Masters of the house
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.