Posted on Thursday, February 16th, 2012

A Companion for My Companion

Ben, Mystie and Faith

This week’s pets, Mistie and Faith, belong to our very own Ben. Read below for what he has to say about his loveable Daschunds!

“As far back as I can remember, I have had a love for Dachshunds. You could even say I was obsessed by the 4th grade. I somehow managed to twist every school project into something that had to do with Dachshunds. My parents finally gave in to my begging and during the summer before 5th grade we welcomed a little 10 week old named Mystique into the family! I remember telling them, “My life is now complete!”

She was such a bundle of joy and it made my world when I saw that my parents loved having her around just as much as I did. They never regretted getting her just to satisfy my crazy Dachshund obsession. She did end up bonding with my mom more than me, which at first I was pretty bitter about! It did however make
it easier to leave her when I went off to college thinking that she wasn’t getting separated from her “bestie.”

I really noticed a hole in my life after Mystie was no longer part of it. Mystie was about 9 years old by the time I was off at my first year of college. When I would visit home, I started noticing her age more. She started having issues with her weight and using the stairs. It really saddened me to not see her lively spirit.

At the same time, I started getting the urge for another companion. I didn’t want to replace her but I felt the need to recreate what Mystie had done for me when I was younger. I feared what my parents would think about me getting a dog, as they primarily just wanted me to focus on school, and they would just see a puppy as a distraction. So I decided not to tell them. I found a Dachshund puppy looking for a home in the newspaper and decided that day I would go get her. I named her Faith, and she was crazy in the best way.

After a string of bad luck with roommates going into my second year of college, I was forced to relocate back home. I was so scared to reveal the news that I would be coming home with a dog, but I was surprised when they didn’t freak out as much as I thought they would. I knew once they saw her baby face they would fall in love with her. What made me even more nervous is how she would act with Mystie. Both dogs had been used to being the golden child, and now they would have to share the attention.

At age 11 or 12 Mystie’s body was wearing out. She needed help going up and down any stairs and wasn’t getting enough activity to stay in shape. She couldn’t keep up with Faith’s youthful energy. We feared Mystie’s time was running out, especially when juxtaposed with Faith.

What we never anticipated to happen was that Faith would become Mystie’s fountain of youth. Six months after living together, Mystie dropped weight and started becoming more active. After, less than a year she was able to use the stairs again on her own. She has not only become healthier but she has gotten her personality back. My parents tell me that Faith was the best thing to happen to Mystie, as she is now 16 years old and still going strong. I am forever grateful for the joy they have brought me, and for the life that Faith was able to restore to Mystie.

If anyone has a similar experience with bringing a younger dog into the mix with a more senior dog, I would love to hear about your experiences and the outcomes. From what I have seen, I strongly recommend companions for our companions if it is financially feasible to do so!”