It’s a small world for Angie

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS -

BAT­TERY Point hos­pi­tal­ity man­ager Angie Clar­idge’s minia­ture dachshunds Ralph and Humphrey are liv­ing proof that good things come in small pack­ages.

Angie says not only are they great com­pany and ca­pa­ble of feats far greater than their phys­i­cal pro­por­tions sug­gest, but be­ing so small is also ul­tra con­ve­nient in that she can just tuck them un­der her arm and take them wher­ever she’s go­ing.

Where did you get Ralph and Humphrey?

Ralph and Humphrey are pa­ter­nal broth­ers from dif­fer­ent lit­ters.

We got Ralph two- and- a- half years ago from my part­ner Alex’s brother, Ge­orge, who breeds minia­ture dachshunds. His breed­ing pair is af­fec­tion­ately named Frank and Nancy.

Ralph is some­what spe­cial be­cause he was the only puppy from his lit­ter.

Humphrey’s pre­vi­ous own­ers were leav­ing Tas­ma­nia and couldn’t take him, so they con­tacted Ge­orge and asked whether he knew any­one who would adopt him, and we took him in about 18 months ago.

Ini­tially, I was a bit hes­i­tant be­cause I didn’t want to be­come the “crazy sausage dog lady”.

But, that said, when I went to Europe for work I missed them both ter­ri­bly.

When­ever I saw some­thing dachshund- re­lated I bought it, so now the house is filled with dachshund para­pher­na­lia.

How do Ralph and Humphrey get along and how would you de­scribe their per­son­al­i­ties?

Well, they must know they are broth­ers be­cause they love each other but fight con­stantly.

They’ve hardly been sep­a­rated. If one is out­side and the other is in­side, they go crazy un­til they’re to­gether again.

Ralph is a bit big­ger and he was first on the scene, but he’s the younger brother and once Humphrey ar­rived he re­alised he wasn’t the boss any­more.

There’s a train of thought that dachshunds are one of the most ag­gres­sive breeds of dogs. They’re hin­dered by their size but that doesn’t stop them pick­ing fights with rot­tweil­ers and other big dogs.

They def­i­nitely have the hunter in­stinct as well. They love chas­ing rab­bits and other an­i­mals, but they never catch any­thing be­cause their legs are so short.

Have you got any in­ter­est­ing sto­ries about them?

When Ralph was a puppy we came home and re­alised he had eaten a whole bowl of cho­co­late- coated cof­fee beans we had left out.

He was tiny and had pretty much eaten his body weight in cof­fee beans. He was pretty sprightly and didn’t sleep for three days un­til all the caf­feine passed through him.

Both of them love go­ing to the beach and they’re both pretty good swim­mers. ( As you can see from the pic­ture above, they like surf­ing too.) If Alex or I go out surf­ing without them they get re­ally up­set.

What’s great about hav­ing Humphrey and Ralph?

They’re both so soft, like vel­vet, and they’re hi­lar­i­ous – very en­ter­tain­ing.

THREE AMI­GOS: Angie Clar­idge with her dachshunds Ralph and Humphrey. Pic­ture: LUKE BOW­DEN

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