The trials and tribulations of a sausage dog
sausage: (noun) an item of food in the form of a cylindrical length of minced pork or other meat encased in a skin, typically sold raw to be grilled or fried before eating.
I’m a dachshund. Or a doxie. Or a badger hound. These names are fine and ones I can deal with. Unfortunately for me, I also strike an unusual resemblance...to a sausage.
I have a body that’s too long and legs that are too short and I can’t get anyone to take me seriously. In fact, some meat-based sausages that you buy from the butchers probably have longer legs than me. Ugh.
And therein lies the problem. People seem to be able to find endless jokes or pranks involving me looking like a sausage and it’s starting to wear pretty thin. For a start I’m called Frank (very original), my owner bought me a plastic T-Rex to be my best friend (thanks Toy Story) and I’m pretty sure I saw a hot dog bun costume ready in the wardrobe for Halloween. Mind you, at least I’m not as unlucky as my American counterpart: Weiner jokes are so distasteful.
Don’t get me wrong, I like being a sausage dog. I really do. It just comes with a whole set of difficulties that don’t even cross other dogs’ minds. Take my best friend Keith, the greyhound. The biggest thing he has to worry about is finding a patch of grass large enough for stretching out those extraordinarily long legs of his. Sometimes we hang out at the park together and he wows the crowds by chasing the ball at speeds of up to 45mph whilst I can only watch. And my party piece? I can lie down and pretend to be a draught excluder. That’s. Pretty. Much. It.
In fact, the park can be a place fraught with danger for a dog like me. It’s such a trial as I love running in the fresh air with my friends! Part of the trouble is, I have incredibly large friends. There’s the aforementioned Keith, and then, of course, Captain the golden retriever as well as Brian the boxer, Ace the German Shepherd and Snoopy, a chocolate brown lab.
They’re all top dogs but when it comes to picking teams for frisbee nobody wants Frank the dachshund on their team. It’s the legs you see: I’m not exactly in the greyhound league and because I like eating so much, the tummy dragging along the floor also interferes with my athletic prowess. The only chance I stand of beating Keith to the frisbee with my stumpy legs is if I stand at the top of the slide and hope the flying disc comes winging my way.
In fact games in the park are all a bit of a mystery to me. Take ‘fetch’ for example. To be honest, I don’t really understand the concept of it at all. In fact, if I’m in one of my most stubborn moods (and these seem to happen a lot) I won’t even attempt to run after that stick or ball, no matter how many times you exasperatedly shout “fetch!” at me. I kind of figure, if you want it so badly, why do you keep throwing it away? And seeing as you threw it, you can go and get it...unless of course you bribe me with a snack, in which case I’m like a boomerang, albeit a sausage-shaped one.
Another slight irritation in my life is that people tend to underestimate me, just because I am small. I seem to recall some splendid chap by the name of Shakespeare come out with a nugget of wisdom that people would do well to remember: ‘ though she be but little, she be fierce.’
Good grief. I said the word ‘nugget’ now all I can think about is chicken nuggets and it’s hours until teatime... Sorry. I wandered off for a moment there - back to the fierce thing. That’s me. To a tee; other than the ‘she’ bit of course. There’s nothing I like better than chasing the odd rabbit or badger and giving them what for, but apparently killing rabbits isn’t socially acceptable anymore thanks to Peter Rabbit and his cute friends. Quite often though we go off-piste on walks though and I get to indulge my passions for hunting and digging!
Despite being small, one thing about me which definitely isn’t is my rather impressive tummy. Believe me, Santa isn’t alone in being able to ‘shake his belly like a bowl full of jelly’. I can’t help it: I love eating...pretty much anything. Food is my favourite thing and I can’t help it if I’m extremely proficient at training my owner into giving me treats. I eat and eat and eat whatever I can find on the floor, whether it’s a week-old crust hidden behind the sofa, the salty remains of a bird in the park or a smudge of something sweet that’s been dropped on the pavement. I can’t get enough of food. I eat so much my tummy drags along the floor. If you think about it, I’m really just a victim of identity crisis: just a big dog trapped in a little dog’s body.
Keith even (rudely) suggested I should go to doggy fat camp. Charming. It would appear that my owner has taken matters into his own hands however and bought a cargo box for the car. This means one of my favourite pastimes, ‘licking all the shopping during the car journey home’ is a game which sadly has now come to an end. And I hate ‘I Spy’…
If I’m honest though my rather protruding tummy is becoming somewhat of a problem: it slows me down on the way to snacks; it means that going out in wet weather is certainly not a fun experience and if you don’t know what I mean, try dragging your belly through some puddles and see how cheerful you are! And on top of this, I have been utilised in the past as a doormat duster. The indignity! Maybe it’s definitely time for a diet. Wait! Do I smell sausages?!
But the trials and tribulations of my life don’t end there. Let me enlighten you further. I love a cuddle like the next dog, in fact sometimes there’s nothing I like better than a good old tummy rub, but sometimes enough is enough. I tend to steer clear of little girls if I can and some of the worst days of my life are when my owner’s daughter Millie, aged 7, has some of her friends round. Unfortunately, they’ve discovered that I’m small enough to fit in her toy pram (despite the tummy) and also her unicorn handbag which is just embarrassing as pink sequins really don’t match my fur tone. She even tried jamming a bonnet on my head last week when I decided enough was enough and did the most athletic belly flop to get away causing my back to really hurt.
Mind you, being small in this situation also has its benefits; I’ve discovered that I can really burrow under the blankets (another of my faves), disguise myself in amongst all her cuddly toys on the bed and fit in a really excellent nap without anyone noticing. Big bear really is most comfortable - I’d love to see Keith or Captain try and get away with that one!
Sometimes I like to get my own back too: I love to bark. A lot. For no apparent reason. It drives my family potty when we’re indoors. I like to bark at doors shutting and the hoover and the postman and the microwave and the toilet flushing and loud talking and … pretty much everything. My absolute favourite thing to do is let you know loudly and insistently that there’s someone at the door. I bark incessantly until distracted by delicious foodstuffs or a quick nap.
In fact, now I’ve thought about it, being a dachshund isn’t all bad. I get plenty of walks, cuddles and carries as well as being small enough to snuggle under blankets and get my tummy tickled. I even caught my owner online yesterday searching for the most fantastic dog-friendly holiday properties on Canine Cottages: my friends rave about them and I can’t wait to go! Maybe my fierce loyalty to him is being rewarded after all.
Be like me. Be more sausage.