Good Puppy Gone Bad?

We’ve always had a problem with the pups running away. TheGirl calls it “running for freedom”. Usually they can be found somewhere digging happily in a field. Recently we’ve also discovered – after endless drives around the neighborhood and surrounding areas – that they can find their own way home, thankyouverymuch. Still there was the specter of them getting hit by a car or digging up someone’s prize roses to keep us hunting down errant pups.

Because of the way the old garden was built, it was impossible to keep the dogs in if they weren’t on their leashes/a chain. That made me really sad. I envisaged them just hanging out at home without being encumbered by anything as ChessMan and I enjoyed our evening sip on the terrace in the fading sunlight. Instead they either had to be hooked up somehow (and prevented from trying to jump up onto the main garden wall to escape into the neighbor’s yard) or kept inside, the moist noses pressed to the glass while ChessMan and I attempted to enjoy life without them.

Now that we’ve moved, we thought we’d finally reached that stage of pup nirvana. We can cordon off the back part of the house surrounding the terrace, and – with the recent installation of a fence between the kitchen door and the carport – we’d been able to extend that area considerably. Now we could leave both the kitchen on the side and the terrace doors in the back open and – with the middle gate also open – they could wander around almost 1/4 of the house, including the pond.

Fun days those were! Both dogs just resting on the lawn, stretched out in the sunlight.

Of course, dachshunds aren’t the tallest of dogs, but their good friend, Bella, soon proved that she knew how to unlock the gate – off go Rocky and Bella. But if Bella wasn’t here, they’d be fine, right? Wrong.

Yesterday they somehow managed to get out of the yard. I have no idea whether they got the gate open themselves or whether ChessMan inadvertently left the front gate slightly ajar when getting bread. In any case, he was the one who noticed two tails rush pass out fence from the window in the pantry. Off we go in the car to retrieve them. We quickly found a little boy with Termi in his arms. Seems he had tried to get into their garden. We didn’t find Rocky for awhile, but finally (actually, the whole episode probably took only about half an hour) he made his way home on his own accord.

But, that wasn’t the end of the story.

Just minutes after Rocky made his way back into the yard, there was someone at the door. It was a woman we had asked if she’d seen the pups while we were driving around the village. Seems that later Rocky had gone into their back yard, and attacked their miniature goats. He bit one of the mother goats on the udder. One of the young goats didn’t fare so well.

Yes, Rocky bit one of her goats to death.

She was understandable distraught. But – quite honestly – so are we! I guess we humanize our image of our pets to such an extent that we feel crushed when their natural instincts come through. Dachshunds were bred to hunt. Both of ours have shown the predilection right from the start. Though they are as gentle as lambs (ok, much more enthusiastic, but gentle all the same) with people and other dogs, when it comes to cats it’s a different story. And there was that incident with Termi and the rabbit…(this story also eventually had a tragic ending, but Termi wasn’t involved).

Of course, we went over later to apologize to both her and her husband. Of course we will cover the cost of the lost goat.

But just as if one of our pups had accidentally come under the wheels of a car, we know that no amount of money can replace the sense of emotional loss you feel when you lose an animal that was (like) a pet. Especially, too, because there are children in the family…



Pups on the Run

cat alarm

The night before my birthday the puppies decided to run away from home.

It’s not the first time they have scampered off – humming “Born Free” as they run – but they had gotten so much better. And there lies the root of the problem! We have been training them to run and jump into the car without their leashes when the car is parked right in front of the house. And usually they do.

Sometimes, though, they don’t…

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Going ‘Dutch’ in Summer ’07

Summer is slowly coming to a close here in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In only a few weeks, kids will be back in school. TheGirl’s course starts on August 11th, and TheBoy’s apprenticeship kicks off at the beginning of September. This, of course, also means there is a lot to discuss as a family, so I spent a few hours yesterday with TheKids and The Ex doing just that. Read the rest of this entry »

The Eel Thief

ChessMan suffers from chronic back pain, which sometimes infringes upon his/our quality of life mightily. That’s why he was very glad to find a kind and understanding – and capable – physical therapist here in our village. In addition to the massages and other prescription treatments she provides, she also allows him to work out on her equipment as often as he likes at no additional charge. That means that – in a good week – he’ll saunter over there for a 45 minute workout maybe 2 or 3 times.

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Gratuitous Puppy Update

I was actually going to write about something else today, but after an afternoon spent at the supermarket and the garden center I am knackered beyond words. The weather has gotten cooler here, too, but I am just too tired to go outside and plant all the new stuff we got today for both the garden and the balcony.

Tomorrow. Maybe.

Till then – more from the Pooper-Scooper Twins!

Here’s Termi using ChessMan as a hammock while Rocky cuddles up alongside.

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Termi – watchdog extraordinaire – making sure no cats wander into our garden by mistake…

Another Gratuitous Cute Puppy Shot


Gratuitous Cute Puppy Shots


Termi is on front. Rocky has the white “bib”. Need I say more?

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Born Free!

Termi & Rocky in Belgium

Terminator (“Termi” for short) and Rocky are our 2 year old, black & tan, standard dachshunds. Or – to be more precise – our furry, 4-legged “sons”. 

Although I can sometime go overboard with affection and spoiling when it comes to my favorite pupsters, ChessMan (Mr. They-Will-Not-Be-Allowed-On-The-Furniture-Or-On-The-Bed) has taken the concept of spoiling to a whole new level. Oh, it’s not like he doesn’t get irritated with them or sometimes wish them to the moon (esp. at 4am when one of them decides he has to pee), but if ChessMan had to make a choice between me and either or both of “the boys”….

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