This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Sunday 28 October 2018

I’m back home

First off, thank you everyone for your nice words in regards of my Dad’s passing.  My trip to Germany had been an emotional one and still is because our Mom is now alone in Germany to cope with her new circumstances and it is a difficult time. My sister Christina has been a huge help in support, making arrangements and in her efforts to manage the affairs for our Mom.  She is coming back home to Canada by the end of next week.


While I was in Germany Benno had been running our household that included looking after all our dogs in our house.  As I am now getting over my jetlag it is my turn again to get up at all hours of the night to tend to the needs of our Elsa. I got back from Germany just in time to celebrate with Benno his 75thbirthday. There was no party this time (because he wants to keep his age secret so don't tell anyone) but I made him his favorite foods and I tried to make it a special day.

Benno's BD cake

For all you dachshund lovers or puppy enthusiasts I will now post some pictures of our litter of 7 pups. They grew quite substantially during my absence. The first two pictures were taken on the day I left for comparison and the rest of them I took today. It is easiest to photograph them while they are sleeping because once they are awake they move around so fast that my pictures turn out to be blurred. I need to maybe use my other camera and adjust the shutter speed or post a video clip.

Pups the day I left, eyes still closed and no hearing yet

I hope that all our traveling friends that are already on their way south to warmer climates are having a safe trip. I’ll be catching up on blog posts shortly and will follow along. Have a great time everyone. More news in my next update, so stay tuned.

Friday 12 October 2018

A well-lived life

My Dad  01.01.1925 – 12.10.2018
When the phone call came this morning at 4:15, I just knew what it meant. My Dad, called “Papi” by my sister and me went peacefully after being in a deep coma for two weeks.  He was fortunate enough to be able to celebrate with my Mom their 70thwedding anniversary this past April. Until this last stroke he still enjoyed independent living at home. Although being discouraged to keep driving his car, he would not give up doing small shopping trips with his scooter, which kept him mobile. I suspect he enjoyed racing this thing for all it got, because he looked for opportunities to take it out onto the road, and he was 93 years old.
My parents had a successful retail store in Germany for over 30 years. The store was well known in town. Among his many talents, my father had learned the trade of sewing machine mechanic at the Singer Company and there was not one model or type or brand of sewing machine he could not fix. Even as a POW after WW2 in an American POW Camp they were relying on his knowledge and had him fixing the sewing machines of the US Army. The sergeant would say, “Hey Heinz have a look at this one, it is really messed up” and Heinz (my Dad) would have a look at it and had the sewing machine working again in a flash, earning him some extra ration of food treats. This trade he continued to do as a hobby if someone needed help with his or her machine in the later years up into his high age.  He will be missed.

Rest In Peace Papi. I will be off for a while so no posts while I am in Germany, but there will be more news about the puppies when I return, which I will leave under supervision of Benno.  They are now a week old and have all doubled their birth weight and are doing fine.

Friday 5 October 2018

The pups have arrived!

Yesterday, just as I had marked our calendar, we welcomed 7 puppies to our family. 

The night before I spent on the couch in the puppies’ nursery together with Elsa. She was restless and I could tell it would not be long now before she would be giving birth. However, nothing happened overnight. On Thursday morning it was obvious to me that I now had to pay close attention.  Around 10 A.M. I sat in front of the whelping box when Elsa started having contractions and ten minutes later a little female puppy was born. I had hoped all other puppies would follow soon after, but that was not to be.

My good friend and neighbor Teresa came to help out and to keep me company. Benno was sent off to watch TV and later on he busied himself in the kitchen. I became concerned after a couple of hours when Elsa had no more contractions. That was when I started looking for answers in Google and what to do. When it came close to 3 1/4 hours with nothing happening I got close to panic and called our Veterinarian and he said I had to come in right away with Elsa to have her x-rayed to see if she needed a cesarean section done. In haste I ordered Benno to get the car in front of our door “Pronto”, packed Reggy into the smaller travel kennel and loaded him into the rear of our truck cab.  Elsa I held on my towel covered lap on the front seat together with the little puppy wrapped up in a tea towel, Benno stepped on the gas like a Formula 1 Racer and off we went leaving a cloud of dust behind us. Almost half way to the Vet’s clinic Elsa started to get contractions and birthed another puppy right on my lap. Quickly Benno turned the truck around and raced back home. (Well, we stayed somewhat with the speed limit) Arriving back home Benno honked the horn wildly and Teresa, who had been in her garden, came right running over to hold the two puppies while I attended to Elsa.  The rest of the afternoon dragged on as the rest of the puppies slowly took their time to come out. At around 6 P.M. we counted 4 girls and 3 boys in the whelping box and Elsa seemed content. 
What a day. To all this excitement I am in constant contact with my mom in Germany, my dad (93 years old) had another stroke a few days ago (the 3rdone) and is in a coma in Hamburg’s University Hospital. It does not look good.

I spent another night on the couch close to the whelping box to make sure the pups were cared for and if needed I would feed them mixed up powdered milk to supplement their nourishment. Today, Friday, pups and mom are doing fine. Elsa has been cleaned up and so is the whelping box. The puppy family is now getting into a routine of feeding about every two hours, followed by Elsa licking all of the pups clean and napping the rest of the time. She needs lots of extra food and liquids to make sure the pups get the benefit of it, so I will do my best to keep the food supply flowing.

Some facts:
The extra combined weight of the puppies and fluid was about a kilo and a half Elsa had to carry.  The second pup born had a longer body than the rest of them. Just as with Elsa’s first set of litter, we have one puppy with a brown coat and it is also a girl. (Elsa’s father was brown) And we have again one puppy with a white stripe on its belly. The different coloured Velco bands around their necks have the purpose that I don't get them mixed up as I weigh them every day to make sure they are getting enough milk to drink.
And no surprise, all puppies are absolutely gorgeous and cute!