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Myrtle’s Story  (2/14/2008 - 2/14/2024)

By Diane Combs, Dallas
    In February 2008, before I ever started looking for her, a Dapple Mini Dachshund was born. 
    It was the beginning of a charming life, but she had to go through a little rough spot first.  And she and I met by chance — it was, indeed, “good luck” for both of us.
2-15 myrtle  2    When she was just a few months old, she was found as a stray in Kansas City, Kansas, across the state line from Kansas City, Mo. 
    Whoever found her took her to a shelter. But that shelter was full. Personnel there called a Dachshund rescue group in Oklahoma and arranged this little dog’s transfer.
    But that Oklahoma group was filling up quickly, too, so those folks contacted Kathleen Coleman of the DFW Dachshund Rescue Foundation in Colleyville, in the northeastern corner of Tarrant County. Kathleen agreed to foster this little girl and vowed to find her a good home.
    It turns out that I had recently lost one of my darling Mini Doxie boys and was open to adopting another. I adore the Minis— that’s an emotion based on my experience of living with them and enjoying their presence in my home and life.
    So, hoping to find a candidate to fill that open spot in the house, I looked on the DFW Dachshund Rescue website.  There, I found a listing for just one, a black and tan female.
    I got in touch with Kathleen who already knew me because a few years earlier, I’d adopted my young fellow Fred from the organization. 
    I told her that this time I did not want a puppy, but would prefer a dog that was 2 to 5 years old.
Kathleen said the dog on the website was available and we set up a pre-adoption meeting. Normally I go by my gut in adopting dogs, and it’s usually worked out for me.  However, when I met this one, my gut told me ‘NO’ right off the bat.  She seemed very hesitant to get close to me.  I knew it wasn’t a good match because we just didn’t “click,” so I was about to leave.
    But just then, all of a sudden, a little Dapple Doxie ran out from the other room and came right up to me.  
    “Who’s this?” I asked Kathleen.
    “Her name is Reece, but she’s only 7 months old and you said you didn’t want a puppy.”
2-15 myrtle 1    But this dog seemed very sweet and did not bark at all — plus, she seemed to love me! I told myself, “Well, 7 months is almost 12 months, so she won’t officially be a puppy for long!”
    Kathleen told me this young girl’s story of being “well-traveled” before she got to DFW Dachshund Rescue
    And in this chance meeting, I got to know her better and my gut started talking to me again. But this time it was telling me “YES!”
    I did adopt “Reece” and changed her name to Myrtle (after my grandmother on my dad’s side).  I live next door to my sister, Cindy, and our great aunt gave us a plant called “Sweet Myrtle” to plant between our houses. Unfortunately it did not survive last year’s winter, but Cindy plans to put in a new Sweet Myrtle plant in the same spot in honor of my adorable Myrtle.
    It's now 16 years since I adopted her. How big a place did she have in her human’s life? Every night she slept on the pillow next to my pillow, next to my face — and that's one of the many things that made Myrtle so sweet.
    Because of the frailties and challenges of aging, it all too-soon became time to put her to sleep. We did this on the day we’ve always celebrated as her birthday — Valentine’s Day, February 14. I feel that was appropriate because Dear Myrtle was such a love. 
    Sweet Dreams sweet Myrtle. It was such a privilege to share your very long and happy life. 
[Photos of Myrtle by Teresa Berg of Teresa Berg Photography]