Sunday, May 31, 2015

Dear Grandpa -- Thank You!

Dear Grandpa,

Thank you for a wotten-waven special time together. Not only are you the best grandpa in the world... you also give the best cuddles. And cawwots. And you let me hunt AS MUCH AS I WANT. And you help reassure MOM that I'm OKAY, so she can go do her work while you and I get to stay together.

I love you.

Mom loves you, too.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Dog Shaming

I am concerned about dog-shaming, so I checked this book out of the library. (Mom and I have been in Idaho, and we love our local library.)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Fogged with Passion

Today we take you to the Aosta Valley of north-western Italy, home to the highest peaks in the Alps and some of the cutest dogs on the planet. Meet Stella (Italian for star)...

her fursister Maya...

and their fursister Nebbia (Italian for fog).

As he was riding his bike up by their house, Dachshund Daddy learned that Maya, Nebbia, and Stella also have a brown standard short-haired dachshund cousin who would join them later that day. DD made a mental note to stop by after his bike ride to meet the dachshund cousin as well, then off he rode and, a few hours later, enjoyed this view from the top of Bec de Gavin:

On the way back, DD met this little guy right outside Maya, Stella, and Nebbia's place. A brown standard short-haired dachshund... he had to be their cousin!

"Oh no! You got locked out!" DD said to the little guy, who looked at him briefly before marking a pee spot right by the gate. DD rang the doorbell, but there was nobody home. DD tried the neighbors, who revealed the truth.

"No, it's not their cousin. He's a dachshund who lives in town who's been wooing Stella for three days now. Stella is in heat and he's very interested."

The dachshund, his mind fogged with passion, proceeded to kiss Stella.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Best Dog Signage Ever: #1 - Andorno Micca

We're starting a new series on the best dog signage ever. From time to time, we'll show you an awesome example of dog signage design, and you get to rate it on a scale from 1 to 10. Here's today's entry: a very colorful doggy sign from the town of Andorno Micca in northwestern Italy.

With the typical Italian disregard for brevity, this colorful sign invites dog parents to comply with the local scoop-the-poop laws and keep their fur-kids on leash. It adds that it is mandatory for large dogs or dangerous dogs to also wear a muzzle. I wonder how this regulation applies to dachshunds... we're large (compared to chihuahuas) and dangerous (to mice); should I buy a muzzle just to be on the safe side?

Don't fur-get to rate this sign!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Can quarantine laws be used against human stupidity?

By now you may have heard about Australia's death threat to Johnny Depp's fur-kids, Yorkshire Terriers Pistol and Boo, guilty of having been brought down under without observing the country's strict quarantine laws.

Pistol and Boo's presence in Australia was discovered after a grooming session at Happy Dogz in Queensland.

While it was wrong for Johnny Depp to ignore Australian pet laws, it was also wrong for Australia's agriculture minister Burnaby Joyce to upset dog lovers worldwide by emphasizing that Pistol and Boo would need to be euthanized unless they left Australia asap. He went as far as saying "It's time that Pistol and Boo bugger off back to the United States".

Since quarantine laws exist to prevent the spread of nasty diseases like rabies, why not use them to prevent the spread of human stupidity? Dachshund Daddy says it's a great idea, but it may be too late already. What do you think?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Trudy the Bernese

Meet Trudy the Bernese mountain dog! Bernese and Dachshunds have a lot more in common than one would think. Aside from the negligible size difference (they say Bernese mountain dogs are slightly larger than dachshunds, though I haven't really noticed), both Bernese and Dachshunds like to nap and give sassy looks.

Trudy lives in the Tanarello Valley, just below the border between Italy and France. This is where Trudy walks every day.

Trudy's pee spots literally mark the border between the two countries, thus complementing the role of border markers such as this one:

"F" stands for France, but why does it say 1947 underneath? Trudy says, "Because that's when the border between France and Italy was redrawn after WWII." How wild is that?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Dachshund Pippo

Today we're taking you to Lake Serraia in the Trentino region of Northern Italy, which in Dachshund Daddy's opinion is the Switzerland of Italy.

This area is home to Dachshund Pippo, who was recently featured on Furbes -- the Forbes magazine for canine readers.

Here's Pippo's trademark blue-eyed sassy look.

Pippo is a very good dog. He has a blue eye and a hazel eye.


Dachshund Pippo recommends hiking to the top of Dosso di Costalta so you can enjoy a wotten waven view of Lake Serraia and the rest of the Altopiano di Pinè, the Pinè plateau where the lake is ensconced. Pippo, thank you for the tip!

Fur note: Pippo is the Italian name for the Disney character Goofy and is commonly used as a term of endearment for dogs and people alike.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Lulu (on the left) is Mia's mother. Let's join Mia in wishing Lulu a happy mother's day!

Friday, May 8, 2015

La Pedriza

La Pedriza is a spectacular mountainous area in the Sierra de Guadarrama, just north of Madrid, Spain. The lake in the photo is the Embalse de Manzanares.

La Pedriza is a wotten waven place to go hiking, as Pablo can confirm.

He gets to go there all the time and has learned something I'm never going to learn.

Don't bark at the wildlife!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Springing back to life

Late on a spring night, Dachshund Daddy was driving the Dogship down the switchbacks of the Maloja Pass road in Val Bregaglia under a heavy downpour.

Suddenly, a frog leapt across the road just ahead of the Dogship. Dad felt a thump against the Dogship's bumper.

Dad pulled over and walked back up the road to check on the frog. She was not moving, but she was still breathing. Dad gently picked her up and brought her back to the Dogship.

Can you see the frog? (This one is from Washington State, like me.)

Dad resumed driving after laying the injured frog in a safe and comfortable spot between the front seats. Countless other frogs were hopping all over the roadway, and Dad drove with extreme caution to avoid any further incidents.
Twenty minutes later Dad arrived at the Swiss-Italian border. As he approached the checkpoint, he realized the frog was gone from her spot.

This is a Val Bregaglia frog that looks very much like Dad's.
Photo by Michele Nespoli.

"Excuse me... may I pull over?" Dachshund Daddy asked the two Swiss Border Patrol officers who would have otherwise ignored him.

Dad explained the situation to the officers and made an unusual request.

"Could you please look through my car to see if you can find her?"

The officers looked at him as if he was nuts, and Dad added:

"You know, you guys take cars apart for a living; if anyone can find her, that's you!"

That did it. One of the officers methodically went over every corner of the Dogship, while Dad helped by pulling stuff out.

"Eccola qua!"

"Here you are!", the officer said, with a huge smile, after he discovered the frog under Dad's seat. But as he tried to pick her up, the frog hopped away at warp speed.

"Oh my God... she's OK!?" Dad said in disbelief.

What disbelief looks like on a dachshund

"Ma certo. Quella lì non ha niente!", the officer confirmed as the frog disappeared in the safety of the grass around the checkpoint. "Of course. She's definitely OK!"

In spite of the happy ending for his frog, Dad learned from the officers that lots of frogs get run over on rainy spring nights on the Maloja road as they attempt to migrate to their breeding pools. In other areas of Switzerland (as well as in the States), preferred migration pathways have been identified and local volunteers help amphibians cross safely at night. On rural roads with fast-moving traffic like the Maloja Pass road, however, it would be hard (and unsafe) to implement such programs.

The location of the incident in Val Bregaglia and the border checkpoint where the frog sprang back to life. The shortest route from Val Bregaglia to Lugano crosses through Italy, which is why there is a border checkpoint.

A big thank you to Michele Nespoli for letting us use his awesome photo in this blog post. There are many other incredible photos on his website.

Friday, May 1, 2015

When I was small

When I was small
And Christmas trees were tall
We used to love while others used to play.

Angel Keisha, Mom, and Angel Truffle (Thanksgiving 2006)

Angel Daisy and Angel Truffle (Summer 2009)

Don't ask me why, but time has passed us by,
Someone else moved in from far away.

Tootsie dressed up as Dachshund Druid (Spring 2015)

Those are the words of the Bee Gees (for the song "First of May"), and I guess I'm the someone else who moved in from far away.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. I'm visiting Grandpa in Idaho, and I spend most of my time hunting mice. I'm a full time hiker/burrower/cuddlebunny in Switzerland, but I'm definitely stuck in hunting mode when I'm in Idaho. That explains my recent blogging hiatus, which is finally coming to an end because the stories from the past month are too good not to be shared. In my next post, I will share a true story involving a supernatural frog, Dachshund Daddy, and Swiss Border Patrol.

Stay tuned!

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