“Don’t be like the rest of them, Darling…”



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To a Great Mind, nothing is little…

So as the summer is fast approaching I’m sure everybody is dying to know what progress we’ve made with ‘the battle of the four garden chairs’. Also known as ‘the loosing battle’, or ‘the reason why my hair turned grey’. So what’s the status quo. Well, one could say that I have successfully managed to keep the dogs away from my garden chairs. Unfortunately it’s opened a whole new can of worms, a phenomenon that many Dachshund owners will recognize as ’reversed progress’.

Here’s what the little darlings have come up with for this season:

-Even though you have been using a cat flap for years, you suddenly decide that it can only be used to go out into the garden and not to go back inside again.

-You train the human to let you back inside the house by either a piercing sit stare or a well timed imperative bark. Make it snappy.

-You stick to this new cat flap protocol firmly.

-You wait until the human is comfortably seated in garden chair, go outside through the cat flap in the screen door, then decide you immediately need to go back inside again because you’ve seen a fly.

-Being the only one inside sucks, so you go outside again, but then you need to go back inside immediately because you’ve seen a fly.


-You come up with the same reasons for Bumblebees.

-Or anything that flies.

-If the human closes off the cat flap permanently, you simply use the well timed imperative bark to get her to open the screen door for you so you can join her in the garden. Where it’s fun.

-But then again, flies are tricky little buggers and are extremely dangerous…

-If the human mutters something about Feng Shui and leaves all doors open, you can go as you please. So can the flies.

-Train the human to come and rescue you from flies inside the house, using the well timed imperative bark.

-Make human aware of the fact that the only place you can be completely safe from anything with wings is in a tight squeeze between her and her garden chair.

Really, if it weren’t for the sheer brilliance of it all, I’d be incredibly annoyed. This will be, as they say, continued…



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Hip-Hip!! Yay! It’s a happy, happy Birthday!!

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The Cleaning Loop…

About two years ago I needed a new bike and so I decided to get one of those transport bikes so I  would not always have to take the car to take the dogs for a walk somewhere. I accessorized it with two dog baskets, and with the two dogs on board we look like a traveling circus. Anyway, the other day we took the bike to go on our morning walk, and on our way home Penny had a lovely vomit in her basket. From where I was sitting I could see an interesting mixture of stomach juices, hare droppings, grass, mud, and mouse. Yes indeed ew, and let us not forget who gets to clean it. Penny gave me a desperate look. “Mom, there’s something yucky in my basket”. So I said in my strictest voice “Yes, and you’ll now have to sit very still or you’ll get vomit all over you.” And I could just see the understanding in her eyes, I swear. Really, all this dog whispering stuff is actually a piece of cake. Peddling along I felt an enormous sense of serenity wash over me. Could vomit really be the answer in order to get Penny to sit still in her basket? And just as my head was trying to wrap itself around this amazing new training concept, Penny started to jump around in her basket. “NO! sit still!!” I yelled. And startled she sat still. Right in the middle of her own vomit. Really, I don’t know why I bother sometimes. So again, I got a desperate look. “Mom, I’m sitting in my own vomit.” Seriously?! So I muttered to no one in particular “Why on earth did I feel the need to layer the basket with TWO pillows, and TWO towels?! Was I insane?! Now Penny needs to take a bath… There’s vomit everywhere… Everything has to be cleaned… God that’s going to be so much work..” And indeed it was. The vomit had touched everything inside the basket, and was even dripping from the side like a tiny yellow waterfall. So gross. All I can say, thank god for Dettol and my garden hose. A couple of hours later everything was rinsed, washed, sprayed, and washed again. Penny’s bum had had a good clean, my bike was nice and shiny, and if anyone ever asks again me how I fill my days I swear I will kill that person. Because, dear friends, while I was busy cleaning, my darling Penny decided it was time for a good old dig in my garden. Project Supervisor: Jarah. Everything -including two ecstatic Dachshunds- was covered in black soil. Moist black soil no less. The kind that sticks. Right. Staying calm, staying calm, smile, admire the crater, gratitude, happy thoughts. Breathe deep. This calls for an action plan. I had the garden hose on hand anyway, so I figured a quick rinse of the paws would do the trick. Well, it turned out it didn’t. Cold water does not clean, cold water does not dry, and cold water mixed with black soil makes a wet trail of black muddy feet on my clean living room floor. Well golly, ain’t life just one big learning curve?! Or in my case, a cleaning loop?! Because later that day both dogs tumbled into a smelly ditch. It gave them one of those nice earthy smells and a lovely layer of muck. Then they had a dug for mice, rolled in some cadaver, and at that point you can either get hysterical or stay completely apathetic Zen. Either way I needed to wash the dogs for a third time that day #completelypointless. Fortunately I always have my trusted Yogi tea to calm me down at the end of the day. Or well, actually it’s more the label that’s attached to the teabag. I think they are written by a Dachshund owner who eventually lost his mind. Because when you look at it like that the tekst suddenly makes total sense. Thank goodness, I then think to myself. I’m not the only one…

Een jaar of twee geleden had ik een nieuwe fiets nodig en dus besloot ik om zo’n transport fiets te nemen zodat ik niet steeds de auto hoefde te nemen als ik ergens met de honden ging lopen. Ik heb hem aangekleed met twee hondenmanden en met de twee honden aan boord zijn we net een rijdend circus. Maar goed, van de week ging ik ‘s ochtends met de honden op de fiets voor een wandeling, en op de terugweg ging Penny even fijn over haar nek in haar mandje. Van waar ik zat zag ik een interessante mix van maagsappen, hazenkeutels, gras, modder, en muis. Ja inderdaad ieuw, en laten we vooral niet vergeten wie het allemaal mag opruimen. Penny keek me wanhopig aan. “Mam, d’r zit iets goors in m’n mandje.” Dus ik zei zo streng mogelijk, “Ja, en je moet nu heel stil blijven zitten want anders zit je straks helemaal onder de kots.” En ik zag gewoon dat ze het begreep, ik zweer het. Echt, dat hondenfluisteren is eigenlijk gewoon doodsimpel. Tevreden voort peddelend voelde ik een enorme rust over me heen dalen. Zou braaksel echt het antwoord zijn om Penny stil te laten zitten in haar mandje? En net toen mijn hoofd zich om dit fantastisch nieuw trainingsconcept probeerde te vouwen, begon Penny in haar mandje rond te springen. “NEE! Zit stil!!” gilde ik. En geschrokken zat ze stil. Precies middenin haar eigen braaksel. Echt, ik begrijp soms niet waarom ik nog moeite doe. Ik kreeg wederom een wanhopige blik. “Mam, ik zit in mijn eigen kots..” Werkelijk?! Dus ik mompelde tegen niemand in het bijzonder “Waarom vond ik het ook nodig om die manden te bekleden met TWEE kussens en TWEE kleedjes?! Was ik gestoord?! Nu moet Penny in bad… Overal zit kots… Alles moet worden schoongemaakt… God, dat gaat echt een enorme klus worden…” En inderdaad, ik kreeg gelijk. Het braaksel had echt alles geraakt in het mandje en droop zelfs langs de buitenkant als een kleine gele waterval. Zo goor. Ik kan alleen maar zeggen, godzijdank voor Dettol en mijn tuinslang. Een paar uur later was alles afgespoeld, gewassen, gesprayd, en nog een keer gewassen. Penny d’r kont was goed gesopt, mijn fiets glom weer, en als iemand me ooit nog eens vraagt hoe ik mijn dagen vul zal ik die persoon echt vermoorden. Want, lieve vrienden, terwijl ik aan het schoonmaken was, besloot onze lieve Penny dat het tijd was om eens lekker in de tuin te graven. Project Supervisor: Jarah. Alles -inclusief twee extatische Teckels- zat onder de zwarte aarde. Vochtige zwarte aarde zelfs. Het soort dat kleeft. Ok. Kalm blijven, kalm blijven, glimlachen, bewonder de krater, dankbaarheid, happy thoughts. Diep ademhalen. Dit vraagt om een plan van aanpak. Ik had de tuinslang toch bij de hand, dus ik dacht ik spoel die pootjes wel even snel af en dan is het wel ok. Nou, niet dus. Koud water maakt niet schoon, koud water kun je niet afdrogen, en koud water gemengd met zwarte aarde maakt een nat spoor van zwarte modderpootjes op mijn schone tegelvloer. Jawel lieve kijkbuiskindertjes, het leven bestaat voornamelijk uit wijze lessen. Of in mijn geval, uit schoonmaken. Want later die dag tuimelden de honden nog even in een moddersloot. Het gaf ze zo’n lekkere aardse geur en een heerlijke laag drab. Daarna nog even muizen graven, even in een kadaver rollen, en op zo’n moment kun je ofwel hysterisch worden of je blijft volledig apathisch Zen. Hoe dan ook, ik moest de honden die dag voor de derde keer wassen. #totaalnutteloos  Gelukkig heb ik altijd weer m’n vertrouwde Yogi thee om me weer te kalmeren aan het eind van de dag. Of nou ja, eigenlijk is het meer het label dat aan het zakje zit. Ik denk dat ze zijn geschreven door iemand met Teckels die uiteindelijk krankzinnig is geworden. Want als je het zo bekijkt is de tekst opeens heel logisch. Godzijdank, denk ik dan. Ik ben niet de enige…

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A special day, for a strong lady…

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“Bring me my tiara!”


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New Years Resolutions 2017

wise-yogi-No more vacuuming before 11 A.M., Penny needs her rest.

-Never ever wash both dog beds and all sofa pillows at the same time, that did not go down well.

-Try harder to figure out what Jarah wants me to do when she does the sit-stare, she does not have all day.

-Wait patiently until Dachshund is done sniffing, even when it’s freezing.

-Find a way to not look stupid when both Dachshunds do the Houdini and I’m just standing there with two empty collars on a leash.

-Find a faster way to close and lock the front door behind me, because a Dachshund has no reverse.

-Always apologize, even though it’s not my fault.

-Be the towel.

-Never ever touch Penny’s feet without her permission.

-Sit still until Dachshund is fully rested.

-Always give Dachshund a sample of everything I’m eating.

-Never replace a shredded Hydrangea.

-Always open the back door, even though it has a cat flap.

-Find out what the hell that white stuff is that smells so pungent.

-Don’t throw a ball unless I feel like going to get it myself.

-Pray for a housecleaner patience.

-Always sacrifice personal comfort to give Dachshund extra lumbar support.

-Obedience: try lowering expectations instead.

-Adapt daily routine to Dachshund schedule.

Leave all doors open so Penny does not have to wait. Be more Feng Shui.

-Always pull out extra garden chairs to avoid loosing battle.

-Practice looking natural for when I’m suddenly on my own in a field.

-Frame Yogi Tea label: “Every smile is a direct achievement”.

-Be more suspicious when it’s silent.

-Accept that one step forward will always mean three steps back to go get your Dachshund.

-See a freshly dug hole in the garden as an opportunity.

-Always put Jarah’s food in a bowl so she can spread it out on the kitchen floor.

-New Mantra: Sand is my Friend

-Never ever sing “jummy, jummy, jummy who wants food in their tummy”  after a phone call switched to voicemail.

-Reminder: Everything that looks funny, probably is.

-Look more cool when playtime suddenly turns into a moment of serenity and I’m the only one holding a squeaky toy.

-Note to self: Because I’m worth it.


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