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
A 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 AndrÃ©a, 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.
Things 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
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.
I 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
While 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"¦).