I didn't expect them to take away the pain or to replace Dixie. I knew enough about grief by then to know better but they certainly did help brighten my days and put a much needed smile back on my face. It made me feel as if I was somehow honoring Dixie by adopting these two little Dachshunds who needed a home more so than going out and getting a new puppy would have.
And of course, in time, once I got to know them (because whether some believe it or not, they do all have distinct personalities just like we do), I fell every bit as in love with them as I had with Dixie and Dexter. They had obviously been together for awhile because (in the words of Forrest Gump) they "goes together like peas and carrots."
The first time I gave Charlene a bath, Brisco paced back and forth, fretting, whining, doing the nervous yawn, and standing up by the side of the tub to make sure she was okay. I had never before seen a dog so concerned for the well-being of another dog. It was heartwarming to watch.
And after having Dixie (the quintessential Alpha dog) in my life for so many years, I was blown away to see them occasionally eat out of the same bowl even when they each had their own. I didn't think there was a Dachshund alive who would share food with another.
My mother-in-law, Pat, tried that once when she was keeping Dixie while I went on a trip. She thought that Dixie and Sugar (their older Dachshund) would be perfectly happy to sit down and break bread together. No dog was harmed but poor little Sugar got the bajeebies scared out of her that day and Pat learned a lesson about the nature of dogs...Dogs don't break bread together politely...
Unless their names are Brisco and Charlene Darling.
Lucky the Lemon Beagle came in without an ounce of Alpha in his blood which is why I think they have accepted him with open paws. The only time we had a problem was when he tried to jump in the middle of their playtime. Brisco, very uncharacteristically, gave him a little nip to the ear.
He never tried that again,
and so they all lived happily ever after...