Now, it’s taken me this long to write this one because it slightly cracked my heart.

We have a friend who runs a charity for miniature dachshunds. We have minis ourselves, and all the dog-people are close, so it was quite a compliment when we were asked to consider fostering an injured miniature dachshund called Nala.

She was a sweetheart. It turned out she had come from Russia originally. I have about three Russian phrases to my name, one of which is: “it’s for my personal use.”

I’ll point out at this juncture, I didn’t go out of my way to learn that one. It just happened to be the first phrase in the At The Airport section of the phrase book.

So, I rattled off my limited Russian to this small dog, and she followed me around for hours. Using only her front legs. You see, Nala has IVDD. IVDD is intervertebral disc disease. It’s somewhere between a disintegration and a slipped disc. There is surgery available to treat this condition, but it takes a lot of physio, hydrotherapy and similar exercise routines to rebuild the muscles. And all of that can only be attempted after a significant period of crate rest.

People who think crates are evil are wrong. There. I said it. The fact is, if a dog is very sick and can’t risk getting overexcited or throwing themselves around the living room, running at the front door, chasing squirrels, etc. a safe space, like a crate, is the best thing for them. It is not a punishment. It is not a prison. It should never be used as either a punishment or a prison. It is their space for them only.

Anywho, getting sidetracked, Nala did very well on crate rest, and was ready for her physio. Doobie barked in her face and she barked in his, which, in the fullness of time, would have limited her recovery. The stress wouldn’t have done either of them any good. But in the little time we had her, she did start using one of her back feet, which was a massive accomplishment.

Doobie wasn’t especially happy with the new addition to the household. I’m not sure whether she cared for him or not. He certainly didn’t make it easy for her. As it happened, the decision was made for us – her owners missed her terribly. And completely understandably. In but a few hours, I lost my heart to that girl. Didn’t actually take that long. However, her owners like Devon, they’re working hard on her recovery, and I’m hopeful they’ll bring her down to see us sometime. I might even learn some more Russian.