A dachshund status report
January 23, 2007
Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN I am happy to report that my 9-month-old black dachshund puppies, Nicky and Freddie, are finally, absolutely, almost completely housebroken, something I despaired would ever happen during the long monsoon season last summer.Fortunately they love the snow, which I encouraged at the first sign of flakes by crying, “It’s SNOWing, it’s SNOWing,” in my best chirpy voice even though it’s more of a croak these days. Nicky likes to eat snow and is especially fond of icicles; Freddie likes the challenge of forging a path from the back yard to the front, an activity that was curtailed with the latest dumps.They are so different it’s hard to believe they’re related, much less twins. Though they both eat the same amount of food, Freddie is small and wiry, while Nick is a solid chunk who outweighs Freddie by half. They were born this way, the bulldog and the whippet.My friend Randi Young suggested I put Nick on the “green bean diet,” wherein a portion of each meal is replaced by a portion of canned string beans (French sliced). When I first tried this, Nicky looked at me in puzzled disappointment and ate the beans last, but the next time he ate everything except the beans and was clearly unhappy.You dieters might want to try this, but Nick is having none of it. All I have to do is show him a can of green beans and he slinks away and gets on his bed in the kitchen. This may constitute a diet in itself, but I’m going to have to get some veterinary advice whether he’s fat or just BIG and, until then, I don’t have the heart to break his.They just learned how to remove the cover to the dog door – I say “they” but have no doubt that this was Freddie’s doing. Freddie is the great escape artist and general entrepreneur, while Nicky is content to enjoy the spoils of the overturned trash can or the flapping dog door.I have a fenced yard, so closing the dog door was only to keep them from going outside and rousing the neighborhood with constant, irrational yapping as dachshunds are wont to do, these being no exception. I’ve replaced some screws, but Freddie will probably figure out how to use the screwdriver.Though by far the bigger barker, Freddie is everyone’s friend, and Nick is nervous with strangers, though once you’ve won him over it’s Nick who’s the cuddle-bug and Freddie the wiggle-worm, too buzzing with energy to sit for long on anyone’s lap.No surprise that it’s Nick who vibrates with terror at the sound of fireworks or the avalanche-triggering explosions on Aspen Mountain and Freddie who just gets pissed off and barks at them.What’s identical about them is their excited loving greetings and kisses when I come home, and snuggling under the covers at night like two live hot water bottles. I reach out in my half-sleep to touch them, and all curled up as they are I cannot tell the difference between them.Su Lum is a longtime local who cannot remember life without them. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.