A fun life going to the dogs

Published 8:55 pm Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It’s funny what you hear about these days. I was at work checking the Internet for information, and I came across the headline “World’s oldest dog dies.”

Well, how could anyone ignore that? In terms of dogs and cats, I am definitely a “dog” person, although I do like cats, too.

Anyway, the article said the oldest reported living dog was a wirehaired dachshund. Well, we grew up with dachshunds; they’re my favorite breed. I have never seen a dog with more chutzpah, more daring for its comparative size and shape than a dachshund.

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We had a dachshund that took on a German shepherd because it was walking through our yard and moved to protect its domain. That was Charlie, a short-haired dachshund we got in Tuscaloosa when I was 5. Charlie was a member of the family, like another brother. Smart, protective, fun, loving — in my mind, there will never be another dog quite like Charlie.

Needless to say, Charlie did not win that battle with the German shepherd and was hurt pretty badly in the fight, but I would not have been surprised if he were to take on that same pooch in a rematch, if the opportunity had presented itself.

We only had Charlie for seven or eight years. We had moved from Tuscaloosa to Marietta, Ga., to LaGrange, Ga., to Phenix City to Demopolis, and he was always right there with us.

The artlicle said the world’s oldest dachshund passed away last Friday at the age of 21, what the Associated Press writer who did the story thought was 147 in “dog years,” but dog lovers know better. I would guess it would be closer to 100, since the average age of a dachshund is about 14 or 15.

We had four dachshunds throughout my lifetime: Charlie, Charlie II, Gus and Schnapps. None of them lived to be quite that old, but I treasured each moment with them. Dachshunds are an extra-special breed. There is something about their bravery, loyalty, intelligence and fun that I hope I was able to pick up from them.