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Scary Monsters: The Dogs
1996 to the present

Dogs have been a big part of my life since I brought my first puppy, Polly, home. These scary monsters have been with me through thick and thin, through a major move, career changes, and all of life's ups and downs. As many comedians have pointed out, no matter how rough my day has been or how many stupid things I've done, the dogs are always ecstatic to see me when I come home.

This page lists each dog, including the pups who have gone on to Doggie Heaven. There is also a separate page for each dog with links to the pages beneath each of the pictures below.


Polly was the greatest dog ever. She was well aware of this fact. She embodied all the characteristics of a dachshund: she was smart, loyal, affectionate, greedy, and manipulative.

A pure-bread miniature dachshund of the "red shorthair" variety, Polly was the only dog I ever bought at a pet store. I brought her home as a puppy in the summer of 1996. She went on many adventures: hikes, camping trips, and kayak voyages. She was also an avid hunter of the local wildlife.

Polly slipped away in September 2012 at the ripe old age of 16. She lived a long, happy, full, and very good life.

Click here to go to Polly's page.


Pookie was a rescue dog. A friend of mine had an elderly uncle who had to go to a nursing home and couldn't take his dog with him. My friend knew I had one dachshund and asked if I wanted another, so I took in Pookie. He was about the same size and coloring as Polly and the two of them became instant friends, as dachshunds often do.

His original name was Dallas. For reasons I don't remember, he was soon renamed Pookie, or Mister Pook. The name stuck. He was a pure-bread miniature dachshund, also a "red shorthair", although his fur was a little darker and browner than Polly, whose coat had a lot of red in it. He came to live with me in early 2000. I never found out for sure how old he was at the time. The best guess was that he was about 5 years old, possibly as much as 7.

Pookie was one of those nervous dogs. He wasn't as daring as Polly but he did go on a lot of adventures, and even did a little hunting of his own. He lived until April 2013, at which point he was at least 18 years old. He too had lived a very good and very long life.

Click here to go to Pookie's page.


Brandle was also a rescue dog. A young couple posted a notice on a Dachshund Rescue web site that they had a new baby who was allergic to their two dogs and were looking for a new home for the pups. I brought Brandle and Bailey home in November 2002. I thought Brandle was about 2 years old at the time but the vet thought she might be several years older than that.

Originally Brandy, she was soon renamed Brandle for reasons that have been lost in the mists of time, and that name stuck. Brandle was a miniature dachshund of the smaller variety, smaller than Polly and Pookie and Bailey. She was a "golden longhair". She had a sweet and affectionate demeanour but tended to want to avoid a lot of commotion. She and Tansy were Old Friends. The new puppies adored her. Brandle was not as keen on the puppies when they were being too rambunctious.

Brandle did a lot of hiking and kayaking and other adventuring when she was younger, and still enjoyed camping trips and short walks until her last few years when she had a lot of trouble getting around. During her last year she appeared to be completely deaf but still showed some signs of spriteliness in her own way. She would run around in excited little circles and bark when she thought it was time for her supper, and would jump up on the bed and loudly demand that everyone else come to bed when she'd decided there wasn't any reason for anyone to be up anymore.

Brandle passed away in June 2015 at the ripe old age of somewhere between 15 and 18, give or take.

Click here to go to Brandle's page.


Bailey was a sweet pup. He was younger than Brandle when I brought him home in late 2002. He was full-grown but still very puppy-like so I thought he was a year or two old at the time. He loved Brandle, whom he'd grown up with, and after a little adjustment period he became Old Friends with Polly and Pookie.

In 2006, the week before Hanna and I were married, while I was at work, Bailey ate part of a kitchen floor mat. I think he started chewing on a corner, it started to unravel, he accidentally swallowed some of the fabric and he couldn't stop. As soon as I got home I could tell he wasn't feeling well. I rushed him to the emergency animal hospital. He didn't make it through the night. Hanna and I were devastated. Brandle searched the house for days after that, wondering where her brother had gone.

Click here to go to Bailey's page.


Tansy is an adventure dog, as most of the photos of her on this web site indicate. She loves to hike or run or go on any other sort of adventure. She's getting older now and slowing down a little, but we still think of her as a puppy.

Born in the spring of 2005, Tansy is a mixed-breed, predominantly golden retriever. Hanna got Tansy as a little puppy just before we started to date.

Tansy, Maus, and Puma are Old Friends. It took Tansy a while but she finally figured out how to play with the younger, smaller dogs. There is still some growling and snarling involved, in a playful manner. The three of them will be piled together napping for a few hours, then realize the humans are watching them and feel obliged to get into a big wrestling match while they have an audience. Then they go back to snoozing.

Click here to go to Tansy's page.


Maus is a "black and tan wire-hair" miniature dachshund, born in July 2012. We brought her home in September 2012, a few weeks after Polly passed away. The math doesn't add up quite right but we suspect Maus is the reincarnation of Polly.

She is the trickster and practical joker of the family. I'm not sure I can describe how she plays jokes on us or the other dogs, but other dachshund owners probably know what I'm talking about.

While her play sessions with Puma often involve DeathMatch-style wrestling bouts, Maus is affectionate and loves everybody. She's also a lap dog. Maus is in fact sitting on my lap as I write this. This is significant (for me, anyway) because I haven't had a pet that was interested in "lap duty" (curling up quietly on my lap and snoozing while I work on the computer) since my old cat Skitzy passed away in 2001.

Click here to go to Maus' page.


Puma is a "red shorthair" miniature dachshund, born in August 2012. She's from the same local breeder as Maus, and is from that breeder's last litter before retirement. Like her "sister" Maus, Puma is on the smallish side, weighing about 8 pounds. When we brought her home in October 2012, Maus was so happy that we'd brought her a new sister to play with. The two of them are together almost constantly.

Puma loves everybody and everything. She is about the happiest dog I've ever seen. She's not the brightest dog on the planet, but what she lacks in brains she more than makes up for in bounce. Like Maus, Puma is a lap dog.

Puma and Maus have been on a few full-length hikes and really enjoy being adventure dogs. They're not real keen on the whole leash thing yet. We're still working on that.

Click here to go to Puma's page.


Teddy was a charming young lad who only lived with us a short while. A very sweet boy and very popular with the ladies, he was a rescue dachshund who came to live with us late in his life. In September 2013, when he was about 13 years old, his previous human passed away and the family posted Teddy's info on one of the dachshund rescue web sites. Besides being old, Teddy was completely blind, so the family wasn't sure he would be able to find a new home.

Somehow, Teddy hijacked a speedboat, overpowered the guards, fought off an entire regiment of Soviet assault squirrels, and made his way to our house. Despite not being able to see at all, he settled right into his new home, figured out where everything was, and instantly became best friends with all the other dogs.

In early April 2016 Teddy slipped away. He'd had kidney problems for a couple of years but didn't seem to have any serious health issues other than that. He was 16 years old (we think) which is pretty old for a dachshund, and I guess his body just decided the world had had enough of his awesomeness and it was time to move on. He was napping in the sunshine with the other dogs one morning, suddenly stuck his head up and sneezed, then he was gone.

He was a wonderful old pup, and lived a long and happy life, which in dog terms means a big win for Teddy. We miss him a lot even though he was only with us for three short years.

Click here to go to Teddy's page.

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Click here to go to Old Friends:The Dogs page 1
Irvania.com webmaster: Dave Ferris
The content on this page was written: June 3, 2013
Last updated: June 10, 2016