The dachshund is a classic example of wishful thinking. Although handbooks tell us that it has a playful temperament, it seems that this is an ‘optional extra’ reserved for close acquaintances only. Indeed the dachsie fancies itself as a guard dog, but its diminutive size isn’t on its side. Talking of sides, the dachshund’s defeat as an elite pet came after World War I. It should be noted that although a symbol of Germany, the breed had become immensely popular in England, having also been Queen Victoria’s favourite doggie. Nevertheless, after the fall of the First Reich, a popular cartoon depicted a dachshund dangling from an enormous English bulldog’s mouth with the caption “Got him!” : there could be few doubts as to who had won the Great War and who had lost, and thus the short-legged hound’s popularity hit rock-bottom.
Then came a marketing operation to associate it with the culinary world: what eventually came to be known as the hotdog was originally called the “dachshund sausage” for obvious reasons, although this name soon fell by the wayside and was supplanted by the catchier version. Germany didn’t give in and in 1972 chose “Dackel Waldi” as the mascot of the Munich Olympics – the Games that have gone sadly down in history on account of the tragic events that took place there.
Before we take our sock dog apart and put its components back in their drawer, let’s bark back, oops, hark back to the fact that this breed has always distinguished itself as an excellent hunting dog, particularly good at flushing out badgers (hence its name from “Dachs”, German for badger). Neither badgers nor bad news are in scarcity right now, quite the contrary, and while we wish no harm on the musteloid creature in its sett, we would love to badger the “badger hounds” to devote their proverbial doggedness to chasing out the rising mortgages, inflation and energy prices by which we are all currently beset. After all, quite a few burrow-dwelling animals have had their “socks blown off” by these Wiener dogs, as they are sometimes called, who are always hot… on the trail.