The Story Behind My Tattoo

In one of my blog posts from England, I mentioned getting a tattoo and that I would do a post about why I got it, so here it is. It was a spontaneous trip, but the tattoo I wanted wasn’t spontaneous.


In 2005 when I was eight years old, my neighbor had a miniature dachshund who I loved to play with and I was asked to dog-sit. She was pregnant, but wasn’t suppose to have her puppies yet, so I didn’t think anything of it. While I was dog-sitting and watching TV at the neighbors, I heard little squeaks and noticed that the dog had given birth to nine of the cutest little mini dachshunds. I called the owners, and being eight at the time I was super excited and nervous. There was a certain pup out of all of them that caught my eye.

The other dachshunds were solid black or brown, but he was dappled and cute as could be. I had an immediate bond with him, so I was glad I lived close by so I could see him everyday. Everyday, I would hold him against my chest and he would suck on my pinky and fall asleep in the palm of my hand for hours.

When the owners returned home, they said that I could keep the dachshund that I had a bond with and I could take him home once he was old enough. I had always wanted a little dog for me to play with and take care of since we only had a lab at the time. When I found out that I could keep the puppy I cried happy tears because I never wanted to leave him and now I didn’t have to. I officially gave him his name, Winston, and cuddled him everyday.

The day finally arrived when he was old enough to leave his mom and I brought him home. He was spoiled rotten and treated as if he was my little baby. During the night, he would start crying and I would hold him against my chest and rock him back to sleep. We literally did everything together. He would go with me all the time to run errands, as he got older he was super protective of me, and he wouldn’t go to sleep unless he was with me in my bed right on my chest. Whenever I was having an off day, he knew it and wouldn’t ever leave my side. Even when I was sick in bed he wouldn’t get up to eat or use the bathroom unless I got up. My safe place was with him and his safe place was with me.

Fast forward to May of 2016. Everything seemed fine with him. He had more white hair and started looking like a little old man, but couldn’t have been any cuter. I would take him to his checkups and he was a happy and healthy mini dachshund. One day, I was in the kitchen making lunch for myself and he was sitting near where I was cooking because he was always on the lookout for food being dropped. All of the sudden he let out this terrible cry/scream thing. I ran to him and gently tried to rub him without picking him up in case his back was hurt. He started shaking and acting paralyzed.

I took him to the vet and they did X-rays and tests. Nothing showed up so they thought that he had a hurt muscle in his back/neck. They gave him pain medicine and sent him home saying he should be better by the next day. The next morning, I heard him cry beside me in bed and when I rolled over, he was completely paralyzed not being able to move his paws or neck to look at me. I tried to lift him up, but he was dead weight. I kept calling his name and he wouldn’t look at me. It literally looked like he was dead. Even his eyes were rolled in the back of his head.

I put on clothes and took him straight to the vet looking like a complete mess. They did more tests and said that it was common for dachshunds to have back injuries like this all of the sudden because of how long they are. I knew dachshunds could develop injuries, but I didn’t think he would for some reason. Everyone at the vet did everything they could for him, but he couldn’t do anything except for cry. His eyes were shut and his whole body was locked up. There wasn’t anything left I could do for him. I didn’t think I would ever have to be the one to put my own dog to sleep.

The vet went out to give me time to be with him and to process everything. I held him against my chest and apologized to him and told him how much I loved him. He hadn’t moved all day, but when I was talking to him he put his paws on my chest, looked up at me straight into my eyes, and gave me the biggest and best kiss just like when he was a puppy, but then went back to not being able to move. The vet came back in to give him the shot to put him to sleep. I held him the whole time rubbing his long dachshund ears on my face. It took no time for his heart beat to go away. I sat in the room and cried until I could leave. I of course had him cremated so he would still always be in my room in a way. I held my little Winston during one of his first breaths and held him at his very last. Nothing could separate us for all those years and nothing can ever replace him.

Ever since he passed away I always wanted a little dachshund tattoo on my ankle, but never bothered to get one. As soon as I stepped out of the apartment I was staying at in London, a college student went walking past with her dachshund that looked just like Winston. I broke. I was already emotional because I was back in my favorite place, but then to make eye contact with a dachshund that looked that closely to my dachshund, I lost it for a second. I knew I had to get a tattoo of a dachshund before leaving England, so I did.

When we made it to where my sister lives in Durham, England, we were having lunch and I was talking about getting my tattoo. My sister told me to get it where she and my brother-in-law got theirs. Right after lunch, I went to get my tattoo. I knew exactly what I wanted and was in and out in 30 minutes. It is exactly what I wanted and now I feel as if Winston is always with me.



Until next time,

Caitlin xxx