So. The big day finally arrived.
This week has been great because every time someone asked me about my plans for the weekend, I got to say: “My Dachshund is taking part in an art installation called Dachshund UN with 59 other dogs from across the country. You?” How many times do you get to say that in your life? I’m guessing not many.
We arrived, slightly flustered after queuing until the dawn of time to get some petrol. Cheers panic buyers. Surely Mort could have got some kind of diplomatic pass to the front of the queue?
On our walk to the meeting place, the first dog we actually encountered was one of the tiniest, cutest, non-Dachshund dogs I have ever seen. Who was on one of her first walks. Talk about peaking early – she’s now going to have to find out the hard way that encountering 60 sausage dogs isn’t normal. Bummer.
We all met in a small park, surrounded by a few blocks of flats. What a wake up that must have been for the people living there this morning.
The scene that greeted us was probably what you would expect. Lots of noise, excitement and…noise. It was nothing short of brilliant – I’ve never seen so many sausage dogs. Big, small, red, black and tan, dapple, cream, puppies, dogs with a hint of grey, smooth haired, long haired, wire haired. Every type of Dachshund you have ever heard of.
Mort made a few new friends, and enjoyed looking like a giant next to the mini Dachshunds. We all then walked to the square where the performance would take place, along the canals and through Brindley Place. Me and Dan got the giggles eyeing people’s reactions to the parade of Dachshunds invading the city centre, with lots of people taking pictures as we all filtered past. Mort, on the other hand, is used to this kind of attention, and lapped it up big style.
The performance took place in Oozels Square, which I didn’t even knew existed before today. It was gorgeous – cherry blossom everywhere, providing the most lovely backdrop. My parents and sister were there waiting for us, which was really nice – most of the pictures are provided by Abi, who always manages to take beautiful images.
We were told before the performance that the dogs’ comfort was the most important thing, and that there was no pressure for them to stay in the wooden structure for the whole duration (the performance went on for about 45 minutes altogether).
Mort, in the end, managed about 10 minutes. He was fine when I was peeking through the top with him, and for a bit afterwards, but his barking started to sound a bit more cheesed off than usual. When one of the girls working on the project asked me if he was ok, I took the opportunity to take him down and let someone else have a turn – the last thing I wanted was for Mort to be unhappy.
So we watched the rest of the performance with Dan and my family, enjoying seeing the spectacle from both sides. The dogs were hilarious – some barked the entire time, others didn’t seem to notice at all that they were surrounded by people, one fell asleep and the UK got told off for attempting to mount Zambia.
All the dogs had their photos taken at the speaker’s pulpit at the end – Mort managed to give me a small heart attack when he decided to jump off. Luckily only a few people witnessed his attempt to introduce extreme sports to the event.
All in all, it was a fantastic, once in a lifetime event. I am so glad we took part in it-I will treasure the photos.
But most of all, I have come away feeling so proud of Mort. I worried about him misbehaving before the event, but he completely put me to shame. He was fine with other dogs, let people stroke him, and tried his best in the structure, even though it must have been completely bizarre from his point of view. I got a little bit choked up about it on the drive home – for all my worrying and moaning, he was, and is, brilliant. Mort 1, Emily 0.