I like to say that for me, Dachshunds are like potato chips: you can’t have just one, you need a whole pack. My pack (or the “Doxie Nation” as I like to call them) consists of three delightfully comical and stubborn doxies.
None is the perfect AKC definition of the dachshund, but I don’t care, because for me what’s great about these dogs isn’t the nose-to-tail ratio, a balanced barrel-chest, or perfect coat of fur. It’s their bold, reckless, big barking, “I’m large and in charge” personality; their single-minded, nose-to-the ground hunting behavior, and their adorable little legs moving at full speed in pursuit of whatever it is they’re chasing. Here are the members of my nation:
Rommel is my classic red dachshund and my first love. My husband gave him to me on our 15th wedding anniversary, so I blame him for my dachshund obsession.
A super efficient hunter (he puts our cats to shame when it comes to rodent hunting), he’s also completely obsessed with playing fetch. He’ll force you to throw a ball / squeeky toy / whatever and chase it at full speed four hours — to the point where his tongue is hanging out and he’s falling over half-dead from exertion.
Aside from play fetch, Rommel loves a good afternoon lounging in the sun punctuated by a frequent (maybe too frequent) good scratch.
I got Franzi about a year and a half after Rommel. I fell in love with her the first time I saw her as a 12-week old puppy chasing and killing a candy bar wrapper. She was one of the last in her litter — unwanted because she had an extra set of ribs that prevented her from being “show quality.” I didn’t care one bit, because this dog had 10 times the moxie of any other doxie. A “real” dachshunds, she’s a proficient hunter / digger and loves spending her days in our orchard tunneling into gopher holes and ground squirrel burrows in pursuit of prey. Sometimes (often much to her surprise) she even catches one. Being a “real” dachshund, she’s also reckless to the point of stupid and will everything from geese to rattlesnakes and coyotes.
Like some of us ladies, even though she’s active, Franzi loves her food and often struggles with her weight. As a result, the family often refers to her as “foodsey” or “fatsy”.
Montgomery was the last addition to the pack, so even though he hasn’t been a puppy for years, I still think of him as “the baby.”
“Monkey,” as we often call him, was a rescue. The product of unscrupulous in-breeding, he’s a quasi-piebald with the problems that come with that strain of doxies — blind in one eye and mentally challenged. I rescued him from being dumped at the pound and took him home where he promptly became an integral member of the Doxie Nation (fortunately, dogs don’t discriminate based on appearance or ability).
Although he has disabilities, he never lets them get in the way and follows Franzi on hunts without hesitation. He’s also a big cuddler (Rommel and Franzi, not so much), an excellent dancer, and has the loudest bark I’ve ever heard.