A Weiner Dog Named Anthony


John Burnham

I’ve heard my humans say that “every dog has his day.” I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I’m sure having mine—hiding against the fence, laughing my butt off.

The source of my mirth is the argument in the adjoining yard. Dixie is all over Raif and he’s trying vainly to explain that there isn’t anything he could have done.

I know my humans wouldn’t approve of my laughing at Raif’s discomfiture. They don’t like to see anyone ill at ease and disapprove of ridicule in any form. But I think Raif richly deserves what he’s getting.

Although Raif and Dixie are our neighbours, you couldn’t say that my people are exactly friends with them. I’ve heard Mom say that Dixie “doesn’t have time for us.” I don’t quite understand what that means, but Mom seems okay with it. Raif, on the other hand, will occasionally wander over, beer in hand, to interrupt whatever my people are doing. I can tell, by the way they smell, that they’re not real happy to see him, but they always smile and offer him a chair.

Visitors often invite me to sit on their laps. Raif never does and I’m good with that: his overhanging gut—never quite covered by the wife-beater shirt—doesn’t leave much room for a dog. When he’s around, I mooch a lap from one of my people or settle down beside them.

One day, Raif was going on about something my people didn’t seem particularly interested in when he began to laugh. “Har, har,” he said loudly, “that’s rich—a wiener dog named Anthony.” I didn’t pay much attention until he said it again while pointing at me with his beer can. Anthony? Was he addressing me? My name is Tony. My people call me “Ton,” or “Bud,” or “Pal.” We dachshunds are accustomed to being called wiener dogs, but where did Anthony come from? Raif slapped his knee and said again, “A wiener dog named Anthony—that’s rich!” My people got that look of disapproval on their faces and steered the conversation in a different direction.

After that, Raif would start with that “wiener dog named Anthony” business every time he saw me. It made my people uncomfortable, but he seemed to think that it was the witticism of the century. After a while, I decided to do something about it.

Dixie and Raif have a little Pomeranian named Celeste. Actually, she has several other names, but I never paid attention. What dog needs more than one name? Anyway, she’s a cute little thing, but always smells like shampoo. That is, until she starts smelling in that special way that gets me all excited—the shampoo can’t mask that. 

There is a garden shed in Raif’s back yard. It is located in the corner that abuts our yard. I snuck into the bushes on that corner and began digging under the fence. My guess was right on. I came out in that narrow space between the shed and the fence. Then I waited.

One morning, Dixie put Celeste out and she was smelling “that way.” I was under the fence and into their yard in a flash! We had a great romp and I was back under the fence before anybody knew I’d been there. I knew my timing had been perfect when, a couple of days later, some people brought a male pom over to Raif & Dixie’s place.

Here we are, some weeks later and Dixie is ranting about Celeste’s pups having short legs and long bodies. She’s hammering Raif about “stud fees” and a lot of other stuff I don’t understand. Although my hole under the fence is yet to be discovered, nobody seems to have any trouble understanding what happened. At the moment, Dixie is yelling about “never having anything more to do with ‘them’.” I’m ok with that, and I suspect it won’t be a problem for my people either.