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Learning to Love a Dachshund

Who would have thought a little dog would have so much love?

By Justin McGeePublished 7 years ago 4 min read
Yoshi and Xander


noun: a dog of a very short-legged, long-bodied stature. Insanely stubborn with a big ego.

As a child growing up, I always had large dogs. Golden Retrievers, Kelpies, Labradors. I fell in love with large dogs - and whilst I liked all dogs great and small, I remember thinking: "I want to have a Golden Retriever when I grow up". As far as I was concerned, small dogs were just yappy, annoying and quite frankly irritating. I never wanted a small dog.

As I got older and made my way through High School and University, I wasn't that interested in having an animal of my own anymore. Life, drinking, partying and having fun without having the responsibility of a living, breathing thing relying on me for its very existence was more fun than having to look after a dog.

Fast forward a few years, and I meet my partner. When I first met him, he had two animals. A cat named Kitten (don't let the name deceive you - it was far, far from a cute and cuddly Kitten), and a dog named Liz.

Liz was, for all intents and purposes, what I didn't like in dogs. She was small, barked a lot, wasn't a fan of new people and stubborn as a mule. Liz was a Dachshund, something that I had never actually seen in person before.

As time went on, I learnt to love Liz, and she learnt to love me. After a year of visiting my partner a few times a week, the unmistakable sound of a Dachshund protesting the arrival of a newcomer every time I came over subsided - and instead of wanting to kill me (let's face it, what was she going to do... talk about small dog syndrome!), all she wanted to do was love me. Liz would run towards me when I came over, bounding over like only she could do to provide the unmistakable affection that only a Dachshund could display.

Unfortunately, Liz was old, and it was obvious that she was not long for this world anymore. She started to develop Cushing's disease, and sadly it got to a point where it was cruel for Liz to carry on. It was 2015, and we were overseas when Liz passed on; I remember to this day where we were - driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, and if I was on that interstate again I could probably almost pinpoint the exact spot that my partner received that phone call.

Fast forward a month, and we're sitting in the Hotel Marriott in Toronto, eating a late breakfast. The topic of pets comes up, and it's revealed that my partners' Mother is buying a puppy, and there is one left. A black and tan miniature Dachshund. We take a gamble - and send a deposit. He is now ours, ready for collection when he gets old enough.

Xander learning how to nap like a pro.

Xander. That's the name we chose. I can't explain why, but we felt it fit his personality well. Or is it that we learn to adjust their names in our head to their personality?

At the time, I was off work in between jobs. I had the day job of looking after Xander while my partner was at work, and we spent the first month cuddling together watching TV, running around and playing.

Then, one afternoon it occurred to me. Here I was, playing with a miniature Dachshund. Me. The guy who always said I was never a fan of small dogs, and that I would always own big dogs.

And you know what?

I loved it.

I no longer had a grudge against small dogs. I was now that "small dog person" who had a little ball of fluff (well, not quite - he is short haired, of course) who would bark, yap and carry on whenever someone new visited.

But I didn't care.

As time went on, I could see that the love and affection of a Dachshund felt like more than what a large dog gives. Dachshund's love to play. They love to run around. And most of all, they love to love their owners and those that keep them safe. When you come home from a day at work and Xander almost does backflips at your presence, you know that they love you.

Fast forward a year, it's late 2016, and we're sitting on the beach in Fiji. We had been kicking around the idea of getting Xander a friend to play with, when all of a sudden the perfect candidate shows up on our Facebook feed. We deliberated on a few things - mainly, how would Xander take having another dog in the house? Would he change? Would he not like it?

We took the leap again. And we ended up with a little chocolate dapple named Yoshi.

Yoshi learning how his head works. We almost called him Gerald, because of this.

The first day Xander met Yoshi was interesting. They always say, introduce dogs slowly and it is sound advice to follow. Xander thought Yoshi was food - and Yoshi consequently thought Xander was a predator.

But within a day the two were inseparable. Xander would watch over Yoshi as he slept, forever guarding his little brother.

He's safe, dad. I'm on guard.

Now that Yoshi is almost 1, I wouldn't have it any other way. Xander and Yoshi are inseparable, and the love from both of those little dogs towards us as their owners is insurmountable to anything else.

I have to admit, 10 years ago I would never have thought I would own a small dog as a person who staunchly defended large dogs. As I learnt the way of the Dachshund though, there was no way I could stand by that any longer.

Dachshund's are beautiful, loving and the best company you can ever get in a dog. And on top of that, everyone loves a Dachshund. It's not often you can take one anywhere without someone running up and exclaiming out loud that you have a "sausage dog".

I think I'm a small dog lover now.


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