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Are you sick of talking about the election and post-election commentary? Are you ready to celebrate the holidays with something special?

Me, too.

I want to share with you an interesting series of events that changed our household for the better and will make a huge difference in the life of a really cool dog.

It all started on a Sunday afternoon. My wife and I went to Green Thumb Nursery to pick up some Christmas decorations. It seems one can never have too many decorations for the holidays.

As we were driving home, I noticed that one of the animated decorations required an odd-sized battery. Since we did not have the requisite battery, I suggested we stop at a local drug store to purchase one.

As we were waiting in line at the checkout stand, I started to get a cramp in my leg. When we walked out of the store, I suggested that we stroll over to the other end of the shopping center.

As we were walking, we noticed a Christmas festival in front of several stores. In the middle of the festival was an enclosed area that said “Dachshund Rescue and Placement.” There were five dogs in the enclosure.

To be honest, most of the dogs looked like mutts with perhaps some Dachshund DNA, but they were certainly not Dachshunds. I continued walking, but my wife stopped. It seems that a black dapple Dachshund caught her eye.

The black dapple Dachshund was being hounded (no pun intended) by a younger dog. My wife picked up the dapple fellow and held him.

I could see this little guy melted her heart. Pretty soon I held him and he melted my heart as well. We took him for a walk around the shopping center.

For a Dachshund, he was remarkably good on leash. He was also very sociable with other dogs and people.

Now let me back up a moment to say that Dachshunds have been part of my family since before I was born. We have two of them; both of whom are starting to get along in years.

We talked about getting another one but really did not want to go through having to housebreak a puppy. My daughter said many times that our next dog should be a dapple Dachshund.

My wife called my son and daughter, who came over to the shopping center. We all spent some time with this dog named “Dukie.”

That evening I completed the doggie adoption paperwork and spoke with the lady who runs the Dachshund rescue organization.

It seems as though Dukie had quite a change in fortunes. His former owner got a new job and could no longer care for him.

The owner concluded that the easiest way to get rid of Dukie was to advertise a free dog on Craig’s List. He placed the ad on the day before Thanksgiving.

The lady who runs the rescue organization told me that dogs offered for free on Craig’s List in the Antelope Valley are almost always claimed by pit bull trainers who use them as “training dogs.”

As the name implies, training dogs are used illegally to hone a pit bull’s fighting skills. I am told that training dogs have a short and painful life expectancy.

When the rescue organization called about Dukie, the owner said he had already been claimed and the new owner was going to pick him up that afternoon.

Later that evening, the owner called the rescue organization back, saying that nobody came to pick up Dukie and they could have him if they wanted him.

Dukie was rescued that night and placed in a foster home, where he spent Thanksgiving weekend. The following week he was given all of his shots, had an identification micro-chip inserted and had his teeth cleaned. He was all ready to meet our family.

I guess I completed the paperwork properly because Dukie was delivered to our house a few days later. He gets along very well with our two other Dachshunds, invigorating them.

Perhaps the greatest competition among them is for the prime real estate on my lap.

Dukie is a terrific watch dog and a great squirrel chaser. His prior owner taught him a few bad habits, but we seem to be overcoming them. His biggest problem is confusion about using the doggie door.

Since the election, I have been in a funk about politics and the state of things. But Dukie and our other dogs have done an admirable job of making me feel better.

I’m confident that Dukie is going to have a wonderful life after this holiday season.

Jim de Bree is a Valencia resident.

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  • Ron Bischof

    Great story about Dukie and a Merrier Christmas for the de Bree Family!

  • Ed Shalom

    I met Dukie when he walked into our house to introduce himself as the new neighbor on the block – not one to wait for the welcome wagon, he was very sociable and rather fearless as he explored our house. We are happy to have a dog nearby with such a friendly disposition…maybe the curmudgeons amongst us (could I be one?) can learn from his example. 😉

  • lois eisenberg

    “Jim de Bree: Joy in the house this holiday”
    Dukie is lucky to be part of the de Bree’s family!!!!
    Happy and joyous holidays !!!

  • Jim de Bree

    Thanks everyone for the nice comments this was a fun article to write. I am still really bugged about how close Dukie came to becoming a training dog. Hopefully my column will discourage people from listing their dog as a “free dog” on Craig’s list.