If there is any truth to the stereotypes about pet owners -- cat owners are loners, fish owners are naïve, turtle owners are hard-working and goal-oriented -- then Dachsund owners, at first blush, could easily be accused of being ostentatious and perhaps slightly oblivious.
But behind the pup and circumstance that was on full display at this year's Miami Beach Dachshund Winterfest, it quickly became apparent that as much as these owners believe that they are tending to their pets, their Dachsies may actually be taking care of them. Perhaps that is why the ancient Egyptians couldn't live without their furry friends, or, as it turns out, not live without them (many of them were buried with their beloved Dachsies).
Clearly, Dachsund owners are themselves different breed. We asked Dach lovers to tell us their own stories of puppy love -- and the answers ranged from the aww-inspiring ("my dog helped me through cancer") to the bizarre ("I can't leave my wife, because she'll keep the dog").
Toni, Jenaya, and Cosita Linda, age 2
"Cosita Linda, ever since I found you in Hialeah, my life has never been the same. I am so happy we rescued you from that alcoholic breeder, along with your five siblings. You are such a fabulous companion to our 16-year-old Weiner doggie. You have breathed new life into our household. When I was diagnosed with cancer and didn't want to get out of bed in the morning, you gave me the will to push on. Our walks in the sunshine, made the pain less unbearable. You rescued me, I didn't rescue you."
Monty and Johnnie, age 5
"Monty, I always was a cat person until you came into my life. I initially bought you for my wife, but you and I have become the best of friends. I love our morning ritual of sharing an egg and cheese bagel, and snuggling close under the covers, sharing our mutual love of college football. I'm known to be a tough guy, but you have brought out my sweet spot. Now, I can never leave my wife, because I could not live without you. We are definitely in it for the long run. Til death do us part."
Claudia & Matilda, age 1; Luis & Ceci, age 9
"Matilda and Ceci, my brother and I have had Dachshunds since we were babies; our oldest one lived till the ripe old age of 18! So, it is only natural that we adopted you as pets in your adult years. Ceci, remember the time Luis and I were both studying for the Bar Exam and you ate right through a plastic gate? We got home and couldn't find you because you were hiding in the closet. Or the time, you pooped right in the bathtub in the bathroom?"
Kathy and Snoopy, 8
"Snoopy, my heart was broken when you were inflicted with intervertebral disc disease at just 3 years old. You were jumping up on your hind legs for a treat and let out a loud yelp. I rushed you to the vet at midnight, but there was nothing that could be done. A few weeks later you were on wheels. You have taught me so much about perseverance. You live in the moment and don't pine away because you are handicapped. You are truly an inspiration."
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Scott and Khan, 4
"Khan, I am honored to have one of the world's grandest Dachshunds, weighing in at 42 lbs. I named you after Genghis Khan because under the Emperor's wrath the Mongol Empire became the largest in history. And even though you drive me nuts because you have literally eaten me out of house and home, with your sophisticated taste for carpets and drapes, you have taught me to look at the world through rose colored glasses and I can't imagine life without you."