My family always had outdoor cats (which soon became "porch cats" when I went off to college...perhaps because my parents didn't want me to come home). In my parents' new home the cats enjoy a luxurious lifestyle with run of their own spacious, freestanding garage. We also had two indoor dogs during my adolescence (which I slowly became allergic to over time, though I blamed it on their shampoo).
After a rather dispassionate relationship with my family's outdoor farm dog named "Spot," and her subsequent, mysterious disappearance while we were on vacation one summer, my parents finally caved to the whining of their only child, and we adopted Chanelle Lacy, "Nellie," from the local shelter*. She was a few-years-old miniature dachshund who had been given up by her elderly owner. I thought she was knobby and strange looking, but she soon developed a bossy personality and wedged her way into our hearts once we got her home.
Just a year or so later, my dad picked me up from elementary school with news that he had a surprise at home. I guessed everything under the sun except what he had found: another miniature dachshund. She was so skinny and frightened and had obviously been abused. He saw her wandering through a nearby field (quite providential, as her brown fur nearly perfectly matched the brown field in February). She became our fat, jolly "Sallie," though she would forever hate all men except for my father.
They were good dogs, and they lived for many happy years with us. Both were killed separately on the gravel road in front of our farmhouse when I was away at college (one by our mailman, who currently resides on my mental blacklist). Their loss was devastating, and my parents haven't had a dog since. But we had good years together, and they were like members of the family.
So, long story short, I love animals, and I have a particular soft spot for dachshunds. Also, I love ModCloth, in which all of the following appear:
Love you, Nellie and Sallie. Miss you.
*This is my personal exhortation for anyone interested in obtaining a pet to seek an animal from local shelters. I have trouble tamping down my frustration and scorn when people tell me they purchased a dog or cat from a puppy mill or specialty breeder. Yes, I am absolutely going to think less of you if you don't at least entertain the avenue of rescuing an existing animal in need, but instead have one personally engineered for your enjoyment. And I'm not going to apologize for my disdain.