FOR those of you who love your four-legged friends, particularly of the long dog, sausage variety, I hope you get a giggle from this little anecdote.
It’s dedicated to my very first wire-haired dachshund, Kiri aka Sausage. She was a precious soul who came into our lives when we rescued her from a puppy farm at age three.
She was a joy and made us laugh every day with her funny, quirky and wondrous ways, particularly when it came to ‘walkies’.
For most dogs the rattling of a lead, or the mention of the word walk sends them into a wild frenzy. Some do circles, some bark excitedly, while others run for the front door before you get a chance to change your mind.
The mere mention of that filthy word was enough to send her high tailing it back to her cave bed, slip through the opening, bury herself and not be seen. We’re sure she believed that if she couldn’t see you, then it was very obvious you couldn’t see her.
I tried in vain to get her excited about a walk, even tempting her with a piece of cheese, one of her great loves. This small act of bribery was mildly successful as whilst she munched excitedly, I slipped her lead on and got us both out the door.
It was highly possible that remnants of cheese lingered in her mouth and as such, put her into a cheese induced dream, which in turn, allowed us to walk for approximately 50 metres or so. But once the spell broke, the brakes went on, and no amount of pulling, dragging and kind loving words would budge her.
As I was in fear of the neighbours reporting me to the RSPCA for cruelty at seeing me pull, albeit gently, a small, grey, fuzzy and extremely stubborn little dog down the road, I resorted to carrying her.
Once in my arms, the demonic dog who only moments before had obviously been on the end of the lead, was replaced with my loving Sausage. As I’d obviously rescued her from an horrendous and traumatic experience, her immediate action was to thank me amorously by showering me with smelly, gag -inducing, slurps.
And whist the idea of a walk sent chills down her long, wiry spine, she still loved to get out of the house, provided she didn’t have to use her legs.
Remember I mentioned about dogs’ who go into a frenzy at a mere rattle of the lead?
For Sausage, the mere rattle of the car keys saw her go into a frenzy, and trust me when I say her short legs could cover some serious ground, with lightening speed when the mood suited. Before I’d finished putting on shoes she’d be at the door, patiently waiting for me to it so she could race to the car.
Once at the car, there was a perfectly choreographed ritual of getting herself inside. For some reason she’d only get in through the driver’s side door, and as she was short, getting in was a two step process. Firstly, a few moments of rocking back and forth on her haunches, similar to a high jumper working up to the big jump was performed. This was followed by swift forward leap onto the floor and as she’d become quite good at this manoeuvre, she always avoided injury on the pedals by ensuring her landing was precise.
Once there, another few moments of rocking preceded a deft leap onto my seat then one final leap over the centre console saw her finally sitting proudly on the left hand passenger seat, a place she felt was hers, and hers alone.
If my sons’ had friends in the car and happened to sit in her seat, she’d throw herself on the floor and as a mark of disgust, pant her fish-infused breath in their direction. But the madness in all of this was that once we reached our destination, she’d run for cover and hide under the seat. There was no way would she get out and walk anywhere.
Here’s a perfect example.
One sunny afternoon we decided to head to the beach, my sons were teenagers at the time and keen bodyboarders. As mentioned above, the moment the car keys were rattled, Sausage was at the back door before the rest of us had even made it down the stairs. Having settled into her spot, she looked quite smug during the 15-minute drive to the beach.
When we arrived, she eyed me suspiciously and when I reached for her lead, she swiftly launched herself under the seat. This action meant I had to then try and manipulate her firmly wedged little body out from under what she probably considered her safe from walking spot.
I finally won the battle, attached the lead to her collar and we set off to the beach, although not as you may be picturing. Rather than being accompanied by the sound of little paws walking alongside me, she was in my arms, and if dogs could actually smile, I believe hers would have been wider than the Grand Canyon.
After finding a spot under the trees to watch the boys’ surf, I think she quite enjoyed lazing on the towels, watching other dogs walk along the beach.