Search This Blog

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

My dachshund Charlie – looking for the door into summer by Kaye Spencer #dachshund #pets #prairierosepubs #funnypetstories

I wrote this reflection the first winter Charlie, my rescue dachshund, lived with me (2012). He moved in with me that July, and we were still getting to know each other. He was barely four years old, and he had never been house trained.

I hadn’t yet discovered indoor pee pads. At the time, I didn’t have a doggie door, just a cat door, and it was too small for him to use. (That egregious oversight was soon remedied.) haha

Charlie - summer 2012

A dachshund as an exercise workout

 No one needs to purposely exercise in the winter when they have a wiener dog who needs to go outside on a below zero day with eight inches of snow on the ground. Let me tell you my story…

 I bundled-up my rescue dachshund, Charlie, in his cute little winter coat, and carried him outside, because he refuses to go out on his own if the temperature is below 90° F. I tried all the usual places for him to ‘do his business’, hoping he’d find one of them appealing. No luck. So, out into the neighborhood we ventured (not an unusual occurrence) with stops every ½ block or so to check for just the right spot.

My snow boots ar
e awkward and make me walk like a duck with snowshoes on, and my long heavy coat is fuzzy on the outside so when Charlie’s feet are too cold for him to continue walking (which is about every two feet), I hold him so his feet are in the fuzziness so he can get warmed up. Of course, the streets are icy and snow packed, but I only lost my footing twice. The first time I went down in a gracefully soft slow motion way in a snowdrift that cushioned my fall. No one saw it.

The second time, I lost it completely, sending Charlie nose diving into the snow. A guy driving toward us witnessed the crash, and he stopped to see if I was okay. We weren’t hurt. But it kicked into high gear my Charlie-must-pee-before-I-give-in mission.

By the time this outdoor adventure was over, I’d done deep knee bends, toe touches, and leg stretches to brush snow away from potential pee spots just so he could give me the old stink eye while standing and shivering on dry ground from which I’d gone to all the work to clear off the snow…just for him. Plus, Charlie weighs 15 pounds, so carrying that little tub of lard added to my aerobic workout. My heart rate was up, I was sweating, and I was on the verge of frostbite on my nose and cheeks but, by golly, I won the battle. He finally peed…35 minutes later and two pit stops back to the house to warm up.

Darn good thing I’m retired.

Darn good thing I love him to pieces.

And I get to do this repeatedly…all winter long…and next winter…

Until next time,

Kaye Spencer

Look for Kaye here:


  1. I hope he was properly grateful for your effots.

    1. I would like to think he was grateful, but I'm sure he was mumbling disparaging woofs behind my back. hahaha

  2. AWWWW, I love this! I have this problem with Max--he's so goofy--he gets outside and forgets why he's there. If I bring him in prematurely, about 4 or 5 minutes after he's back inside he remembers what he DIDN'T do and needs out again. But he doesn't like to go out alone, even if Sammy is out with him. He will stand at the door and 'cry' until I come out and walk out in the snow with him. That makes everything okay and he goes and does his business. LOL I'd say we are a couple of very good dog moms, Kaye!

    1. Cheryl,

      Charlie grew up across the street. His 'mom' was elderly and a recovering alcoholic who had had several strokes from the years of alcohol abuse. She barely took care of herself even with the support system that checked on her and Charlie. Charlie was nearly four years old when she went into the nursing home. That's when I took him in. I took Charlie to see her in the nursing home twice a week for two years to visit her before she passed on.

  3. Oh, he's SOOOO beautiful! I love dachshunds, and almost got one, but my little Malcolm melted my heart first. This post was absolute joy. Thanks so much for posting. Happy New Year to you, Charlie, and all your loved ones.

    1. C.A.,

      I have a soft spot for dachshunds, too. I've read that because they are so difficult to potty train that it is the number one reason these little guys are turned over to animal shelters. Thanks for stopping in, and Happy New Year to you, too.

  4. Ah Charlie, what a sweetheart you must be. Kaye, I smiled through the whole post. However, I did almost stop breathing when you toook that second fall. Yikes. Doris

  5. Doris,

    Charlie is a stinker-sweetheart. haha I should have been more clear about that second fall. It was in the piled up snow in the middle of the street. It didn't hurt at all, and I was in no danger of breaking anything. I was sort of stuck like a turtle on my back for a while, though. hahahahaha

  6. Loved your story about Charlie and look forward to learning more about him. He must be a very entertaining fella.

    1. Linda,

      Charlie has mellowed over the years, and he's pretty happy soaking up sunshine at the living room windows. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. You're a good doggie mom, Kaye. I don't know many people who would go to the lengths you go to for your fur baby, but I am happy to read how much you do for the sake of your fur baby.
    Since you live where snow and ice are common in the winter, have you considered getting Charlie a doggie coat and booties for his feet?
    I don't like walking on icy sidewalks. The fear of slipping and breaking a bone would be at the back of my mind. Yikes!
    Dachshunds are energetic little guys, kinda yappy, but so sweet. You're doing a great job retraining him after 4 years of no housebreaking training. It sure takes a load of patience to do that.
    Dogs give us back so much it makes it a joy to do what we can for them even when it may be aggravating sometimes.
    All the best to you and Charlie, Kaye.

    1. Sarah,

      Charlie has a basket full of jackets and sweaters for all types of weather and temperatures. He even has an indoor, lounging sweater. haha He has a set of booties, but he refuses to even stand up when I put them on him. He's a stinker.

      I can't recall a time in my entire life that I've not had a dog.

      Thanks so much for stopping by to comment.

  8. I loved your account, Kaye. Dachies are so cute and your love for Charlie shines through. I agree with Sarah, about getting him a sweater and booties. I have a friend who has two dogs and in the summertime, at least,I know she has a filled water cam handy and when they've finished their pee, she waters it down well and thus has the most beautiful lawn with no yellow spots. I don't know what she does in the winter. Perhaps the snow takes care of the "spots". I wish years of joy with Charlie. You're a good "mom" and tell your tale with warmth and humor.

  9. Elizabeth,

    Charlie is in his 'golden' years now, so he's pretty mellow, but if he happens to sneak out of the fenced yard, he wastes no time running and snooping, and he doesn't come back when he's called. I have to chase after him. haha

  10. Queens more often than not become more affectionate toward their masters. They actually do things to get the attention of their owners. If your feline is beginning to show more 'interest' in you e.g. always goes to your side, always follows you wherever you go, and the like, you may actually be owning a pregnant cat. Cat Pregnancy