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Autobiographical Essays

Beate Caspari-Rosen, MD (1910 - 1995)


Schatzi

Once upon a time we had a dog name Schatzi, which means Sweetheart in German. She was a female, medium-sized dachshund, with a long aristocratic head, brown silky fur, short stumpy legs, flapping ears and a long wagging tail. When my daughter had her birthday, she asked for a dog as a present We had a family council, and my husband and I made it clear to her and her older brother, that having an animal meant responsibility. A that time we lived in an apartment house on 101st street and Riverside Drive (285) in Manhattan. Our apartment overlooked a large Riverside Park’s large lawns was a large lawn, and it was there that Schatzi was walked. Four times a day she was taken out, kept clean, and fed.

When we agreed to get a dog, we decided on a dachshund looked at advertisements in the New York Times for a dachshund. Sure enough, somebody wanted to sell a ten—month old house-broken female dog. After calling the owner, we drove to Queens and 
rang the bell at a neatly kept small house; the bell was  answered by loud barking. A member of the family opened the door; and there was Schatzi defending her home territory. We all fell instantly in love with her. After we were invited into the house, we learned that the young couple to whom the dog belonged had a newborn and  lived with their in-laws. The baby's crying and the dog's barking seemed to be too much for
the elderly couple.

The next evening the young husband brought Schatzi to us and left with tears in his eyes. Here we were, the owners of a frightened, barking, desperate animal who was running along our corridor, which led from the front-door to the living room. We could not catch her. If we went to the door she ran into the living room, and so, back and forth to the room. Only after my daughter stayed under the dining-room table where the dog tried to hide did we finally get a hold of her. By that time it was late in the evening. We had prepared a dog bed for her in the kitchen where we put her and closed the door. Instantly she cried loudly, not like a dog, but like a very frantic and hungry baby. We all went to bed, but the constant wailing did not let us sleep. We surrendered and carried the bed
and dog into our bedroom, turned off the light, and there was an immediate bump. Schatzi had jumped onto the bed. She snuggled down at the foot end between the two mattresses and found her rightful place for life.

She gave us all her love and affection for seventeen years, and I still miss her after all this time.

 


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