Drawing by Jon Keller
(click to enlarge) 


November 12, 1994 - April 8, 2009

Archie Copyright 2005 Jon R. Keller

April 12, 2009

Our good dog Archie passed away on Wednesday.  Although old and very gray, and deaf in his later years, he had been pretty healthy and active right up until last week.  Last Thursday night he started to have trouble breathing, with loud crackles on the right side.  We took him to the vet on Friday and he was diagnosed with pneumonia.  We took him home and started him on strong antibiotics and something to help the breathing.

He had a pretty rough weekend, too weak to move much since he had so much trouble breathing, and hardly eating.  But on Sunday night and Monday he started to perk up a little, he ate some and went outside a couple of times.  It didn't last long.  On Wednesday morning I knew it was time to put him down, so I went over to Cameron Veterinary, our wonderful local vet as soon as they were open to make an appointment.  They said they could do it any time, so I called Amy and she said she'd come right home.  I made a 10:20 appointment for the euthanasia.  Amy got home about 9:45.   It was a cloudy and slightly rainy morning, but just then it got sunny.  Archie was very weak, but he saw the sun and went over to his bed near the sliding-glass door, and laid down in the sun, his favorite spot.  A few minutes later, just when we were about to leave to put him to sleep, Amy noticed that he had passed away peacefully on his own.  We buried him in the back yard, next to Natalie, within a half hour of his death.  At that point the Sun disappeared, and the rest of the day was cloudy.   It all had a strong feeling of "it was meant to be this way".

We got Archie in February 1995.  Natalie was about a year old, and she needed a companion.  She used to go crazy when we were at work, she didn't like to be left alone.  So I went back to the same puppy mill (didn't know any better in those days) and brought home a little boy puppy.  We named him "Roscoe".   But we immediately noticed that Roscoe had some sort of birth-defect, his ribs were mal-formed ("butterfly ribs").  So I returned him the next day and took his brother.  (Sorry Roscoe, I hope things worked out well for you anyway).  We named the second puppy Archie, which was the nickname for the goalie of the San Jose Sharks, Arturs Irbe.

Once we got Archie, Natalie's bad habits disappeared.  The two of them grew up together from then on. 

Baby Archie


Archie tried to kill himself the month we got him.  A lot of Dachshunds seem to get into trouble!  I was working at ROLM
and we'd had Archie about a week.  I almost never went home for lunch, but that day I decided that I'd shoot home real quick and see how he was doing. But at about 11:45 I got a phone call from a vendor and I was on the phone nearly a half hour.  By the time I got off the call it was too late to go home.  But for some reason I decided to go home anyway.

I got home and I couldn't find Archie in the yard, although Natalie was out in the sun.  I peeked into the garage through the dog door and my heart nearly stopped.  Sitting near the door was some weird creature I couldn't recognize, with a shiny glass head and two big eyes.  I really had no idea what I was seeing through the small opening.  I hurried to unlock the door and then realized that little Arch had gotten his head stuck inside a jar.  It was a pint jar, about like a mayonnaise jar, that Jason had been using to collect bugs.  There had probably been a bug or two in the bottom which caused the puppy to get curious and once he got his head inside his struggles only served to wedge it in tighter.

I panicked, the jar was tight around the dog's neck and clearly there was almost no air inside.  His eyes were big and his nose and mouth were tightly pressed against the bottom of the jar.  I started screaming and picked him up, and he peed all over in his panic.

I had to cut the plastic jar to remove it, it was so tight around his neck that I just couldn't slip it off.  He was fine, but certainly couldn't have lasted long like that.

Had I not gone home for lunch that day, Amy would have come home first, about 5 hours later, to find a dead puppy in a jar.




Amy gives baby Archie some love: Amy-Arch(800)

Here's baby Archie helping big Natalie stand guard:



Archie & kids

Here's a picture of a nearly full-grown but still youthful Archie.  Diana holds him and Jason has Natalie.  Archie had that deep mahogany color and the softest ears of any dachshund we've had.

Archie was a  super-affectionate dog.  If any of us would lay down for a nap, he'd immediately run over and snuggle into the nearest armpit.  Archie's favorite thing was to get some "snout".   If you cupped your hand around his nose and rubbed it, he would just keep coming back for more.   "Gimme some more snout please, mommy!"

Everyone who came to our home knew Archie, because he would always come to any visitor and try to sit or their lap or cuddle with them.  Archie loved people and they all loved him.  He was mostly deaf in his last few years, but he was agile and spry until the end, and he never lost his wonderful personality. Here he's giving his love to our friend Jen, who had only just met him.  That's Maggie, our latest, at the bottom of the picture.


This picture was taken in August 2007. Left to right, I've got Nat, Amy has Archie, Jason has Lucy, and Diana holds Petey:
We grew the pack to four wieners over the years, with Lucy, who's now 8, and Petey (P.T. Cruiser), now a very frisky three-year-old.  This picture's not current, now that Natalie and Archie have died, and we got Maggie, our dachshund pack numbers three.

Petey checks out Archie's new grave.
Archie's Grave 

Archie man
Archie Keller,  November 12, 1994 - April 8, 2009
Affectionate friend to all, he never growled at a human in his life. 
Everyone who met Archie liked him immediately.

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Last edited April 13, 2009