Chapter 1 – The Meeting


The X marks the exact spot where I saw and held Gabby the first time

My life changed forever on December 28, 1997, at Keller’s Flea Market near Savannah, Georgia.

I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and my mom lives in South Carolina, not far from Savannah. I was visiting for Christmas, and had been thinking of getting a dog, specifically a black and tan female miniature dachshund.  We had always had dachshunds in my family.  When I was little we had one named Pretzel, my sister had a red one named Sally and my Aunt Linda had a black and tan that everyone called Pepper.  My grandmother (Gram) was on the trip with us, as was my Aunt Linda and her husband, my Uncle Dave.  Aunt Linda even gave me a book on dachshunds as a Christmas gift.

We always liked to go to flea markets and look around, especially since I often found some neat vintage electronics at them. I was looking around when my Uncle Dave came and found me, saying, “We are leaving, come on.”  He had a huge smile on his face, and we were leaving very early.  It was very peculiar.

We got to the parking lot and my mom was smiling.  She opened her jacket, and there was a sleepy, black and tan dachshund puppy there.


The puppy turned it head toward me, yawned and put its head back on my mom’s chest.  “I hear you’ve been looking for one of these!” she said.


Mom told me that a breeder she had known for years, Vivian, had a good reputation in the community and she knew many people who had gotten dogs from her. One of her specialties was AKC registered dachshund puppies and Mom told me the puppy was checked by a vet, had papers and a health and satisfaction guarantee. Looking down at her, Mom said, “Look at what pretty markings she has! Isn’t she cute?”

It was such a surprise, I was speechless.  My mom started to say, “Uh-oh, I guess I have a new dog now…”

No way that was happening! “Oh, no. I will take her!” I quickly answered.

Riding back to the house, I laid down in the back seat of my mom’s car.  The puppy walked around on my chest.  I could not believe I actually had a dog, exactly what I had wanted, a dream come true! I knew my life would be changing. I looked at her eyes as she walked around, unsure of herself on top of my body, as I thought, “What will you be like? Will you grow up to be cute?  Will you be smart? Will we be good buddies?”

Little did I know what a beautiful and special dog she would grow up to be, and how she would capture my heart.

Author’s note: Later on I asked my grandma if she knew about this before we went to the market. She told me that Mom had seen Gabby cuddled under some other dogs that were not dachshunds, and mom saw the dachshund body sticking out and asked to see her.  Once she saw her, she fell in love and bought her for me.  Because of Gram’s story, all of Gabby’s life I had thought perhaps she was the last of her litter and sleeping under a pile of other dogs, and my mom saw her hindquarters and had her pulled out. As I found out much later, that is not at all what really happened. You will find out what actually happened later in our story.