I was able to offer another little soul my full attention or if I wanted to risk getting a pup that may have the same problem as Bibi.
I felt more inclined to, perhaps, try and adopt a daxie who had been through a difficult time and only when I was ready to do so. My man managed to track down a cousin of Bibi's who was only 9 months old and had been given to an older man who ended up with a hernia, being unable to cope with such a young pup, this little girl was taken back by her concerned breeder and was looking for a rescue home. Well, granted it was too soon for me but it was also a golden opportunity to rescue a young female pup with close ties to our Bibi and who had had a difficult start in life and needed lots of love and attention - nothing like being thrown in the deep end in the midst of all our turmoil, and at least the toilet training and teething problems were over! Reticent to take on any more health problems, we insisted on full medical checks only to find that the breeder had already had them done when she was a tiny pup and was able to furnish us with full medical reports on her 2 echograms, eye tests and a plethora of other tests taken to prove she came furnished with a full clean bill of health! I was partially relieved and the other half of me now only worried about behavioral issues caused by the separation from her first owner and being taken back into a house with other dogs around.
The first major problem was when my hubby left the room or went shopping, she screamed blue murder! This little girl has an older man fixation! She broke my heart the first time it happened and I decided to try and figure out a cunning way to prevent this traumatic time by creating a distraction method. We take her out first thing, for a walk and then I prepare her breakfast while Dad sneaks out the side door, silently, and does the small shop. I delay her as long as possible and in the beginning, this worked fine until food was despatched and the reality of Dad's dissappearance set in, and then all hell set loose and we were back to square one! I have perservered with this routine and it took about two weeks before she stopped the heart-broken act and now just trots over to the front door to wait for his return! No amount of coaxing and cajoling will move her from this place but at least she's not fretting and I can relax until Dad's return! She does this crying act everytime one of us goes upstairs as well so it's all a bit traumatic although not as bad as it used to be as she is now settling in and life is returning to a semi-normal state! So far, she is amazing with other dogs and strangers and I now call her my "Kick-Ass" dog as she has sure got us up and about and much more active now as she demands her two, long walks a day which has made us both lose weight and become much healthier and show more of an interest in life. I usually take with me, on our evening walks, a pair of sharp scissors and a plastic bag to "borrow on a non-return basis", plant cuttings as I am an avid gardener and have collected quite a formidable array of plants that has saved me a small fortune from buying them and, I'm sure, done the donor plants more good than harm in pruning them! (For free!). I will continue to update you on the new addition's progress, who has been given the rather grand name of Anouschka - Nou for short and sometimes Bean sprout, Dildo or Scrout for variety! (Her face is almost exactly the same as Bibi's but she has an extremely thin body and is going to be much smaller than her cousin - she is so different from Bibi and has brought so many different joys to our lives so far - long may it continue).