Acquired: Breeder (professional)
Training: Previous owner
Brooker, Florida, United States
Posted July 27, 2015
If you know or have read anything about Dachshunds, then you realize that, as a breed, they are charming, adorable, energetic, loyal, intelligent, noble little hounds. You also may have discovered that Dachshunds are stubborn, loud, clever (pronounce that "sneaky"), and difficult to housebreak. Both statements are correct. Since Corky was not my first Dachshund, I knew the score! There were three Dachshunds in my life before her and three after. In fact, there has never been a time in my life when I have not lived with and loved a Dachshund. Every dog is unique, regardless of breed; like fingerprints, no two are alike. Thus, I developed an award system. Corky won the award for Best Family Dog Ever, which is quite a lofty honor as I have loved many great family dogs; but, Corky, a standard Dachshund, was both exceptional and one of the funniest dogs I have ever known. Corky conquered our hearts and home when she was six weeks old. She was love in the shape of a furry, red tube! With lots of cuddling, encouragement, and praise, I launched my campaign to housebreak that darling puppy. The puppy gates were up in both kitchen doors and the floor was camouflaged with newspaper; occasionally, Corky hit the paper, but much more often, she shredded it. Undeterred, I continued in my efforts but increased my newspaper subscription to two, one being the chunky New York Times. My ingenious son began to gather the dry, shredded paper for use in the hamster's cage. Corky's house training did not improve, but she kept us constantly amused. She loved to flip over her bed and stroll around the kitchen beneath it, making the bed look like a magical flying carpet. When curling up for a nap, she covered herself completely with all her toys and blankets. Once, she absconded with my high-top slippers and poked her nose down into the toe; there she sat, a Dachshund with a red slipper head. Once, when we left Corky in the kitchen while we went grocery shopping, we returned to find our little puppy sitting perfectly still, with a puppy gate for a collar. She had chewed a hole through the plastic lattice, inserted her head, and become stuck. As a solution, she tugged the entire gate from the door and waited patiently for our return and rescue. So it went in silliness and potty-training failure for six months. The only place that Corky declined to eliminate was my son's bed, where she slept each night, cuddled in his arms. Now, my dogs are always by my side or in my lap. I was squeamish about using a crate, but after six months, I knew I must be militant, so in she went! She was allowed out only to eliminate outdoors. The next week was arduous, sad, and filled with the children's tears and pleas to release Corky from her pitiful incarceration; I was brave and did not relent. One week and Corky never had another mistake in the house! Corky loved to nap with our two Siamese cats, who used her for a heating pad. Children love candy and mine were naughty about sharing a jelly bean or bit of chocolate with their favorite dog. Since candy is not good for dogs, I cancelled sharing. Corky, however, was driven by an incredible sweet tooth. Once, when my son had been away at camp, I placed a Kit-Kat bar under his pillow to welcome him home. While I was away for all of ten minutes to retrieve my son, Corky found, unwrapped, and devoured the Kit-Kat bar. Another time, she managed, after many jumps, I imagine, to knock my daughter's jar of Jelly Bellies off her desk. Never to be deterred, Corky succeeded in removing the glass lid. My daughter chanced into her room, only to find a happy, satisfied Dachshund surrounded by sour jelly beans (the only ones Corky did not like). At Christmas one year, I hid a three-pound bag of M&Ms in my bedroom closet. Corky used her ever-curious snout to open the door and then devoured the entire bag of candy. That escapade ended with a frantic drive to the emergency vet, who had to pump Corky's stomach and insert an IV of antibiotics into her stubby little leg. The good news is that the vet saved her; the bad news was his exorbitant bill. No matter, she was worth every penny! We traveled many miles with Corky and the children, to seashores and mountains, from prairies to forests. She made herself the goodwill ambassador for the family wherever we went and she acquired countless friends of young and old, policemen and firemen, shop owners and hotel managers. One of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen was Corky as she rounded a mountain path to discover a field peppered with lightening bugs; she stopped, enraptured with the sight for two whole minutes before she charged after her prey; she cavorted across that field, never catching one bug! Dachshunds can be sneaky. Once, as we relaxed on the deck of a mountain cabin, we refreshed our souls with lush views of trees, grass, slopes, and a creek that lead to the road far below. I idly observed and commented to my family, "Look, way down near the road there's a dog just like Corky." No sooner did the words leave my mouth than we all shouted in unison, "CORKY!" Hearing us, Corky raised her sly little head and for all the world looked like she wanted to wave to us. The children leading us, we sped down the mountain to rescue our naughty dog! Despite her adventure and merriness, if anyone threatened her family, Corky morphed into our valiant defender. She may have been small and long, but she never lacked true grit. During her distinguished life, Corky protected us from: a wild bear, a wild boar, threatening dogs, snakes, and one aspiring intruder. She cared not for size or ferocity; she would have laid down her precious life for any one of us. When people complain of housebreaking struggles, stubbornness, or loud barking in Dachshunds, I recall, with tearful eyes and enormous pride, the dog who loved her family more than her own life. Don't ever refer to my noble, heroic, hilarious, beloved Corky as a wiener dog. Honor her, and other Dachshunds, with the respect and love they so deserve!