|Lola and Tony|
Tony was left in a motel lobby, by someone hoping some
nice people would take him in.
I thought, no big deal. After all, we already have a dog.
Is Lola, our 9-year-old standard poodle, perfectly behaved? No. She jumps on visitors, particularly ones that don’t want to be jumped on. She dumps over the garbage.
But she is now the reasonable one, next to Tony.
That’s not really true. He is a cute, sweet boy.
But he is so different from Lola.
Lola was a distinct choice. We read up on poodles. They are famous for being smart and high-energy. (Actually, after Lola outsmarted me a few times, I began to wonder whether a dumb, low-energy dog might not have its own advantages.) Poodles are very social; they make eye contact with people. They walk with a spring in their step that’s called “the poodle prance.” I read that I shouldn’t be surprised if my poodle does not ever want to be out in the yard by herself. Meet Lola. Lola (“poodle” comes from the German for “puddle”) strides through every puddle she comes across.
I’ve now been reading about Tony, who appears to be mostly dachshund
Dachshunds are notoriously difficult to housebreak. Bred to go after badgers, they are brave to the point of foolhardiness. Tony has appointed himself guard dog already. As hounds, dachshunds are obsessed with food. Tony’s strategy is “eat first, decide if it’s food later.” He eats leaves, twigs, dirt, wood chips. And they hate getting their feet wet. The first rainy day, Tony peeked out the door, then turned tail to run back inside. Forced to come out, he ran to the dry ground under our eaves – and refused to pee.
Wish me luck.
P.S. Here’s what EB White had to say about his dachshund, Fred:
“Being the owner of dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot … I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a dachshund to heed my slightest command … Of all the dogs whom I have served I’ve never known one who understood so much of what I say or held it in such deep contempt. When I address Fred I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something that he wants to do.”