Snoopy and Minou - My Blue-Eyed Dachshunds
When I first got my 2 dachshund mixes, they instantly became my best friends. I was going through a rather sad moment in my life and I felt very lonely. They gave me what I was missing the most – companionship. I had been disappointed quite a few times in life and it made me think no one was able to make me happy again. When I got Snoopy and Minou, my world was turned upside down. I suddenly had a big responsibility. They were only 45 days old when they became my family and they were so tiny and innocent that I instantly fell in love with them.
Snoopy and Minou’s arrival
I remember that the woman who was giving the puppies away asked me if I wanted a male or a female. I told her I wasn’t sure. So she suggested she bring a female and a male to my house and I would need to choose. No sooner said than done! I remember the excitement I felt the hours before she brought the puppies. Then they pulled up in front of my house and got out. A little girl was holding two small furballs in her arms and the first thing I thought was: “They are tiny!” The little girl’s mom told me: “So which one would you like?” It was impossible for me to make that decision. They were both tiny and perfect and they were looking for a home. Why should one be less lucky than the other? “Why don’t you take them both?” The lady asked me. It didn’t take me long to decide and I beamed and said YES! I carried them inside and put them on the floor so that they could explore the environment. Even after only having lived 45 days, they already had very distinct characters. Snoopy did not feel safe at all and starting crying, fearing that something might happen to him. Minou was quite the opposite. She was very curious and started walking around, sniffing and looking for something interesting or probably food. She is still like that, with a much stronger character and the leader of our dog pack, or rather our dog duo. Food is her world and she chooses food over love and cuddles while Snoopy is the one that would run miles to be hugged. If he can sit on your lap all day long, he is the happiest dog in the world.
Their worst achievements:
Disaster #1: The first week was actually a nightmare. I had them sleep in my bedroom as they were still very small and I didn’t want to leave them alone. When dogs are that small, however, they neither sleep longer than 30 minutes straight, nor do they know where to poop and pie or that they are not allowed to do that inside. It has been a long and enduring battle and when I read that dachshund are of a stubborn, independent nature, I can only confirm that. It is extremely hard to get them house-trained and there will be days when you think, great, they finally got it, only to discover that they did it in secret in some hidden corner. I cannot start to count the number of messes I have stepped into and cleaned up. Those first days were also extremely difficult because as soon as they woke up from their 30-minute nap they started walking all over me and pulling at my hair and making it impossible for me to sleep. I swore to myself that as soon as they were bigger they would sleep outside in their dog hut…
Disaster #2: The house I used to live in back then had a back yard. When Snoopy and Minou were a little bigger, I put them in the back yard before I left the house in order for them to get used to being outside. The bars of the front gate were wide apart and that is why I had to buy a plastic grid and install it to prevent them from going through the gate. The first few weeks that worked well. But they became smarter and bigger and their teeth became stronger. The first time they bit their way through the grid, I thought it had been my fault because I hadn’t used enough cable ties to install the grid. The fifth time they did that I was becoming desperate. I had already bought 5 types of plastic grids but they had all failed me. My neighbor was always the one who saved me and when I got home to find another hole in the grid, I already knew they were cozy and comfortable, waiting for me next door. One day I got home, I noticed two dogs running at the side of the road that looked very similar to mine. I was thinking, why would anyone leave their dogs running around outside, how can they be so irresponsible? It was only when I got closer that I noticed that they were MINE! It is in those moments when you realize that sometimes, one should not judge.
Disaster #3: I was very proud of my brand-new black two-seater sofa made of synthetic leather. It was the first couch I had ever bought in my life. One day, rain fell in sheets and small lakes began to form in my backyard. There was no way I could have left them outside. With their size, they would have drowned easily. I left them inside the house and tons of “toys” such as empty plastic bottles and old t-shirts that they could play with as well as little snacks so they would be entertained. They actually found something more fun to do. I came back approximately 8 hours later, opened the door of my living room and discovered the results of a bomb explosion. On one side, the couch was torn apart and large amounts of foam were coming out. They had bitten their way through to the wooden frame of the couch. I would never have thought, two cute little creatures like them could be responsible for such a piracy. I was angry and very disappointed.
Their best achievements:
Achievement #1: It is virtually impossible to stay in a bad mood when two or rather four “innocent” puppy eyes are looking at you. Research has even demonstrated mood-enhancing benefits of owning pets. I can only confirm that. Their excitement when I say “spazieren” (German for to take a walk) is indescribable. They truly love talking walks and every time it is an amazing adventure for them. I guess one of the reasons for that is because they get to meet other dogs. If we only got to see humans 3 hours a day, I bet we would also really be looking forward to those times.
Achievement #2: Ever since I have those 2, I am obliged to go outside to walk them at least twice a day. And this helps me to get my mind off work and to relax. There is no way I can get out of this, it is like brushing teeth. Yes, I spend an enormous amount of time walking and it does me a lot of good. Exercising triggers the production of Serotonin, our happiness hormone, besides lowering cholesterol levels and the risk of high blood pressure. Forget about joining a fitness club! Dogs are the best fitness you can get.
Achievement #3: They never judge me! I can be sad, happy, angry, depressed, excited or nervous. They love me in every moment and that is what makes them so special. They listen to my secrets, they reduce my stress and they cuddle with me when I need it the most. They are always there and I can’t even imagine the day they won’t be at my side anymore. I will truly miss them.
But until then, I am sure they are still going to find numerous ways to turn my life upside down – in good ways and in bad ways ;)