Tales of Tails

We have had three dachshunds over the years; A long-haired red, named Lily, a short-haired black and tan named Murphy and now a wire-haired named Pippin. All three have had very distinct personalities, each with their own quirks. Dachshunds are the smallest of the hounds and are known to have “little man syndrome.”  They are nosey, active, mischievous, and charming. If you are considering a dachshund, get it in the spring. They can be hard to potty train in the winter. They don’t like the cold touching their “bits.”

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Sassy Lily

Lily had a huge personality. She was a bossy thing! She reminded me of a big sassy southern woman. She would stand in the middle of the kitchen and look you up and down like, “I don’t know why you think a cup of dog food is going to feed me!” (If she had a finger to wag at you, she would have!) Food was her “love language.”  She could ferret out the tiniest crumb on the kitchen floor. When we came home sometimes, she would be found standing on the kitchen table. She could get up on it but not back down. Lily was the only dog I knew that could lie. She was very verbal and had a way of telling me that she had not been fed, which was different from the sounds she would make when she had been fed but was lying about it. When my daughter was young, she liked to sleep on the top bunk of her bunk beds. Birdie would take Lily to bed when she would go, but before long you could hear Lily wretch like she was going to vomit. She was a faker, she just did not want to miss out on anything.  As soon as she got off the bunk, she would come wagging out to the kitchen and check the food situation. If you were doing dishes, she would be happy to stand on the dishwasher lid and help. Lily lived to the ripe old age of 14.

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Murphy Having a Bath

Murphy was a happy, quiet, shy boy and not the “sharpest tool in the shed.” He spoke through the position of his ears. We got him in winter, and when he was a puppy, he would sit on my shoes outside. Murphy was not food motivated, he couldn’t find a crumb if it bopped him on the nose. He loved to cuddle and snuggle under the covers at night. Sometimes, when he was especially tired, he would put himself to bed, in my daughter’s bed (by then the bunk beds were gone). He would bark when Lily barked but would never have a clue why they were barking. After Lily died, Murphy had to take a “baby” with him to go potty outside. He didn’t like to go alone. He would also bark at our neighbor, Ross as if he had never seen him before. (Even though he had seen Ross every day for years). Murphy was very fond of cleaning out the peanut butter jar. He also lived until he was 14.

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Pippin

Last March we got Pippin. She is funny, vibrant and the most active of all three. She is also very vocal.  Because she knows she isn’t allowed to bark, she barks with mouth closed. Pippin also chirps to get your attention.  She loves to play, and she loves toys. She is relentless. She is a one-woman demolition toy destroyer. (See my dog toy review.) You exist for the sole purpose of playing with her. She’ll play fetch, tug of war, wrestling or pretend to attack you with her “big girl teeth.” She is no respecter of space, she will walk right over the end tables, your laptop, your lap, or current project.  There is no obstacle between her and her toys. Pippin also loves to catch flies…and eat them. She will walk like a cat along the window sill to nab that fly in the window. She will whine at you to pick her up and lift her to whatever fly is out of her reach. If it’s a bug and it flies, she wants a crack at it.  She’s very quick and most times successful. She is a bit of a “tomboy, ” and her personality reminds us of Pippi Longstocking. If she were a person, she would have skinned knees and muddy shoes. Of all three of our doxies, she is our only digger.  She also loves to ride wrapped around your shoulders in the car. She likes to see when she is traveling. Pippin is quite the character. She was spayed last Thursday and is not appreciating the “cone of shame,” it’s interfering with her usual activities, like tearing her Christmas toys apart.

Having had a dog my whole life, I have a particular fondness for them, and quite frankly, I can’t imagine my life without one. They make us feel good. According to the Telegraph, “Researchers found that the same hormone, oxytocin, spikes in both human and canine brains when a dog is gazing at its owner.

Oxytocin is known to play a strong role in triggering feelings of unconditional love…”

I guess I am addicted to Oxytocin! Here are some other reasons why I think we love our dogs so much?

  1. They make us happy (unless they have torn up the sofa or crapped where they shouldn’t have).
  2. They are always happy to see us and love us unconditionally.
  3. They improve our health, most of the time when they exercise, we exercise.
  4. They make us laugh, we find their antics amusing.
  5. We value their loyalty.
  6. They make us feel less lonely (especially in the bathroom, which is always a group activity).
  7. They sense when we are sad or ill and often try to comfort us.
  8. They guard us when they feel we are being threatened.
  9. They are tenacious….to get out of their kennel, to go bye-bye, to share your food.
  10. They make great dishwashers.
  11. They always forgive you, even when you yelled at them earlier.

I have been blessed to have had really good dogs over my lifetime. All have lived healthy, active, long lives. Right now we have Pippin to keep us on our toes. She brightens my day with her antics, and I appreciate her company. What do you love about your dog? Let me hear some of your dog tales in the comments below!

Read my friend Barbara’s blog on her life with a blind dog here.

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