Question for dog owners . . .

Lucy and Puppy walking

When my beloved rescue dog, Lucy and dachshund Puppy used to go for walks with me, Lucy was the one who was interested in smelling.  She would stop at any mailbox, cable box,  fire hydrant, or light post as well as walls, rocks, or just gravel in general and carefully sniff for who knows what. (My guess is urine, but I’m not really sure).  Puppy would stand by and wait.

Puppy waiting for Lucy to sniff

Lucy was so good at investigating smells, separating them, and sorting them by categories.  Puppy never showed any interest and in fact would impatiently pull on his leash to make us continue on the walk.

Puppy pulling Lucy

Time has passed and sweet Lucy has gone the way of the earth.  Now it’s just Puppy and me on walks and he has completely changed.  He stops constantly to sniff, much more passionately than Lucy did.

Puppy sniffing

My question is, “What gives?”  Can any dog whisperer out there explain this change in behavior?

If you would care to know more about a typical dachshund’s behavior, I invite you to check out my new middle grades children’s book with photograph illustrations, “My Talking Dachshund.”  

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Dachshund over promises and under delivers . . .

This morning Puppy said to me, “If you take me for a walk, I’ll use my superior powers of smell and hearing to tell you things about the neighborhood.”

That sounded intriguing, so I got his leash, and we took off heading west at his usual 4.5 miles per hour.  I was wondering how he would smell or hear things at that speed, but finally he paused to smell a rock.  He was quite thorough, and then he said knowledgeably, “A man sat on this rock last night.”

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I think he expected me to ask how he knew that, but the empty cigarette carton next to the rock was sort of a tip off.  I didn’t want to hurt Puppy’s feelings by being sarcastic and saying something like, “Really, dog?” so I just said, “Hmmm. . .”

We continued on around the corner.  Puppy always follows the sidewalk, so we tend to go around the block a lot.  He paused to sniff some beautiful golden African daisies that bloom this time of year.  His observation was, “Bees.”Image

A few more houses down, he paused again, straining slightly toward a huge patch of prickly pear cactus and then announced, “There are rabbits under there..”

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At Puppy’s next stop he told me that a kid had taken a fall in this spot.

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At this point I was thinking to myself (not saying it out loud for fear of hurting Puppy’s feelings) that he really hadn’t given me anything new about the neighborhood.  But then I heard a rooster crowing.  I’ve heard this rooster numerous times and always wondered which neighbor owned it.  Now I could find out!

“Puppy,” I said, “Which yard did that rooster crow come from?”

He replied (a little disdainfully I thought), “From the yard where the sound came from.”

“Yes, which yard was that?”  I pressed him for an answer.

“You’d have to look over the fences and see,” he said.

Around the corner we encountered a rather homely sight which was an old mattress in someone’s front yard.  The big trash truck comes around in January so I’m not sure who they think will pick the mattress up.  Puppy seemed to think I would because he said, “Bedbugs.  I wouldn’t sleep on that if I were you.”Image

Now we’ve been walking 20 minutes and I’m pretty sure I haven’t heard anything new about the neighborhood from my dachshund.  We’re almost home, and Puppy is getting a bit tired.  He sits down on the sidewalk to pant for a minute.  Then he said, “The person in this house was gardening.”

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After his last pronouncement, Puppy got up and we continued on home.  As we went in he looked at me proudly.  “Bet that was an eye opening experience for you.”  I was able to answer truthfully, “Yes, it was.”

If you’re interested in more of Puppy’s thoughts and dreams, you may enjoy my children’s book, Puppy, the Navy Seal Dachshund.

Dachshund Makes New Years Resolutions

I never have before, but it seems that now some people think I need self-improvement.  A new year resolution is something you think up to let the people know you are going to improve.  I’m assuming they are also making improvements such as taking me for a walk every day.  Anyway I’m thinking on it.

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Here are my thoughts . . . How many resolutions do I need?  How do I know what needs improvement? Will I get any kind of reward for making resolutions?   

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What if I don’t make the right resolution?  What if I make the resolution and then I forget to keep it?  What if I don’t get a reward for it?

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Okay.  I think i’ve got it.  I have 4 legs, so I’ll make 4 resolutions.  Here they are:

1. Don’t dive into Lucy’s bowl when she lifts her head.

2. Don’t wake Bob up at 5:30.  Wait until 6:00.

3. Be more considerate about passing gas. (I think I figured out what “Ewwww, Puppy, Puppy!” means.)

4. Look at the camera every fourth picture.

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Did I do good?  About that reward . . .

Dachshund is reluctant to play Santa . . .

“Puppy, will you pose for a Christmas picture in the Santa suit?” I ask politely.

“What’s in it for me?” is his reply.

“Cheese?”

“Hmm, eh, nnno . . . ”

“Canned dog food?”

“You’re getting warmer. . .”

“What then? What will it take to get a Christmas picture of you in this Santa suit?”

“A walk.”

“You’ll do it for a walk, really?”

“Yep, a walk.”

“OK, great.  Here, let me put it on you.”

Slight struggle yields dachshund in Santa Suit.

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“Wait, Puppy, let me get the leash.”

Fumbling at the door, and then we’re out side.  He takes off running with me flopping behind.  He runs 4.5 to 5 miles an hour, pretty fast for a dachshund with 6″ long legs.  He turns the corner, runs past barking neighbor dogs, ignoring their snarky comments.  He finally stops around the corner to sniff a cable box.  I try to get a picture.

“Puppy, look at Mama.”

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An odor from the flower bed attracts his attention.  I try again, “Puppy, look at Mama!”

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He has moved on one house and looks like he’s preparing to start running again.  It’s next to impossible to get him to stand still.  As I thought, he takes off, ignoring my question, “Wait, what about the Christmas picture?”

We continue down the block to the west.  He briefly pauses at the corner house with the beautiful green winter grass and tinkling fountain.  I pause too, listening to the fountain and the bird apartment  shade tree in their yard. Suddenly he takes off.  I realize that I’m about to lose out on my opportunity to photograph him..

The second he stops, in front of our house, I say, “Puppy, be a good boy!  Look at Mama!”

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I give up.  “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!”  From Puppy, the Dachshund.

Oh and by the way, Puppy the Dachshund reminds you about his book:

“Puppy, the Navy Seal Dachshund”, a good Christmas present for kids who love dogs!