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We have had Dachshunds in our lives now for 30 years, they are a very smart breed of dogs and very perceptive. Of course we treat ours like our children and spoil them rotten. A dangerous thing to do with Dachshunds because they know what buttons to push to get what they want.

Our very first Dachshund was Bundnie a short hair female born at the French Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. She came into our lives probably too young but Bundnie had tons of character and lived to be 17 years old, travelling all the time around the world with us. She would pee on people’s shoes for any reasons, it was endearing and people loved her.

The second one Reese was a long hair Dachshunds. We met him in Chicago in 1993. Bundnie was not to please to see him and at first treated him as if he was a visitor and maybe he should leave. Reese was deaf and we discovered this late in his life. He was a beautiful sweet little dog , he too travelled with us and lived to be 16 years old.

When Reesie died in Rome on Boxing Day we were very sad, it was strange to be without his presence in the house. So a little over a year later, friends told us of this well known Veterinarian in Capena. Our friends lived just down the road from him in a rural setting which is the backdrop for Italian movies, making you want to buy a house in Italy.

On our first visit they did not have any litter but told us to return in February. We did and saw two litters, in one was this feisty little female pup and in the other this shy little male pup. Both were new born and if we were interested we would have to return in 6 to 7 weeks time. We came back and decided to take Nora and Nicky.

Through the years we have developed a routine with them. Routine is very important for any dog, always the same time for waking up, for meals, for walks, for play, etc.. It must never change because it makes them unhappy and you get problems. In our case, having Dachshunds means that they set the routine and you simply follow it. If you don’t they will let you know, no worries.

Unlike cats like Moose and Dudo, the famous duo who live on the Costa del Sol in Spain with fellow bloggers, and because they are cats are more independent minded, dogs need structure and routine. As our Vet told us, be careful with Dachshunds because they will always try to control the situation and see what are your weak points. So they can play on weakness to get more treats, food, etc.

Nicky per example has developed this mannerism of head movements to indicate what he wants. Nora has developed a language based on voice modulations, high, low, intermediate. Growls also which go from soft to plaintive to strong to loud, all depending on what she wants from you, it is quite the vocabulary.

Nicky has this way of whining for his dinner always at 5pm, no later!!! In the morning he wakes us up usually around 7:30am, one very loud and sharp bark, a short walk outside and then breakfast, then a snooze, a first of many during the day. Every morning I will sit in my chair in the living room to have my coffee and read the morning news. Nicky will immediately come and indicate by moving his head that he will sit next to me. I pick him up and he proceeds to fall asleep with me stroking his head and telling him he is a good boy. If for some reason I do not come to sit down, he will fetch me with much whining and head jerks towards the chair. If I do not follow his lead, there is much incomprehension. Same thing if we go for a walk, whereas Nora loves to walk and meet people, I mean people who give her treats, the others can go jump in the river. Like all the Public Works and Garden City employees, Nora loves them. The tourists depends on what kind. Nicky on the other hand is weary of people in general and he likes women more than men. Nicky can be funny on walks, either he leads you literally where he wants to go and come on lets go attitude or he simply sits down and nothing will move him. So we have to go home, unless of course I pick him up and walk him further along. He will give me this indignant look, as if to say “” what do you think you are doing”” .

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Here is Nicky on his morning snooze beside me while I take my coffee. He loves this every morning, all snug and comfy. Thing is I cannot go anywhere and if I get up for whatever reason, he looks at me to call me back along the line; Hey you! come back here now. So it all boils down in a dachshund life, to sleep a lot (we are hounds), eat and don’t be shy about asking for that piece of cheese, carrot, celery, cucumber or steak or ham or … and enjoy the sunshine and a good rub and keep your human attendant on a short leash.