13 Nov 2004 - 21 Sep 2013

It is Willow's RIGHT to sit on your lap, sleep on your face, and eat your supper!

For 12 years I was happily living with Irish wolfhounds. Thanks to an irresponsible breeder and strange circumstance, my best buddy's new house mate is about the size of his foot.

We have a wolfhound named Oak and Jack is fond of a movie called Willow about a wee magician. It just seemed perfect to name this wee bit of fur Willow. We had no idea just how big a personality a dachshund package can contain.

For anyone who is considering a dachshund as a pet - be fore-warned:  There is a very BIG presence in those little bodies.

Oh, by the way, it is NOT a dash hound, it is a dox hund.

Willow is NEVER sorry for the bad things he does. His favorite pass time now is to chew holes in all MY bedding. He has unstuffed two comforters and ruined two sets of sheets. The problem with a miniature dachshund is that they are SMALL. When wolfhounds are pups, one can always SEE them.

Breed History
The dachshund was bred in Europe for hunting the badger. The badger is a ferocious beast which weighs about 40 pounds and can tunnel under your front porch in about 5 minutes. The original dachshund (German: dachs=badger hund=dog) had to find the badger den, follow the beast through its tunnel, and then drag it out for the hunter. It had to be compact (short legs), brave beyond compare, able to dig (big feet) and to follow its long nose. Those original dogs were about 40 pounds, the standard dachshund of today weighs about 30. The miniatures are supposed to be under 12. The personality that comes with the dachshund is a result of the formidable power and bravery that enabled him to do his job.

Breed Standard
It is important with any breed to know its "standard" and understand what it means. A standard is the description of a breed set up by the registry, in our case the American Kennel Club (AKC). The AKC keeps lineage records of all purebred dogs registered with them. 

The dachshund standard calls for a dog that  is "Low to ground, long in body and short of leg with robust muscular development, the skin is elastic and pliable without excessive wrinkling. Appearing neither crippled, awkward, nor cramped in his capacity for movement, the Dachshund is well-balanced with bold and confident head carriage and intelligent, alert facial expression. His hunting spirit, good nose, loud tongue and distinctive build make him well-suited for below-ground work and for beating the bush. His keen nose gives him an advantage over most other breeds for trailing. Note: Inasmuch as the Dachshund is a hunting dog, scars from honorable wounds shall not be considered a fault."

It also states "The Dachshund is clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness, persevering in above and below ground work, with all the senses well-developed. Any display of shyness is a serious fault."

When you translate this to frontier English, it means a strong, intelligent and hard-headed little cuss.

While Willie is a PUREBRED dachshund, he is not WELL-BRED. He is not registered with the AKC.

He has a severe overbite which has gotten a little better as he has gotten older. The bite is important to a dog that has to fight in his daily activity, an overbite can cause him to lose his grip on his opponent.

The bite would disqualify him in a show ring but otherwise he is a fair example of the breed. He could have a deeper chest and he is a bit chubby (from stealing food.) There is no doubt that someone has come to visit when Willie voices his challenge to them, he can be heard from anywhere on the property. While he cannot keep up with Oak on uneven ground (dips in the yard are a major hurdle), he is capable of an amazing speed and follows his hero everywhere.

Two things I have noticed about Willow are his rebound from falling into the dips (you would barely notice that he fell) and he stands on his head when he digs. I don't know yet if all dachshunds do the tripod thing, but it is amazing to watch him dig a hole. He's like a miniature mining machine. The front paws move at a blur and the dirt flies from between the back legs. That thick, strong tail is for removing him from his excavations.