The loss of Twinkie created a huge void in my life. My best friend was no longer
by my side. Tears came easily and frequently during those first few weeks. Although
I felt numb with an unspeakable grief, I went to work every day pretending as if
everything was ok. As an elementary school teacher my days were busy and filled with
classroom activities. I think it was more difficult to be home because there was a
painful emptiness throughout our house and reminders of Twinkie everywhere. Time
passed as days turned into weeks and weeks into months. Winter ended and spring began.

Several months after Twinkie’s passing, my husband, Bob, tentatively brought up the
subject of getting another dog someday. I immediately vetoed the idea, stating that
I could not go through the loss of another dog. Allowing another dog into our home
and hearts also felt like a betrayal to Twinkie. Every once in a while, Bob would
bring up the subject again, but I always had the same response, “No”.

As more time passed I began to feel as if I was being unfair to Bob. If he felt that
a dog completed our family and brought joy into our lives who was I to deny him? In
October of that year, we were on a weekend getaway when I told Bob that I had changed
my mind about getting a dog and that I had an amazing idea. Whenever Bob spoke of
getting another dog he would say that he wanted a dog just like Twinkie. What if we
could actually find such a dog? What if we were able to get a dog related to Twinkie?
The rest of the weekend was consumed with thoughts of a getting a puppy related to Twinkie.

Earlier apprehension of getting another dog changed to excitement at the possibility
of having a dog with Twinkie’s bloodline. We were not in an immediate rush to begin
our search since we figured that the following summer would be the best time to welcome
a puppy into our home. In late November, I began researching Twinkie’s background.
Twinkie had been purchased at a pet shop (prior to our learning about puppy mills), but
the name of the broker and breeder appeared on a certificate that accompanied the sales
receipt. Over fourteen years had passed since Bob had purchased Twinkie and I did not
know if the broker or breeder were still in business. Hoping to have a puppy the following
summer, I needed to try to track down the breeder. If I was unable to locate the breeder we
would not be able to have a dog related to Twinkie. On the certificate, along with the
breeder’s name, was her city and state. Googling the breeder’s name I found an address
that included the street name. But was it accurate?

The last week of November I mailed the breeder the following letter:

November 23, 2007

Dear Ms. Tussinger,

We had the amazing opportunity of sharing fourteen years with a Miniature Pinscher
that you bred. We named our beloved puppy Twinkie and gave her the best life that any
dog could wish for. In return, Twinkie showed us how much love a tiny dog could have
for their mom and dad. Sadly, Twinkie passed away in March, but her spirit will be with
us forever, as well as all of the incredible memories that will be cherished.

We would like to raise another Miniature Pinscher, possibly two, and are interested in
knowing if you still breed this kind of dog. If so, would it be possible to receive one
from Twinkie’s bloodline? To have the gift of raising a dog related to Twinkie would mean
so much to us.

We are also interested in Twinkie’s early days with you. Was she the only pup in her litter? Or did she have a brother/sister born with her? Do you have any pictures of her or her parents/siblings?

We eagerly await a response to this letter.

Twinkie’s welp date: Jan. 5, 1993
Father: Great Balls O’ Fire (TD279604)
Mother: Sister Sly (TM782438/01)

Lori & Robert Capaccio

Our letter was mailed with high hopes that we would soon receive news from the dog breeder in Oklahoma. Thoughts of having a Min Pin related to Twinkie filled us with anticipation, but we tried to remain realistic. After all, Twinkie had been bred about fifteen years earlier. Many questions circulated through our minds. Was the breeder still in business? Did she still breed Miniature Pinschers? If so, most importantly, were any of her Min Pins related to our precious Twinkie?