The Suitcase Lady


November 10, 2015, 9:49 pm

I recently read a fascinating book, A Solemn Pleasure, The Art of the Essay, by Melissa Pritchard. The writings were on serious and thought provoking topics until I came to the piece called “Doxology”.

I had to look that word up….Doxology, an expression of praise to God. The essay of that name was thirty pages long and was entirely about dachshunds. Since I had enjoyed the first seventy-one pages, I kept on reading despite feeling like a victim of bait and switch.

May I never subject you, dear readers, to thirty-one pages in praise of dachshunds, or anything else for that matter. I only subject you to one minute of reading even when discussing cats.

After having been drowned in dachshunds, I challenged myself to write a few words (emphasis on “few”) on the topic.

Dachshunds were bred to ferret badgers out of their holes. These dogs are best described by H. L. Mencken: “A dachshund is a half dog high and a dog and a half long.”

Dachshunds come in six colors and five sets of markings. The fur can be smooth, long haired or wire haired. Wiener, sausage and hot dog are common nicknames for these low slung creatures.

I have had one memorable experience involving dachshunds. Walking into Washington Square Park in New York City one April day, I spotted several people walking dachshunds. Soon the park was filled with hundreds of dachshunds. I had serendipitously discovered the annual Dachshund Spring Fiesta. In case you need a dachshund fix, the date for 2016 is April 30th.

My favorite dachshund is named Pretzel. He only lives in a children’s book entitled Pretzel and the Puppies. The book was written and illustrated by Margret and H.A. Rey and published in 1946. They are the same couple who created Curious George. As a child, I read my Pretzel book so many times that the illustrations are permanently cemented in my brain.

12 Comments for this entry