Thank you, Jennifer, for the visit and photos!
While Tasha is in Ohio to be mated with Owl, Cliff Shrader and I visited Jennifer Fry and Gretel in Columbus. Before this weekend, Tasha and Taya had not seen each other since they were eight weeks old at home in Denmark. But they get along fabulously and have played hard. It is quite interesting to see that the sisters are so similar in habits, expressions, size, and even their voices.
Thank you, Jennifer, for the visit and photos!
Jennifer Fry is a director for Handbells Columbus. It is a talented group of 14 people who play a total of 72 bells. They give performances throughout the year and have played in Europe, too! This evening, Laura Knoll and I attended a practice session. If the bells sound this wonderful in a little upstairs bandroom, I can imagine how awesome the music sounds in a cathedral! Very impressive!
The exquisite timing and the stamina required for a person to ring multiple bells for an hour was a surprise to me. Some of the bells are downright heavy! Many thanks to Jennifer and the entire group of Handbells Columbus. I enjoyed it!
Hannelore has been asking me to visit her in Pennsylvania for a long time. I have wanted to do it. I have intended to do it. Last week, the thought persisted. I called and said I had some time off coming up. The weather would not yet be wintry. Could I visit? And, oh, could I bring my four dogs?
Yes. And yes. : )
I arrived Sunday early evening and was originally going to stay one night. We were having such a good visit that I stayed another night and left early this evening.
Hannelore Heller, 86, is the grand dame of standard longhaired dachshunds in the US. One would be hard-pressed to find pedigrees of American-bred standard longhairs that do not hark back to the renowned and enduring prefix of Hannelore and Joseph Heller, "Han-Jo's", established 1959.
I met Joe and Hannelore in the early '70s when I was a teenager and Hannelore was showing dogs, mostly dachshunds, professionally. As they also lived in the midwest, I saw them at shows fairly regularly. For several years, Joe had a dog supply business that he vended at the shows and he occasionally hired me to help him. Hannelore showed and bred a number of standard longhairs that became, literally, pillars of the breed.
In more recent years, Hannelore bred miniature smooths, followed by miniature longhairs. She co-owns her beautiful home, kennel facilities, and acreage with Sue Hauser of Lone Pine miniature wirehairs. Hannelore has four dogs, Sue has four dogs, and I have four dogs. Four must be the magic number.
Sue and Hannelore hosted my dogs and I with awesome hospitality! We enjoyed such a relaxing visit. For hours, the three of us talked dogs, politics, and dog politics. We went through files of photos, looked at some pedigrees, watched a few videos, and relished great food and drink, all accompanied by lovely Christmas music. Wow.
The time passed much too quickly.
Thank you, Hannelore! Thank you, Sue!
I only regret that I did not take MANY more photos. I will rectify that next time.
Houston, we've had a problem here.
In fact, all across the United States, we've had a problem. A big problem.
There is no question that US exhibitors, breeders, and judges care about this breed.
The question that I find myself having to ask is - do US exhibitors, breeders, and judges KNOW this breed? Well, we are supposed to know! The information is available. And it is more easily accessible than ever before. Unfortunately, many statements being posted on the internet, and even published in magazines, is surprisingly misleading and simply not congruent with facts.
For all intents and purposes, two more questions underlie the one above.
1. Is the dachshund an earthdog? I really do not know anyone who would say no.
2. Is size important in the dachshund aka earthdog? Well now, here comes the dichotomy of all dichotomies. It is absolutely amazing how many LONG TIME exhibitors, breeders, and judges assert that it is not!
"A good dachshund is a good dachshund." Well, what makes a dachshund GOOD? In part, it is the ability to do the WORK of a dachshund. And not a thing about a dachshund's structure helps him "do the job" more than his size!
Why is it, pray tell, that so many of us talk and act like dachshund size is totally irrelevant, when it is COMPLETELY relevant! I tell you this thing, there is not a badger or fox hunter in the world who will say otherwise.
This longhaired bitch is one of a mother/daughter pair of bitches that is regularly and successfully used to hunt the European badger (aka Eurasian badger) in Finland. Guess how big she is and hold that thought. We will come back to it.
Please see below each of 20 different earths, nearly all entrances. Entrances! If a picture is worth 1000 words, then maybe we can consider this little album a virtual encyclopedia on earthdog size. All photos were taken by me in an 11 hour badger hunt with three men, another woman, and three standard longhaired bitches in Finland on August 10, 2010. Earthwork photos are not unique. There are many like them on the internet. But, ahem, apparently American dachshund enthusiasts are not looking at them!
Note that with one exception I have not included photos with badgers or the evidence of the taking of badgers. The singular purpose of this post is to give the reader clarity, in pictures, on what seems to be a very muddied (ha!) concept of earthdog size. I sincerely hope that it helps do that. If not, well I tried. I really tried!
20 reasons why dachshund size is important
Diane Webb sent some photos from Cambridge, England this morning. Included is one of the St John's Bridge of Sighs. I am posting it here because it is interesting to me. I have been to Venice a few times and seen the famous Bridge of Sighs in that city. I did not know that there was more than one!
Per Wikipedia, there is a connection between the two:
"The Bridge of Sighs in Cambridge is a covered bridge belonging to St John's College of Cambridge University. It was built in 1831 and crosses the River Cam between the college's Third Court and New Court. The architect was Henry Hutchinson.
It is named after the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, although they have little architecturally in common beyond the fact that they are both covered. The bridge is one of Cambridge's main tourist attractions and Queen Victoria is said to have loved it more than any other spot in the city."
Thank you, Diane, for the photos!
Thanks to Jennifer Fry, Julie Stock and I returned to the Ohio Theatre today for the 27th annual Holiday Pops performance by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Chorus. Jennifer is a soprano with the Symphony Chorus. The music was wonderful!
I never liked orchestra music. I used to call it, rather disparagingly, "elevator music." I certainly never thought I would go to orchestra performances or enjoy them! Well, you know what they say. Never say "never." Not only did I thoroughly enjoy those I've attended in the past two weeks, I also discovered that I love the Ohio Theatre. It is truly a magnificent building and now one of my favorite places.
Before today, I didn't know what Pops meant. I guess I had some vague idea that old folks played the instruments. Or that mostly old people attended the concerts. But there were many children in the audience today. Julie told me that Pops simply means popular pieces. Oh. Well, that was easy!
Julie and I agreed afterward that Twelve Days of Christmas was our favorite one. A genius of a composer who lives in Dublin, Ohio, wrote the music which put each of the twelve days in a different musical era. The first day of Christmas was monks chanting, the second day was Renaissance music, then came (not in order) Wagner, Strauss, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and others, and the 12th day was John Phillips Sousa! It was so great! The conductor told us that this composition of the song has become very popular and is being played by world-renowned orchestras all over the country.
It was all great. Jennifer, thank you!
Julie Stock and I attended an awesome performance of Handel's Messiah, many thanks to Jennifer Fry and Jennifer's family. The fabulous nearly three hour program by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Columbus Symphony Chorus was preceded by an enjoyable, informative one hour lecture by WOSU's Christopher Purdy.
Jennifer Fry is a member of the Columbus Symphony Chorus. I know they practiced many, many hours for this huge two-performance production which garnered great reviews! I was awestruck by both the music and the Ohio Theatre!
The Ohio Theatre is a performing arts center in downtown Columbus. It was built in 1928 and is known as the "Official Theatre of the State of Ohio". In 1969, a local development company wanted to put an office tower on the site! The Ohio Theatre was saved from demolition by members of the community and completely restored. In 1977, it was declared a National Historic Landmark.
Often during the performance, I looked around at the majestic theater and thought, my God, they wanted to tear this down for offices??
I traveled 385 miles to Owensboro, Kentucky last night, stayed the night at Bill & Vicki Spencer's, and drove 385 miles back home today. Two minutes after leaving Vicki this morning, my CRV's odometer turned 295,000 miles. It's no wonder...
Nexus is a bit tired. Happy but tired. He spent most of the seven hour trip stretched out on his back in the back seat. He will get a week's worth of country quiet here at home before he and Seiko go to live with the Stocks for two weeks. (More about that later.)
Vicki, thank you so much for keeping Nexus for me. If I would have had to get him from Marietta, I'd have been driving to her home in South Carolina! My dogs and I enjoyed our visit with you and your splendid Lorindol smooths in your beautiful home! Thanks again.
The dogs announce visitors, whoever they may be. Today I knew that we had a visitor somewhere beyond the fence and went out to see who it was. It wasn't difficult to spot him. He was a big guy carrying a lot of luggage and sporting a fuzzy green toupee. He did not withdraw at my approach but rather kept turning to face me as I walked around him. I think he wanted me to reach out to him. I did not offer to shake hands, though, as he had not cut his nails in a long time. Oh, and he made a couple of really snappy replies while I was talking to him. As his eye contact seemed rather intense, I did not reach out for my water bottle either. I'd tossed it near him as a gauge of his size in the photos. It became a short visit when I decided I should do the withdrawing. Before I left, I told him that if he wanted the water he could have it. He was a visitor, after all.