One day the dogs took a vote and decided Somebody should write about them. They thought a very large book would be appropriate. “Really?” Somebody said. “And what would the name of this book be?” When I heard their preferred choice of titles,” The Book of Wiener”, I almost choked on the ham, egg and cheese sandwich they were generously sharing with me during my lunch. After waiting a polite amount of time to see if said choking would result in a little gift of pre-chewed food, they looked inquiringly at me, and I told them that the word “wiener” was also slang for the part of the male anatomy responsible for the propagation of the species. I hesitated to bring this up, because Dachshunds have absolutely no idea–none– that they can be ridiculous. It’s just an alien concept. However, I shouldn’t have worried. They actually thought it was a bit of all right. High fours all around! From now on, “wiener ” would not be a slang, but a slogan.
The first order of business, as they explained to me (actually, Franny voted herself Wiener spokesdog) would be to tell a miserably informed world that there is only one Dog, and its name is Wiener. There are “less-than-Wieners” (all other dogs), and little “proto-Wieners”. The proto -Wieners start out looking like Wieners, but grow up “other”. As, for example, the horror of Wieners being forced to mate with less-thans, and the little protos growing up…Chihuahua. Izzy, who, through his toy-some-ness has shorter ears and longer legs than is desirable, is constantly fighting speculation, fueled by Franny, that his father was “a little Mexican rat”. Consequently, little Izzy began defending his honor by refusing to eat his favorite food, Nachos. This had no effect other than to grant the others more Nachos. So of course now they all call him “El Poquito Rat” and eat everything of his that has cheese on it. The other day he proudly declined Cheese-Its. Franny was right there to snap them up.
Of course, Franny knows Izzy is pure Wiener, she’s just using his insecurities for her own purposes. Dachshunds are good at this, as you no doubt discovered five minutes after bringing one home. Wieners can spot an insecurity a mile away, and they’re happy to create one where none existed before. How else can you explain a dog that will go deep into a badger’s Home-Sweet-Home and fight it face to face with no room to turn around and flee? It’s like a tiny dog version of St. George and the Dragon. No fear. You’d call it stupid. They call it Wiener.
Here’s what I think happens: the sheer audacity of it gives the badger pause just long enough for the little mutant dwarf’s barking to show the hunters where to dig down in the den for the kill. This ability to psyche out a Badger makes answering the age old question “Shall we have treats now, later, or both?” a cinch for most Dachshunds.
Rule Number One for the Wiener-owned: they may be little, but they pack an enormous ego. This rule will inform everything about how you interact with Dachshunds. In fact, if you take nothing else away from these stories, you’ll be well on your way to understanding and living well with your Wieners.