It’s no secret that I am owned by two very adorable miniature long-haired dachshunds; Luke and Nelson—my latest dachshund guardians in a long line that dates back to my teen years.
Ask any dachshund owner and they will tell you what brave, fiercely loyal and devoted little creatures they are—and I would agree with that assessment whole heartedly. And anyone will tell you that owning a dog is highly therapeutic—but, I do question whether dachshunds are the ones administering the therapy, or necessitating the need for therapy.
Particularly Luke… Luke is an adrenalin-fuelled thrill-seeker in search of adventure, adventures that range from the hilarious to the hair-raising.
Imagine moving to a new town and within weeks of arriving, telephoning your neighbour to explain that your dog has not only succeeded in squeezing himself under the fence and into her yard—but he has executed a break and entry upon her house and is now holding her cats hostage.
Or consoling your other neighbour who is highly puzzled by the heightened possum activity that has apparently resulted in his potatoes being excavated—no, I didn’t know possums ate potatoes either… Luke!
It was probably fortuitous that a few months later we moved again, this time into our own house, one with a creek flowing past its front door and surrounded by natural bushland—and a supposedly secure fence. But what is a fence to a dachshund but a challenge.
I can tell you, from first-hand experience, there is nothing more invigorating than skating through an icy paddock at four in the morning in pursuit of a dachshund who, mid-pee, has spied a mob of kangaroos he must befriend.
And nothing has ever challenged my time-management skills more than a dachshund who is being pursued through a creek bed by my husband, my two children… and my taxi driver. All while I’m left standing helplessly in the driveway wondering if I will make it to the airport, let alone as far as Brisbane that night.
Now I won’t deny that a dachshund is a brave little soul, but in the case of Luke, there is also an inflated sense of invincibility—particularly when the adversary is a brown snake who has ventured up from the creek and into our backyard. But while he was teetered on death’s door, Luke simply used his extended recovery time to devise more elaborate escape plans.
Over the past six months our back fence has become an enduring testament to Luke’s ingenuity and unrelenting thirst for adventure—and so, rather than therapy, we are opting for a new fence—one that is going to be dug in a metre below the surface before rising to tower over six feet above our diminutive little boy.
You see, the final straw came when we discovered not one, not two, but three of Luke’s winter jumpers abandoned beside the creek—it seems he has mastered the art of slithering under our back fence, stripping off for a mid-winter’s skinny-dip and returning home—all in time to greet us upon our return from work.
I am convinced that, super-powered by snake venom, Luke is now a whole lot of ninja and a just a little bit of dachshund.