I grew up with a standard size Poodle and a toy Poodle as a kid. Later on in life, I have had a Lhasa Apso and a Shih Tzu (at different times.) But after my Shih Tzu passed away, I didn't know how I was going to ever get another dog to fill that huge void in my heart. This was in 1991 and later that year I moved to Salt Lake City, where I adopted a 4 year old Persian kitty that will be 17 this April. Yes, she's that old and healthy.
Fast Forward to the year 2004. My husband told me that his high school friend (dsnygrl to those who know her here on Shared Reviews), had Dachshunds and was about to have a litter. She sent us pictures of the litter after they were born and right away I chose a red, but my son and husband chose the Dapple one that wasn't even nursing with the rest of his brothers. I reluctantly said ok and once I saw a picture of him in his Christmas sweater, I was hooked. Of course my husband never lets me forget that I chose a different dog and takes full credit for picking Chopper. Dsnygril and her family were vacationing in Orlando where we lived, so my husband met up with them and brought him home to me as a Christmas present for our family. That was the best Christmas ever. He still has his little baby blanket he came home with. And I know he whined and cried all the way to Florida, but I am happy to say that today, he is excellent on car rides and doesn't make a peep.
We are fans of American Chopper, so "Chopper" seemed to be appropriate for a low rider wiener dog. He was so small and got stepped on a lot by everyone so I normally carried him around. He slept on my arm while I worked on the computer and became my little sidekick.
I do have to admit that I wasn't quite sure about getting a Dachshund. I had heard they were partial to one person, similar to how a Chihuahua can be. And the Dachshunds I had met were all smooth coats. So when I saw this little guy and that he may end up with long hair like his doggy mommy, I was excited. Plus he is a mini Dachshund.
Dachshunds can go in two different directions with people. Our Vet and his office staff are love struck over Chopper. They can't get over his loving personality and at how happy he is all the time. I think like with any dog, if you give them the attention they thrive on, any dog can be just as loving. But Chopper came into our lives at a time when the world around us seemed to be falling apart. He has brought so much happiness and unconditional love, that every day we grow to love him more. He will run through the house like a bolt of lightening and you just sit and watch. He knows all of his toys by name and loves playing with each of them. He can play frisbee with his soft frisbee toys. Even our Persian cat Cally tolerates him and they will sleep together on the couch or sit in the sunshine together by the window on a sunny afternoon. Of course because of the age difference, Cally doesn't like being chased, which is what Chopper does most days. He just wants a friend to play with. He actually tries to do the things she does and sometimes I think he thinks he's a cat. But then there are times he is around large dogs and he obviously doesn't know how little he is. He won't give a small dog the time of day, but put him with a Labrador or anything that size and he's ready to play. That could be because our neighbor and my sister each had a Lab and he might think he's one too. I just haven't showed him a mirror because I don't want to crush his little spirit.
This puppy picture of him on my review is the one that made me fall in love. That little opened mouth and you can see by the size of the hand next to him, he was tiny. I was so worried because he had to stand on his hind legs to get up into his puppy dish to eat. But he conquered that task in a day.
We were crate training him until my husband begged to let him sleep with us "one night". I said, "It won't be one night, so just know he'll be in here forever". And Chopper HAS been in our bed each night since. For the first week, I kept him tucked under my chin all night long and didn't get much sleep. Eventually, he grew and takes turns sleeping near both of us. He will head to bed around 10:30pm and fuss a little to let us know he wants us in there. Sometimes he lays head to tail between us, just so he can touch us both. We even dropped our bed to the floor and added doggie steps just so he would not risk harming his long back by the constant jumping in and out of bed. In the mornings, he will wake us up at the same time to take his thyroid pill wrapped in cheese. Of course it's the cheese he wants and he'll become fussy if my husband doesn't get up in time. Since my husband sleeps with a breathing machine, Chopper will wait until he takes off his mask and then shower him with morning kisses as if to welcome daddy to the world.
With a Dachshund, you have to be very careful in not over feeding them and definitely not from the table. If their weight gets out of control, that could also cause their back to become weaker and they could become paralyzed. We have given him a little food now and then, especially when he sits up like a gopher, but instead of people food, we will give him a doggie treat. He's not much of a Milk Bone dog, but will eat one if the lady at the bank gives it to him.
I have been working from home for almost all of Chopper's life. He stays near me all day long and if I so much as put on socks, he knows I am getting ready to leave. It's so funny to watch his expressions and yes, we can tell what he is thinking sometimes. Normally, like during the afternoon, he will beg to sit in the chair with me, so he's my lumbar support - even right as I type this.
He is the funniest dog I have ever been around. He greets everyone at the door and cries when they leave. I am trying to break that habit because it can trigger a seizure if he gets too anxious and that's why he is on thyroid medicine. It's under control but with us also controlling times of where he can get too excited, it'll help keep him living a long time.
Chopper even inspired me to start drawing again and using my graphic arts abilities to make some additional income.
It goes to show that you just never know what having a loving pet can do for you and your family. Now some people think we are over the top in how we treat Chopper, but after going through some hard things in life that we have gone through, how can you put a price or definition on a little animal that will make you laugh, give you love and as a video I watched recently put it, "I look up and see my God, I look down and see my dog, ... dog is God spelled in reverse ...." There is nothing farther from the truth about this little dog. He is our constant reminder that God's love can come to us even through a little wiener dog.
In the video, I wanted to capture Chopper sitting up like a gopher. He had other plans and as you can see, I was a little slow on the commands but he knew what to do for his little treats.
One other thing - the next time you see a Dachshund walking down the sidewalk or street - just see if you don't crack a smile or let out a little laugh. They are the only dog I know of that can get that kind of reaction from people. That's why I called this, "The Funny Little Dachshund."
Update On Mar 25, 2010: About once per week, I take Chopper along for a ride to the bank. This dog is so smart that he figured out when I grab my pen and go to the counter, that it means I am getting ready to go "bye bye". He runs to one of his dog carriers and will go back and forth between the two and make a whimper - just so I know he expects to go and that he's all ready to come with me. I never use to take him but he has me wrapped around that cute paw of his. We put his harness on (which he hates) but he will sit in the passenger seat until we get to the bank. Then when I pull up to the window, he knows it's ok to let the girl know he's in the car. That way, she sends him a cookie (dog biscuit). Chopper will wait until we get back home, take his harness off and then proceed to eat his "prize". He's just such a joy to have around. I can't say how much I love this little dog!