Sick Days and Smiles

Harold (top) and Hermann (lower level)

Harold loves his brother Hermann and likes to be as close to him as possible. Here’s a double decker of dachshunds. Next to them on the couch and out of the picture is me, recuperating from some kind of nasty bug I picked up over the weekend. I’m definitely not ready for the camera. I have been sick for five days, but my husband and the pups are keeping me company. The doctors don’t know what I have, but I have a list of symptoms as long as my arm. They tested me for Covid even though I had the vaccine. They also tested for flu and strep. All negative. So they sent me home with some antibiotics, some steroids, and a shrug. I’ll probably never know what it is, but it’s the second sickest I’ve ever been. I was too sick to read for a couple of days. Now I have even more reading to catch up on. But at least I have some friendly and furry company.

Harold (the puppy)

Harold, our adorable wire-hair dachshund puppy, has recently turned one, which I guess makes him no longer a puppy. However, he’ll always be our puppy. I attempted a Tanka about him below. A Tanka is 31 syllables. The first line is 5, second line 7, third line 5, and the last two are 7.

Harold, our beloved puppy, just turned One.

HAROLD

He is one year old
Cute black and white ball of fur
Giant dark brown eyes
Melts your heart in an instant
With unconditional love.

I’ve told this story before, but the story of our puppy Harold is amazing to us. My husband had always wanted a wire-haired dachshund since we saw them on the Westminster Dog Show. They are hard to find and can be expensive. My Dad, Harold, died in 2019. He loved dogs and owned a couple of dachshunds in his day. So when we saw a wire-hair dachshund puppy advertised online, and saw that the breeder had named him Harold, it felt meant to be. However, a big expense came up unexpectedly and we weren’t able to afford him. Dachshunds are popular dogs and he is a piebald wire-hair as well, so we thought he’d be snapped up immediately before we could get him. Two months later, I happened to notice online that Harold was still available. We had the funds, so we texted the breeder, and after a trip to South Carolina, we had our Harold. It is amazing to me because ever since then I’ve watched this breeder’s page and the dogs are all gone immediately, sometimes even before birth. I really feel like Dad saved him for us, and he has been a joy.


This is Harold operating at his normal speed, while his brother Hermann watches him go.

Puppies and Memories

Above is our happy dachshund trio, Harold, Holly, and Hermann. Holly was adopted from a breeder and is a former breeding Mom. We got her when she was four and she is now 7. We got Hermann from the same breeder as a puppy. We were told he wouldn’t exceed 12 pounds. He’s 20 pounds (and he’s not fat!). But he’s 20 pounds of love and energy and we adore him. He just turned 3 years old.

The story of how we got Harold is amazing to us. We weren’t planning to get another dog. We had our two dachshunds and weren’t planning to adopt anymore. However, my husband had always wanted a wire-haired dachshund, which seem to be hard to find. Around January of 2020, we saw a dachshund breeder who had some wire hair puppies who had just been born. They had named one little boy Harold. I was immediately drawn to him because we had always wanted a wire-hair and my late Dad’s name was Harold! My Dad had passed away in March of 2019. It seemed meant to be, but we had a big expense come up and didn’t think we could afford him. We were sure that he would be adopted quickly and we were sad we could not get him.

Fast forward to early March. I happened to see a post from the breeder and Harold was still available! It seemed to us that Dad was saying, “Here, I saved him for you.” We had the funds available this time. A few texts later, and Harold was ours. Cute, cuddly, and smart as can be, to us he is our little gift from my Dad.

Harold

My husband runs an Instagram, Pupdate with Harold. There are always some cute pics of all three dogs.

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas

Ally has come to Pine Hollow to temporarily help her grandparents run the town dog shelter after her grandmother is injured. Ben is struggling to handle single-parenthood after his sister and her husband died two years ago, and he became guardian of his niece, Astrid. Their worlds collide when Ben casts the tie-breaking vote in the decision to cut funding for the dog shelter. Anger turns to friendship, as they join forces during the Christmas season to try and find funding for the shelter and adopt out the 12 dogs who need homes. But is there something more?

This is such a cute romance, which immediately transports the reader into the Christmas season. That is my top rule for Christmas novels. The reader must feel as if they are surrounded by Christmas, whatever time of year it might be. Besides Ben, Ally, and Astrid, there are many colorful characters living in this close-knit town. This includes the dogs, who were very much a part of this story, and whose individual personalities are so well described. This is a story about recovering from loss and heartbreak and having the courage to take a second chance. The dogs reinforce the idea of second chances as well, because they are in the shelter waiting for new families to adopt them. I would recommend this for dog lovers, fans of Christmas romance novels, or anyone who appreciates second chances.

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

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Lizzie Shane’s Website

Link to My Goodreads Review

And as this is dog-themed, I couldn’t resist including a picture of our wire-haired dachshund, Harold, who will be turning 1 in January. He wishes everyone a Merry Christmas! I’ll get a Christmas picture of all three of our dachshunds up later.

EDIT: Here’s all three of our dachshunds: Holly is the red and white piebald, Harold is the black and white wire-hair, and Hermann is the chocolate and cream young man who was supposed to be a miniature dachshund, but ended up weighing 20 pounds!

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Left to right, Harold, Holly, and Hermann