Dachshund Rescue of Houston


Gretel Smith ("")

Rescued 04/30/14, Adopted 07/01/14, Deceased 02/07/19

Color Gender Age Size Preferences / Other Info



Adult (5-9 Years)

Tweenie (13-17 lbs.)

No Cats,
Treated for Heartworms

We fostered Gretel (red Dachshund with very long back) about 5-6 years ago. She was rescued with Hansel. Gretel was heart-worm positive but did very well through the treatment. (Understand Hansel did not)

Of course we were failed fosters and adopted her. She had such a loving and vivacious personality. She loved "to run the roads" as Greg called it, in our big backyard hunting for squirrels or just running around in the sun. If Greg was raking leaves or doing anything out in the yard, Gretel was with him. She was equally content to snuggle on the couch and watch TV shows with us. Gretel got along with all the other dogs as well as the grandkids. If you were sitting next to her and not actively petting her, she would take her nose and bop your hand until you resumed petting. It could be annoying. Of course she slept in bed with us along with the other 3 small ones, but in all our years of marriage, Gretel was the ONLY dog who ever managed to sleep in the middle between Greg and I. If I put her on my side, she would invariably climb over my head, through my hair, and snuggle in the middle.

We loved Gretel so much and our hearts were broken when she received a death sentence diagnosis 2 weeks ago. She got up with Greg at 6 on Monday Feb 6th, had her treat and went outside to play. About an hour later, she came back in and pushed the other dogs out of the way and snuggled as close to me as she could get as I was still sleeping. When I got up to feed them at 8, she was not waiting for her food and Gretel NEVER missed a meal or a treat. She was still in bed, lying there in pain and shaking. I immediately thought she had injured her neck which she had a couple times before and took her to Blue Pearl to see a neurologist having my vet send records. The neurologist said, yes she is in pain, but I cannot find anything severe on her spine and she is walking fine. We scheduled an MRI for Wed, went home with meds and instruction for rest.

I fed Gretel her "breakfast" at lunchtime which she gobbled down, gave her some meds and let her rest. About 8PM I tried to feed her dinner and more meds which she wanted none of. At 11PM, she vomited her lunch (still undigested) and I called Blue Pearl. Obviously something else was going on. Bring her in tonight if she throws up again. At 1 AM she got a drink of water, which came right back up and Greg drove her to Blue Pearl. They put her on IVS and nausea meds and did complete ultrasound of belly and intestines on Tuesday. The results were not good. Gretel had developed a 5cm mass (Gretel is 12 pounds) with metastasis of Sarcoma. They suspected more metastasis in chest area due to fluid buildup. There was no "fix". The cancer was aggressive and could not be removed, would not respond well to chemo, plus she couldn't eat, she would starve to death. I knew we had to have some time with her to snuggle, emotionally come to terms with this before we could put her down. Especially Greg!

So, my strange request to the vet, was how can we make Gretel comfortable, so we could have a little time with her? He said it can't be long she will starve to death, that is not humane. I know I said, we need her home tonight and then tomorrow we should be able to handle this. He agreed, put a Fentanyl pain patch on at noon, to pick her up at 6, and he would give her a pain shot and nausea shot before we took her home (that way the pain patch had 12 hours to kick in). We picked her up, held her and loved on her that night, and she actually went potty twice during the night (even though she had not eaten any food since Monday). Thursday morning we were supposed to take her back. Greg said I cannot take her anywhere, she has to be here, find someone to come here. I got on the phone and after several calls to my retired vet friend and waiting for another vet to call me back, got a hospice place on the phone who was in the area with their mobile vet unit, vet and tech and could be at our house in just over an hour. That was our plan. Meanwhile, my vet friend called and when I talked to her, she knew the vet and he was great.

Careway Hospice Vet Services pulled up to our house shortly and the vet and tech came inside. Greg had put the other dogs in the garage with the chicken he had cooked for Gretel that she had only sniffed and turned down.

After talking about her diagnosis for a few minutes which the vet had already confirmed with BluePearl, while I was holding Gretel in my lap on the couch and Greg was kneeling and petting her and crying. The vet slowly talked us through what was going to happen, then asked if we wanted a prayer and Greg said yes (even though I had just prayed before they got to the door). Then he slowly, respectfully put Gretel to twilight sleep, then euthanized her as I held her. We just held her and cried, and as the Vet was leaving, the Angel Oaks Cremation Manager showed up to pick her up. Greg said we needed more time and he said no problem, he would wait however long we needed. I held Gretel a few more minutes and looked up at Greg through my tears and said "If I hold her another 24 hours, it will never be long enough, let's let her go." So we carefully got her ready on a comfy blanky and put her in the tote Angel Oaks had brought.

Our hearts will forever be blessed for the wonderful 5-6 years we had with our loving GRETEL and she will be forever blessed by the spoiled treatment and love she received in her FOREVER home. Our hearts will always have a place with a small crack where it broke that day, Feb 7, 2019 when Gretel went home over the Rainbow Bridge.

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Last Updated: 02/18/19

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