A reader’s perspective on woman’s best friend
I had another topic all planned for this month and then realized that today, October 19th, is a big day for us here in our household. Exactly one year ago we picked up our latest miniature longhaired dachshund, Charlie. My partner did not want another dog again, we’d been “empty nesters” for eighteen months since we had lost our eldest (and two others prior in short order) and she just couldn’t face the idea of losing another. She is of the school of thought better to not have one in the first place, while I’m of the “better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all”. I finally wore her down (and I probably should add they are best buddies now).
To make a long story short, we (I) had tried to get a rescue or a pup from a breeder in the area but nothing worked out I so ended up reaching out to a breeder in Western Canada. Originally from Ontario she was going to come through our city to visit family and would bring Charlie – right, not. In the end we were totally vested in getting Charlie (the regular progress and puppy photos did not help) and made arrangements to get her “home”. I guess I should have known it was going to be a long year when she finally came out of the corner of her crate at the airport and proceeded to pee all over me.
Charlie is our fourth dachshund and they have all been very different. The previous dogs exhibited a dachshund trait here and there but I’ve got to admit that Charlie embodies all the good and bad that you hear about dachshunds in one adorable body.
Maybe its because its usually just her and me with no second dog to take the pressure off me as primary mom and playmate. She is at times stubborn (independent), destructive (curious), bossy (self-asserting), mischievous (playful), loyal, and helpful. Yes, she let me know when we needed a new TV remote, golf buddy GPS, leather on the dining room chair legs, and even lets me know when the toilet paper roll needs replacing. I did say she was adorable right?
It’s too late to give her back, not that we would (most days anyway) but well, you have to experience a dachshund to know what I mean. Most people who have a dachshund are hooked for life “once a dachshund owner, always a dachshund owner”. Thinking I’m in good company as I join the likes of Abe Lincoln, E.B. White, Adele, Leonard Nimoy, Katherine Hepburn, Lucille Ball – all devoted dachshund owners. Which (of course) got me thinking about books with dogs and even better, books with dachshunds in them. Believe it or not there are some. And, they even manage to capture the trials and tribulations, along with the frustration and joy in having one of these as part of your family with a side of great romance to boot.
One of the first lesfic books I remember with a dachshund is Out of Love (2007) by KG MacGregor and fittingly was a Lambda Literary Award Winner for Lesbian Romance and GCLS Goldie Winner for Lesbian Romance. As usual MacGregor has a number of strong, witty, and fun supporting characters but Prissy stole the show for me. Despite the distance, responsibilities, past and economic circumstances that divide them, Carmen and Judith find a way to make it work. I’m thinking that after meeting Prissy, Judith didn’t stand a chance.
Love Bites (2018) by Lila Bruce is a fun read. It’s been twelve years since the epic breakup of Peyton and Ashley and Peyton (a vet) is back in town with her young daughter and joins the staff at Ridgeview Animal Clinic. The narrative is quite unique as the third party narrator is no other than Moose, Ashley’s pet dachshund. Bruce not only does a great job with the romance arc but as a dachshund owner I can attest that Moose’s character and perspective are pretty much bang on what I expect to be going through my little darlings’ minds.
I’m pretty sure that I’ve read a couple of other books recently that also have a cute dachshund in them – I’ve really got to start that tracking system. There are not as many as I would like of course – and I’m hoping that if you know of any others that you let me know in the comments.