You might have seen some photos posted to Twitter, but for those of you who still haven’t had the chance to meet Rusty; here is the full story.

A while ago I was looking to adopt a puppy, specifically a Chihuahua or miniature Yorkshire Terrier. You know… The tiny toy or teacup breeds. I spent a lot of time crawling the web looking for breeders and came across an advertisement stating that a couple from East London has three Chihuahua puppies that needed new homes and that they were giving them away for free, provided that you meet a certain criteria. I answered all their questions and spoke with the man via the telephone briefly. We continued to converse via email, sending pictures, stories, and Chihuahua care and training information back and forth. I decided to take only one of the three available puppies; a little white smooth-coat Chihuahua named Dori. The day finally arrived when they approved my request for adoption and so we moved on to the final step, relocating the puppy from East London to Boksburg.

The owner offered two options. I could either drive down to East London to his home address to collect the puppy, or he would send her via a pet flight agency. Obviously I didn’t want to subject the little pup to hours of driving in the hot sun so I requested the puppy to be sent via a pet flight agency and offered to pay for all the fees. Little did I know that even after speaking with the “owners” and viewing many photo’s that this would turn out to be a scam to get my money. After our last phone call I received an email from a fake flight agency, coming from a free email provider account claiming to be a company which doesn’t even operate in South Africa and asking me to deposit R850 into a personal bank account.

Fortunately the moment that I received the email I double checked everything first and discovered that these same criminals have been conning many Chihuahua lovers out of their money. Moral of the story – If you are ever looking for a Chihuahua puppy, do not accept a “free” offer unless you personally know the owners. Instead, work with a registered breeder. Sure you’ll have to cough up about R3500 for a little pup, but it will be worth your while and prevent a lot of frustration.

With that said, I didn’t get a Chihuahua or a Yorkshire Terrier. I got a little Dachshund. Why, you ask? Well. My sister in law got a little pup for her son about 6 months ago but they recently moved into a new place where pets are not allowed and the pup was therefore given to my brother. My brother is rarely home and unable to take care of the pup or provide a proper exercise routine, diet, and  general loving attention. The lille pup also slept outside and rarely received any form of care. My brother had asked me a couple of times before if I wanted to take him because they know I’ve been looking for a new pet and they know that little Rusty desperately needs a new home. I didn’t pay much attention to that because I had my heart set on getting a female Chihuahua or Yorkshire terrier. A male Dachshund was simply not an option.

That quickly changed when I actually saw Rusty for the first time. The poor pup was desperate for attention, a bath, and a warm bed to sleep in. Immediately he stole my heart and I decided to re-consider my plans. I’m a huge animal lover and when I see an animal in need of love, care and attention, I’d rather take said animal instead of waiting for a new puppy to be born that would get a loving home regardless of whether I take it or not. So there I was, feeling sorry for the little pup and I decided; OK, YES, I’m going to take him!

My brother, and sister in law feels better now that Rusty is in a caring home and that he’s still in the family. And I’m really glad that I’ve decided to take him in. He is really the cutest little Dachshund that I have ever met, and he definitely changed my perception of Dachshunds for good.

Rusty has been here for just over a week now and he seems to be loving all the care and attention. I’m still struggling a bit with the potty-training but after reading up about it extensively I found a few methods that are guaranteed to work (or so they say). I’ve also bought him a new collar and leash. His neck is so small that the only collar I could find that actually fit him was a car collar with a bell, now He’s running around with the little bell making a noise with his every move, So cute!! I’m taking him for a walk around the neighbourhood on a daily basis and he’s slowly starting to learn to cope with the leash and the other dogs barking at him.

I’ll definitely keep you updated on the life of Rusty! This is my first Dachshund, so please let me know if you have any tips or suggestions for training and general care.

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