Many years ago, Bill and I went on a road trip in the southern part of the United States. We stopped at various places along the way, but our primary destinations were to the homes of Bill’s two brothers, one of whom lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and one of whom lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
My brother-in-law who lives in Winston-Salem had a dog of whom he was very fond. In the way of many single people , May Ling (I think that was her name) was cared for like she was his child. He often talked about her, but we had never seen her before, and knew nothing of her, including her breed.
I remember the event very clearly. We arrived at Bill’s brother’s home and rang the doorbell. His brother answered, and at his feet was a pretty little miniature Dachshund.
“She’s a weiner dog!” Bill exclaimed excitedly.
I can tell you that his brother was not amused. Weiner dog, indeed.
I thought about that day recently when I was at our nearby strip mall getting my final pedicure before I put away my flip flops until we are settled in Arizona for the winter. There is a Petco store in that particular shopping center. Petco (or at least that Petco) frequently has dog adoption days, and they were having such an event on that particular day.
And the dogs that were up for adoption were all Dachshunds. Weiner dogs. Nothing but Dachshunds in cage after cage. Have you ever seen a dog look quite so pitiful? It made me want to adopt her myself….
I know very little about Dachshunds. I had never really been around a Dachshund until my dad and my stepmother purchased their little Miniature Dachshund that they called Schotzy. In German, that word – which is spelled Schatzi – is an endearment that means sweetheart or honey. It was a perfect name for that little dog that they both loved so much….
I did a little research about Dachshunds after Dad and Shirley purchased Schotzy. The word that kept popping up, no matter what source I was using for my research, was stubborn. And man, was that ever true. Schotzy loved Dad and Shirley, and went almost everywhere they went, but though he lived a good long life, I don’t believe he was ever quite house trained. They tried everything they could think of. They read dog books and tried all sorts of training techniques, to no avail.
Leave him in his little kennel, someone would tell them. (I think it might have been me.) Dogs won’t mess where they are sleeping.
Ha! Schotzy never got that memo. And then he was not only untrained, but also needed a bath.
People here in Colorado are absolutely crazy about their dogs. Crazy in a way that I don’t witness elsewhere – or at least not in Arizona. And Dad and Shirley were certainly crazy about that Dachshund, who they took him everywhere with them. And, despite Schotzy’s stubbornness, he was Dad’s buddy. In Dad’s final days, Schotzy would lay on his feet – quite literally. Man’s Best Friend indeed.
Now Schotzy is in heaven with my dad. But seeing those weiner dogs lined up looking for new owners made me nostalgic for his sweet face. And Dad’s.
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