In memory of Tammy

2003

Pic of TammyTammy had a long golden coat and a flowing tail that reached to the ground even when it was raised, curling in a perfect circle up over her back. She had the tiniest dainty little face, and huge brown eyes glistening with pure love and trust. In this photo, the golden yellow of her coat is fading with old age and is almost snow white on the top of her head, creeping through her coat and down her back. Talk about turning grey!

Tammy spent the first ten years of her life with her human "mum" being coddled, loved and adored. In return she gave total loyalty and love, even to her mum's family - daughter and grandchildren.

One afternoon Tammy came in from the back yard to find her mum lying on the floor. She licked her face and nudged her hand, getting no response. Tammy realised her mum was gone. She raised her head into the air and howled her sorrow. In the silence of the house nothing stirred, no one came to help, so Tammy did what all good and loyal dogs do, she sat by the body of her mum to keep her warm and guard her.

Three days followed without food or water; three days of exhaustion, guarding the body of her loved mistress; three days of wondering and worrying; three days of hearing the telephone ring and not knowing what to do about it, all without any response. At the end of those three days the daughter called in to see why her mum would not answer the phone.

Her shock on seeing the body of her mother on the floor made her scream and run towards her mother. Tammy did what she thought she had to do - guard her mistress. Tammy growled and bared her teeth, hackles up. Without a thought for the poor dog, the daughter picked up Tammy and tossed her out the front door!

Poor Tammy, hungry and thirsty, to be treated so roughly and unfairly! She wandered onto the street wondering what she should do. Around the corner came an Alsatian, unrestrained. He chased and attacked poor Tammy viciously. He had the little Chihuahua in his jaws, shaking her just like a rabbit. Two youths walking along the street saw what was happening and started kicking at the Alsatian to scare it away, but unfortunately they also kicked Tammy accidentally. Finally they were able to get her away from the big dog and took her to a local Vet, where her wounds were treated. Tammy's owner's daughter was contacted and the Vet was told they did not want the dog as they already had a big dog, so Chihuahua Rescue was called.

Tammy was a real "baby". When you placed her upside down in your arms she would grasp around your wrist with her two front legs, holding on with quite a strong grip and almost purring with ecstasy. Sit in the armchair and she would snuggle down beside your leg; or sit up on her haunches beside you, place her front legs around your upper arm and rest her head against your shoulder — a real cuddle pot! The word car caused this little lady to go into excited agitation because it meant trips with her family. That glorious tail swayed and swished from side to side, sweeping the floor, huge brown eyes sparkling! However, "no — stay" would cause her whole body to shrink with disappointment, the lovely soft brown eyes clouding over with sorrow. When she was in the car Tammy knew there would be lollies in the console. Pity help you if you did not offer her a lolly! She searched the dash and console until she sniffed the location of the hidden lolly, then she would sit up and beg. Once she was given a tiny piece of lolly, she would snuggle down beside your leg and not move until you had reached your destination.

Due to Tammy's age when she came to Chihuahua Rescue, no one has adopted her. Now in the year 2000 she is fifteen years old, very grey, a bit doddery, but still with the sparkling brown eyes. She has such good manners that she comes to say thank you when you dish up her food or offer a little tit bit. She runs in front of you, looks up into your eyes, wriggles her whole body, and licks your hand, before she lowers her head to eat! Despite her age and stiffness of arthritis in her joints, she still manages to jump up and snuggle in for a cuddle. She is a real "mother" to all the other Chihuahuas in our care. Tammy will defend any dog being picked on by another dog. She keeps them all in line. Whenever one misbehaves, Tammy steps in with a quick nip and a sharp yap as if to say behave yourself.

All those years ago, Tammy came to us with her own basket, several soft plush toys, and two brilliant green woollen blankets. The toys were always shared and have been replaced several times over. The basket disintegrated with old age and little puppy chewings. But those two green blankets are still as sound as the day they came, and pity help anyone who tries to touch them! Tammy will allow me to take the blankets and wash them, then she sits under the clothes line and waits patiently for them to dry and she can have her "property" back. Once they are placed on her bed she inspects them very thoroughly and with her nose pushes them from one side to the other until they are exactly the way she wants them, lies down on them and gives one huge gigantic sigh!

No one would adopt my darling Tammy, who had given so much for her one and only owner, but then also to us. She was such a little teacher and protector of the other rescue dogs. At the grand old age of 18 human years, our delightful little Tammy passed away peacefully one morning after eating her breakfast. She came over and gave me a little lick on the hand, looked deeply into my eyes, and just lay down, dead. The tears fell on Tammy’s body for many hours, and for days after. We buried her in the back yard. Rest in Peace, Tammy. You are in our hearts forever.

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