Monday, September 30, 2013

If Tootsie and Bertie had puppies

A while ago, in a comment left on my blog, my dear friend Bouncing Bertie wondered what our puppies would look like if Bertie and I could have them. Due to my spayed status, we will never know for sure.

But Dachshund Daddy thinks he knows. Meet Chuchu the doxie-terrier and Bubu the wirehaired fox dachshund!

Chuchu would really love to bounce like her dad, but her dachshund body upper-bounds the extent of her bounces. Bubu would really love to hunt marmots like her mom, but her wirehaired fox terrier body is not designed to get into their burrows.

Despite the mismatch between their instincts and their bodies, they look magnificent. Do you agree?

Bouncing Bertie writes a fantastic blog from his home base in Aberdeen, Scotland. You may have already fallen in love with him, like us, but if not, start with this post.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Bedroom in Arles

By now you will have heard the news: experts at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam authenticated a new version of "Bedroom in Arles" with the help of Vincent Van Gogh's letters, chemical analysis of the pigments, and X-rays of the canvas.

This is the fourth known version of "Bedroom in Arles"; the most notable difference with respect to the first three versions is the presence of a burrowing dachshund ensconced on a most excellent doggy couch.

As soon as I saw the painting in the newspaper, I went straight to my family trunk, and I was amazed to find this picture of my great-great-great-great-...-great-grandmother Zelda next to her doggy diary.

Now, guess what? According to her doggy diary, Zelda lived in Arles in 1889, the year when this version of "Bedroom in Arles" was painted! What an amazing coincidence, I thought, just before I woke up from a nap on my own most excellent doggy couch.

Luckily, I was able to get Dachshund Daddy to recreate Zelda's portrait just like it looked in my dream. It is now featured on my new Time to Burrow card as well as my Burrower's Choice US stamps, all of which are available from Tootsie's Shoppe.

As Van Gogh famously said, “If you don’t have a dog--at least one--there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.”

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Quail Eggs

Mom is not sure about quail eggs from the grocery store, 
but Dachshund Daddy said they were good.
Why didn't they let me try one?

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Dachshund of Music

My friend Moira asked me if hiking in Switzerland and/or Austria makes me feel like I'm starring in The Sound of Music. Yes, it does! (Minus the nasty WWII parts.) So it comes as no surprise that I am uniquely placed to audition for a new film: The Dachshund of Music.

For my audition, I'm warming up my voice with special tongue, mouth, and face exercises.

I'm practicing my German and learning apple strudel recipes.

I'm hiking long distances over high-elevation pastures and sniffing for marmots along the way while looking for Christopher Plummer singing "Edelweiss".

And with Mom's help, I'm twirling. I'm twirling. I'm twirling.

How do you call a dachshund named Maria? Me!

Do you think I'll get the part?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Don't Overfeed your Dachshund!

When it comes to food, most dachshunds, including the author of this blog, are generally unable to self-regulate. My friend Barkus (see below) agrees with me, but he's stuffed as a baseline.

This cartoon is featured on my signature dachshund-approved tote bag, one of several dachshund-approved items that you can find at my new shoppe.

Yes, I finally have my own product line, starting with my Doggy Comeback Apron, because every doggy caregiver needs an apron, right? There is also clothing and stationary. I wish I could sell dachshund-approved gelato, too.

Thank you for visiting Tootsie's Shoppe. Please let me know what you think!

Monday, September 16, 2013

On the Footsteps of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Part Two

If you missed Part One, suffice it to say that Dachshund Daddy and I hiked from Davos to Arosa to retrace Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary ski trip in 1895. There's no snow in September, so we did it without skis.

Here I am at 8200+ feet, taking a nap at Schwifurgga Pass between Davos and Arosa.

I woke up to discover marmots everywhere! An amazing high elevation Swiss buffet!

Of course, Dachshund Daddy kept me on leash the whole time and no rodents were harmed by the author of this post. Here we are approaching the hamlet of Tieja. Don't I look like I know where I'm going?

Just like Sir Conan Doyle, I received a warm welcome upon my arrival in the Arosa area. A surprise barkaholic party was thrown in my honor at Furgaalp.

Even the resident piggie was impressed that I had just hiked over 10 miles and climbed 4000 vertical feet!

After the party we covered the short distance to Arosa proper. Does this sign mean that only schnauzers need to be leashed?

Dachshund Daddy and I stayed at super-dog-friendly Hotel Touring, which will be described in a dedicated post. For now, here's a photo of me at dinner.

Describing his ski trip from Davos to Arosa in an essay published in The Strand, Sir Conan Doyle wrote that "it was glorious to whizz along in this easy fashion."

I've never skied, but I sure did a lot of whizzing along as we retraced his steps. Gotta cover all those pee spots!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

On the footsteps of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Part One

Right after Mom left for New York City to give her Bryant Park reading, Dachshund Daddy and I caught a train to Davos, the Swiss alpine town where the World Economic Fur-um takes place every year. Can you see me inside my not so humble abode?

In the winter of 1895, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle famously used a primitive pair of skis to travel from Davos to Arosa in the next valley over. Dachshund Daddy showed me this photo of Sir Conan Doyle with his skis, his wife, and Dachshund Sherlock, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the author of this blog. Note that, just like myself, Sherlock also donned a Hug-A-Dog harness from Dachshund Delights.

Dachshund Daddy and I decided to follow in Sir Conan Doyle's footsteps.

Minus the skis, of course, since it's still summer time and the temperature is well in the 80s.

After almost 4000 feet of elevation gain, we made it to the top of Chruebsch Horn, elevation 8500'. Don't try to pronounce that unless your insurance covers tongue fractures. Dachshund Daddy unceremoniously utilized the summit signage to force me to pose for this photo.

I then took a nap in my not so humble abode, which was traveling with us attached to Dachshund Daddy's backpack. The town down below is Davos.

We proceeded to a nearby pass, where I enjoyed another nap and dreamed of Sherlock hiking with Sir Conan Doyle, though apparently Dachshund Daddy's story about Dachshund Sherlock may be apocryphal. Can you see me?

Can you see me now? That's my bowl, whose lid I tried to destroy with my teeth because I thought there was food inside. Can you see the damage caused by my sweet little fangs?

Stay tuned for Part Two, where Dachshund Daddy thwarts my vain attempts at hunting marmots on the way down to Arosa and a warm welcome by a barkaholic committee of border collies.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

2013 Desalpe / Alpabzug / Alpabfahrt / Schelpcha Guide

If you're in Switzerland at this time of year, you've probably already heard all about the Désalpe, the Alpabzug, or the Alpabfahrt, those awesome festivals where Swiss cows dress up to come down from their high elevation pastures and you get to welcome them back in town.

For your convenience, here's an ample selection of cow events in the coming weeks, listed by date and canton. It may not be exhaustive, but it's a heck of a lot better than anything else we've found on the Web! We're also providing links to the info page of each event (those are generally not available in English, but you'll figure things out).

Saturday, September 14
Valais: Grône
Bern: Innertkirchen, St Stephan (Lenk), Kandersteg
Zurich: Atzmännig
Uri: Wassen
Grisons: Klosters (Prättigau), Brigels, Savognin, Lenzerheide
Appenzell: Urnäsch AR
St Gallen: Mels (near Sargans)

Sunday, September 15
Schwyz: Einsiedeln (45' by train from Zurich; hop on the Ziegelbrücke train (S2) to Wädenswil and change to the S13)

Saturday, September 21
Neuchâtel: Lignières (above Lake Biel)
Vaud: Gryon
Valais - Val d'Anniviers: Ayer, Grimentz, St Luc, Vercorin
Valais - elsewhere: Obergesteln (Goms), Anzere (Sierre)
Fribourg: Schwarzsee
Bern: Suldtal (near Spiez), Bönigen (next to Interlaken)
Nidwalden: Ennetbürgen
Grisons: Flims, Rona (near Savognin); the Rona event is goat-centric!
St Gallen: Flumserberg

Saturday, September 28
Vaud: L'Etivaz (Pays-d'Enhaut), St Cergue
Valais: Crans-Montana
Fribourg: Charmey (Gruyère)
Lucerne: Schüpfheim (Entlebuch), Weggis (Lake Lucerne)
Obwalden: Kerns, Engelberg
Grisons: Guarda (Engadine) (this one is called a Schelpcha because the cows moo in Romansch)

Saturday, October 5
Jura: Le Boéchet
Fribourg: Semsales, Albeuve (Gruyère)
Valais: Morgins

Sunday, October 5
Glarus: Elm

Saturday, October 12
Grisons: Seewis (Prättigau)

Fur disclosure #1: since most of you are busy mid-week and none of you can time-travel, we're only listing weekend events and we're not listing 2013 events that already took place at the time of writing.

Fur disclosure #2: all the photos in this post are from the 2011 Désalpe in Semsales.

Legal disclaimer: though we did our best to list as many events as possible, it's entirely possible we skipped a few; if that's the case, please let us know.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Prayers for Peace

Our sincere prayer is for peace and wisdom on this September 11th anniversary.

May the wind carry our prayers near and far.
Love, Tootsie

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Church, A Cupcake, And A Dog

Mom's essay "A Church, A Cupcake, And A Dog" has been published in the current issue of Under the Sun! The dog in the title is my fur-brother Truffle, who spent a whole fall looking for America with Mom.

Here's an excerpt from the essay:
If I eat basil, I make a noise like a dachshund with an itch in her throat. Or a lab whose owner pulled the choke collar too hard. Or my hound Truffle after he’s dug a hole and caught a pocket gopher and chomped down. Pick your dog. Pick your herb. Parsley can also be used as an alternate for salsa when cilantro doesn’t suit. Cilantro makes me make my noise. It’s a kind of Mongolian throat singing, my noise. I sound like a Pug using an inhaler. Again. Pick your dog. Pick your herb. Praise Jesus!

You can read the whole essay here. Under the Sun has been published in print for many years. I'd be so grateful if you would click on through to support this wonderful journal's first online issue. Thanks!

Friday, September 6, 2013

NYC Reading: Renee E. D'Aoust

Hi, All, Tootsie's Mom here. I'm taking the liberty of writing on Tootsie's blog today.

On Tuesday, September 10, at 7:00pm, in New York City, I will be reading from my memoir Body of a Dancer. This is a shared reading with Etruscan Press authors at Word for Word Poetry in Bryant Park (behind the New York Public Library). If you are in the area, please stop by. It will be a special event!

Here's the link. (Scroll down to September 10.)

Here's the info:

Tootsie will not be at the event. Alas.

Here's a photo blast from my past as a dancer. Thomas Warfield is the other dancer.

 Photo by Betsy Corsiglia.

In the next photo, Ian Butler is the other dancer. I am upside down.

Photo by Betsy Corsiglia.

I cannot do those dance climbing thingies anymore. Here's a picture of what I do now at readings.

Photo by Frank Dina.

Visit Frank Dina's webpage here and check out his wotten-waven "Motion/Stories."

Wish me luck!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Short Legs, Stubby Paws, 9,000 Feet

My short legs and stubby paws take me far. Over the American Labor Day weekend, we visited the Engadine valley in Switzerland. This is a photograph of Mom and me at a 9,000 foot high pass. We hiked up from the lake you see in the picture.

[By the way, the American Labor Day September holiday is not celebrated in Europe. In Europe, Labor Day is celebrated as May Day, which is on May 1st. Maybe the red overtones of May 1st are too much for the United States?]

Here is the lake, close up, where we ate lunch. Can you say, "Carrots!" Notice my Dachshund Delights's Hold-a-Dog harness. It helps take me places!

We also had an encounter with a cowborne operation. That's another story. One cow really liked Mom's bright blue shirt. We have no pictures. Guess why. Yikes.

I really like breathing the air at 9,000 feet. It makes me feel philosophical. Maybe because Nietzsche used to hike around here. But Mom would not let me hunt marmots. Why not? I think Nietzsche would have let me hunt marmots. Don't you?
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