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I had intended to write something about:

  1. Whether it took longer to build the Hoover Dam or to finish a draft EIR for the cozy, little Monterey Downs project in Seaside.
  2. The ongoing congressional meltdown caused by House Republicans’ refusal to fund the Department of Homeland Security until it is renamed the Department of Building Impervious Border Fences and Catapulting 11 Million American Residents Somewhere Else.
  3. Sen. Rand Paul’s beautiful words about the passing of beloved Mr. Spock actor Leonard Nimoy, but I couldn’t find any statements about Nimoy issued by Trekkie-ish Paul or any other high-profile Republicans. I chalk it up to none of them wanting to appear soft on undocumented Vulcans after President Obama’s touching “I Loved Spock” statement. I leave it to right-wing “historian” Dinesh D’Souza to gauge what this means for Obama’s historically high, hating-America “D’Souza Ranking.” Hate long and prosper, Dinesh.

But, instead of any of that, a late-breaking report from the American Kennel Club demands immediate attention because it threatens a major domestic disturbance.

In 2014, dachshunds dropped off the AKC’s list of the top 10 most popular American dog breeds. I fear what happens when the two miniature dachshunds who control our household realize this depressing development. Minnie and Max don’t deal well with change.

If Max sees a suitcase being packed he starts trembling uncontrollably and no amount of doggie treats will console him. He fears his meal tickets are going on a trip from which no dog owner ever returns.

If Minnie hears a vacuum cleaner being plugged into a wall outlet she darts into a bedroom corner, slinks under her blanket and keeps repeating the dachsund mantra to endure the crisis: “Must eat, sleep and bark wildly at any person, animal or disembodied spirit that walks by house. Must eat, sleep ….”

Honestly, I can see how dachshunds may suffer the vicissitudes of popular taste. My own enthusiasm for dachshunds has been tempered by more than a decade of intimate knowledge of the breed. And I do mean intimate. Max sleeps under the covers with his entire length pressed against me, and he snores ferociously. When 5:30 a.m. strikes him as high time for breakfast, he employs a nose cold as a frozen blackberry to jolt random spots of my sleep-hungry flesh.

Just a few years ago, I was a big booster of dachshunds. What motor vehicle is more famous than the Weinermobile? None, thank you. Imagine the havoc that could be caused by a galumphing Golden Retrievermobile. Horrible.

Countless times I told patient souls how noble dachshunds were chased and kicked by “patriots” after the United States entered World War I to fight Germany, home of the tube-shaped canines created by German farmers to corner livestock-marauding badgers in badger dens. There were no reports of these cowardly dachshund haters kicking German shepherds.

And there were all the times I encountered parents pushing babies in strollers while I walked Max and Minnie. “(Gibberish) … WEENIE DOGS! … (Gibberish,)” the moppets exclaimed. Many young couples reported that “weenie” and “dogs” were the first words their children spoke. Strange, but true.

But lately my bullishness for the little bowsers has waned. They are stubborn cusses, difficult to train and able to emit a wide range of mournful whines when they don’t get what they want. Minnie has developed a whimper that sounds like a cooing 12-pound pigeon. It is impossible to ignore and can be stopped only by succumbing to her demands. Or by packing up and leaving, which throws Max into a trembling panic. Treats for two.

I’ve also discovered the aging dachshund is a more clinging dachshund.

Sit down and within seconds you will have Max in your lap.  Go for a walk, and Minnie suddenly will be limping on legs that worked perfectly fine seconds before. She wants to be carried, of course. Her act deserves an Oscar (Meyer) nomination.

Still, there is much to be said for dachshunds. When two greet you at the front door, they produce such a whirlwind of joyous yelps, blurred tail-wagging and pawed ankles that you imagine a tiny marching band and colorful confetti falling on your shoes. Happy? You bet, their indentured servants are home.

I’ll keep the new AKC rankings under my hat. After all, it really means we dachshund owners are becoming a more select subset of dog owners, ever closer to some non-fungible 1 percent of folks with exquisite taste and little yappers.

For anyone foolishly interested in any dog breed but dachshunds, here are the 2014 AKC popularity rankings:

  1. Labrador retriever
  2. German shepherd
  3. Golden retriever
  4. Bulldog
  5. Beagle
  6. Yorkshire terrier
  7. Poodle
  8. Boxer
  9. French bulldog
  10. Rottweiler

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Diane Cotton March 3, 2015, 10:18 am

    As I was trying to figure out WHY the Veterans Cemetery is included in the Second Amendment to the Exclusive Negotiating Agreement between the City of Seaside and Monterey Downs,LLC, feeling frustrated and disappointed, I clicked over and read about Minnie and Max. Thank you for the lovely and healthy diversion, Larry. We have two dobbies, Once and Rosa. Although they have their own beds, they wine in the mornings for food and one of us grumbles out of bed to feed them a little breakfast and cheese (with a thyroid pill for Once.) So our vote would be Dobermans with floppy ears. If anyone knows why the poor cemetery is included with Monterey Downs after all the work to keep it separate could you please let me know?

  • bill hood March 3, 2015, 12:47 pm

    For sure, there’s a place on the blogs
    For humorous stories of dogs
    They’re more entertaining
    Then the fact it’s not raining
    But I’m glad that your pets aren’t two frogs. . .

    Or perhaps just a couple of snakes
    Or two raccoons, for God’s holy sakes –
    I don’t mind dogs or cats
    But I hate mice or rats
    To love them, I just don’t have what it takes

    So, I approve of your love for the weiners
    With their sweet and so whiny demeanors
    When they nuggle, they’re neat
    And their small little feet
    (Like on “Wait, wait, don’t tell me – provide the last line).

    PS – It’s good to read wholesome, funny commentaries. Teach me, Oh teacher. I am not there yet.

    • Larry parsons March 3, 2015, 6:11 pm

      Suffice for pint-sized plate cleaners.

  • Stephen Collins March 3, 2015, 1:21 pm

    Larry, we are both blessed and cursed by the love of German dogs. If you want stubborn, try owning a Boxer.

  • Len Foster March 3, 2015, 3:05 pm

    Let me tell you about discrimination, and the crass subjectivity of the dog loving public, not to mention the blatant snobbery of the American Kennel Club. Consider this: Although (or possibly because) Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breed, this breed has never won Best of Show at the Westminster AKC Show. Now, as a life long owner of Retrievers, and currently an owner of a beautiful Chocolate Lab, I think that is worth noting. By the way, Larry, don’t you think dachshunds are really more of an acquired taste?

    • Larry Parsons March 3, 2015, 3:43 pm

      Len,
      You have to be close to a dachshund to admire them because they are difficult to see at a distance.
      But saying they are an acquired taste sells them shorter than they already are.
      I admit I was neither hot nor cold on dachshunds before one, then two dachshund puppies graced our home. They are darn cute puppies. But there again, isn’t every puppy?
      And with that telling-it-like-it-is commentary on cute puppies, I think I’ll take the beasts for a walk.

  • Margaret Davis March 4, 2015, 5:37 pm

    The Bush administration and Republicans gave us the Department of Homeland Security, but since then conservatives have increasingly opposed Patriot Act infringement on civil liberties, no-knock searches, surveillance without warrant, opacity, incompetency, bloated budget (8 billion for TSA alone), and general Big Brotherism. Many on the left, including the ACLU, agree. What’s to like?

  • karl Pallastrini March 4, 2015, 7:40 pm

    My memory of a little weiner is somewhat bazaar. I was the care-taker of Willie, a decent little Dachsund. He had a basket full of stuffed animals that he guarded diligently. For fun…I would remove his collection and place the stuffed animals in every room in the house. Willie’s response was one that can only be explained with thousands of dollars of dog therapy sessions. Willie would retrieve each and every stuffed animal throughout the house and place them back in the basket. He was not interested in playing with them. His interest was returning them to the basket where they belonged. Once retrieved, he would stand guard over his possessions, ensuring that they would not be removed and scattered randomly throughout the house.

  • Jeanne Turner March 4, 2015, 8:46 pm

    There has been an explosion of German shepherds in Del Monte Kennel Club obedience classes at the fairgrounds on Monday nights. There are six in our Intermediate II class – three males and three females. They seem to have an awareness that they are the same breed. Although regal in appearance, they do not like to be separated from their owners – as in having to do a “sit-stay” across the room from us. Ours is the wussiest of the lot.