Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In Memory of Xena - The Funniest Dachshund I've Ever Known

As many of my friends already know, on June 15th, my beloved Dachshund Xena passed away at the age of eight years old. Many of my friends knew and loved her, and even people who didn't know her were instantly charmed by her adorable face. She was something of a maniacal, even psychotic dog at times... but that just added to her charm. Rather than dwelling on her untimely death, I think the best thing to do is remember all the amazing times we had with her. Thus, I'm going to do a small tribute to her here on the blog.

We got Xena back when I was still in middle school. I think I was only twelve years old at the time. We traveled to Indiana to get her, and faced the difficult decision of choosing between her and her sister. They were both adorable and so young that you could still hold them in one hand.

Here's a picture of my mom holding Xena and her sister when they were still puppies. Xena's the one on the right with the big paw.

Still, Xena's exquisitely beautiful and cute face was charming us and we began to lean towards her quite quickly. Here's my dad holding Xena in only one arm with a pile of other loving Dachshunds on his lap:

I guess you could say that's a real-life dog-pile! Xena was ridiculously small and we grew attached to her. Eventually, we knew she was the right one:

We had difficulties with Xena from the beginning, which shouldn't have surprised us considering she was biting her sister the entire time we were at the breeder's house. She had a lot of behavioral problems, and training her was nearly impossible. She loved to bite, and sometimes she didn't even need a reason to do so. If you were sitting on the floor not paying enough attention to her, she'd bite you right in the back. Still, we were able to overlook this in light of her otherwise loving nature.

She was a quirky dog, even down to her fur. When we got her, she had a curious black skunk-stripe down her back which eventually faded. Later in life she developed two shiny, silver stripes down her sides which a friend of mine referred to as her "racing stripes." This name made sense when you considered how much Xena loved to run in circles around the house as fast as possible, making carpet-tearing noises as she went. She grew up quickly and turned into a beautiful dog who was known for the markings around her eyes that looked like Egyptian eyeliner:

She was a wild dog with a fond love of toys and stuffed animals:

She was very destructive with her toys but it was part of what made her so funny. Any time we bought her a toy with a squeaker, she would chew and bite at the toy for weeks until she was able to rip the squeaker out. Stuffed animals were also troublesome. Sometimes we would come home to find the entire house covered in a snowstorm of fluff and Xena staring at us with an expectant look on her face.

Xena was rather destructive with people too, and she was known to bite strangers or attack anyone who came to the door. Sometimes she would bark for seemingly no reason. If the doorbell rang while she was eating, she would bark right into her food dish. Still, once she came to love someone, she loved them forever. Many of my friends received rough treatment for the first few hours at my house, only to find Xena jumping up on their legs in excitement the next time they came over. She also had a bit of an incontinence problem.  When she was excited, she would pee with happiness. If a whole group of my friends came over at once, we would put Xena on the driveway to greet them and she would leave spirals of urine around the driveway. How she peed in circles I have no idea, but it sure was funny.

She was always hilarious and quirky. In the winter, she loved to hide under the blankets with only her face sticking out:

Xena was also an absurdly smart dog. She even played tricks on us sometimes. For example, she learned that scratching to go outside would make my mom stand up. Sometimes, she would scratch at the door, wait for my mom to get up, then run into the kitchen and stand by the treats. This would often earn her a treat just because she was so clever. She also understood how mirrors work. Sometimes, she would lie on the floor facing the glass panels over the fireplace. From there, she would watch everything that happened. Occasionally I would try to sneak up on her but she would watch me in the reflection and wait until I was a foot away before leaping to her feet and running over to a toy to get me to play. She was a dog who never seemed to tire out.

Nonetheless, she enjoyed lying on our laps at night:

Or she would curl up on her own in the shape of a doughnut:

Xena loved to be outside all the time, sometimes even when it was snowing:

When she was outside, our neighbor just had to run over to play with her, and Xena would leave her spirals of pee everywhere with happiness. She was just the right combination of cuteness... and insanity.

For example, one of my favorite memories of her... We were sitting inside watching TV while Xena was outside barking at things that don't exist. Eventually, we heard a horrible screaming sound and something hit the window with a bloody splat. When we went to investigate, we discovered that Xena had caught a squirrel. Of course, it's not that strange for a dog to catch a squirrel, but Xena had to give it that extra Xena flair she was so known for. After she caught the squirrel, she shook it around violently and then flung it right at our window as hard as she could, leaving a blood trail down the window like some kind of horror movie. Xena was always awesome like that.

She was very expressive, and you could almost always see the whites of her eyes:

Because of that, you could always tell what Xena was thinking or feeling. Like, in the above picture she's obviously glancing at someone and thinking "don't even think about taking me off this blanket."

She always had pretty eyes and beautiful black tips on her ears:

She and I got along wonderfully well. I think we understood each other's quirks really well. She understood that I had to swing her off the ground and squeeze her every now and then, and I understood that she doesn't like to be squeezed for more than a few seconds. I knew that she liked if I switched the toy we were playing with literally every minute so she wouldn't get bored. Even when Xena did something stupid or annoying, I just laughed it off because she was so funny. The day before I left for Japan, Xena had to leave her mark all over my stuff by nesting into my clothes while I was packing:

It's always great when a dog with lots of hair colors nests into your all-black clothes, lol.

But hell, how could you not love her? She was crazy and unpredictable and adorable and loving all at once. Maybe we let her get away with too many behavioral quirks, but she was always entertaining because of it. She'll be missed terribly, but it's definitely best to look back upon all the good times we had with her.

R.I.P. Xena
Feb. 24th 2002 - June 15th 2010

Yes, she had the same birthday as Shinya from Dir en grey. Because, again, she was just awesome like that.

If you were a friend of mine who knew Xena and you wish to leave a comment with some funny or amusing memory you have of her, feel free to comment below!


  1. Yeah, I will miss Xena :( but she was so awesome and I'm super glad I got a chance to get to no her, because certainly not everyone did. And I event got to bed around enough times where she got to LIKE me! Memories:
    - She liked me a little too much when she peed on my sleeping bag to wake me up.
    - She stole your dad's Kaluha because he set it on the floor, while he was setting up the TV for Dir En Grey. She was VERY relaxed that night! hahahahaahahaha!

  2. Ahahahaha, I forgot about those times! Yeah, she peed all over your sleeping back and I said "take it as a compliment" and you said "well, now there's compliment all over my sleeping bag" XD And OMG I forgot about the Kahlua thing... OMG she was such a sneak XD

  3. OMG, I totally forgot about the Kaluha thing too! What a dog, what a dog... Dude, do you guys remember how her and Mike got along? I think she was okay with him, but he was all worried and apprehensive and man.. that was just silly. And like I mentioned on your status... the crazy headbanging with her toys will always be remembered. I'm glad we have such nice memories of her to remember her by :-D

  4. Hahaha, yeah, I think she made Mike nervous. She made a lot of people nervous, lol. I loved the way she used to slam her toys against the floor and shake them around like she was trying to break their neck. She was crazy, but it was soooo funny. I think it's best to remember all that stuff!

  5. I'll miss chasing her around all your first level rooms. :(

  6. Aaaaaaw, yeah, she loooooved when you chased her! Every time you came over she was almost instantly in a running stance, lol! It was great because you tired her out quickly so that she wouldn't be as pushy for attention later, lol! Well, I hope you and Melissa and Dylan and anyone else who came over to my house while she was alive know that you made an otherwise neurotic dog very happy!