About Me

My photo
Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

evil royal teckels

Kaiser William II was very fond of dachshunds, called Teckels in his German language. He is said to keep them closest always to his heart despite their being, as an eyewitness pointed out,

. . . biting, snarling little brutes with jaws measuring half the length of
their smooth bodies, and a corresponding penchant for people's calves,
skirts, and petticoats. . . A very funny incident in connection with the
Teckels happened in the winter of 1893, at the Berlin Schloss, when a select
company, in which the ladies in grand (dress) predominated, had assembled at
1:15 PM, in the Pillar Room, to await their Majesties coming, in order to form
the usual procession to the dining-hall, where a ceremonious breakfast awaited
us. . . Suddenly the portals opened -- bowings and scrapings, and most
submissive salutations -- but, lo! only the dachshunds rushed in.

. . . The Teckels, on their part, had no sooner caught sight of the silk
stockings of the courtiers, than they began to bark menacingly, causing these
worthies, who ten seconds before had paraded their calves with much gusto, to
withdraw behind the ladies they were to escort. But these precautionary
measures were seemingly superfluous, as the Kaiser's pets showed no particular
desire for a bite that afternoon. Instead, each separately squatted down
before Mesdames von Keller and von Gersdorff, and conducted himself in the most
reprehensible fashion.

To make things worse, just then their Majesties came in and the poor ladies were obliged to bow low, coming face to face with the fresh Teckel deposits. The Kaiser thought it was hilarious, as usual. The Empress had better manners, and left with a deep blush on her face.

-- Fischer, Henry W., The Private Lives of William II and his Consort. A Secret History of the Court of Berlin (London: 1904), p. 145, quoted in MacDonogh, Katharine, Reigning Cats and Dogs (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999), pp. 154-55.

No comments: