Originally posted on mylifewithwieners:

I stepped out of my life for a moment this afternoon, and what I saw was not pleasant. At least for my ego. I know, I know, I’ve been on a quasi zen-Buddhist-Jedi mission to kill off my ego for some time now, actually since my thirties when I had that wierd dream about offing little egos disguised as babies. Egos are REALLY tough to snuff out unless you’re, like, dead already and the Universe has revealed its secrets and the ego is waving goodbye, a superflous appendage, now, as you drift happily into that white light. I’m not there yet. I cringe when someone says something mean to me and sometimes I want to cry when I look in a mirror. I buy clothes with the sole purpose of soothing my battered and bruised aging ego. And this afternoon I took a big hit when I realized that my…

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“Hello! Have you seen Ball?”


“Sort of small, orange skin, squeaks?”


“Always hiding?”


“I love her so much…”


“l left her right here last night!”


“Yes, right here.”


“Up there?”




“Oh, you have Ball!”


“Yes yes yes! Waiting!”




“Oh! Ball!!”

“Don’t leave me!”


“I love you, Ball!”


“I can’t believe I gave birth to him. And no, I did not have a wild night with a Labrador. Worse, he could stunt double that stupid rodent in Ice Age. He’s sweet, too. I don’t do “sweet”. Simply appalling.”



Sometimes when I’m watching the Sunday morning talk shows, Franny joins me on the couch with her favorite bone. She brings it along because I once said, with great passion, ” Now I really have a bone to pick with Stephanopoulos!” (Franny’s smart, but there always seems to be a weird disconnect when she tries to barge into my world.) Anyway, today we were watching the talk on the latest Supreme Court ruling. I gave her the rundown: rich people, at least people richer than us, want everyone to be able to give as many bones as they want to anyone they want elected to office. Of course, most of us don’t have a bone to spare, but that’s not the point. We’re talking the Constitution here, I told her.


” So how many bones would I need to get if I wanted to be head of Animal Control?” she asked, gnawing away.
” That’s not the point”, I reiterated.
“Sounds like the point”, she said, cracking away at the marrow.
“No, it’s about freedom of speech. Money…bones…is speech.”
“So if you give me a lot of bones, I can bark all I want?”
” Yeah, I guess you could say that.” I was already tired of this conversation. She needed to be on Meet The Press. She’s like a dog with a bone when it comes to making her point. Yeah, yeah, bad pun.

Franny wasn’t finished. She looked at me speculatively.

“So let me get this straight. If I asked all the dogs in the neighborhood to give me all their bones, I could bark day and night? More than anybody else? Is there a rule that says if you don’t have a bone, you can’t bark? “

“Sort of”,I mumbled. I sighed, and made the poor decision to engage.

“Let’s just say the more bones you have, the bigger a dog you must be, right? So when you bark, the other dogs pay attention. You bark at the strange guy cutting through your neighborhood, they all do too. Maybe chase him because you say so.”

“Hmmm,” said Franny, grinning a little. “I like it. How do I get them to give me all their bones, though? “

” You only have to promise them more bones back than they ever saw before in their lives”, I said.

“But what if I can’t?”


I thought about it, then laughed.

“In that case, you don’t get re-elected, but all the big dogs know you’re an expert on collecting big piles of bones, so you go work for them and make even more piles!” Thinking we were done, I started to channel surf the talk shows. Franny watched, her peach pit size reptilian brain seizing on the idea of bone piles filling the house. Disdainfully, she pushed the old, used up bone off the couch. She jumped down to begin planning her campaign, but turned with a final question.

” Is this dogocracy?” she asked, proud to have been paying attention.

” You mean, democracy?” I asked, amused at her mistake. She didn’t answer, but looked at me with a faraway look in her eyes.


“Those Funding Fathers sure knew what they were doing”, she breathed, with admiration.

“Founding”, I corrected, clicking on a channel. “Founding Fathers.”

“Funding,” she repeated. I rolled my eyes. She winked. “The Funding Fathers of a dog-eat-dog world. That’s right up my alley. Grrrrrrrrrr. Gimme your bones.”


What Kind Of Person Owns (Ha Ha!) A Dachshund?

Something Wagging This Way Comes, one of my favorite blogs, set me to thinking when she broached the subject of matching dog breeds to people on her blog the other day. I mean, really, what does owning a Wiener dog say about you? What if you own SIX of the little…you know….effers? I thought, and thought, and thought about this, for like ten seconds, and here’s what I came up with:

1). You’re masochistic and enjoy being humbled by an animal.

“You will obey.”

2). You give up rights, rib eye steak, sleep, dignity, couches and chairs, sheepskin slippers, and anything else the Wiener may covet. Freely. Without hesitation. In fact, you offer.

(Even small children understand what’s at stake. But not you.)

3). You enjoy knowing your dog of 15 years will happily go home with the first stranger who pets him and tells him he’s adorable.

Izzy: “Hello hello hello hello hello hello hello!”
Human:”He’s so adorable!”
Owner:”Glad you like him. Wait’ll you open your car door.”
Phoebe (the black one snuggling against the stranger’s knee): “I love her. What’s her name?”

4). You love a dog that is intelligent, independent…ok, bloody minded….and will live so long you’ll be well acquainted with elder issue solutions long before you need to apply them to your parents.

(Old Wiener, diapers, stuffed German Shepard girlfriend. Some things transcend species.)

5). You don’t mind entertaining a dog with the attention span of a gnat unless food or squirrels are involved.

“I know you, you’re holding a Wild Catch Pacific Salmon Grass Fed Filet Mignon Infused Treat!! …….Do you still live here?”

6). You are imbued with the optimism of a lion in a herd of sleeping zebras, and so on day 3746 of potty training your Dachshund, you come downstairs in the morning barefoot and without your flashlight. You also, in your blissful ignornance, fail to note that “Potty training” actually refers to teaching a child to use the toilet, not a dog to go outside. The fact that the dog, intuiting your thinking here, sees the house as one giant toilet facility, is beyond your grasp, and you fail to begin HOUSE TRAINING, ever.

(Mi casa es su toilette.)

7). You consider jumping up and attending to their every whim a form of service comparable to adjusting the Pope’s robe at the Easter Mass in front of thousands.

” I’ll take my dinner upstairs. Yes, you.”

8). Ok, you’re not Catholic….You consider jumping up and attending to their every whim an excellent form of exercise. You hope they will have lots of whims everyday. You are never disappointed.

“Where’s my blanket?”

9). You fail to see the social disapproval when you show strangers pictures of your Wieners when they ask to see pictures of your Grandchildren. Of course, we all know nobody actually asks to see pictures of your grandchildren, you’re just in line at Target checking your cell phone for messages when..whoops! Clicked on Photostream, and there they are! Might as well share with all the people in line trying to manage their unruly children.

10). You never tire of doing 1 through 9. Because you’re not really all there, are you? And your Wieners know it,and have agreed to be your friends, anyway. And this makes you happy and One with the Universe.

There are worse things.

“Hee hee. I don’t even have to walk. Life is good.”

The Photo Op

“OK, this is really not a good time to do this.”

“I really don’t want to do this right now.”


“Maybe if I lick his hand….he’ll hear me.”

“Maybe if I lick…..yummmmm! … nose……he’ll hear me.” [wiener logic]

“Maybe if I bite his hand…”

“PLEEEAASE can I get down now!! I reaaaalllly have to pee!! Please Please Please! “

“Apparently not. Whatever you do, don’t squeeze me.”

Spoiled dogs: Real Fun, Real Consequences….what would you do to fix this?

Recently I got an email from a friend who had bought one of my puppies a few years ago. She had added a new puppy to the household, and was having real behavioral problems with the original two dogs. This is what she wrote, and below is my answer. Not seeing all the behaviors with my own eyes, this was the best advise I could give her.

What would you advise her to do, from your own experience?

Hi mrs sowards

I just had a concern with jade, we got a puppy a month ago n for some reason jade has turned extremely aggressive but not with the puppy bt with chloe (chihuahua). She cant even smell or be anywhere near chloe, n they recently got in a huge fight luckily it was nothing major just some cuts. I still give her the same attention bt now we actually have to keep all 3 dogs separate n she only wants to be carried. I know i have to fix her bt shes never been this aggressive n i dnt know what’s wrong with her.

Sent from my iPhone

Hi, M……….a,

Sorry to hear Jades showing her dark side! I’m guessing it’s just re directed jealousy. First, it’s virtually impossible not to talk to a puppy in a baby voice that, to a dogs acute ear, is vastly different than the voice you use for her. Not just voice, but mannerisms, body language, etc. EVERYTHING you do with that puppy turns Jade green with jealousy, but since it’s a puppy, she is restrained by her instincts to not kill it, especially if it whimpers and lies on it’s back submissively, which if it’s a good puppy, it should know how to do. Secondly, she may have built up animosity towards the chihuahu, you never know, dogs have feelings too, so she may be taking her hurt and anger out on her. OR, if she’s good around the puppy, even if bossy, she may be claiming the puppy for herself and letting the Chihuahua know it’s hers, stay away. Watch to see if that’s what’s happening.

So what to do? Obviously you must keep the puppy away from any fights going on. Puppy needs it’s own crate, and needs to stay there when not supervised by you. If Jade is just jealous of the pup, make sure you let HER decide what treats or toys she’ll let the puppy have. Puppy must be subordinate to the other two dogs. She doesn’t get anything special unless it’s a one time deal like a treat and you’re alone with her.

I would suspend all treats, and take away all toys and special blankets and beds…bread and water for everyone, haha… Until things settle down and everyone figures out their place in the new hierarchy. The introduction of a new dog no matter what age always means a shift in the landscape, and the dogs, especially if they are badly spoiled, which we all know our Wiener dogs are by definition badly spoiled….well, they are all worried they won’t get the usual allocation of resources. So take everything away for two weeks, be friendly but not your usual spoiling, take them for walks together, puppy included if old enough( four months, all shots over with by two weeks). And when not home, keep the puppy in its crate, and don’t leave anything lying around the other two will fight over. No chewies, no toys no bones, no food, no beds. Water only. Two bowls. I came home once having left an all day type chewie laying around, and Mercedes and Mokie had nearly killed each other. (see the post Wiener Wars.). Blood everywhere. Luckily they were equally matched and got tired out about the same time. It was a gruesome scene tho.

Unfortunately, even tho we joke about spoiling, it has real consequences, and Jade is showing you that. The fact she makes you carry her, for cripes sake, is a huge indication that she thinks she owns you, which is the message we send dogs when we spoil them. We think we’re sending them love notes, but they think we are here to carry out their every wish. Withdraw that, or start giving it to a new dog, and things can get hairy. Do like I say, take all the goodies away, including the beds and blanket, give them each an old raggedy blanket they never had before, nothing special, they must not get the impression you think the blanket is worth anything, and if you don’t think they can tell what you value and like, think again. Put Chloe and Jade in pens or crates if they continue to not get along. Don’t allow them on the couch during this two week period either, because where they sit, how close, who’s furthest away, are all signals that someone is more special than someone else. Yes, it’s hard times in the Big House for a while, that may cure them. Treat them like barn dogs. They will bark and cry and be pissed off, but be firm. If you stay the course, they’ll adjust their thinking back to being dogs who YOU boss around, not the other way around. Otherwise, you’re going to have to deal every hour of every day with dogs that can snap without warning.

How does Chloe act around the puppy? Does she like it? Share? Pal around? Sleep with it? Ignore it? Snap at it?

Let me know how it goes

The Evolutionary Leap

Ann Sowards:

With the advent in the last couple of years of books address, seriously, seriously!! the interior, cranial life of dogs, I decided its time to repost a couple of observations about that I made last year. Also because the lastvpostvabout Mokie and Who Ate The Bacon goes to proof my point…and theirs…so beautifully.

Originally posted on mylifewithwieners:

Yesterday I was looking at pictures of Franny I have taken over time, and it hit me that this dog has got expressions on her face that exactly mirror mine. Yes, I’m saying it: “HUMAN expressions.” Emotive facial tics, grimaces, facial scrunchies, blank looks, pleased, self-absorbed, bored, listless, happy, thrilled, pissed, raging, disbelieving, confused, contemptuous…emotions run wild.

Now about 20 years ago PEOPLE IN THE KNOW were still saying, with the kind of condescending little burps of laughter that professionals of all types can’t seem to help injecting into their careful, nuanced explanations meant to ease the fevered imaginings of amateurs who get their information from mere personal observation—but I digress–they were still selling us that malarkey that dogs don’t really have emotions, except the kinds informed by biological “fight or flight” mechanisms. Of course, for hundreds, nay, thousands of years people the world over have been observing canine behaviour…

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