Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques
Plano, Texas, United States
Posted August 14, 2014
Zelda has been the best dog I've ever owned or interacted with. She is intelligent, playful, quiet, clean, affectionate, and loving. I fell in love with her instantly. She has a beautiful coat with minimal shedding, expressive eyes, and a tail that wags furiously. She was born with one of her front legs shorter than the other, and it causes her to limp a little when she runs, but the vet says it's not causing her any pain, and we find it adorable.
Zelda's puppy days were a little trying - my husband and I were essentially first time parents, and we had the paranoia and anxiety that came with a new presence in our lives. We decided right away that we didn't want a dog sleeping in our bed. Instead, we kept her in a cage in the living room for her first night with us. She cried for hours. Finally, we found if we kept the cage in our room within sight of the bed, she would relax and go to sleep. I don't remember exactly how long it was before we let her sleep outside the cage, but it was probably just a few months. She still refuses to sleep in any dog bed we buy her, preferring to burrow into a large blanket on the couch. Another puppy trait that we are thrilled she has outgrown is her chewing. Zelda destroyed several pairs of shoes, couch cushions, and even chewed on the drywall when there was a bad thunderstorm.
Today, Zelda is a well adjusted adult, though she still has the energy and playfulness of a puppy. She will do her prairie dog pose (see picture) when begging for food, or just to get attention. She very rarely barks, unless the doorbell rings (in real live or on TV), or someone knocks on the door. Her potty training was a little difficult, as she had trouble letting us know when she needed to go outside, but now she doesn't have any accidents as long as we walk her at least twice a day after meals.
Zelda loves toys, and enjoys pulling the stuffing and squeakers out of toys advertised as "indestructible." She goes nuts over a laser pointer my parents originally bought for their cats, as it quickly became clear that Zelda enjoyed it much more than they did.
Zelda greets strangers and visitors by jumping up on their legs and licking them - this is something we haven't really made any attempt to train her not to do. She does fine with young children, but toddlers and infants are sometimes frightened of her because of her exuberance.
Zelda loves to cuddle. She has some separation anxiety, as she always wants to be exactly where her humans are at all times. When relaxing on the couch, she will climb on your lap and even sit on your keyboard if it's in her way.
One of our scariest moments with Zelda was when we came home one day to find an empty box of espresso chocolate truffles on the floor. Our dog is a chocoholic. It was after 5 pm, so we made a very expensive trip to the emergency vet, where her stomach was pumped and she was given activated charcoal to absorb any toxins. Now we know not to leave anything dangerous even remotely near the ground, as she can stand on her hind legs and reach things on the quite high dining room table - she is also a talented jumper. I've read that dachshunds often have back problems later in life, so we try to discourage excessive strain on her rear legs.
We are so glad Zelda came into our lives - she has her quirks, but she is one of the most unconditionally loving creatures I've ever come into contact with. She is self-sufficient, attentive, and has even alerted us when someone was breaking into a car outside our apartment. If you need a compact, low-maintenance best friend, I highly recommend owning a dachshund.