Sunday--October 6, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 389
Weiner Dogs Of Vigilance
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York
City, October 6--When hundreds of Dachshunds gather, don't pick up
your feet when you walk--slide them. Nothing would Terrorize
an owner more than placing a size thirteen foot in the middle of their
precious pet's back and applying 270 pounds of pressure.
That's why I slid my feet as I
around Washington Square Park yesterday noon, shooting pictures of all
sizes and shapes of Dachshund, many dressed in doll-like clothing by their
owners to illustrate the character of both "human parent and canine child."
I was pleasantly surprised at
the number of American flags anointing the little sausage-like creatures
with big brown eyes, long snouts and fly-swatter tails that wagged
playfully in the warm, humid air.
As I tend to do, I began to see the
Dachshunds as Canine Sentinels of Vigilance. They weren't the
giant rescue dogs of the Shepherd or Labrador class. They were
the Sentinels of Vigilance for the children, the "little people" who need
as much protection as the big ones.
Historically, their name comes from
Germany--"dachs" meaning badger and "hund" meaning dog. The
"Badger Dog" was bred to hunt and draw the badger, a formidable twenty- to
forty-pound vicious saber-clawed adversary. The low-slung, hot-dog-shaped
canines have a reputation for possessing confidence and courage bordering
on recklessness. No other hunting dog has the same qualities of
courage and perseverance to hunt its prey down in the bowels of the earth,
dog against badger. The breed will pursue its prey both above and
under the ground
The "doxies" sonorous bark is a special advantage,
for it enabled the hunter to determine what was going on down in the
Theories hold that the sculptured
relief's of the Tekel Dog on Egyptian tombs are ancestors of this breed
whose "hunter-courage" pound-for-pound, is unequaled by any dog many times
Yet at the same time, the doxie is
considered one of the warmest family pets--a kind of "dog toy" children
can dress in various clothes; a lap dog who will sit patiently while being
"dressed" and give
unconditional love to its owner and family members. One may find it
hard to imagine this 16 to 30-pound oddly shaped canine fearlessly burrowing
into a badger hole as its prey slashes at it with razor-sharp claws and
threatens with fangs that rip and shred.
Perhaps that's why I began to see the
doxie through different glasses. Amidst the sea of elongated
smooth, wirehaired and long-haired Dachshunds, many dressed in dog
costumes for the event, I began saw an army of creatures who could hunt down
Osama bin Laden, and ferret out Saddam Hussein--the Badgers of Terrorism.
I saw a pack of
Sentinels of Vigilance, Guard Dogs of Vigilance, able to stick their long
snouts down into the caves and tunnels of Baghdad or Afghanistan and find
the Badger of Terror and hold him at bay until our Special Forces arrived.
It took me some research time to realize
the power of the little dog. Personally, I'm a "husky fan."
My best buddy was an eighty-five pound mix of Siberian and Malamute named
Zonka. He and I wrestled and played like a couple of
teenagers, and I always felt secure when I traveled for businesses because
his size and deep guttural growl would ward off anyone trying to Terrorize
family. I equated, as most people, size to toughness, size to power.
I forgot, for example, in Africa, the honey
badger is known to be able to take down a rhinoceros. It
attacks the great beast by ripping its testicles apart, crippling it.
I knew the
honey badger is acclaimed as the most vicious of all animals for its size,
but I didn't realize that its biggest enemy was a Dachshund--that friendly
little "Weiner Dog" that kids dress up in play clothes and that people
carry around in tote bags.
couldn't imagine a doxie being more protective than my husky, my buddy
Zonka, but after reading its history, I realized the doxie with the moxie
was the "Dog of Vigilance."
At the Washington Square Doxie Conference,
that image of Canine Vigilance was heightened by the number of dogs I saw
wearing the red-white-and-blue.
The vast majority of "clothing" the owners put on their pets for display
at the confab included many version of the
U.S. Flag--either a scarf around the doxie's neck, or a harness made of
red-white-and blue. I called them the "Flag Dogs Of Vigilance."
One, for example, was dressed up in an FBI
doggie jacket, another as a bumble bee. Still others had the flag
scarves around their necks tied into handsome bow ties.
Their coats displayed a wide range of color
from black to spotted brown and white to red. Some were
smooth coated, others had long hair, and many were wire-haired
One particular owner had her doxie dressed
in Japanese attire. I called him a "Ninja Dog." Still
another chose a Sherlock Holmes motif, with a "detective hat" that gave
his doxie the appearance of a mystery solver. I followed him
around as he sniffed out "clues," and imagined him on the trail of Osama
bin Laden or Hussein--a CIA forward intelligence observer who would sniff
out the location of the enemy and then signal the "Doxies of Vigilance" to
swoop in and worm their way through the bunkers and caves to hold
America's number one enemies at bay.
President Bush refers to
our enemies as the "evil ones," and one of the doxies represented that
point of view. Its owner had place red "devil horns" on its head.
But it was hard for anyone to see "evil" in such a tail-wagging,
lick-your-face-and-snuggle creature. I stretched my
imagination and pretended he was Osama or Saddam.
There were the
"frau-frau" dogs too.
A lady in pink had her dog dressed in pink, and another
"doxie mother" had flowers of bright colors ringed around her doxie's
Still others put
ballet skirts on their dogs, one pair carried the message: : "I am my Daddy's dog!"
One doxie even rode on the back of a bicycle, strapped in of course with doxie
The dogs seemed far too peaceful to be able
to burrow into a hole and challenge a mean, angry badger...or...a bin
Laden or Hussein.
Their long ears and bright chocolate eyes seemed better fit for a
children's playground than for hunting down nature's biggest Terrorist--an
But then I saw a couple of them in a skirmish. I saw their
teeth gnash, and the ferocity that gives them the veritable reputation as
the "most fearless hunting dog." I snapped some shots of the quick
battle, as I witnessed the ability of the
dog to stand its ground.
My "pick of the litter,"
however, was a dog named Mike. Mike was dressed in Harley
Davidson apparel. His owners turned him into a "biker," a
Hells Angel Terrorist hunter. He wore a Harley hat, had a
leather collar with metal spikes on it, and that tough glare that said:
"youse look'n at me?" His owner, a young woman, had two
American Flags stuck in her hair.
The more I studied the
pack of diverse doxies, the more I began to see their qualities as
Sentinels of Vigilance. Two doxies with flag scarves tied
around their necks kept another crippled doxie comfort. The
crippled doxie's back legs were paralyzed. He was outfitted with a
doggie wheelchair that carried his hind feet behind him.
The two flag dogs seemed to lead the way, taking the point to protect the
handicapped doxie. The Rescue Heroes would be proud: "Leave No
Then there was the baby doxie.
He was up for adoption. He snuggled in a baby carriage, as innocent
as any human baby. People crowded around to "ooohh," and
"ahhhh." I thought of the baby doxie as being a "Child
of Innocence," not unlike the children of America or other countries of
the world. They were immune to Fear of the Badgers of Terror, unaware the
world was full of those who would threaten their security and
indiscriminately attack them out of some twisted desire to prove to the
world their madness. It was hard to believe the baby had in its
genes the ability to battle the Beast of Terror, the inbred Courage to
chase it to the ends of the earth and corner it.
A few feet from the baby
doxie was a young child in a stroller, awed by the "Weiner Dogs."
His mother encouraged him to pet one of the doxies and its owner held the
dog so the little one could pet her. There was trust and
love and caring transmitted between the human child and canine, and I
wondered if the little child knew the friendly dog he was petting with
glee would fearlessly dive into a badger hole and take on one of most
ferocious creatures on earth--a trapped badger.
I thought of all the
madness in the world threatening the child. Then I thought of the "Doxies Of
Vigilance," the "Weiner Dogs Of Vigilance" as symbols of
I realized that the size
of a person or canine had little to do with its ability to show Courage
in the face of Fear, or to be fueled with Conviction no matter how
Intimidating the situation, or driven by the ability of the small to take the Right
Action in the wake of Complacency.
Lobster" is 17 years young
The Dachshund is living proof
the size and power of might has little to do with achievement.
Small, low-slung, family friendly, loving--the doxie can, in a snap,
shift gears and turn into one of the toughest, and most protective
creatures on earth
Strike Force of
. And, it can go where few can--into
the bowels of the earth where the Terrorists hide in bunkers and caves,
safe in their thinking that no one can find them.
Perhaps, I thought, if President Bush
mustered a strike force of Dachshunds and let them loose in Iraq, they would
find and trap the Badger of Terror. Then, when finished, they
could come home and sit in the laps of their families and lick and love
them, but always keeping their Vigilant ears cocked for the sounds of the Badger of
Terror scratching at the door. I knew the elimination of Osama or
Hussein would only be the beginning. There would be
Terrorists in the future trying to sneak up on the Doxies of
Vigilance, but they would not find easy prey. Instead,
they would face snarling teeth and unbridled Courage instead
of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency. And they would
run but could not hide, for the Doxies of Vigilance would hunt
them down again and again until they stopped trying to put the
children of the world at risk.
I salute the Dachshunds of Vigilance. And, I propose
we let them loose on the Badgers of Terrorism. That would
be better than war, I think.
Go To Oct 5 Story: "NO!" To Ejecting A Father
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