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! …..my 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

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.


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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Franny, Facebook and the NSA


I could tell Franny was ready for a serious discussion by the way she braced herself against my chest, leaned into my face, and stared meaningfully into my eyes.

“What is it?” I asked, reluctantly putting aside my book. I ran down a list of possible Franny concerns: Franny food, Franny blanket, Franny toy or chewy, some squirrel outside shrieking in a decibel only she could hear, maybe even that annoying helicopter whupping in the distance, but none seemed to get her tail wagging. “OK, what then?” I couldn’t imagine what she had on her mind. Of course I couldn’t, because it turned out she was having grave doubts about her Buttbook page.

It took a moment (the kind of moment you would have if you were at the zoo and a monkey asked you for a date) but I finally recalled a discussion the Wieners had a couple of…

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Here it is, once again, or in case you’re new to mylifewithwieners, my Holiday gift to all my friends, family and readers, the definitive look at life with Six F—ng dogs in the kitchen…..and the Big Dog. I can’t make this stuff up.

Merrrrrry Holidays!

Dec 24th 2011: 2PM: Race home from work on icy roads 6000 feet above sea level. Contemplate getting to daughter’s sea level home within the next 2 hours with Christmas presents, Plum Pudding with Brandy Hard Sauce, and 6 Weiner dogs with beds, food, water bowls, faux fur blankets and treats. Also Grumpy Husband.

2:30 PM: Almost down South Grade. Snap cell phone pic of 6 terrified Weiners sliding from one end of the bench seat to the other as Grumpy Husband does impersonation of Daytona Devil in 15 foot passenger van on South Grade switchbacks. Send to daughter, big ha ha.

2:31 PM: Mercedes pukes.

2:32PM: Phoebe projectile vomits into $200 leather Lucky hand bag sitting on floor. Particles hit Grumpy Husband’s open Pepsi. No photo taken.

3:00 PM: Fritz plays Poor Blind Weiner card, successfully whining his way onto lap to do Wiener Window Lean. Other dogs protest obvious injustice with incessant barking.

3:01PM: Driver executes Backhanded Fucking Dogs!#$@! Swipe . Truck driver in other lane executes One Finger Fucking Asshole!#$@! Salute.

3:20PM: Arm with 16 pounds of Dead Weiner Weight plopped on it seriously fails to respond to brain cues. Catch out of corner of eye Izzy sliding silently and slowly off bench seat.

3:20:05: Watch helplessly as Izzy fixes demented vengeful “Fuck You” gaze on Blind Fritz (irony) lolling on now completely dead arm and GAZING OUT WINDOW (irony complete) and pisses on Fritz’s Teddy-Bear -Cum-Girlfriend on floor.

3:20:10: Contemplate choices: (1) Yell at Izzy (2) Keep quiet so Driver doesn’t know van has new piss spot (3) break into jar of Brandy Hard Sauce with big spoon.

4:00PM: Arrive Ocean Beach, 6 Weiner dogs sitting on lap. Entire body numb. Watch Grumpy Husband chug last of Pepsi.

Mr. “Six-F—–ing-Dogs-In-The-Kitchen” Tortures Mercedes


Clearly suffering, Mercedes struggles to free herself from the cruel grip of the Master of the house, who declares daily–nay, hourly- his disaffection with the canine inhabitants invading his space with treats,toys, beds and the occasional carefully placed small turd. The panic on Mercedes face is palpable.