Once Upon A Puppy
A Tale (or Tail, if you'd prefer) Of Two Dachshunds
For five years, Katie was Queen. Her mommy and daddy waited on her hand and paw. When her big sister came home from a place called "college," she covered Katie with kisses and took her for long walks.
Katie, you see, was a very smart dachshund. For one thing, she had taught herself to sit up tall and balance that way for a long time, until someone took her outside for a walk or gave her a nice bone to chew. She also had a clever habit of hiding her favorite things. She had to be careful, though, 'cause sometimes her daddy or her mommy would holler when they stepped on an extra-large biscuit she'd hidden under the carpet. She knew that she was such a good hider that no one would ever find her treasures in their secret places. They were always there when to went to retrieve them, sometimes weeks after she'd hidden them.
All of a sudden, Katie's life changed. Her sister did something called getting married, and along with her new brother-in-law, who thought she was adorable but sneezed every time she tried to lick him, Katie soon gained a nephew.
Now, this nephew wasn't the two-legged kind of critter like the rest of her family. That would have suited Katie just fine. But no.... this nephew was the four-legged variety, like she was. In fact, he was an awful lot like Katie, except he wasn't a tweenie red dachshund. He was a loooooooooooooooooooooong, shiny, black, maxi-dachshund named, of all things, Max.
The first time Katie met Max, her nephew was soooooooooo happy to meet his aunt that he raced across the floor as fast as his short paws would take him and slurped with his long tongue all over her furry face.
"Ooooh, yuk!" Katie growled in dog language. "Just who do you think you are, kid?"
"My mommy and daddy said I'm your nephew, Maximilian," the looooooooooooooooooong dog replied, wagging his eternally happy tail.
Katie proudly stretched her tweenie neck so that her chin rested on the top of his smooth, black head. "I don't care who you are. Just remember that, around here, I'm top dog, otherwise known as Queen Katie."
"Whatever you say, my awesome aunt. Wanna play?" With that, Max playfully head-butted Katie's tweenie chest.
"Woof! Woof!" Katie hollered as she ran under the nearest table."That means bug off. kid. I only play with stuffed toys, which is how you'll end up if you try that again."
Poor Max hung his head and slunk off towards his parents, who hugged and petted him, assuring him that everything would be all right.
That made Katie even more angry. After all, this was HER sister and HER brother-in-law, being nice to this... this... four-legged HOT DOG. She was sooooooooooooooo angry that she stayed underneath the table until Max and his parents, her former sister and brother-in-law, left.
This went on for a loooooooooooooong time. At least it seemed like a long time to Katie. After all, to her, each dog year seemed like seven people years. Or was it vice versa?
Max tried everything to make Katie like him. Nothing worked, so he decided to take matters into his own paws. "Maybe if I show her that I'm not afraid of her, she'll respect me, at least," he thought in puppyspeak.
So instead of trying to be nice to Katie, Max started to show off. First, he took her favorite toy, her beloved stuffed dog, Chester. Then he raced to Katie's dinner dish and gobbled down every tasty nugget. Finally, he went on a treasure hunt, sniffing for all of Katie's hidden treasures. He found three rawhide chips, half a bone and six biscuits.
That did it. Katie was not just angry. She was humiliated. How could this loooooooooooooong hot dog of a nephew do this to HER, QUEEN KATIE?! She thought and thought. What could she do to regain her self respect, her status as Top Dog?
She had to admit it, though. The nephew critter was kind of cute, plus he didn't have a mean bone in his looooooooooooooong body. He had never growled at her, even when she'd threatened to turn him into a stuffed toy. Soooooooooooo... she casually wandered over to where Max was curled in his bed like a huge, harmless, sleepy snake.
"So, Kid," she whispered. Max's tail began to thump. "Now, don't get all excited and start licking me, but I've decided that there's a way we can MAYBE be... " here she choked a bit... "f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-friends."
With that, Max stretched out to his full length and let out a howl of happiness.
"Calm down, calm down," Katie ordered. "There's just one tiny catch."
"Okay, Aunt Katie, anything you say," his tail was thumping unashamedly.
"You have to pretend that you're afraid of me, and you have to give me my favorite toys back when I want them."
"Is that all?" Max asked, smiling his widest doggy grin, which stretched all the way to his long, floppy ears.
"And you have to call me Queen Katie whenever any other four-legged creature is around."
"No problem," Max agreed, "After all, you are the queen to me."
Just then, Max's mommy and daddy, the same people as Katie's sister and brother-in-law, entered the room. "Look! Katie seems to be whispering in Max's ear. Isn't that cute?!" said Max's mom.
Max scurried befind the sofa and pretended to be afraid.
"Well," his dad replied, "lloks like whatever she whispered scared him. Look how the poor boy is shaking."
Max peeked around the sofa and winked at Katie. "How'd I do, Queen Aunt Katie?" his look seemed to ask.
Katie smiled her most adorable doggy smile, which meant, "Fine, Kid, just fine."
Sadly, we lost Katie six years ago. She truly was irreplaceable.
Today, Max is thirteen years old. He manages to stay young by keeping up with our current darling-but-demonic dachshund, Trudi. More on that to come.