First Dog: Tika

By Theresa Houseman, January 2014, Updated February 2015

Two years after I had returned my husband of 20 years to the universe (great customer service!), my younger sister, the owner of two small rescue dogs, sent a photo of a little Border Terrier Dachshund-mix puppy to me one day at work in June of 2012. In the photo, her tail was wagging so fast you could not see it and at first I didn’t think she had a tail! My heart was captured by the little brown rectangular, “tailless” puppy in that photo and Tika became mine two weeks later. She was my first dog ever. Two months after I rescued Tika from the concrete kennel she then knew as home, as I was lying in bed, reading with Tika at my side, she kept insisting on being on my right side near my shoulder.  I scooched over a bit and allowed her to get comfy under my right arm, as I held my book to read. Tika started burrowing and nudging my right side, near my breast.  She led me to a small lump in my breast. I knew at the moment it was cancer.  It was diagnosed 5 days later.  After surgery and 6 weeks of radiation, I’m healthy, loving life and deeply in love with these 14 pounds of soft fur, big feet, scruffy tail and sweet face.  Every single day, Teeks makes me laugh and smile.  I find myself wondering how I ever lived without her before!  I did not know you could love a dog the way I cherish this little one.