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Famous Wiener Dogs in History

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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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12 Surprising Facts About Bela Lugosi
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On October 20, 1882—135 years ago today—one of the world's most gifted performers was born. In his heyday, Bela Lugosi was hailed as the undisputed king of horror. Eighty-five years after he first donned a vampire’s cape, Lugosi's take on Count Dracula is still widely hailed as the definitive portrayal of the legendary fiend. But who was the man behind the monster?

1. HE WORKED WITH THE NATIONAL THEATER OF HUNGARY.

To the chagrin of his biographers, the details concerning Bela Lugosi’s youth have been clouded in mystery. (In a 1929 interview, he straight-up admitted “for purposes of simplification, I have always thought it better to tell [lies] about the early years of my life.”) That said, we do know that he was born as Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó on October 20, 1882 in Lugoj, Hungary (now part of Romania). We also know that his professional stage debut came at some point in either 1901 or 1902. By 1903, Lugosi had begun to find steady work with traveling theater companies, through which he took part in operas, operettas, and stage plays. In 1913, Lugosi caught a major break when the most prestigious performing arts venue in his native country—the Budapest-based National Theater of Hungary—cast him in no less than 34 shows. Most of the characters that he played there were small Shakespearean roles such as Rosencrantz in Hamlet and Sir Walter Herbert in Richard III.

2. HE FOUGHT IN WORLD WAR I.

The so-called war to end all wars put Lugosi’s dramatic aspirations on hold. Although being a member of the National Theater exempted him from military service, he voluntarily enlisted in the Austro-Hungarian Army in 1914. Over the next year and a half, he fought against Russian forces as a lieutenant with the 43rd Royal Hungarian Infantry. While serving in the Carpathian mountains, Lugosi was wounded on three separate occasions. Upon healing from his injuries, he left the armed forces in 1916 and gratefully resumed his work with the National Theater.

3. WHEN HE MADE HIS BROADWAY DEBUT, LUGOSI BARELY KNEW ANY ENGLISH.

In December 1920, Lugosi boarded a cargo boat and emigrated to the United States. Two years later, audiences on the Great White Way got their first look at this charismatic stage veteran. Lugosi was cast as Fernando—a suave, Latin lover—in the 1922 Broadway stage play The Red Poppy. At the time, his grasp of the English language was practically nonexistent. Undaunted, Lugosi went over all of his lines with a tutor. Although he couldn’t comprehend their meaning, the actor managed to memorize and phonetically reproduce every single syllable that he was supposed to deliver on stage.

4. UNIVERSAL DIDN’T WANT TO CAST HIM AS COUNT DRACULA.

The year 1927 saw Bela Lugosi sink his teeth into the role of a lifetime. A play based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker had opened in London in 1924. Sensing its potential, Horace Liveright, an American producer, decided to create an U.S. version of the show. Over the summer of 1927, Lugosi was cast as the blood-sucking Count Dracula. For him, the part represented a real challenge. In Lugosi’s own words, “It was a complete change from the usual romantic characters I was playing, but it was a success.” It certainly was. Enhanced by his presence, the American Dracula remained on Broadway for a full year, then spent two years touring the country.

Impressed by its box office prowess, Universal decided to adapt the show into a major motion picture in 1930. Horror fans might be surprised to learn that when the studio began the process of casting this movie’s vampiric villain, Lugosi was not their first choice. At the time, Lugosi was still a relative unknown, which made director Tod Browning more than a little hesitant to offer him the job. A number of established actors were all considered before the man who’d played Dracula on Broadway was tapped to immortalize his biting performance on film.

5. MOST OF HIS DRACULA-RELATED FAN MAIL CAME FROM WOMEN.

The recent Twilight phenomenon is not without historical precedent. Lugosi estimated that, while he was playing the Count on Broadway, more than 97 percent of the fan letters he received were penned by female admirers. A 1932 Universal press book quotes him as saying, “When I was on the stage in Dracula, my audiences were composed mostly of women.” Moreover, Lugosi contended that most of the men who’d attended his show had merely been dragged there by female companions.   

6. HE TURNED DOWN THE ROLE OF FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER.

Released in 1931, Dracula quickly became one of the year's biggest hits for Universal (some film historians even argue that the movie single-handedly rescued the ailing studio from bankruptcy). Furthermore, its astronomical success transformed Lugosi into a household name for the first time in his career. Regrettably for him, though, he’d soon miss the chance to star in another smash. Pleased by Dracula’s box office showing, Universal green-lit a new cinematic adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Lugosi seemed like the natural choice to play the monster, but because the poor brute had few lines and would be caked in layers of thick makeup, the actor rejected the job offer. As far as Lugosi was concerned, the character was better suited for some “half-wit extra” than a serious actor. Once the superstar tossed Frankenstein aside, the part was given to a little-known actor named Boris Karloff.

Moviegoers eventually did get to see Lugosi play the bolt-necked corpse in the 1943 cult classic Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. According to some sources, he strongly detested the guttural scream that the script forced him to emit at regular intervals. “That yell is the worst thing about the part. You feel like a big jerk every time you do it!” Lugosi allegedly complained.

7. LUGOSI’S RELATIONSHIP WITH BORIS KARLOFF WAS MORE CORDIAL THAN IT’S USUALLY MADE OUT TO BE.

It’s often reported that the two horror icons were embittered rivals. In reality, however, Karloff and Lugosi seemed to have harbored some mutual respect—and perhaps even affection for one another. The dynamic duo co-starred in five films together, the first of which was 1934’s The Black Cat; Karloff claimed that, on set, Lugosi was “Suspicious of tricks, fearful of what he regarded as scene stealing. Later on, when he realized I didn’t go in for such nonsense, we became friends.” During one of their later collaborations, Lugosi told the press “we laughed over my sad mistake and his good fortune as Frankenstein is concerned.”

That being said, Lugosi probably didn’t appreciate the fact that in every single film which featured both actors, Karloff got top billing. Also, he once privately remarked, “If it hadn’t been for Boris Karloff, I could have had a corner on the horror market.”

8. HE LOVED SOCCER.

In 1935, Lugosi was named Honorary President of the Los Angeles Soccer League. An avid fan, he was regularly seen at Loyola Stadium, where he’d occasionally kick off the first ball during games held there. Also, on top of donating funds to certain Hungarian teams, Lugosi helped finance the Los Angeles Magyar soccer club. When the team won a state championship in 1935, one newspaper wrote that the players were “headed back to Dracula’s castle with the state cup.” [PDF]

9. HE WAS A HARDCORE STAMP COLLECTOR.

Lugosi's fourth wife, Lillian Arch, claimed that Lugosi maintained a collection of more than 150,000 stamps. Once, on a 1944 trip to Boston, he told the press that he intended to visit all 18 of the city's resident philately dealers. “Stamp collecting,” Lugosi declared, “is a hobby which may cost you as much as 10 percent of your investment. You can always sell your stamps with not more than a 10 percent loss. Sometimes, you can even make money.” Fittingly enough, the image of Lugosi’s iconic Dracula appeared on a commemorative stamp issued by the post office in 1997.

10. LUGOSI ALMOST DIDN’T APPEAR IN ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN—BECAUSE THE STUDIO THOUGHT HE WAS DEAD.

The role of Count Dracula in this 1948 blockbuster was nearly given to Ian Keith—who was considered for the same role in the 1931 Dracula movie. Being a good sport, Lugosi helped promote the horror-comedy by making a special guest appearance on The Abbott and Costello Show. While playing himself in one memorable sketch, the famed actor claimed to eat rattlesnake burgers for dinner and “shrouded wheat” for breakfast.

11. A CHIROPRACTOR FILLED IN FOR HIM IN PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE.

Toward the end of his life, Lugosi worked on three ultra-low-budget science fiction pictures with Ed Wood, a man who’s been posthumously embraced as the worst director of all time. In the 1953 transvestite picture Glen or Glenda?, Lugosi plays a cryptic narrator who offers such random and unsolicited bits of advice as “Beware of the big, green dragon who sits on your doorstep.” Then came 1955’s Bride of the Monster, in which Lugosi played a mad scientist who ends up doing battle with a (suspiciously limp) giant octopus.

Before long, Wood had cooked up around half a dozen concepts for new films, all starring Lugosi. At some point in the spring of 1956, the director shot some quick footage of the actor wandering around a suburban neighborhood, clad in a baggy cloak. This proved to be the last time that the star would ever appear on film. Lugosi died of a heart attack on August 16, 1956;  he was 73 years old.

Three years after Lugosi's passing, this footage was spliced into a cult classic that Wood came to regard as his “pride and joy.” Plan 9 From Outer Space tells the twisted tale of extraterrestrial environmentalists who turn newly-deceased human beings into murderous zombies. Since Lugosi could obviously no longer play his character, Wood hired a stand-in for some additional scenes. Unfortunately, the man who was given this job—California chiropractor Tom Mason—was several inches taller than Lugosi. In an attempt to hide the height difference, Wood instructed Mason to constantly hunch over. Also, Mason always kept his face hidden behind a cloak.

12. HE WAS BURIED IN HIS DRACULA CAPE.

Although Lugosi resented the years of typecasting that followed his breakout performance in Dracula, he asked to be laid to rest wearing the Count’s signature garment. Lugosi was buried under a simple tombstone at California's Holy Cross Cemetery.

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How to Carve a Pumpkin—And Not Injure Yourself in the Process
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Wielding a sharp knife with slippery hands around open flames and nearby children doesn't sound like the best idea—but that's exactly what millions of Halloween celebrations entail. While pumpkin carving is a fun tradition, it can also bring the risk of serious hand injuries. According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH), some wounds sustained from pumpkin misadventure can result in surgery and months of rehabilitation.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to minimize trauma. Both ASSH and CTV News have compiled safety tips for pumpkin carvers intended to reduce the chances of a trip to the emergency room.

First, it's recommended that carvers tackle their design with knives made specifically for carving. Kitchen knives are sharp and provide a poor grip when trying to puncture tough pumpkin skin: Pumpkin carving knives have slip-resistant handles and aren't quite as sharp, while kitchen knives can get wedged in, requiring force to pull them out.

Carvers should also keep the pumpkin intact while carving, cleaning out the insides later. Why? Once a pumpkin has been gutted, you’re likely to stick your free hand inside to brace it, opening yourself up to an inadvertent stab from your knife hand. When you do open it up, it's better to cut from the bottom: That way, the pumpkin can be lowered over a light source rather than risk a burn dropping one in from the top.

Most importantly, parents would be wise to never let their kids assist in carving without supervision, and should always work in a brightly-lit area. Adults should handle the knife, while children can draw patterns and scoop out innards. According to Consumer Reports, kids ages 10 to 14 tend to suffer the most Halloween-related accidents, so keeping carving duties to ages 14 and above is a safe bet.

If all else fails and your carving has gone awry, have a first aid kit handy and apply pressure to any wound to staunch bleeding. With some common sense, however, it's unlikely your Halloween celebration will turn into a blood sacrifice.

[h/t CTV News]

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