When I was very young – well around 11 – my Mother, Irene, acquired a pet miniature dachshund.
A brief explanation is called for here. My brother and I were brought up to call our parents by their first names – never anything else. This didn’t seem odd to me, but I can see that it was to my contemporaries (and their parents) for whom, Mom, Dad, or the equivalent was the norm.
Anyway this miniature dachshund – named Dumbo because his ears flapped when he ran – was smooth haired and, as best I can recall, had a black coat with patches of tan.
He was quite simply, the most intelligent and faithful (to Irene) creature imaginable.
No-one else was given the time of day, as he totally ignored requests or instructions, unless from Irene.
At that time Irene and my father Max, lived in Pietersburg, in the Northern Transvaal. This (then) dusty, small provincial town had just two main shopping streets, and Dumbo would often wander these unattended after leaving Irene to carry on with her shopping, finding his own way home. He became a well-known local feature and traffic stopped for him when he decided to cross the road.
Dumbo lived to be very old, nearly 20, and when he died Irene was heartbroken.
By that time I had left South Africa and since he’d never really been close to me (or anyone apart from Irene) the news didn’t have the emotional charge it might have produced otherwise.
Many years later, soon after Alkmini and I married, we bought a long-haired miniature dachshund – and quite naturally it seemed to me, named him Dumbo.
Why a dachshund? As a breed they make the most wonderful companions, and our past experience pointed us towards having another.
In the fullness of time, for reasons that are no longer pertinent, we moved back to Greece from the UK, and Dumbo of course came with us – as did two glorious Rhodesian Ridgebacks (Zulu and Zita – of whom more, in another post).
And there we lived through most of the 80’s ,in the countryside, about 10 miles from Corfu Town, on an acre of hillside with a view of Albania just a few miles across the straights.
But by the time we decided to move back to the UK some years later (1989) Dumbo(2) was no longer with us.
And so we come to Dumbo number three.
Semi-retirement and the new millenium found us spending more and more time in Corfu (in the same home on the hillside) and soon, thoughts of a new dog began, and so we spent some time searching the web for just what we wanted.
A long-haired, miniature, and ideally a light coloured coat was the aim….. and eventually we found him, blond, bred in Wales, and absolutely gorgeous.
At 3 months he joined us in Corfu and he’s been a perfect companion ever since.
Of course he belongs to Alkmini – just as Dumbo #1 belonged to Irene….but this Dumbo shares his affections – with Sasha and with me – and in fact with anyone who gives him attention!
Intelligent, faithful, adoring and adorable….. and absolutely beautiful, particularly when in full flight, with blond hair streaming and ears flapping.
He dislikes crowds, can’t stand noise (brass bands, of which there are many in Corfu, terrify him) but he is otherwise extremely malleable and compliant.
This blog posting is to celebrate his impending 5th birthday….. and to share some photographs of him.
For those who care, his real name is Adonis of Corfu – but to those who love him, he is just plain Dumbo.