Monthly Archives: May 2009

Dachshunds on a Dog Day Afternoon

One Sunday a month, our favorite Wine Bar, the Wine Cabana located in Old Town, San Diego, has its “Dog Day Afternoon.” The management invites customers to come out for some drinks accompanied by their well-behaved furry friends.

We try to take advantage of it as often as we can. We like doing things with our whole “family.” Plus, there is usually live jazz and other pooches dressed to the nines.

It’s good people and dog watching, and a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

What kind of dog-friendly establishments are in your town?

The First Unofficial Weekend of Summer!

Time to get outside! Gary and Patrick love being out in the warm sun. Whether on a beach or at the park, these guys go crazy with the endless space and sun on their backs.

This Memorial Day weekend, we’ll be taking the boys to the dog beach in Coronado, which is the best in San Diego, in our opinion.

What will you be doing with your dachshunds over the next three days? Whatever it is, relax and enjoy!

Beating kidney problems in Dachshunds

Last August about a week before leaving on our 2-week overseas vacation, my husband and I noticed that something was not right with our oldest dachshund Gary (8-years-old at the time). He was listless, hobbling around and requesting many more trips to go out to the bathroom than usual.

Not wanting to leave town with him under the weather, we took him into our vet who agreed that something was not right. He ran a series of tests on Gary and found that he had kidney stones, or Urolithiasis which means:

Excessive crystals (urinary stones or bladder or kidney stones) that form in the urinary tract or kidney, bladder or urethra, blocking the flow of urine. The
crystals or stones irritate the lining of the urinary tract. They cause blood in
the urine and pain and in severe cases make urination impossible for the
Dachshund (source: Dog Adoption and Training Guide).

After a very expensive emergency surgery the doctor extracted a stone the size of a grape. When you think of how big a dachshund’s bladder is, it makes a lot of sense as to why Gary was not feeling well. To save your dog from a lot of pain, and you from a lot of worry and money spent, here are some signs of urinary tract or kidney problems:

  • frequent trips to the “bathroom”
  • blood in urine
  • change in demeanor
  • pain walking, moving or urinating
  • small amounts of urination or “dribbling”
  • vomiting
  • weakness

To prevent future kidney or urinary tract problems, our vet recommended putting Gary on prescription food, low in minerals and protein. He said that if we were out of the food or couldn’t always afford the prescription diet, we should sprinkle salt on his regular food to encourage him to drink water more frequently.

Smaller breed dogs are more susceptible to kidney and urinary problems, so it is important to keep the following in mind when attempting to prevent new or reoccurring problems:

  • always have plenty of clean water available
  • give your dog plenty of exercise
  • do not feed table scraps
  • avoid food high in minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium; and depending on your dog’s problem, protein in some cases
  • feed your dog foods high in fiber
  • if your dog is confined indoors during the day, be sure he has the chance to go out at least three times throughout the day when you are at home
  • look into dog foods labeled to prevent bladder and kidney problems
  • schedule regular urinalysis tests for dogs with a history of problems

As always, consult your vet for advice regarding the best course of action for your Dachshund.

(Additional source:

Six degrees of Dachshund separation

In May of 2006, we brought home our second Dachshund Patrick (born on St. Paddie’s Day) to provide companionship for our then-six-year-old wiener dog, Gary.

Shortly after, we brought the boys to Patrick’s first San Diego Dachshund Club event — the annual summertime picnic. It was here that Patrick met his first girlfriend, Danka Dolittle All Day.

Danka was a red wiener dog wearing a cute polka-dotted dress and she was about a month older than Patrick. They couldn’t keep their paws off one another. Danka’s mom and dad were nice too. And though my husband Scott and I got along with them well, we went our separate ways at the end of that first meeting. Over the course of the next few years, we ran into Danka and her parents at various San Diego Dachshund-related events.

Fast-forward to February 2009. We are visiting my mother in LA and we get a phone call from my Aunt Brandi(owner of Maggie and Penny — both Dachshunds — and wife of Uncle Mike). She is down in Orange County visiting a friend she grew up with from kindergarten through high school. Like so many friendships, they lost touch after graduation, but had recently reunited thanks to the social media phenomenon Facebook. Brandi is asking on the phone if we know her friend Renee because Renee knows us.

We have no idea who she is talking about. Three hours pass and Brandi comes over to my mom’s house. She says, “My friend Renee knows you. I mentioned that my niece and nephew live in San Diego and have two Dachshunds named Gary and Patrick.” Apparently at the mention of my “sons” Gary and Patrick, Renee lit up and said, “I know them.”
Brandi told us that Renee was the owner of Danka Dolittle All Day and, of course, we then said, “Oh yeah, of course we know them … They are the parents of Patrick’s first girlfriend, Danka.

We are blown away at how small the world has become and what an unimaginable coincidence this is. So on April 26, this wiener dog miracle comes full circle. Uncle Mike and Aunt Brandi come stay with us for the weekend and on Sunday, we head to Balboa Park for the annual Vernal EquiDox, where we met up with our mutual friends Renee and Andy.

This was the first time Scott and I really got to know Renee and Andy; the first time Uncle Mike has met either of them; and only the second time Brandi and Renee had seen one another since high school. They are GREAT people! All five dogs — Gary, Patrick, Penny, Maggie and Danka — played their hearts out. And the six of us Dachshund moms and dads had a great time reacquainting and getting to know one another.

Pictured left to right: Renee & Danka, Andy, Aunt Brandi & Maggie, Uncle Mike & Penny, Me & Gary, Scott & Patrick

Just goes to show how much these Dachshunds can impact our lives … sometimes without us even knowing it.

Treating cancer in dogs

Joseph A. Bauer, Ph.D., and colleagues described promising results with a drug called nitrosylcobalamin (NO-Cbl) in battling cancer in Oscar the Bichon Frise and three other canines without any negative side effects:

“The beauty of using a dog or a cat to test a cancer drug is two-fold. First, the animal can get the benefit of the most up-to-date drug in cancer medicine. Second, the NCI gets data on pets that are exposed to the same environmental factors their owners are. They breathe the same polluted air and drink the same polluted water that you and I do every day. If you can find an agent to treat cancer that occurs in a dog with success, there is a higher likelihood that you can take that to the human population and have a much higher response rate than with mice.”

Although NO-Cbl has been used in only a few dogs, daily treatments have led to promising results in each case. “In all four dogs, there has been a significant reduction in tumor size without any toxic side effects or discomfort,” says Bauer.

Read the complete article.