Monday, January 27, 2014

The Arnolfinis love to hike

Painted in 1434 in Bruges, Belgium, "The Arnolfini Couple" is one of the most popular paintings at London's National Gallery. If you listen to the BBC, you may have heard that Dachshund Daddy recently discovered this previously unknown version of "The Arnolfini Couple", which features my great-great-...-grandfather Zibibbo next to his fur-brother Baruffo.

Baruffo was a fluffy Brussels Griffon. According to the Daily Mail, Brussels Griffons are the descendants of a long line of Flanders Terriers bred to hunt rats.

My doggy family records confirm that Dachshund Zibibbo lived with Baruffo and the Arnolfinis in Lucca, Italy in the 1420s. Later, in the 1430s, they traveled to Bruges, Belgium, where Jan Van Eyck created their iconic portrait(s).

On their way from Italy to Belgium, the Arnolfinis and their doggies came through Switzerland and took a day off to hike to the top of Monte Lema, where the following photo was taken with Dachshund Zibibbo's digital camera.

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck would have posited that I owe my mouse-hunting skills to the training that Dachshund Zibibbo received from Baruffo the Brussels Griffon. Unfortunately, as my godson Bouncing Bertie would confirm, Mendel has already shown that acquired traits cannot be inherited. Too bad.

Before I fur-get... you can find the Arnolfinis, Baruffo, and Dachshund Zibibbo in Tootsie's Shoppe as part of my wotten waven "Dachshunds in Art" collection.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Some Poopy Signage

Can you believe what my mom makes me do? Pose with poopy signage. So not fair!

Oh yes. Bravo for using poopy bags, but do I really have to pose with them? (In the background, check out that mountain called "The Teeth of the Lady" -- "Denti della Vecchia.")

The next sign is all about not pooping on grass that cows eat. "Thank you! Clean and safe meadows," it reads. Just look at the cow's shocked expression.

The following sign roughly translates to "Mess up. Clean up!"

I swear if I get womanhandled up in the air one more time that I will.... Oh, I'll wag when I'm put down. Yes, I will. Would you?

Monday, January 20, 2014


Meet Dachshund Hermes and his fur-brother, Giove the Great Dane.

They live in Tuscany, in the same town as my fur-cousin Oz. "Every day, Giove reminds me that it's all relative," says Hermes.

Indeed, everything is relative, and all dogs are relatives, since we all descend from wolves.

Seriously, do YOU think Giove and Hermes may be TWINS?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jingle Dachshund

Thank you to my special vet, Dr. Ward, for giving me my jingle bell scarf!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pet Blogger Challenge 2014!

1. How long have you been blogging? Please tell us why you started blogging, and, for anyone stopping by for the first time, give us a quick description of what your blog is about.

My 27 month old blog is all about my bicontinental adventures in the Swiss Alps and the American West. I'm a rescue miniature dachshund, and my parents gave me a new leash on life. (I don't like to call it a new lease on life because leases have a pre-determined duration, but my parents are mine fur-ever!)

2. Name one thing about your blog, or one blogging goal that you accomplished during 2013, that made you most proud.

The sweetness of the comments that my fur-friends leave on my blog.

3. When you look at the post you wrote for last year’s Pet Blogger Challenge, or just think back over the past year, what about blogging has changed the most for you?

Steven Spielberg called us to negotiate the movie rights for a remake of Jaws based on my blog!

4. What lessons have you learned this year – from other blogs, or through your own experience – that could help us all with our own sites?

Going viral is random. My one post that went relatively viral (over 1000 hits in a day) featured a picture of a dachshund sticker on a tourist train in Lugano, Switzerland. Dachshund Daddy had taken that picture as he was stuck riding his bike at granny speed behind the train. My godson Bouncing Bertie, who writes an incredible blog, hit the Zeitgeist with a picture of US flags on dog poop. Could it possibly get any more random than dachshund bumper stickers and US flags on dog poop?

If you could ask the pet blogging community for help with one challenge you’re having with your blog, what would it be?

Finding a sponsor, even if it doesn't pay much. Money is like pee in the ocean... no matter how small the quantity, it adds up.

5. What have you found to be the best ways to bring more traffic to your blog, other than by writing great content?

Make your blog look like any Italian city. You'll definitely see lots of traffic!

6. How much time to do you spend publicizing your blog, and do you think you should spend more or less in the coming year?

I publicize my blog 24/7, especially when I'm napping.

7. How do you gauge whether or not what you’re writing is appealing to your audience?

I have a remote wagometer that I use to measure how much wagging is happening at each IP address and at each IPoo address.

How do you know when it’s time to let go of a feature or theme that you’ve been writing about for a while?

I use my remote wagometer for that, too.

8. When you’re visiting other blogs, what inspires you to comment on a post rather than just reading and moving on?

I leave a comment if and only if my remote wagometer indicates that the author of the post in question was wagging while she or he was blogging.

9. Do you do product reviews and/or giveaways?

Yes! I would like to do more giveaways to promote my Zazzle products and show my fur-friends how wotten waven they are. ("They" refers to both my fur-friends and the products; don't you love the subtle ambiguities of the English language?)

If so, what do you find works best, and what doesn’t work at all?

For product reviews, always speak the truth. For giveaways, keep things as simple as possible.

10. When writer’s block strikes and you’re feeling dog-tired, how do you recharge?

I burrow, go for a hike, and wag. Not necessarily in that order.

11. Have you ever taken a break from your blog? How did that go?

Never a real break, only mini-breaks, as it befits a miniature dachshund. I do take comfort breaks as well. And naps.

Have you ever thought about quitting your blog altogether? What makes you stay?

No, not really. It's so much fun!

12. What goals do you have for your blog in 2014?

I would like to draw more attention to Tootsie's Shoppe, my quirky Zazzle store. I use it to showcase all my doggy products, which I'm having so much fun designing. There's always new stuff, like this very rare painting featuring my great-great-...-grandmother Bettina.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I am a Hot Dog

With special thanks to Sweet Sir Yugi, his mom, my human uncle, and my human cousins
for making me a hot dog through and through.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

In Memoriam: Sweet Sir Yugi

Dear Hearts and Kindred Spirits,

With sadness, we share: Sweet Sir Yugi has traveled to the Rainbow Bridge.

Yugi was originally from Canada and divided his time between British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Here's sassy Sir Yugi as a ten week old puppy in early 2004.

Yugi visited us at Camp Idaho for Christmas, and we had a blast. After surviving cancer last summer, Yugi looked like a puppy again. He carried his Frisbee through the snow, talked, napped,

cuddled, and gazed adoringly at his super special Mom. Our hearts go out to her and to all who so loved Yugi. A very good dog. A great dog.

Yugi passed away after he got back to his home on the West Coast. Sweet Sir Yugi had not been feeling well, but he had rallied. He spent a lovely evening eating dinner and walking with his favorite people on December 27th. But Yugi woke up in the middle of the night and had to be rushed to the emergency vet.

Thank you all for the Power of the Paw when Yugi was not well. It made a big difference and helped him survive his cancer.

Among Yugi's many fine qualities was his love of dog sports, his love of the water, his sweetness, and his wonderful sense of humor: he brought me a hot dog costume for Christmas! Yugi's Mom is a penguin scientist, and Yugi spent a lot of time helping her out with her research, because with him she had the best Lab ever.

As some of you may remember, Dachshund Daddy created the Be Like Yugi video for Sweet Sir Yugi. We've been watching it a lot these days.

Also be sure to check out Yugi and my Shakespearean moment.

Sweet Sir Yugi, we miss you so much.

Run free in Heaven, Sweet Angel Yugi.

With love,
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