Famous Wiener Dogs in History

I'm getting jealous of all of the pictures Jason posts of his adorable dog, Bailey, so I thought I'd squeeze in a gratuitous picture of my own.

The little one on the left is Patton (he has one blue eye and one brown eye), the black one is Winston and the red one is Jackson. Yes, they are named after General George Patton, Winston Churchill and Andrew Jackson. Don't ask.

Jackson was our first. Winston came a couple of years later because we thought Jackson was lonely. We meant to stop at two, but then we found Patton with his wonky eyes and his Gene Simmons tongue and couldn't help ourselves. We're in good company, though "“ dachshunds have been the faithful companions of authors, artists, politicians and actors for centuries. I thought I'd share a few "celebrity" dachshund tales with you. If anything, this will make myself feel better about owning three of them.

Picasso and Lump

2picasso.jpgA dachshund who has gotten a fair amount of press in the last couple of years is Lump (pronounced "Loomp," it's German for rascal).

Our own Andréa, the author of the "Feel Art Again" posts, could tell you more about Picasso's works than I can, but I do know that Lump was featured in many of his pieces. He acquired Lump from photographer David Douglas Duncan in 1957 when Duncan brought Lump along on a trip to photograph Picasso. It was love at first sight. Lump didn't get along with Duncan's other dog and made it pretty clear that he preferred to become an artist's muse. Lump had his portrait painted for the first time that very day. Their relationship is chronicled in Duncan's book Picasso and Lump: A Dachshund's Odyssey. The friendship is pretty clear from the pictures in the book, which include Picasso holding Lump like an infant and letting the dog eat from his dinner plate.

Andy Warhol, Amos and Archie

Andy Warhol only got a dachshund puppy because his boyfriend wanted one, so they got Archie. Warhol ended up being the one infatuated with the breed, though. Warhol would bring the dog to interviews with him to "answer" questions he didn't care for. He also took Archie to galleries, on business trips, on photo shoots and to his studio.

3warhol-dog.jpgThings were going so swimmingly for the two of them that Andy decided a second dachsie was in order, which was when Amos came along. Archie stopped accompanying Andy everywhere so he could stay home and play with Amos. Even though they weren't seen out and about together as often, the breed's influence on Andy's work was still evident: he painted one of his famous colorful portraits of Maurice, an art collector's dachshund.

David Hockney, Stanley and Boodgie

5hockney.jpg One of Warhol's pop art contemporaries, David Hockney, also found inspiration from his dogs. Stanley and Boodgie were the featured attraction in about 45 oil paintings in his 1995 gallery show. Hockney is known for his dry humor, but when it comes to his dachshunds he is downright adoring "“ he actually refused to sell any of the paintings of them because he felt they were "too intimate." Stanley and Boodgie are also the subjects of David Hockney's Dog Days, a book of illustrations and photos released last year.

I particularly enjoyed these sketches because I see our dogs wedge themselves in weird positions and crevices like this all of the time. I thought it was just their individual quirks, but apparently it's a breed thing.

Waldi

6olympics.jpgI didn't mean to turn this into "Wiener Dogs in Art," but what can I say? They must be popular muses: a dachshund named Waldi just happened to be the first-ever mascot of the Olympics when they were held in Munich in 1972. The dachshund was chosen to represent the summer games because the breed originated in Germany and they has certain personality characteristics similar to those of athletes "“ namely, agility and tenacity. And, if they are anything like my dachshunds, stubbornness.

The stripes in Waldi's midsection were the colors of the games that summer. Unfortunately, the cute dachshund mascot isn't the most memorable thing about the 1972 Olympics "“ that was the year of the "Munich Massacre," when 11 Irsaeli competitors were killed by Palestinian terrorists.

William Randolph Hearst and Helen

William Randolph Hearst had many dachshunds, but none that he loved as much as his Helen. He even had a little ramp installed on a fountain at Hearst Castle so she could use it as her own personal swimming pool.

Hearst was so devastated when Helen died in 1942, he wrote an elegy for her that was published in Time magazine:

"A boy and his dog are no more inseparable companions than an old fellow and his dog. An old bozo is a nuisance to almost everybody — except his dog....She always slept on a big chair in my room and her solicitous gaze followed me to bed at night and was the first thing to greet me when I woke in the morning. Then when I arose she begged for the special distinction of being put in my bed. . . .

"Aldous Huxley says: 'Every dog thinks its master Napoleon, hence the popularity of dogs.' That is not the strict truth. Every dog adores its master notwithstanding the master's imperfections of which it is probably acutely aware. . . .

"So as your dog loves you, you come to love your dog. Not because it thinks you are Napoleon, not because YOU think you are Napoleon. Not because you WANT to be Napoleon. But because love creates love, devotion inspires devotion, unselfishness begets unselfishness and self-sacrifice. . . .

"Helen died in my bed and in my arms. . . . I will not need a monument to remember her. But I am placing over her little grave a stone with the inscription:

"Here lies dearest Helen —my devoted friend."

Kaiser Wilhelm II and Wadl, Hexl and Senta

The last emperor of Germany loved dachshunds so much he buried five of them in the park at Huis Doorn, his residence-in-exile after WWI. The most famous of them, though, are Wadl, Hexl and Senta. Senta accompanied the Kaiser during WWI, which earned him the honor of having a stone dedicated to him at the Huis Doorn park. Wadl and Hexl are famous for a more mischievous reason, though. When the Kaiser was paying a visit to Austria to visit Archduke Franz Ferdinand, they gobbled up one of his golden pheasants.

John Wayne and his dog

7wayne.jpgWhile I can't find any entertaining stories about John Wayne and his dog, I thought this picture was worth sharing:

Other celebrities and their dachshunds include:

"¢ Dorothy Parker and Robinson
"¢ Dita Von Teese and Greta and Eva
"¢ Napoleon Bonaparte and Grenouille and Faussete
"¢ Carole Lombard, Clark Gable and Commissioner
"¢ Mary Tyler Moore and Dash
"¢ Wayne Gretzky and Clyde

Do you have an ornery dachsie? If you're like me, you love to trade stories about them"¦ so let's hear it! Good stories about other breeds are welcome too (I suppose"¦).

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These Sparrows Have Been Singing the Same Songs for 1500 Years
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iStock

Swamp sparrows are creatures of habit—so much so that they’ve been chirping out the same few tunes for more than 1500 years, Science magazine reports.

These findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, resulted from an analysis of the songs of 615 adult male swamp sparrows found in six different areas of the northeastern U.S. Researchers learned that young swamp sparrows pick up these songs from the adults around them and are able to mimic the notes with astounding accuracy.

Here’s what one of their songs sounds like:

“We were able to show that swamp sparrows very rarely make mistakes when they learn their songs, and they don't just learn songs at random; they pick up commoner songs rather than rarer songs,” Robert Lachlan, a biologist at London’s Queen Mary University and the study’s lead author, tells National Geographic.

Put differently, the birds don’t mimic every song their elders crank out. Instead, they memorize the ones they hear most often, and scientists say this form of “conformist bias” was previously thought to be a uniquely human behavior.

Using acoustic analysis software, researchers broke down each individual note of the sparrows’ songs—160 different syllables in total—and discovered that only 2 percent of sparrows deviated from the norm. They then used a statistical method to determine how the songs would have evolved over time. With recordings from 2009 and the 1970s, they were able to estimate that the oldest swamp sparrow songs date back 1537 years on average.

The swamp sparrow’s dedication to accuracy sets the species apart from other songbirds, according to researchers. “Among songbirds, it is clear that some species of birds learn precisely, such as swamp sparrows, while others rarely learn all parts of a demonstrator’s song precisely,” they write.

According to the Audubon Guide to North American Birds, swamp sparrows are similar to other sparrows, like the Lincoln’s sparrow, song sparrow, and chipping sparrow. They’re frequently found in marshes throughout the Northeast and Midwest, as well as much of Canada. They’re known for their piercing call notes and may respond to birders who make loud squeaking sounds in their habitat.

[h/t Science magazine]

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18 Smart Products To Help You Kick Off Summer
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iStock

Whether you’re trying to spiff up your backyard barbeque or cultivate your green thumb, these summertime gadgets will help you celebrate the season from solstice to the dog days.

1. ROSÉ WINE GLASSES; $60

Rosé Wine Glass
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Wine not? When the temperature rises and beer isn’t your thing, reach for the rosé. Riedel’s machine-blown SST (see, smell, taste) wine glasses will give the sparkly stuff ample room to breathe, making every refreshing sip worthwhile.

Find It: Amazon

2. NERF N-STRIKE ELITE SURGEFIRE; $25

Nerf SurgeFire
Hasbro

Why It’s Cool: The N-Strike Elite SurgeFire (say that five-times-fast) sports a pump-action rotating drum for maximum foam-based firepower and holds up to 15 Nerf darts in its arsenal.

Find It: Hasbro Toy Shop

3. BUSHEL & BERRY PLANTS; $34

plant
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: You don’t need to have a green thumb to create a brag-worthy garden this summer. Besides producing snackable mid-season berries, these open-growing bushes can be planted immediately for easy set-up to make you look like a botanical pro.

Find It: Amazon

4. INFLATABLE DONUT; $17

Doughnut float
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: When the only dunking you’re doing is taking a dip in the pool, a 48-inch inflatable donut is the perfect way to stay afloat.

Find It: Amazon

5. STAR SPANGLED SPATULA; $21

American flag spatula
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: O say can you see by your grill’s charcoal light / Meats so proudly we cooked ... with a star spangled spatula. Depending on the specific model, these all-American grilling tools (designed in New Jersey and made in Chicago) are made of a combination of walnut and stainless steel or nylon. As an added bonus: 5 percent of the proceeds go to the Penn Abramson Cancer Center.

Find It: Amazon

6. MLB HOT DOG BRANDERS; $8 AND UP

MLB San Diego Padres Hot Dog BBQ Brander
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Take your hot dogs, sausages, brats, and more out to the ballgame without ever leaving your grill. These branders from Pangea Brands are dishwasher-safe and made of ceramic-coated cast iron.

Find It: Amazon

7. UNA GRILL; $139

grill
MoMA Shop

Why It’s Cool: This portable charcoal-heated grill is as efficient as it is stylish. The compact size lets you cook at the park, after hitting up MoMA, or anywhere in between.

Find It: MoMa Shop

8. HAMBURGER GRILLING BASKET; $21


Why It’s Cool: Made of steel and finished with a non-stick coating, this grilling tool flips four burgers at once and maintains perfect burger proportions to guarantee nobody stays hungry for long.

Find It: Amazon

9. COPPER FIRE PIT; $121

metal fire pit
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: The grill isn’t the only place for a roaring fire this summer. This 100 percent solid copper fire pit makes for the perfect gathering spot at your next BBQ, or just to warm up after a cool summer evening.

Find It: Amazon

10. BENDY STRAW POOL NOODLE FLOAT; $10

Bendy Straw Inflatable Pool Float
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Inflatable pool floats shouldn’t be boring, and this bendy straw float definitely does not suck. This unique spin on traditional pool noodles is sure to make for some cheesy jokes, but at least you’ll be comfortable floating in the pool or at the beach.

Find It: Amazon

11. GRIDDLER DELUXE; $111

Cuisinart GR-150 Griddler Deluxe
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: If you’re looking for some serious panini power, this griddler offers up a versatile lineup of six cooking options in one. And with dual-zone functions you can sling burgers while searing filets and sautéeing vegetables all at the same time.

Find It: Amazon

12. VINTAGE SNOW CONE MAKER; $30

Vintage Snow Cone Maker
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: With its old-timey design, dual cone shelf, and endless flavor options, this snow cone maker is guaranteed create a cool treat.

Find It: Amazon

13. DACHSHUND CORN ON THE COB HOLDERS; $7

Dog Corn Holders
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: While meat-lovers will inevitably scarf down a lot of hot dogs this summer, vegetarians who happen to love another kind of dog will be smitten with these stainless steel, Dachshund-shaped corn on the cob prongs. They’re a fun spin on a summer grilling favorite.

Find It: Amazon

14. ICE CREAM SANDWICH MAKER; $16

Ice Cream Sandwich Maker
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Four sandwiches are better than one, especially when they're of the ice cream variety. Make four ice cream sandwiches at once with this homemade spin on a classic cold treat.

Find It: Amazon

15. UE WONDERBOOM; $68

Bluetooth speaker
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Besides delicious food and great company, some memorable tunes are required for the quintessential barbeque. This portable bluetooth speaker offers up some booming sound in a small package, and with a battery power of 10 hours on a single charge you can keep the party going all night.

Find It: Amazon

16. ROLLORS GAME; $38

Rollors Backyard Game
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: When you’re sick of bocce, hate horseshoes, and you’re over cornhole, you might want to take up “rollors,” a family-friendly game that combines your favorite traditional backyard festivities into one game for people of all ages.

Find It: Amazon

17. HAMMOCK; $174

hammock
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Rest easy knowing that this 100 percent hand-woven and hand-dyed cotton hammock contributes to artisan job-creation in Thailand.

Find It: Amazon

18. VSSL SURVIVAL ESSENTIALS; $59

Emergency Survival Tent Outdoors
Amazon

Why It’s Cool: Compact, convenient, and durable, the VSSL Shelter can come in handy when things don’t go quite as planned. The device—which features a lightweight emergency shelter all within the handle of a compact, weather-resistant aluminum LED flashlight—is designed to keep you safe under the worst conditions.

Find It: Amazon

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