Tono is frustrated. While the other Dachshunds get delicate meals, he gets raw meat. While the others are picked up and carried and loved on by the people (known as “the Legs”), he is never praised or petted, and spends a lot of time in trouble.
But Tono feels blessed in one way: he, unlike the others, has seen the Great Dog. Once he spotted Dog in a pond’s reflection, and once—much more clearly—in something the Legs called a “mirror.”
Can Tono rise above the Legs’ apparent preference for the other Dachshunds, or will be forever be ashamed?
Well worth reading
I’d seen the Disney film adaptation (staring Dean Jones and Suzanne Pleshette) about a dozen times, but until recently I had no idea that the 1966 film was based on Gladys Bronwyn Stern’s short novel The Ugly Dachshund.
The film incorporates more of the humor and slapstick situations that would happen around a Great Dane who thinks he’s a Dachshund, but Stern’s novel reads almost like a fable.
Tono does not understand who he truly is, and so spends a great deal of his time trying to be what he thinks he should be. He feels like his owners love him less because he’s not a good Dachshund.
It is only by going on some adventures, as well as meeting a wizened Griffon named Voltaire, that Tono begins to wonder if he might perhaps be more than he thought.
There’s just enough zany situations, perfectly-described animal personalities—the Dachshunds in the book behave just like Dachshunds in real life—and lots of little “moral” nuggets to make The Ugly Dachshund a great read at any age. Highly recommended!