When my kids and husband started talking about getting a dog - I said NO. They wore me down of course, but I stuck with NO on the big dog thing. My husband grew up with dachshunds, and I read about them and we met with a breeder and saw a yard full of these joyful little dogs romping through the grass and, well, you know.
Brunhilda - Hilda - came home with us when she was 5 months old. We went to the breeder for a newborn puppy. Hilda was in the yard and her disposition was so calm and her face so sweet that she won us over. She was the runt of a previous litter, and the breeder couldn't sell her as a "breeding worthy" dog - so she was sort of like Marley'; a "clearance puppy".
When we got her she had been living in a kitchen with newspapers all over the floor. No effort at house training had been attempted. We tried every training method we could think of with mixed success. She is so low to the ground that any dampness on the grass repels her. She finds a nice, dry carpet preferable. Over the years we have restricted her from carpeted areas but with uneven results. And take my word for it - none of the products on the market can undo what has been done.
In the years we have had her, she has remained sweet and calm, kids can do pretty much anything to her and she goes along. She is funny and lively and still thinks she is a puppy. She loves table scraps, but maintains a svelte 7-9 pound weight. We sometimes call her cat-dog because even the extra-small sized dog things are too big for her.
She loves to ride in the car. One summer day, in a fit of excitement - she jumped out of the window of our Dodge Ram truck and landed in the street. Since then she has had a couple of difficult periods with her back. She is kind of crooked now and sleeps on a heating pad.
She is a beloved member of the family. It is hard to imagine our lives without her. She greets us coming home (or even just back into the room) with wagging tail and bright eyes. She nudges my hand when she wants her ears scratched. She trustfully falls for Tom's teasing tricks. She likes to be near us, so when I am working on the computer she hangs out on the cart which holds our printer, unless there is a patch of sunshine to luxuriate in.
She isn't so keen to chase after socks or other tossed items anymore, but she loves going out to the park to sniff and roll around in smelly things.
So to celebrate her 12th birthday we took her to the park riding in my bicycle basket. She had a fine time and now she needs a bath.