Thursday, April 28, 2016

It's Really Ten O'Clock

Nothing helps you put things into perspective as a hike in the mountains. These photos are from a hike in the Val Badia area of the Dolomites (in Italy), which we visited last August.


It is clear from the photo below that the imposing cliffs of Sas dles Diesc, whose name translates to Ten O'Clock Mountain, are roughly the same size as my nose. How's that for perspective?


Val Badia is a trilingual area where people primarily speak a language called Ladin, not to be confused with Latin. They also speak German and Italian, which is why Sas dles Diesc also has a German name (Zehner Spitze, i.e. Ten O'Clock Peak) and an Italian name (Sasso delle Dieci, i.e. Ten O'Clock Rock). In spite of the subtle naming differences, there's a general agreement across the three languages that it's really ten o'clock.


Standing below the Sas dles Diesc cliffs, I kept wondering whether language defines culture, or whether culture defines language. It's a lot for a little dog to ponder, even if her nose is (almost) as big as the cliffs above her.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Can you hold your licker?


Caution. Beware of the Dog. [S]he drools and licks everyone.

Not quite true in my case, though I've met my fair share of dachshunds who can't hold their licker.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Playing Chess: The First Move is the Hardest


A little dog wonders:
Do I start with a pawn first or be bold and move a knight?
My friend Lia also tells me that peeing on an opponent's King
is permissible in over-sized chess games!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Fluffy mountaineers

Today I'm introducing you to two special friends that Dachshund Daddy recently met. This is Intra...


and this is her sister Pallanza.


Intra and Pallanza are the fluffiest mountaineers you'll ever meet.


This is the ridge they just hiked. Like me, they also wish they could find snowshoes their size, but for the time being they're happy to go snow-waddling!


As if you needed it, Intra and Pallanza provide yet more evidence that mountain hiking is not the exclusive purview of bigger dogs! In the mountains, little dogs rule!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Paws & Books: "Alphabetique" by Molly Peacock


by Molly Peacock
(McClelland & Stewart)
Special thanks to Moira for giving us this book!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dachshund Harlan and My Family Tree

My favorite lakeside walk around Monte Sassalto always brings pleasant surprises. Last week I ran into Dachshund Harlan, who was visiting all the way from Germany.


Harlan works as a research scientist and is pioneering a new application of deep learning to family tree reconstruction by means of butt-sniffing. A quick round of data collection revealed that Harlan and I share a common ancestor who lived in the 1840s.


"His name was Dachshund Piripinko," Harlan said, "and his human was the German painter Carl Friedrich Deiker".


It was Dachshund Piripinko who inspired Herr Deiker to create this famous painting, which reminds me of my recent badger encounter.


Do you think Dachshund Piripinko would be very unimpressed if he knew that his great-great-....-great-granddaughter Tootsie would one day meet a badger and simply stare at him while safely ensconced in Dachshund Daddy's arms? Or would he be proud of my self-control?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Paws & Books: "Some Girls" by Janet McNally



Some Girls
(White Pine Press)
Winner of the 2014 White Pine Press Poetry Prize

Friday, April 1, 2016

Wolf signage and Introspection

Last summer the whole family went for a road trip across the French Alps. At the Col de la Croix de Fer, we saw this memorable sign.


It reads "Grazing animals - Dogs on leash" and, below, "We want to live in our pastures. [We say] No to wolves."

Later that day, I met Foufou, and I asked him whether I could be mistaken for a wolf.


Foufou didn't think so, nor did his cousin Pierre (below, with Lac Bramant in the background).


"You're more likely to be mistaken for a Border Collie," Pierre said. I agree: my cousin Oz is a Border Collie, and we look very much alike.

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