In loving memory of Kitas Uffe
|"When, one day, I'm going to have a dog, I want a long-haired dachshund, and I want it to be just like Uffe", I proclaimed time and time again over the years on the subject of dogs. Never ever in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would actually be so lucky as to get to share my bed with Uffe himself on a more permanent basis. He was my unattainable ideal of a dog, but he already had a good home with acquaintances of mine - two disabled girls, who shared a semi and three dachshunds.
|A showdog in the making|
Uffe soon settled into his new home. He attached himself firmly to me and was very apprehensive lest I, too, should let him down. He was simply "Mummy's Brat", and time flowed quietly by until one day a friend of mine exclaimed: "That dog walks like a king, why don't you take him to a dogshow?" - my friend was himself an avid exhibitor of his own dogs. I knew nothing whatsoever of dogshows (and neither did Uffe, for that matter), but I started looking at my beloved "old age pensioner" through new eyes. If he was that beautiful, then surely he deserved being shown, I reckoned.
In the spring of 1991 the time had come. Uffe took part in one of the Danish Kennel Club's regional shows and was rated second-best senior/veteran (dogs of 7+ years). The beautiful blue rosette we won that day is still adorning my wall today. I was hooked. During the next 9 months Uffe was shown an additional 8 times and was never awarded less than 1st prize. I even brought him along to the World Dog Show in Dortmund, Germany, where he was rated "Vorzüglich" and presented in the main arena together with all the other veterans. The biggest triumph, however, came in August 1991 at DKK's variety show in Otterup, Denmark, when Uffe was awarded his second CK (Certificate of Quality - meaning the dog is of championship quality) and went on to compete in the Best Veteran of the Day competition. He was really "flying" that day, and of the seven participants in the competition he was placed third. Not bad for a ten-year-old beginner.
|Intervertebral Disc Disease
In December 1991 fate dealt us a cruel blow. Almost from one minute to the next Uffe developed a bad case of intervertebral disc disease and had to have an operation. For almost a month after the operation his hindquarters were paralyzed, and only slowly was feeling restored to his limbs . Slowly, slowly progress was made, he walked again, his coat grew back where he had been shorn, and in May he had recovered sufficiently to participate in the Danish Teckel Club's show in Silkeborg - the place where he had, one year before, made his debut at a "real" dogshow. He was awarded his third CK.
Old age pensioner
As it was, the dogshow in Silkeborg was to be Uffe's last. Only 3 weeks later he had to have another operation to his back, and although this time was not as bad as the last (he was able to walk to the car, when we came to take him home the next day), it was clear that the time had come for Uffe to withdraw into cosy retirement.
Uffe was allowed to enjoy his retirement for two years. He started getting grey about the mouth, he slept more and his hearing was somewhat impaired. Okay, a dachshund's sense of hearing is, at the best of times, selective, but when a dog can no longer hear the door to the fridge being opened when he's sleeping underneath the bedcover, then something is surely amiss!
The last fight
Kitas Uffe (1981-95) - in loving memory