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Regular readers of this Journal know that my miniature dachshund, Max, has been my greatest little guy and a wonderful blessing to my wife and me for more than ten of his thirteen or fourteen years.

But, until now, I’ve never mentioned that, for the past few years, I’ve also had another doxie friend.

Ikey is the greatest little guy of my friends, Bob and Candy. They love and cherish him just like I love and cherish Max.

Candy and I became friends because she works for the domestic violence center where I donated a year, working as a full-time, volunteer, DV legal advocate.

Ikey is colored exactly like Max, but he’s only about 8 pounds, compared to Max’s 11 or 12 pounds.


And Ikey’s still young enough that his tan colorings are all still tan, instead of gray.

Like all black-and-tan doxies, he looks like he could be Max’s brother.

The past few times that Bob and Candy went out of town for several days, I was honored that they asked me to drop in a few times each day, to take care of Ikey.

But instead of just feeding him, walking him and leaving, I usually spent 1-2 hours at a time with him — playing with him, holding him, petting him, kissing his little head, watching TV with him, and giving him treats (he loves bits of sweet green peppers, baby carrots, and baby food). And when he needed to gain a little weight, he loved it when I gave him little bites of McDonald’s hamburgers.

Last month, when he had to wear a plastic “Elizabethan collar” for several days after having surgery on one of his back feet, I devised a way for him to be able to eat his kibble any time he felt like it, while wearing that collar — and I laid him on his back in my lap and re-bandaged his tiny foot several times after he figured out how to push that collar down his neck as far as possible, so that he could reach his foot to pull off his bandage.

In other words, I always give Ikey lots and lots of loving care and attention.

The same kind of loving care and attention that I would want someone to give Max if they were caring for him in my absence.

So, needless to say, Ikey knows that I love him, and he really, really loves me back. I’m always glad to see him, and when he sees me, he gets all excited, runs around in little circles, turns over on his back so I can rub his chest and belly, and can’t wait to cover my face with kisses.

Later this afternoon, I’m going to start caring for Ikey again, because Bob and Candy are out of town until this coming Wednesday afternoon.

I’m planning to take my camera with me. If I get a good photo of him, I’ll add it to this Journal post when I get home.

Max and Ikey are proof that big blessings often come in little packages.

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