Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Schatzi-Who Owns My Heart
My blog wouldn't be complete without devoting a few paragraphs about Schatzi (whose name means "darling" or "dear" - a term of endearment). And she truly is my beloved, the sole reason I love dachshunds and why my blog is devoted to them. She came to us as a mere pup of four months and I've been smitten with her ever since.
She was such a silly pup, nary a bra, sock, or glove escaped her clutches. The softer and fuzzier, the more she liked to chew it! She has a mischievious glint in her eye at all times - you can almost see the wheels turning in her head!
When Schatzi was about 8 months old, she was outside with hubby when suddenly the clasp on her harness let go! And she was off! Directly into the line of traffic on our busy road! Due to quick thinking on hubby's part (and a passing motorist who thankfully stopped when he saw this little blk and tan figure streak in front of him) he was able to catch Schatzi's attention & turn and run back to the house. Of course, thinking it was a game of chase - Schatzi quickly followed him. Upon her capture we realized we needed to teach her basic commands.
I hauled out the phone book & discovered very few, if any obedience classes taught here. And those that were available used choke chains, pinch collars, etc., to "teach", But, as it was my only option - we enrolled Schatzi (sans the choke chain) and quickly discovered Schatzi was extremely bright and learned quickly. Unfortunately, the dachshund trait of stubborness raised it's head every so often and on more than one occassion, class was disrupted by her playfullness! But she was a joy in the ring - and we received many comments from her instructor & experienced obedience participants remarked how wonderful she did in the ring. Not only had most never seen a dachshund work in the ring, but none excelled liked she did.
So, after three levels of obedience and many evenings spent practicing, we had it nailed down. Right? ha-ha! - remember she is a dachshund!! One particular day, I took her out in the back yard, off leash. (what the hell was I thinking??) Only to gain quick sight of her black and tan backside racing up the back field - she was footloose and fancy-free! As panic rose in my throat, I gave her every command I could think of!! "Schatzi, come!" "Schatzi, sit", "Schatzi, down!" Nothing was working! She had the wind in her ears and the scent of fresh mouse in her nose! I was terrified - I can't begin to tell you the thoughts that raced through my head!
Suddenly, like someone threw a switch - she stopped and froze on the spot! I couldn't believe it! She had a look on her face like, "I can't believe I just did that!". Of course, I rushed up, scooped her in my arms and through clenched teeth I kept repeating what a "good girl" she was! As much as I wanted to strangle her for scaring the bejezuz out of me - she did what I wanted her to do- she stopped! So, I rewarded & praised her & made a pact with God - I would never take her off leash again!
I envy people who can let their dogs scamper freely along beaches and unfenced off leash parks! I will have to be content to let our dogs smell the flowers another day - confined to the end of a leash!