Masters of the house

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Luke Bow­den Any­one in­ter­ested in shar­ing their friends’ sto­ries can email luke. bow­den@ news. com. au

BETH and Peter Valen­tine are well aware of how much infl uence their two minia­ture red dachshunds have around their home. “They own the house, we just rent it off them,” Peter said of Henry, 11, and Al­bert, 8.

Where did you get Henry and Al­bert?

Beth: We ac­tu­ally had no in­ten­tion of get­ting Henry.

I went to a cat show at the show­grounds look­ing to buy a kit­ten. But we didn’t fi nd any­thing suit­able and moved onto the dog show in the next shed, and Henry was for sale as a one- year- old.

My daugh­ter loved Henry so much she wanted to get a dachs­hund for her hus­band. By this time the peo­ple we had got Henry from had moved in­ter­state, so Al­bert was freighted down from Queens­land.

Un­for­tu­nately, when Louisa [ Beth and Peter’s daugh­ter] moved to Mel­bourne she couldn’t take him, as she was liv­ing in a rental prop­erty. So Al­bert moved back to Tas­ma­nia and the broth­ers were re­united and have been to­gether ever since.

What’s great about hav­ing Henry and Al­bert?

They’ve been to­gether six years and are in­sep­a­ra­ble. Peter is away a lot for work and they’re great com­pany to have around the house.

A lot of peo­ple say ‘ small dog syndrome’ is syn­ony­mous with dachshunds. Would you agree?

I couldn’t agree more. Their days mainly con­sist of pro­tect­ing their prop­erty.

There is an arm­chair that looks out the front win­dow on the street and that is their guard tower from where they pa­trol all the com­ings and go­ings of cars and peo­ple in our street.

Be­fore we got Al­bert, Henry and our cat Poppy were quite good friends. How­ever, since Al­bert’s ar­rival, Poppy has be­come an­other crea­ture the dogs fi nd the need to guard the house against dur­ing the day – although they get along fi ne when the sun goes down.

We found out early on that dachshunds like hav­ing the run of the place – there’s many chewedup cedar doors in our house that are tes­ta­ment to the fact dachshunds don’t en­joy not be­ing al­lowed to roam freely.

You’ve had a real love af­fair with dachshunds, haven’t you?

Many years ago my mother was sick. We got her a dachs­hund called Nugget and she and my father just en­joyed hav­ing him so much.

We’ve pre­vi­ously had an­other minia­ture black and tan dachs­hund called Ol­lie. They’ve just got won­der­ful per­son­al­i­ties.

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