My Dog Alex

Alex was born on June 6, 1998 – hard to believe that he is 12 years old now.  I picked him out of the litter when he was about one week old.  I went back the following weekend to take some pictures of him – this is a picture of us when he was 2 weeks old:

When I got Alex, I also had another Yorkie, Nicky.  Nicky was 5 when I got Alex.  I was having trouble coming up with a name for Alex.  My neighbor also had 2 Yorkies, and her dogs names were Alex and Brandy.  I was outside when I heard her call for her Alex and thought that name would go great with Nicky (Nicholas & Alexandra).  I asked her if she would care if I called my new puppy Alex and she said she did not mind.  Prior to getting Alex, I had heard someone talk about their dog named Sasha and thought that would be a neat name for a dog but did not want to name a male dog Sasha.  I later found out thru a coworker that was from Russia that Sasha means Alex in Russian (guess it has been awhile since I watched Dr. Zhivago!).  I later got a cat and named her Sasha, so lots of Alex’s in the house now!

Nicky and Alex got along great together.  When I got sick and had to move in with my mother, it was hard on the dogs and they did not understand what was going on when I disappeared several times due to being in the hospital.  I had my second surgery on my foot on March 31, 2006, a day after Nicky had to have his eye removed.  Nicky died April 8, 2006   It was an especially hard time for Alex and I think he spent about the next month under the bed.  In August, I started hyperbaric oxygen treatments and spent the weeks in Pittsburgh for the next 12 weeks.  At the end of December, I moved into my own apartment and life started getting a little more back to normal. 

Prior to my getting sick and moving into my mothers, I would always get my coffee in the morning and sit in the living room to watch the news on CNN and play ball with the dogs.  We weren’t able to do that at my mother’s house.  The first morning I spent in my new apartment, I got my coffee and went to sit in the living room.  Even though it had been 18 months since we had played coffee ball as I liked to call it, Alex remembered and went to get a toy.  Playing in the morning while I drink my coffee is a regular routine for us, but Alex does not seem to have the same affection for balls that Nicky did.  I used to think Nicky was born with a ball in his mouth because he was always walking around with one.  Alex prefers stuffed toys although he does have one ball that he will play with.

For awhile, I was worried Alex was having vision problems.  He seemed to have a hard time finding the ball if it landed someplace not real obvious.  Then it dawned on me that when he played with Nicky and that happened, it was always Nicky that searched out the ball and Alex would follow him.  It wasn’t that Alex had a hard time seeing the ball, it was because he never had to look for it before.

Last year when I started passing out from low blood sugar, Alex did not understand what was happening.  The one day when I came to, I was sitting on the living room floor and he was sitting in front of me staring at me.  The Saturday morning that I passed out in July this summer, when I first came to and was having trouble moving, I could see him sitting on the bed just shaking.  After the manager and the neighbor came in, my neighbor took him out and waned to try and feed him but he wanted no part of staying downstairs – he wanted where he could see me.  Two days later when I came to with the EMTs over me, I did not see him and asked about him – the manager had put him in the other bedroom.  After I got home that morning, I found out that the maintenance guy came over and walked him.  Alex was sick the rest of the week and I am sure it was from stress.

I think that he associates the beeping on the Dexcom with problems.  A couple nights after I had passed out in July, the Dexcom started beeping and Alex jumped up and went under the bed.  I could imagine him thinking “here we go again.”  One night I was laying on the couch and he went to lay down on my stomach.  Just as he put his foot on my stomach, the Dex beeped – I wish I had a picture of the look on his face when that happened.  Needless to say, he did not lay on my stomach that night.

Alex was always kind of a mommy’s boy but even more so since I got sick.  I think he worries every time I go out the door when I will be back.  Now he has the added worry of my passing out. 

Besides being a little worry wart, he is a good dog.  He loves to play and loves getting new toys – not that his toy box is not overflowing!  Although he gets along with the cat, I think she likes him more than he likes her – she is the one always rubbing up against him and he moves away when she does.  He does like to play with her in the mornings though and often chases her around.  It is funny how he gets into a routine.  My mail comes about 1 and I will walk over with him to the mailbox.  He starts bugging me as soon as I finish eating lunch – he doesn’t realize we have to wait until the mail lady actually gets here. 

Like most dogs, he has a list of words that he knows.  He does not like the word bath – I wonder why!  Before I moved in with my mother, I would say that we are going to grandmas and he would run upstairs – he always got car sick on the way there but never on the way back.  Guess he didn’t like going to grandmas!  He knows the word treat.  If I say lets take the garbage over or get the mail, he knows he is getting out for a stroll.  My entertainment center has two little doors on each side and sometimes, I will buy toys ahead for Christmas or birthdays.  If I say the word present, he goes over to the door where I stash his presents.  I tend to tease him with that one a lot!  As many cars as pull into the development every day, he knows my mothers car and starts crying and running around when he sees her car pull in – he does this before she even makes it to the parking lot.  I don’t know how he knows, but he knows!

Alex loved to pull Nicky’s hair when he was a puppy:

Not sure who ended up with the bone:

Why did you tape my ears Mom?

You are taking up all the sun!

Come on, lets go for a walk:

Alex with his cousin Buster

This is actually Nicky with his cousin, Damn-It:


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