I’m a slightly (okay mostly) neurotic dachshund mom who is prone to rambling. I am married with two children… furchildren, that is. We don’t have any of the human persuasion. Me and the wieners like to flap our jaws, so the chatter you’ll find here can cover a wide variety of topics. Dog-related, of course. The wieners don’t care much about politics or fashion or the news. Some of our flaps do have an agenda, though… convincing people that their dogs deserve healthy chews and treats… not icky, dangerous rawhide. Besides writing reviews of products that are chew-worthy (or not so chew-worthy), we also try to offer as many discounts as possible for a number of pet-related retailers. From time to time, we’ll also offer giveaways, the first of which is sponsored by yours truly.
WordsWithWieners isn’t fancy or pretty or professional, like some dog blogs I have come across and am in absolute awe of. I have no background in marketing, journalism, web design, communications, PR, etc. I’m just a regular gal who loves dogs. Always have. I love all breeds, shapes, sizes, and colors; but it is very easy to say that dachshunds are my absolute love. As far as big dogs are concerned, I have a special fondness for greyhounds and dobermans. But I grew up with several dachshunds and always knew that I’d have more later in life. I suffer with severe anxiety and agoraphobia; and my dogs (really any dogs) are my therapy. I’m rambling, aren’t I? See?
I have been with my wonderful (and patient) husband since 2001. He has a stressful but rewarding job with the American Red Cross. All time spent away from work is time spent with me and the wieners. However, he never knew he was a dog person until we adopted our first dachshund together, with whom he developed an immediate and very close bond.
About the Wieners
In February 2004, we brought home a tweenie-sized, rust-colored sweetie who’d had a rough go of things before ending up at our local SPCA. His name was Peanut, but we renamed him to LittleBear. Peanut was a fitting name for him, but we wanted him to start life anew and not associate his name with being in a shelter. Honestly, I could say that he was the best dog in the entire world and I would STILL feel like I’d be understating how amazing he was. Everything we had prepared ourselves for was worry for naught. We thought we’d have to housetrain. Nope. He already knew exactly what to do, when to do it, and where to do it. We thought we’d have to work on teaching him what’s appropriate to chew and what isn’t. Nope. He never even attempted to chew on anything that wasn’t given to him as a chew. We had prepared ourselves for a long period of adjustment. Nope. It’s like he was in love with us from day one. The only “problem” we had to manage was separation anxiety. Truthfully, some would say we handled that poorly. We “managed” it by him never having to be alone. Ever. We juggled a lot to pull that off, but he was worth it. He was our sweet little angel and we had no problem doing anything for him. Spoiled? Maybe. Did he deserve it? Absolutely.
LittleBear was an only dog until 2009, when we adopted Li’l Girl (formerly Jubilee) from Dachshund Rescue of North America. She is a tweenie dapple/black & tan, and a little spitfire. We didn’t know how LittleBear would take to having a new companion, especially one with a personality so different than his own. She is feisty and bossy, and he had a laid-back, easygoing spirit. But they became fast friends, with the subtle, quiet bond of two dogs who had been through a lot in the past, even if they didn’t share that past. It felt complete with the four of us.
Li’l Girl suffered a disc herniation in January 2012. Intervertebral Disc Disease (usually known as IVDD) is common to dachshunds, but it was our first experience with it. Thankfully, we found Dodgerslist (and later K9BackPack), wonderful sites full of information and support, as well as finding a wonderful vet who performed surgery to relieve her herniated disc. She had a wonderful recovery and runs around today like nothing ever happened. We were very fortunate… some disc herniations result in paralysis, even with surgery and even with the best care. We know she would’ve done fine with a cart if she lost the use of her back legs, but obviously, we were overjoyed that she healed and recovered with flying colors. It was a harrowing ordeal at the time, but we all made it through and we were still the Fantastic Four.
Unfortunately, LittleBear passed away in October of 2012, and we were absolutely devastated. He had a few long-term health problems, but all were being managed with veterinary care and medications; and he was asymptomatic until what ended up being the last couple weeks of his life. Ultimately, his heart finally gave out due to complications of congestive heart failure. Eight years with him just wasn’t enough. He was estimated to be about four years old when we adopted him, so he was only twelve at the time that he passed. We knew we’d eventually adopt another, but not until after a long grieving period.
However, certain things happened and we ended up becoming home for another rescue just two months after LittleBear passed. Our new guy came to us in December of 2012 and is named Austin. He was in a good foster home for a long time with that name, so we decided against changing it. He’s a standard red/red boar… he might be a bit mixed – his legs are much taller than average for dachshunds. Because of his unusual size and his name, we sometimes called him a strung together nickname: Awesome-Austin-Big-as-Texas. His personality is very quirky, and more and more of it shows through as he gets settled in with us. Austin and Li’l Girl haven’t quite bonded yet, and we’re not sure if they ever really will. But they get along well, and that’s enough for now. No pressure.
So, we are a family of four again… and we are, as you might guess, very devoted dogparents. Having been through such a scare with Li’l Girl and having lost our sweet LittleBear, we understand the anguish and pain that comes with having a pet who is ill or injured, or who has passed away. Having heard and read horror stories of the damage that rawhide chews have caused to some dogs, even having the potential to be fatal, I knew I wanted to spread the word that there are other treats you can give your dogs that satisfy their need to chew. It absolutely breaks my heart every time I read a tragic story of someone’s beloved pet being made ill or injured by treats that the parents had no idea were unsafe. I’ve never really been sure of the ultimate goal of WordsWithWieners (other than wienerchatter), but I knew that highlighting chews that are safer and healthier than rawhide would be a big part of what we did here. The wieners and I hope to occasionally review other quality dog-related products, such as treats, toys, harnesses, etc.