Both figuratively and literally, I have quite a few "low-riders" within the Kane9 pack that live their lives close to the ground. Often while I am hoofin' I will put myself in their paws and reflect on how life would be if I were them. The group of Woofers I will be sharing with you in this blog have caught my attention for various reasons which you will soon see. Whether it be the leaves that they gather on their fur along the way, their feistiness that they display perhaps to overcompensate for their smaller stature, or the perpetual raising of their heads in order to make eye contact they have won the honor of admiration from me. Although I am looking down on them to witness their actions, I quite honestly "look upto them" for all that they accomplish.
Some like to use the term Napoleon Complex when describing humans of shorter statue that exhibit overly-aggressive or domineering social behavior in order to compensate one's physical shortcomings. You will soon witness that these woofers aren't compensating for anything or exibit aggressive behavior. In fact, they are thriving in their woofer world with what they have been given genetically and are succeeding quite well.
Pictured above is Nico looking like a "meerkat," which is a small carnivoran from the Mongoose family that are found in parts of the Kalahari desert in Botswana. Obviously Nico isn't from the desert, but from a small village in Middletown standing sentry in order to warn others of approaching danger. OK, we all know that Nico is merely begging and not forewarning us, but I did get your attention. The only commonality between Nico and a meerkat is the burrowing that takes places within the covers of Nico's crate.
An obvious low-rider, Nico will switch up her view with the option of standing on her hind legs. However, she prefers the close proximity to the ground, particularly outside. It is outside where she can release her tongue to the ground to slurp up the morning dew or use her long snout to uncover the latest dropping from the nearby tree or fruit bearing bush. She doesn't limit this exploration to the outdoors. She assists her hoofers in the kitchen with crumb clean up as to keep the mice away. The best benefit to her short stature is the ability to run under the couch to avoid bedtime or the gated kitchen where she resides at the end of our visits.
As you can see, Nico definitely works her stature to her advantage and I would expect anything less from her. However, I would like to point out precautionarily that there are some common problems found in Dachshunds to be familiar with given their genetic disposition. Although aware of these conditions, Nico lives her life by this motto...."I'm not short, you are just tall!" Well said Nico.
Put Your Legs in the Air Like You Just Don't Care
As you can see from this photo, Miss May celebrates her shorter legs, and flaunts them for the world to see. This senior Basset hound doesn't let her short yet powerful legs hold her back. She's known to go the distance with the hopes of finding an interesting scent trail or fallen food along the roadside. Her reliable legs NEVER let her down. While Hoofin', I notice May prefers to walk alongside the curb in her neighborhood. How wonderful it must feel to have a built cement protector guarding you and your peripheral view. As if that curb weren't enough, she also has her low-riding sister Penny close by to alert her of any other dangers. Anyone who knows May knows she is treat and food driven. It was no mistake the Woofer Gods created her as a low-rider to give her the vantage point needed to be the first responder to any fallen edible debris in her environment. She takes her first responder role seriously. Not only is May EXTRA special but she has an EXTRA gene that causes a condition known as chondrodysplasia. This condition, a type of dwarfism, causes stunted leg growth in dogs. Although, her breed is known to be physically stunted there is nothing that stunts this girl's zest for life.
Stop Drop and Roll
Macie in the forefront, with her sister Rosie in the background, is another Woofer who has chosen to use their shorter statue to their benefit. A Cairn terrier is known for having their shorter legs to assist them with digging as well as a gliding ability to pass over rocks and roots. Macie lives on a corner lot in a suburban neighborhood in River Plaza. This is prime location for her to chase, explore, run along with all that passes her by with that illusion of gliding thanks to her physical traits. As her Hoofer, I have witnessed this countless times and it does indeed seem as if she is gliding on water. A graceful act for sure! As if that ability weren't enough, being close to the ground allows her to drop and roll at any given moment with very little "fall time." She experiences her gratification of rolling onto something rather disgusting instantaneously which definitely has its rewards. As for Rosie, she uses her shorter legs to as a kickstand to hang back and enjoy the show!
Napolean is My Brother
Ok that title may not hold the truth, but there is NO DOUBT Cookie experiences this complex. This feisty gal will dismiss any theory or misconceived notion of the short-legged woofers and any limitations set forth. She can go the distance on any walk; of course on her terms. She will confront any dog with vocal awareness regardless of their size and will usually win the stare down. She can balance on her back legs as her homosapien counterpart. She can outrun me, but honestly that doesn't say much. Her smaller legs make her incredibly agile and can stay clear of any footsteps headed her way. Lastly, she can also use her smaller stature to her discretion should she decide to have a lazy day and be carried around like an infant. A roll onto her back, coupled with a few blinks of her eye and her goal is accomplished. This Cookie never crumbles, so don't believe any limitations you hear about these low-riders. Her only obstacle are the leaves that attach to her muzzle unwillingly, but that's what Hoofers are here for to remove them!
In closing, the next time you see a low-rider don't take pity on them and assume they are struggling with their pre-determined physical attributes. They chose to work with it, not against it and this is why, "I look upto you!"
Written by: Karen Kane (the original Hoofer)