This is a story about the love and dedication of two very different sausage dogs – a short-haired black one named Nunu and a very pedigreed wired haired Dachshund named Schnitzel.
Two of five dogs on a Game Farm they live a very comfortable life, a huge garden, food enough for royalty and with a family that loves them. Nunu is the drama queen in the family, she struts her stuff with an attitude that the word arrogance does not even begin to describe, and is the first to make a noise or perform. She has the unfortunate problem of an undershot jaw and has become very skilled at scraping food out of bowls with her top jaw, believe me when it comes to food this is one dog that does not struggle. I think she would be closer to a miniature hippo if it were not for the diets she has to endure. The saying, ‘I’ll protect you with my life’ rings very true when it comes to this little hound. Summer is always a nervous time for me on the farm, with a huge array of snakes emerging from their hiding places to bask in the sun or feed. The owner of the dogs knows each bark and the difference between ‘there is someone in the yard bark, an attention-seeking bark or a snake bark.’
If the ‘snake bark’ is heard he rushes out to see what it is. The funny thing is, he is rushing out to protect his dogs from the snake and their first instinct is to protect him. It gets pretty complicated. I am often the one being yelled at – “get the dogs out of here.” This, however, is no easy feat.
One particular incident comes to mind. It was a very muggy summer evening and I was making dinner on my own in the kitchen with the dogs keeping me company. There was a black plastic storage box against the wall and I noticed Nunu sniffing around, she suddenly jerked backwards and made a horrible little squeal. I shouted for my boyfriend as Nunu went towards the black box again and again reeled backwards. All I heard were the words “Cobra, get the dogs out!”
I shut the other four out on the verandah whilst Nunu was locked in the passage and then jumped onto the counter out of the way. My boyfriend came into the kitchen through another door. He moved the box and quickly killed a very large cobra. All this time Nunu was at the door barking, making it clear that it was her snake and her duty to get rid of it. We discovered that the cobra had spat in her eyes and she was in a lot of pain. We put her in the bath held her head and eyes under running water. Much to her dismay, all she had on her mind was getting back into the kitchen to find the snake. She finally realized it was dead, but it took three days before the kitchen patrols came to an end.
This little dog has the heart the size of a lion and I’m pretty sure she thinks she’s a Great Dane. She will stop at nothing to protect us and to show her love and affection. We affectionately call her Wobbles, when you arrive home she is at the gate so happy to see you that she almost wobbles herself off her little squat legs and feet. She has spirit enough for ten dogs and a sense of adventure like I have never seen.
Then there is Schnitzel, a grey fluffy little thing that is very often misread. When you approach the house you can hear one specific bark above all the others, it is loud and very deep, reminiscent of someone that smokes a box of Camel cigarettes and drinks a bottle of Jack Daniels every day. Most people look for the big dog but then soon realize it is not coming from her, it emanates from the very uptight looking little grey dog. The bark should be warning enough, do not provoke this dog, no matter how cute she looks, ESPECIALLY if you are of the male gender. Schnitzel or Zoombie as we call her has a passionate dislike for men and if you are wearing leather farming boots you are in even more trouble. If she has not already attached herself to your ankle, you better watch your bum, because guaranteed that it the next good area to sink the teeth into.
So when people ask me if I feel safe when I go to the farm every weekend, what do you think my answer is?
These two delightful little companions are never far from my side. The greatest of friends, they are always at each other and are a laugh a minute. Here’s to Wobbles and Zoombie and many more slain snakes and farmers boots!