Anatomy of an Irish Viking Dachshund

Anatomy of an Irish Viking Dachshund

While scientists have long been aware of their unique anatomy, little is actually known about the function and specifics of the Irish-Viking Dachshund’s particularities.  It has been ascertained, through countless hours of research and study, that these elusive animals do possess a structural makeup unlike any other breed.  While the “Haunch” and “Flank” are quite common pieces of canine form, the Irish-Viking Dachshund has other features which make it a fascinating case study.  These include the “Bank” or back flank area; the “Fraunch” or front haunch; the “Frit” or pit of the fraunch; and, most importantly, the “Honk” or haunch/flank concurrence.  Let us explore further …

This Irish-Viking Dachshund was captured in the wild and domesticated. While known primarily for their beards, Irish-Viking Dachshunds are also widely recognized for their extreme susceptibility to sunlight. In this photo, the subject was found unawares – basking and oblivious to our study. Notice that the Haunch, Flank and Bank are positioned so as to be excellent solar receivers. They are crucial to the Irish-Viking Dachshund’s survival in un-plush environments. The primary function of both the Haunch & Fraunch is flexing when stretching or being munchy when adored. The Frit & the Honk facilitate these activities. The Flank & Bank are known for their extreme reflective qualities, as shown in this diagram – notice how they gleam in the laser-like sun. The noble Irish-Viking Dachshund is an enigmatic creature, indeed. We were extremely fortunate to be able to document this amazing life-form for posterity.

A Little Known Fact

A Little Known Fact

While working on his play, Henry V, Shakespeare took a few days to visit his older sister, Judith and her family.  He brought his work with him on this holiday and often worked late into the night, sometimes requesting refreshments from his sister’s maid, Irish-born Ailbe O’Roarke.  Miss O’Roarke, something of a story-teller herself, found herself acting as a sounding board for Mr. Shakespeare’s work.

Late one evening, Ailbe took tea and biscuits to the playwright, and found him wringing his hands in frustration – the pivotal moment in his play had arrived and the Bard had no words to adequately convey the scene.  Miss O’Roarke offered a memory from her childhood in Ireland – an afternoon of play with her siblings, re-enacting the famous Celtic Battle of Axona against Julius Caesar.  She recalled how her brother Brogan rallied his brothers and sisters against the children from the neighboring farm (who were portraying the Roman army)  with words of encouragement and pride.  “Those who are not here with us on this day will forever be ashamed!“ he had cried.  “My band of brothers and sisters that shed blood with me and will show our scars with pride, remembering our valiant deeds!”  “Oh, that Brogan,“ she said fondly, “he’s a silver tongue in his head.  Always quick with a story or a speech to fit the occasion.”    She laughingly recounted the lot of them running into imagined battle, shaking stick-swords and holding shields of tree bark in front of them, shrieking like banshees as they charged the ‘enemy’.  She then left Shakespeare to his work, telling him she had confidence he would find the right words to complete his story.

Some months later, she attended a performance of Henry V and was surprised and pleased to hear her brother’s words that she had shared with the author, uttered from the stage.  After the play ended she sought out Mr. Shakespeare and congratulated him on the piece, mentioning that she was glad to have provided him with the material for the pivotal scene.  Shakespeare pretended he had no idea to what she referred and quickly slunk away without so much as a by-your-leave.

Not one to be silent when slighted, Miss O’Roarke took every opportunity to share Shakespeare’s thievery and slight. However, because of her Irish heritage, she was most often disregarded and assumed to be an embittered ex-consort of the writer.  She never stopped telling the true story of the famous St. Crispin’s Day speech, though, sadly, history remains shamefully occluded about the true origin and once again, denies the Irish due credit for a great literary achievement.

Georgie Speaks

Georgie Speaks

Georgie is Exhausted

 

As you can clearly see, the past two weeks have taken a toll on me, both personally and professionally.  To hear the whole sordid mess, you’ll have to read Mama Dog’s blog.  But here’s what she left out …

While Daddy and Mama Dog were jetting off to exotic Midland, TX and the Little Miracles were living plush at Granny Carolyn’s house … I had to stay with Doot, The Grandpa and Cousin Tootsie.  It wasn’t exotic.  It wasn’t plush.  In fact, the only fun I had was scaring Tootsie by jumping on her when she came into a room.  It was doubly rewarding because, in addition to her squeals of terror, she always peed a little and got in trouble with Doot.

I did manage to gain a precious few winter pounds because Doot often “forgot” to feed Tootsie.  Now, it might be possible that she actually fed Tootsie, but Tootsie didn’t eat her food for hours, leaving it to become stale and inedible.  And it also might be possible that I, in trying to be an appreciative, thoughtful and frugal houseguest, may have occasionally eaten the abandoned food.  I didn’t want poor, hapless Cousin Tootsie to accidentally ingest such questionable fare.  It’s even possible that Tootsie thanked me for saving her from indigestion.  Of course, it’s also possible that Tootsie just isn’t very smart or quick and, well, you know the old adage … you snooze you don’t get to eat your food because I’m hungry and I’ll eat it first.  Or something to that effect.  In any case, Doot fed her later, while she was in her crate, while I slept out.  Ha ha ha.

So.  After 3 days away from home, my Companions and The Family Bed, you can imagine what a shambles everything was in when I finally returned.  All the Companions were in disarray, The Family Bed had entirely lost it’s comforting musky aroma and I have spent the past two weeks trying to put things back to normal.  I’ll be giving you a full and detailed report next week, but as for now, I’m deeply, deeply tired.  Good day.

A Little Known Fact

A Little Known Fact

During the Second World War, a lesser known but equally important war was being fought:  The Great Fabric War.  Irish textile manufacturer, Finnegan O’Fergus set out to create a synthetic fabric that would be more durable, flexible and cost-effective than cotton.  He determined that the common Irish potato was a perfect medium through which to develop this wonder fabric.  Through extensive experimentation with potato starches and their natural polyesters, he finally came up with a material which he called “Potaterylene.”  This miracle fiber was lightweight, durable, stain and water resistant and flexible. Knowing the value of his invention, O’Fergus set out for England and the patent office in London.  He was certain that his fortune was about to be made.  Until …

O’Fergus arrived at the Patent Office only a few minutes before closing.  He hurriedly handed over his application and corresponding notes, research and formulas for Potaterylene to Patent Clerk (and frustrated chemist) John Rex Whinfield.  Whinfield assured him the paperwork would be filed before the office closed on this Friday afternoon and O’Fergus left to find a quiet pub in which to celebrate his imminent success.

Whinfield, meanwhile, read over O’Fergus’s research and plotted to claim the discovery for himself.  He took the notes and formulas home for the weekend and, using them as a model, created his own fiber.  He substituted other plant cuticles for the potato polyesters and renamed the fabric “Terylene.”  Whinfield filed his own patent application the following Monday morning and *accidentally* mis-laid the application proffered by O’Fergus.

Terylene was hailed as one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century and Whinfleld became famous.  The DuPont Corporation purchased the formula for Terylene and the revolutionary fabric, renamed Dacron became a worldwide sensation.

O’Fergus petitioned the patent commission for many years afterward trying to prove that he had come up with the fiber first, but it was no use.  Thus, another opportunity for Irish notoriety was lost.

A Public Service Announcement From Georgie

A Public Service Announcement From Georgie

It is raining and cool in my portion of the world again today.  This time of year generally brings warm sunbeams in which I can bask, but this year, I’m experiencing a decided lack of bask-worthy options.  Because of this unseasonably cool, wet weather, I am in great need of a Nook.  In this old photo, I am warming myself in front of a lovely Nook.

This picture was taken a few years ago … when my Daddy and Mama Dog cared about me.  About the time new furniture started appearing in my family room, my precious Nook disappeared.  I heard Daddy Dog tell Mama Dog that the “heating element” had “gone out” on my Nook and was a “fire hazard.”  Pffft.  What nonsense!  What followed were two or three years of frigid winters – without a Nook.  I say two or three because I can’t tell exactly.  When you’re so terribly cold, it’s hard to keep track of linear time.  Anyway, I was without a Nook and it was dreadful.

Then, one day, after one of their extended shopping trips in the “City,” I saw Daddy Dog carry a box boasting a picture of a Nook into the house, then disappear into the basement.  It never materialized in the family room.

Now.  I’ve been to the basement.  The Big Kid carried me down one chilly afternoon to snuggle in his chair and watch television. (I believe it was a dachshund-mentary on the American Revolutionary War, on which subject I have a tremendous amount of knowledge.)  I realized the basement was not, in fact, a repository for cats (despite noises emanating from there which would indicate otherwise).   It was actually pretty plush:  The Big Kid and Little Blonde Girl have bedrooms down there and they have clearly nested.  There are comfy chairs with pillows and blankets, twinkle lights (which really make me look fabulous), and … an enormous Nook!  Big Kid was quick to point out that this wasn’t an actual Nook, but a furnace that heated the entire house.  But it certainly looked like a Nook.  Anyway, I determined the basement was a safe zone for a small dachshund and have returned many times to explore on my own.

On one such exploration, I discovered the mysterious vanishing Nook … in its box, hidden away in a dark corner of the storage room.  Why on Earth was it not upstairs where I could have access to its comforting, healing warmth??  I immediately questioned the Mama Dog, but her response was most unsatisfactory.  She gave me some gobbledy-gook about there not being space in the family room for a Nook, and that maybe when the house was remodeled the Nook would be installed.  Pffftt.  She tried to appease me by making a new soft blanket for the Family Bed.  But I’m not that easy.  Then she tried to further explain that she had only purchased a new Nook because it was on sale and she got such a great deal on it that she couldn’t possibly pass it by.  She was saving it for later, she said.  PFFFTT!  She hates me and wants me to die.

So here I am today, during one of the coldest spring seasons in history … freezing, shivering, suffering because “there’s not space for the Nook at this time.”  Ridiculous.   Hateful.  Mean.  I have tried in vain, with plaintive, baleful looks and general snubbery, to express my extreme displeasure over this untenable Nook situation.  But Mama Dog is standing firm – no Nook until the house is remodeled.  Pfft.

In conclusion, let me warn each and every one of you that if there’s a Nook in your home, appreciate it.  Lie in front of it as often as possible, even though the threat of over plush-ing looms near.  Do not, even for a moment, take it for granted for a Nook is a precious thing and fleeting in its warmth.  If you do not have access to a Nook, seek out a hot blanket, a powerful sunbeam or even one of those furnace-thingies.  I do not know how much longer I will be able to survive to tell my tale of woe in this Dachshund Spring.  But until I am silenced forever by the cold, I will continue to promote Nook Neutrality.  Stay warm and thank you for your support.

The View From the Family Bed

The View From the Family Bed

Occasionally, I take a day away from The Family Bed to run errands, attend workshops & meetings, or maybe even grab a latte with my Spirit Guide.  Even though I love my work, I sometimes just need a break, you know?  I try not to take these ‘holidays’ very often:  Many of my Companions are very fragile, emotionally and mentally, so I hesitate to leave them unsupervised for any length of time.  You never know when a Companion’s anxiety will overflow and cause  the others to meltdown.

Once, I went to the post office to receive delivery of a batch of carpet samples.  We were re-decorating Candace’s tunnel and I felt like a more lively carpet would encourage her to make it all the way from one end to the other.  Anyway, in the short time I was gone, Hobart the Holiday Hedgehog had started an intense debate on religion with Emrys the Elephant (who currently practices Judaism, but was born into a family of Vodou practitioners).  The fervor of the discussion was apparently fueled by the half pot of hazelnut espresso someone found in the kitchen.  Upon my return to The Family Bed, I found Emrys, trunk knotted in three places, and Hobart wrestling on a table in the cafeteria.  As Hobart stood atop the clearly distressed Emrys, the other Companions circled the table, chanting for Hobart to deliver “The People’s Elbow.”   Clearly, the Companions had been watching more wrestling than I had realized – and I’m pretty certain Bachmann was responsible for that.  He’s always mucking about in my Hulu account.  By the time I was able to disperse the Companions and calm both Hobart and Emrys, it was late in the evening and I had not only missed my supper, but the Entertainment Tonight, as well, which is one of my favorite programs.  I learn a great deal about dealing with fragile egos, emotions and personalities by observing celebrities in their natural habitat.  It’s like a primate documentary with spray tans.

So, as I said, I try to stick pretty close to home.  I’ve tried leaving one particular Companion in charge for the time I’ll be gone, but that never works out well.  Invariably, whichever Companion is chosen quickly devolves into a power-hungry megalomaniac.  For example, once, I left Marshall the Mammoth in charge.  He’d had an especially productive week in therapy and was feeling quite relaxed and calm.  I was only leaving the Bed for a few minutes to supervise the Daddy Dog as he transferred meat from the grill to the kitchen and I felt the responsibility would be a great confidence booster for Marshall.  When I got back, Marshall was calling himself “Marshall Law.” He had moved all the ambulatory members of The Family Bed into the storm shelter and was wielding Breakfast in Bed Chewy like a club in the doorway, shouting “Remember the Alamo!”  sigh

This morning, I had an important meeting with my Spirit Guide.  She’s been working very hard for the past several months on getting me fitted for a prosthetic thumb and finger – her own invention – called The Do-Claw.  She says I’m a perfect candidate and that the Do-Claw will allow me to provide even more for my Companions.  I was gone for about a half hour.  And when I returned, this was what greeted me:

ItsJustSomePancakes.com - View From the Family Bed
ItsJustSomePancakes.com – View From the Family Bed

Apparently, Bachmann began taunting Je m’appelle Claude about who is the better aquatic creature and fisticuffs ensued.  Here, I’m told by Claude’s close friend and fellow crustacean, LeVergne the Lobster, that Claude is performing his signature move on Bachmann.  It’s called the “Crab Rangoon,” and it appears to have been quite successful in getting that porky-mouthed beaver to shut his tree hole.  For once.

The View From the Family Bed

The View From the Family Bed

When I opened The Family Bed Education, Rehabilitation and Training Center, it was with the particular goal of providing a nurturing, enriching environment in which to instruct my Companions.  Over the years, I have trained countless Companions – shaping them into upstanding, productive members of society.  Many of them have gone on to careers in the Arts, Politics, Finance, and Sports Medicine.  A few have moved into the arena of Community Organizing and Activism, but one has to expect a certain number of failures in any educational setting, I suppose.   Still, overall, I enjoy my work and feel the FBERTC is a successful institution.

Probably the most rewarding part of my day, however, is the work I do with the more disadvantaged members of the Family Bed.  Some of my companions suffer from developmental challenges.  Some are behaviorally dysfunctional.  And some are just porky-mouthed. (You know of whom I speak – Bachmann.)

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One of my toughest cases is Ernst …  He’s an Eggplant.  And though he’s very sweet, there are clearly many problems which I must help him overcome. For example,  I’m constantly reminding Ernst to use his words because when he gets overly excited he just grunts and points.  I believe his issue stems from being left on the vine over-long … I’ve consulted many experts and they agree with my diagnosis.

I work with Ernst on a bi-weekly basis but we often nap together.  I have found, through my work in the Family Bed, that napping is a great way to build trust and promote inter-companion communication.  I do nap with other Companions, both within and without the confines of the Family Bed, as each individual case may demand.  In this photo, Ernst and I are napping on the couch in the family room.  The elevated position gives Ernst a feeling of empowerment, and also serves to protect him from the prying eyes and often cruel taunts of some of the other Companions. Notice his serene countenance.  Plus, Ernst is quite cuddly and I look especially lovely next to his plush purple exterior.

In many ways, Ernst is my biggest success story.  Since I first began to train Ernst, his vocabulary has expanded by over 12 words.  Additionally, he no longer spits as a greeting.  And while there are numerous issues yet to be resolved – his need to announce bodily functions, for example – I firmly believe that I can help Ernst become the Eggplant he has always longed to be.

Georgie Speaks

Georgie Speaks

 

In all my years of study and scholarly pursuits, I have yet to find a satisfactory explanation for the existence of cats. Or fat-free cheese.

Truth be told, I’ve really never understood the human fascination with fat-free anything.  As any dachshund can tell you, the flavor is in the fat.  And if there’s no flavor … well, I’d probably eat it anyway, but I’d enjoy it much more if it was full of fatty goodness.

You know, cats don’t have a lot of fat.  It’s a little known fact that cat meat is very lean.  Not that I’ve ever eaten a cat.  But I hear things.  And my Buffalo Spirit Guide used to have a cat named Chauncey and she told me that he was the stringy-est, most non-fat animal in her menagerie.  And I believe her because, well, she’s a Spirit Guide and they don’t lie.  So maybe there’s some kind of correlation between the purpose-less-ness of cats and fat-free cheese.  It only makes sense, doesn’t it?

Let’s examine the facts, shall we?  1. Fat-free cheese is not real cheese.  Fact.  2. Cats are lean.   Fact.  (My exhaustive research has sussed out that 83.6% of the cats I’ve seen on Facebook or other social media are approximately 12.6 pounds or less.  I’d consider that to be quite lean, and seeing as how I am a mere 15 pounds myself, I know something about being lean.  But since we’re talking about lean cats and their fake-osity rather than svelte, haunchy dachshunds who are obviously real, we’ll put that aside for the moment)   Therefore, I would postulate that lean cats are not, in fact, real.   Furthermore, since it’s been well-established through a series of rigorous tests that all cats are lean … well, the obvious conclusion we come to is that all cats are not real.

Now, the real question becomes are lean cats not real cats?  Or (and this is where my superior deductive skills come into play) are lean cats not real cheese?  Ha!  I believe now we have the basis for a solid debate, my friends.

I’m already writing my speech for the Nobel committee.  Or perhaps the Book Prize awards ceremony.  Or the USDA.  Maybe even the Grammys.  It’s such an intriguing discussion for every aspect of society.  Just remember, you read it here first.  Or perhaps I should just be quietly content knowing I’ve sparked what could be the most important conversation in decades?  After all, I’m a modest dachshund – not a glory hound.

Ah.  Well.  After such deep thinking, I believe it’s time for me to take a nap.  But before I go, I’d like to reiterate that I have never, will never, and do not currently support eating cat meat.  Or any other fat-free food.  Like fat-free cheese.  Although they could be one in the same.  Good day, and thank you for your support.

Beaver Tales by Bachmann

Beaver Tales by Bachmann

But first, a note from Georgie …

You are all familiar with my most notorious Companion, Bachmann Beaver.  Well, he’s been hounding me so much lately about telling his tales that I’ve finally relented and given him his own column on the blog.  I didn’t proofread or edit his work so I can’t guarantee it’s grammatical correctness.  Nor can I endorse the validity of any of his claims.  He is Bachmann, of course, so I would expect there to be a fair amount of … let’s call it embellishment of the facts.  Anyway, enjoy.

When I was just a young kit, growing up on the Little Nokasippi River in the wilds of Minnesota, I became friends with the mysterious, yet very real creature known as Bigfoot. Yes, Boggy Bill(as he liked to be called by his close friends and relations) and I had many adventures on the river in our youth. I remember once, when I was home recovering from a tail sprain … Bill and I went fishing and ended up in a heck of a pickle. You see, I was supposed to be in bed, resting my tail and at my dam window I heard this tapping sound. I looked over and there was Bill, looking for all the world like he was heading to Sunday church. It was the darndest sight! Now, you have to know Bill to really appreciate how ridiculous he looked – all dressed up in his finest Montgomery Ward polyester blend suit, his head hair slicked down with opossum grease … what a hoot! I got out of bed and opened the window and asked Bill what the heck he was doing and why was he so gussied up? Old Bill just laughed and said he’d been over to the local campground where some family had been having a reunion. He dressed up and just blended right in, he said. He said he enjoyed some mighty fine snacks and even got an invite to the next year’s reunion over in Niagra Falls! Oh, that Bill! Anyhoo … Bill had a hankering for some fresh trout so he asked if I wanted to go on down to our special spot and do some angling. Of course I said yes – I just love me some broiled trout cooked in some garlic, lemon butter with a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top (so tasty). I got my fishing pole and tackle box and snuck right out the mud room door without my Mama ever being any the wiser. We caught 25 of the most delectable looking fish that afternoon. Boy was my mouth watering by the time we decided to call it a day and head home! On the way back, Bill said he wanted to make a quick pass through the campground, just in case those reunion people had left anything behind. (He had tasted some little meatball things in a crock pot that he was crazy over – said they were smothered in grape jelly and chili sauce.) So we took a shortcut to the campground and wouldn’t you just know it, a daggone park ranger happened upon us carrying two big old baskets of fresh caught trout. Well, with Bill in his suit and me in my favorite fishing hat, I guess that ranger figured he’d come across a fisherman and his son trying to illegally obtain some supper. He tried to handcuff old Bill and Bill just went crazy. He ended up throwing that ranger fellow clear up into a big pine tree and tossing his car keys into the river. Heh heh heh … I don’t have to tell you how silly that dude looked flailing around in a tree crying about his dang keys! Wheeee … what a day that was, I tell ya.

The View From the Family Bed

The View From the Family Bed

Life in the Family Bed can be hectic. Sometimes, I like to kick back with a puzzle and relax. But with all those Companions – well, it’s a challenge. I like to think that I’m equitable with the love and nurturing care I offer my Companions and that I don’t play favorites, but the truth is that there are some who require much more attention than others.  Such is the case with the Companion you’ll be meeting in this edition of The View From the Family Bed.

Today, I’m introducing you to Candace. She’s possibly the neediest member of the Family Bed, which I have attributed to her lack of balance. With only two legs, she’s quite a stumbler to say the least, and is constantly mooing for someone to help her stay upright. Tsk, tsk, tsk … she’s so clingy.

While Candace does try to manage on her own, she needs a lot of help.  A lot, a lot, a lot.  And I, along with my team of specialists, work with her about three times a week.  She runs line drills, the balance beam (which is really quite amusing, I must say) and other standard coordination exercises – all designed to help her stand on her own two hooves, so to speak.  Candace has been with me for about two years and in that time she has made no significant progress.  But I’m always hopeful that one day, she’ll be a self-supporting member of the Family Bed.  It would be such a help if she were less of a burden on me, personally and professionally.