Another patient British pup

Another installment in my patient British dogs series

Dachshund at pub

This little dachshund was patiently sunning himself in a pub terrace in Highgate Village, while waiting for his humans to finish their drinks. I love his rope leash, but it looked way too heavy for his tiny body; I’d have used it on our dogs but not on a creature of his size.

The Wrestlers in Highgate Village

He has a very handsome countenance. I just wish his legs were about two inches longer. I admit that the modern build of the miniature dachshund makes me a bit sad. I have seen a few longer-legged dachshunds here in London, however, and I even saw an impressively fast one retrieving a ball in Regent’s Park. Properly proportioned doxies do exist!

My Dog Is Named for Elizabeth Bishop

{the fashionable dachshund} photo by Patrick Lichfield, 1964
Patrick Lichfield, 1964.

My Dog Is Named for Elizabeth Bishop

Robyn Selman

October. The first pricks of cold air in
the city morning. We walk, Liz and I,
up then down in the same uneven line.

Her ears as sharp as sharpened pencils,
she pulls me along her wayward travels.
She darts out headlong, paces ahead,

coming and going and leaving again,
the way shadows seem to meet the tops of heads,
dissolve and are newly elongated.

We like the early, early morning best.
Our view is, thankfully, how we left it.
Nothing has stirred yet, the news lies unread.

Except for the weather, it’s all so still,
and no one is walking out of our world.

. . . . . . . . .

Appropriate dog-walking poem for the season! I love how it captures that silent peace of walking your dog in the morning. I also love any pets named after great poets!

How have your fall walks been with your pups?

Happy Friday!

 

Mongrel Heart

Mongrel Heart
David Baker

Up the dog bounds to the window, baying
         like a basset his doleful, tearing sounds
             from the belly, as if mourning a dead king,
and now he’s howling like a beagle – yips, brays,
         gagging growls – and scratching the sill paintless,
              that’s how much he’s missed you, the two of you,
both of you, mother and daughter, my wife
         and child. All week he’s curled at my feet,
             warming himself and me watching more TV,
or wandered the lonely rooms, my dog shadow,
        who like a poodle now hops, amped-up windup
            maniac yo-yo with matted curls and snot nose
smearing the panes, having heard another car
           like yours taking its grinding turn down
               our block, or a school bus, or bird-squawk,
that’s how much he’s missed you, good dog,
         companion dog, dog-of-all-types, most excellent dog
             I told you once and for all we should never get.

My little dog knows me

A fashionable woman in Berlin and her dachshund. Source: Glamcanyon.

“I am I because my little dog knows me.”

Gertrude Stein

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Hope you all have cozy and pleasant weekends! I am looking forward to a weekend at home, sans house guests, to take Pyr on long walks around town and enjoy the gorgeous autumn foliage. Wishing the same to all of you!

Accident of nature

E.B. White and his dachshund. Source: Letters of Note.

“A really companionable and indispensable dog is an accident of nature. You can’t get it by breeding for it, and you can’t buy it with money. It just happens along.”

E.B. White

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Friday post coming a day early today, as I’m having a slightly longer weekend, traveling and such tomorrow. Looking forward to the arrival of spring!

Pup links!

This little girl found her valentine. Source: LIFE Magazine.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Are you watching the conclusion of the Westminster Kennel Club show tonight? I’m going to watch it with my husband and his hilarious poetry colleagues from the university, who have an annual tradition of watching Westminster at a local sports bar. I am so excited. Could there be a more ironic combination of things? Poets + wings + cheap beer + dog show = I think not. Who’s your bet for the big win?

Dog show fun aside, here’s a few interesting links from around the Web:

Famous Artists Photographed with Their Dogs. Apparently, famous painters have a thing for dachshunds. Who knew? (Flavorwire)

5 Reasons to Adopt a Dog. These are the standard, excellent reasons, or at least, a great place to start in listing them. I like reminding myself of these reasons. I’m always surprised at how many people look sad or disappointed when I say I want to adopt an adult dog. “Don’t you want a puppy?” they plead. Next time, I’ll gently remind them of some of the elements on this list. (The Bark Blog)

NYC Dog Art Tour. A collection of canine artwork from around New York City. (Loving the Dog Art Today site redesign, too! So sleek!) (Dog Art Today)

Sharing the Love. Sweet-faced border collies and a dachshund with their Valentine’s message. (Raising Addie)

Pup links!

An Australian shepherd contemplates Banksy. Click for source.

Dog-related links from around the Web this past week:

Wonder Dog. Read this incredible story of a golden retriever who transforms the life a boy with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The more I get to know them, the more I think that goldens were born to do this kind of work. I kind of teared up, a lot, reading this story. (New York Times Magazine)

Top 10 Most Frequently Reported Poison Dangers for Dogs in 2011. A good list to review and be aware of. (Pet Poison Helpline)

Train Your Dog Month: Results Revealed. The Take Paws blog talks about lessons learned in training their reactive German shepherd. Good food for thought! (Take Paws)

Chart: Nail Trimming. A helpful diagram and discussion about trimming nails. (Inu Baka)

42 St. Bernards. I don’t know how one gets 42 St. Bernards in a glorious, mossy wood with a beautiful blond child, but I like it. (Paw Nation)

She Doesn’t Answer the Phone. E.B. White’s funny letter in response to city complaints that his dachshund, Minnie, was unlicensed. (Letters of Note)

The Nannies. I love these photos of this farm’s Anatolian shepherds, who act as the sheep guardians. The tenderness between the dog and the lamb is so palpable. I am such a sucker for anything even close to inter-species friends; it’s pretty much my favorite thing on earth. (Alta-Pete Farm Tails)

Meet Maddie the Coonhound. Maddie elegantly stands on various objects across the United States. (The Hydrant)

Food Critic Puppy. Oh, man. This is why you don’t give limes to dogs. (Animals Being Di*ks)

Pup links!

A young Brooke Shields cuddles with a dachshund. Source: LIFE Magazine.

Can the Bulldog Be Saved? As with many of you, I was very pleased to see this comprehensive article published last week in the New York Times Magazine. I’ve already shared some of my thoughts on why I feel that breeding bulldogs is unethical and inhumane, but this article really takes it to the next level. An illuminating quote from the article:

“The bulldog is unique for the sheer breadth of its health problems,” says Brian Adams, formerly the head of media-relations at M.S.P.C.A.-Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. “A typical breed will have one or two common problem areas. The bulldog has so many. When I first started working at Angell, the joke was that these dogs are a $5,000 check just waiting to happen. But the joke gets old fast, because many of these dogs are suffering.”

Or this:

[Dr. Sandra] Sawchuk is the rare veterinarian who owns a bulldog. “I should know better, but I’m a sucker for this breed,” she told me. “I’m also a vet, so I feel I can handle any problems that come up. But if anyone else tells me they want a bulldog, my immediate response is, ‘No, you don’t.’ ”

This piece also highlights the considerable villainy of the AKC, which refuses to ask the Bulldog Club of America to revise its standard for the breed. Why? Because bulldogs are popular these days, having skyrocketed to the no. 6 most popular purebreed in the United States. It’s all about the money and the registrations for them. Who cares if we’re killing these dogs by insane breeding practices? I’m just hopeful that many people–aside from those of us who already believe that breeding the modern bulldog is inhumane–will read this article and reconsider bringing a bulldog puppy home. (NYT Magazine)

The Art and Science of Naming a Dog. I love meeting well-named dogs and I think names are very important. Stanley Coren reflects on the psychological aspects of naming our canines. (Psychology Today)

Pretty Fluffy Gift Guide for Dogs. It’s that time of the year! Let the shopping madness begin. (Pretty Fluffy)

The Scoop: Gemma Correll and Mr. Norman Pickles. A fun interview with one of my favorite illustrators Gemma Correll, and her pug, Mr. Norman Pickles. (Dog Milk)

Five Training Tips for First-Time Dog Trainers. A basic but sincerely helpful list of reminders for people like me! (The Three Dog Blog)

A Different Kind of Dog Rescue. This place looks magical. This is definitely what I would do with my life if my husband weren’t around to keep me from being a borderline animal hoarder. (Although this woman sounds amazing and is not a hoarder.) (Love and a Leash)

Three Levels of Pet Safety. Engraved tag, BlanketID, and microchip! I didn’t know how BlanketID worked, but it sounds like a pretty cool device. Does anyone have one for their dogs? (Go Pet Friendly)

Corgi Owners. A funny note with regard to the blessedness of being a corgi person. (Dogblog)

Not so much breed love

dachshund
This is Katie, my Denver landlord's anxious dachshund. Source: Me

As I’m thinking about the dogs that I’d love to have one day, I’m also making a mental list of the dogs I know I wouldn’t enjoy living with. As Stanley Coren points out in his book Why We Love the Dogs We Do, not every human personality is suited to every breed personality. There does seem to be a innate, temperamental reason why some people keep buying golden retrievers or Boston terriers or akitas again and again.

I don’t make this list to say that certain breeds are bad or unlovable, but rather that my personality is not especially keen on their personalities–and I just don’t think we’d live well together.

Yorkshire terrier ♥
A Yorkshire terrier. I add them noting an exception, my friend Emily's giant Yorkie, Oscar, who is precious. Source: Flickr, click photo to see user page.

That said, here is a list of the breeds I’m fairly certain I have no interest in ever owning…

  • Dachshunds.
  • All terriers. Yes, all.
  • Almost all toy breeds (Exceptions: papillon, pomeranian, Cavalier King Charles spaniel).
  • All brachycephalic breeds (pugs, bulldogs, pekingese, etc.).
  • All scent hounds.
  • Dalmatians.
  • Chows.
  • Labs. I KNOW. So un-American! I just don’t love labs. There it is.

What about you? Any breeds you’re pretty sure you don’t want?