Thumper – In Memoriam

On Thursday of last week, February 26, I lost my companion of the past six years—my beloved dachshund, Thumper.


Thumper came to me from my brother and sister-in-law in September of 2003. Upon moving to a gated community that did not allow more than two dogs, and having three dogs—Thumper being the troublemaker of the trio (he liked to dig under the fence and cruise the neighborhood)—Steve, my brother, called and asked if I would like to adopt Thumper. I have always loved dachshunds and particularly Thumper as he was very talented and loaded with personality, so of course, I said “Yes!”

Thumper was an AKC-registered, smooth red miniature dachshund. His sire—dad—was Oscar Mayer Veiner II, and his dam—mom—was Buttons McIlvain. Buttons was three years older than her beloved Oscar, but theirs was an ageless love.

At the time of Thumper’s birth, Oscar and Buttons lived in Hamilton, Ohio, but their story began in war-torn Ireland . . .

Lt. Oscar Mayer Veiner II, had been a spitfire youth who was caught up in the fervor of the rebuilding of his country after WWI. Like so many other youths, he was an idealist, and was blinded by the rhetoric and propaganda of the rising Nazi powers. He joined the Lutwaffe—the German air force—and was soon fighting a battle that opened his eyes to the cruelties of man.

On April 7, 1941, Lt. Veiner II participated in the bombing of Belfast, Ireland. The lieutenant’s plane was shot down, and Oscar was seriously wounded.

Buttons McIlvain, a beautiful, red-haired lass, supported her family by working as a barmaid in Belfast. When the air raid sirens ceased on that fateful day, she climbed out of the bomb shelter and nearly tripped over the wounded Lt. Veiner II. Her mind told her to let him die, but her soft heart would not let her leave him in the street. She dragged him to her home, and there she undertook his care.

Buttons’ compassion, coupled with Oscar’s disillusionment with the German war effort, helped these two young pups bond and fall in love. Oscar never returned to the Lutwaffe, and spent the remainder of the war assisting the Irish in the defense of their country.

After the war, the young lovers married, and daringly stowed away on a ship journeying to America. They made their way to the home of Steve and Lynda McIlvain in Hamilton, Ohio—relatives of Buttons—who welcomed them with open arms, chew toys, and bags of kibble.

Their son, Thumper, never tired of hearing the story of his parents’ love. Their sense of adventure was instilled in Thumper at a young age, and he grew to be a great adventurer—fighting in the Sahara with the French Foreign Legion, working undercover with the FBI to infiltrate and bring down Al Capone’s organization, crossing the 38th Parallel between North and South Korea to deliver vital strategic information to the Americans as a CIA operative, and counseling President John K. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Thumper’s talents and bravery earned him a pampered retirement in my home, where he grew fat and happy. Finally able to relax, he lived out his days rolling over for cookies, chasing tennis balls, learning to use his inside voice, sleeping under his human’s desk while she worked, and caring for stray kittens.

Thumper is survived by his cousins, Jippy—a sheltie, and Jasmine—a black Labrador, Boo-Boo, a grey kitten he nursed to health, and his housemate, Dickens, an orange tabby cat.

And me, his human.

You are sorely missed, Thumpy-Geez.


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Published in: on March 1, 2009 at 3:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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