HUBBELL PUPPY!: Why I Should Have Gotten A Zebra!

*Being an owner of dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot. I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a dachshund to heed my slightest command.*

E.B. White said that! Now I haven’t trusted E.B. White since he killed Charlotte, but HOOOO, BOY! Was he ever right about this one!

* * *

God only knows what possessed me to buy a little wiener puppy- I was not *ready* for another dog and I’m still not, but the main thing was companionship. I’ve lived alone most of my adult life, but without a dog? Without anyone nuzzling you awake in the morning? Without anyone bugging you to go outside? Without anyone wagging their tail or sneezing in your wine and/ or stealing your pizza?

That’s really ALONE alone.

I was going crazy, so first thing I did? I bought a monkey. I woke up one day and there was (in all seriousness) this receipt for a monkey in a Yahoo Window! I’d sleep spent three grand on a monkey? A stupid spider monkey or marmoset? Or squirrel monkey or whatever it was?


I thought about it for about five minutes, maybe six. Then I canceled my monkey mostly because in the movies and things, monkeys just seem to cause problems. They’re always losing things and hiding things and pouring poison into water coolers, that sort of thing. A monkey is just a little mischief maker and I decided that if I wanted poop flung at my head, I’d just get married . . .

Now that was an idea! Golly gee!

I decided to get married, I thought it’d be terrific! I’d get a pet husband, we could play fetch and go for car rides! Take long walks in the park! Every time he started sniffing up some trampy chick’s skirt, I could smack him with a rolled up newspaper and send him to bed without supper! Then every now and then, we could go to the jungle! He could visit his relatives! I thought it was the BEST! IDEA! EVER!

But shucks. There was no one good around to marry.

So I went to the pet store and picked up this Dachshund. He was the coolest looking dog in the store, all cute and grey with black splotches and one little brown paw, these big baby blue eyes! Still he was compleeeeeetely inadequate; so small and skinny and fragile! As a rule, I hate little dogs and my heart was set on an Afghan Hound, but when I picked him up, he lunged towards my face and licked my nose, then snuggled up to me and buried his head in my neck. The next words out of my mouth?:

“I’m buying him.”

I frantically took a hammer to the block of ice around my emergency credit card, I HAD to have that dog~ he cost far less than the monkey, plus I’ve always been a sucker for men with blue eyes!

And now he’s mine.

* * *

First he was little “Cary Grant.” Then he was little “MacGyver”/ “Bogart”/ “Captain Renault”/ “Holden Caulfield”, but they all had brown eyes. It took a week before I decided on a proper name, but now he’s Hubbell, like Robert Redford in The Way We Were. Robert Redford has blue eyes!

After I finally named the puppy, I came across that quote by E.B. White. He said it was easier to train a zebra, but obviously E.B. White didn’t know that MISS BRIANNE SLOAN could train a zebra! Hello? My last dog LILY (may she rest in peace!) sneezed on command! She barked to the Blue Danube! All her toys had individual names and you couldn’t say the word WALK around her because she’d go nuts! REALLY nuts! You had to spell it out and even that only worked for so long because she soon figured out how to spell it!

Yes, sir! It was *ME* that taught her all those wonderful things! *I* was a force to be reckoned with!

(except for breaking into the fridge to steal pizza! I didn’t “teach” her that one!)

But nope.

This dog is impossible. IMPOSSIBLE! I have had him a good four months now, he officially knows two words! TWO!: he has figured out his name is “Hubbell” and he knows “dinner”, he doesn’t seem to have much of a desire to learn any more words. Communicating doesn’t seem important to him, all he does is eat and cuddle and poop . . . and eat and cuddle and poop . . . then eat and cuddle and poop. I managed to get him potty trained in only three and a half months and a Dachshund is notoriously hard to potty train! That’s a step in the right direction!


But if I go to try and “train” him to do anything else, he pretty much laughs at me! He cocks his little puppy ears, looks at me like I’m nuts, then just flops on his back, stretches his legs out and waits for me to pet him! He’s so darn cute that it always (ALWAYS! ALWAYS! ALWAYS!) works! I can’t stay mad at him and training him starts to seem totally unnecessary~ he is beyond adorable! I mean, what does he need to know how to “sit” for?

I tell him to “sit” and it feels like I’m asking too much! I mean, it can’t be easy being that cute all the time! I take him for a walk and suddenly he’s a rockstar~ everyone and their grandma has to come up and pet him! And oohhh and ahhh over him and how darn tootin’ DARLING he is! Children attack him! Whole classrooms! They chase him and chatter at him, rub their grubby hands all over his little puppy belly! They ALL want to hold him and love him and giggle at him!! What a responsibility! It must be so taxing! He’s giving his fans what they want and it just drains him and drains him! How can I ask him to sit? His tiny brain must be mush by the end of the day!

So of course Hubbell can’t SIT! He’s too put upon by society!

I’m cutting him some slack, but here’s a tip from someone with experience: If you or anyone you know is planning on purchasing a Dachshund in the near future, I strongly recommend you consider a zebra. Or just go with the monkey!

BETTER YET! Simply leave your emergency credit card in the freezer where it belongs!


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