Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The wrong side of the fence

Hey! Wait a minute! How come Mom's out there and we're stuck in here?

Luna: There has to be a way to break out of this joint. . . .

Topper and Emma: Luna, the coast is clear. Have you found a way out of here yet?

Luna: I'm looking, I'm looking!

Topper: Oh, oh - I think Mom figured it out.

Emma: I'll distract her by barking at the goldfinch on the feeder.

Topper: Sis, you just weren't sneaky enough.

Luna: I know. She has this joint locked down tight. No dachshunds can escape this yard.

Emma: Oh well, the view from here is pretty good. We can see the street and bark at all the dogs and people walking by.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Walking three dachshunds at once

Now that Luna and Topper are five months old, it's time to get them out to walk as often as possible. We introduced them to the leash one at a time a couple of months ago, with just some walks up and down the driveway and along the sidewalk in front of the house. Then we had each of the puppies walk with Emma as a side-by-side, then the puppies together, and then, finally, all three at the same time. Topper is always eager to go, no matter what time of day it is. Emma loves to go for walks, but usually she wants to go when it's very cool and not much humidity in the air. Luna always acts as if she's being punished when the harness and leash are brought out. She is reluctant for the first block and then really gets into it. I'm hoping she'll start to look forward to walkies as much as Topper does. I only have to mention "walk" when he's around and he's goes hyper. Oh, wait a minute, he does that all the time. . .

At first, each of the dogs were on their own leads with one person handling a dog. Next, it was time to try two together with one person while the other dog was on another lead with a different person. That was an experiment that was interesting. Whoever was behind had to deal with a dog pulling on the lead to be up front with the pack, and the person in front had to drag at least one dog along, because whichever dog was behind from the front group wanted to walk with the dog walking with the second person.

This past weekend we bought a duo lead with a four foot strap. We tried every combo: Emma and Luna on the duo lead; Emma and Topper on the duo lead; and Luna and Topper on the duo lead. It works best for Luna and Topper to be together with Emma on her own lead. Steve and I walked them together for the first couple of times and then, a few days ago, I started taking the dogs out on my own.

What an experience it is to have three dachshunds walking at heel! It's quite a sight and it's quite a lot of fun, especially with the neighborhood distractions. Every time a rabbit trail is picked up, or a squirrel/cat/bird/bicyclist/pedestrian/other dog is spotted, it's like walking a thirty pound dog with three heads and 12 legs, each going in a different direction. It doesn't take much effort to bring them into line again, especially with the harnesses the pups are using. I can pick both up with one hand and look them in the eye to let them know what is not acceptable behavior. I usually get a duo kiss from them in apology if they've been rude. Fortunately, they are becoming very polite walkers and are very curious about the neighborhood.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

We're going on a rabbit hunt!

Luna: I smell a rabbit!

Luna: Come on, Mom! Let's go hunt a rabbit!

Luna: Oooops! My bad! I forgot that you can't smell a rabbit trail. Sorry!

Luna: Ok, I'll track it for you.

Topper: I bet I can find it before Luna does.

Luna: No way, Topper! I have a much prettier nose than you do.

Emma: Amateurs! I have the rabbit trail, and I have years of experience. I'll catch the rabbit.

Luna: No way, Emma - this is my game. I get to catch the rabbit! I call dibs!

Luna: Geez. I don't know why those two can't let me win this game. I told Mom that I would catch a rabbit for her.

Topper: I'll have an advantage from up here. Not only do I have a superior nose, but I can see the whole yard from here.

Emma: Those two rookies wouldn't know a rabbit if it bit them in the behind!

Topper: Hey! I heard that!

Topper and Luna: Maybe the rabbit escaped through the fence. We better bark up a storm so the neighbor knows to leave it alone.

Luna: I bet it's hiding in the bushes. I better go check it out before Topper gets that idea.

Topper: Bwaaahaaaaahaaaahaaa - beat you to it, Luna!

Luna: I smell a rabbit! I just know it's hiding up here in the weeds.

Topper: Maybe Luna's on to something. I sure hope she doesn't find the rabbit. I want to catch it.

Luna: humph! It wasn't up in the weeds, and it's not in the yard. I think it's time to take a rest in the shade.

Topper: Ok, Luna - I'll keep a lookout for the rabbit. Why don't you take a nap while you're at it? I'll wake you up if I see the rabbit.

Emma: Forget the rabbit - there's a squirrel in the tree. Oooooh! Squirrel!

Emma, Topper, Luna: Yay! Squirrel! Where's the squirrel?

Emma: Forget it. It's way too hot to go chasing squirrels. I think I'll stand here and look pathetic until someone goes and gets me a treat.

Emma, Luna, Topper: We're singing for our supper! Doesn't anyone want to give us a treat? Anyone?

Emma: Hurray for dadderd! He got the milkbones!

Topper: Forget the junk food - I see the rabbit!

Luna: I bet I can catch it before Topper does.

Emma: I win! Three doggie treats for me!