Love is a dachshund


May 2017 © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

Love is a dachshund. Or at least that’s how I see it. 🙂 They come in these small, unassuming compact and elongated bodies. Then to many people’s surprise, they have these huge personalities with an inexhaustible and unconditional capacity for love capped by this deep daily devotion. That’s has been my experience of the breed, and these four handsome style hounds embody the word  L O V E  for our family. It’s in their eyes for me, but it’s nice to know they now have these super cute ED Ellen DeGeneres Love bandana dog collars so everyone else knows it. ❤ Thank you #EllenDeGeneres and #PetSmart for making them available to us. ❤

Let it be clear, for all the world to know, that these darling dachshunds are loved; that they are loving and they exude love to their smitten humans with each breath, lick, tail wag and bark. The world can certainly use more L O V E, and our wonderful wiener dogs are doing their best to bring it in each photo and video we share.

Enjoy friends and share with favorite dachshund and dog enthusiast. Have a wondrous week filled with love. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


May 2017 © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

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Happy Easter!


Happy Easter April 2017 by © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

Rufus and friends want to be certain to wish all of our friends – both near and far, a very Happy Easter. We spent the day outside with some local mates and enjoyed the warmth of the Southern California sun.

Don’t forget about our Petoji promo still going on. Take advantage of your chance to win a customizable Hybern8 dog bed. 🙂


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Petoji’s Hybern8 Beds

Petoji Kickstarter

Our darling dachshund friend Heidi models a Petoji bed. ❤

Rufus and friends agree sleeping in a comfortable, cozy bed is great. All dachshunds and their humans know, besides eating, dachshunds love to grab a good 14 hours of beauty rest daily. The only thing better than taking a siesta in the sun, is napping in a bed that’s custom designable, filled with hypoallergenic Cloud9 and comes with a 5-year fluffy guarantee.

D.O.G.S is excited to support our dachshund friends (and their humans) at for their Hybern8 Dog Bed Kickstarter campaign! Petoji is known for their Adventure Collars and Leashes, which are manufactured in their very own Texas facility. The Hybern8 campaign will help Petoji expand manufacturing capabilities and preserve their made in the USA commitment. Petoji is also making an exciting offer to our D.O.G.S Facebook fans. Share this post and tag 10 or more people and you will be entered to win your own Hybern8 Dog Bed! Check out the campaign friends by clicking here!

Petoji Kickstarter

Heidi and Frankie are like two wiener dogs in a bun in this fluffy Petoji bed. ❤

Two of the dachshunds behind the scenes inspiring their humans at Petoji are Frankie and Heidi.


Dachshund behind the scenes at Petoji and Hybern8 beds. 


Dachshund behind the scenes at Petoji and Hybern8 beds. 

Petoji Beds with Frankie

Petoji Hybern8 Beds


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Rufus & Emily get their teeth cleaned

Emily is all kisses.

Emily is all kisses. © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

On Tuesday, Rufus and Emily had their annual anesthetic teeth cleaning. This was Rufus’ fourth & Emily’s third consecutive year. Lily and our friend Milo go next Thursday, and it will be Lily’s first time. She’ll be four in July.

I’m always nervous about taking our hounds to the vet and putting them under, but we have worked hard over the years to build a strong and trustworthy relationship with our local vet and his staff. We feel very comfortable with them, and they’re all really good about going the extra mile to make us all happy and confident in their quality of care. I personally enjoy their very transparent approach.

What pleases us most about our vet’s philosophy to the their anesthetic teeth cleaning is they only use a sparing amount of anesthesia. Which is evident when I pick up our posh pups up later that day; they’re never wobbly, drowsy or dopey. See video below.

Additionally, our vet only schedules two dogs a day for surgical procedures so when we take our hounds, we get his complete and full attention. I truly cannot underscore the importance of having a good relationship with your local vet; invest the time and effort to find one you like and love because it will pay dividends over the life of our dogs.

Rufus shows off his pearly whites

Rufus shows off his pearly whites. © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

Neither dog needed any extractions – yippee! Rufus does have a tooth that concerns our vet, but we’re going to wait and watch, at his recommendation. Rufus has had four teeth extracted to date; two due fractures for chewing things too hard. We now know better. I believe dogs often have 42 teeth so… missing one, two or four, really isn’t a very big deal.

Rufus' X-ray

Rufus’ X-ray.

Also, we always use the occasion – the dogs being under, to do anything else that might need to be done. For example, Rufus had an anal gland infection. We suspected it last month. Confirmed it this month and waited until today to flush them out and infuse them antibiotics. We also started a series of cold laser light therapy for Emily, who recently showed some early signs of discomfort in her back. We check them regularly, because we know early detection and prevention is key to avoiding that costly and painful back surgery. When Lily goes next week we plan to remove an unsightly wart. 🙂

Rufus shows off his pearly whites

Rufus shows off his pearly whites. © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

Okay friends. I’m thrilled that two dogs are done, and only two more to go next week. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted. Have a wonderful day!!! And remember to spoil them while you got them. JOT 🙂 #HappyHoundsHappyHumans #DachshundDude

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Hello. Rufus and his pack want to wish all of our friends a very happy Valentine’s Day. Hopefully you and yours got all that your hearts’ desire today – whether it was a nice dinner out and quality time with the one you love, or flowers, maybe some chocolates or perhaps some shiny new jewelry. 🙂 However, if anyone is looking for an extra gift to give or get (one must not forget to pamper and spoil oneself on occasion) may we please recommend the following…

Joy Ride
Measurements: 5 x 7 photo; 8×10 hand painted frame (blue).
$55 – payment can be made via PayPal.

Joy Ride

Joy Ride. Measurements: 5 x 7 photo; 8×10 hand painted frame (blue).

Hearts and Hound
Measurements: 14 x 14 photo; 14 x 14 hand painted frame (red).
$85 – payment can be made via PayPal.

Hearts and Hound

Hearts and Hound Measurements: 14 x 14 photo; 14 x 14 hand painted frame (red).


I Heart Hounds 
Measurements: 5 x 7 photo; 8×10 hand painted frame (red).
Price: $55 -payment can be made via PayPal.

I Heart Hounds

I Heart Hounds. Measurements: 5 x 7 photo; 8×10 hand painted frame (red).

These signed, limited edition framed photo prints were part of Gallery 525’s Love Train Artist Exhibition. The prints would look lovely in your office, a guest room, children’s room or anywhere you want to proudly profess your love and admiration for these adorable hounds. ❤

All monies paid are tax-deductible to the charity DOGS (Dachshund Outreach Giving and Socialization). Shipping is INCLUDED in the price point when shipping in the USA. Thanks in advance for the consideration and continued support.
❤ JOT ❤

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Icebreaker Speech

Tonight at a local Toastmaster’s meeting, I gave the following icebreaker speech. I imagine many of you would enjoy it, along with the slides (pictures) I used. Check it out friends and let me know what you think. 🙂

Thank you Mr. Toastmaster.
Fellow Toastmasters and honored guests.

One Hound and His Human

The story of one hound dog and his human. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

Rufus. This is the story of one hound dog and his human. Together the dynamic duo goes from aloof private citizens to K9 socialites in the LA market and beyond.

Moving from Fort Worth, Texas to Los Angeles, California was a transition for me. As the second largest city in the union, I’ve often described LA as a large and lonely place full of bright lights, big stars and lots of indifferent people.

JC the betta fish

JC the betta fish. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

In May 2003, my partner got me a betta fish, and we start the conversation of possibly getting a dog. The joke was if the fish lived for a year, I’d be ready for something a little more substantial. (Pause) It may seem silly starting with a fish, but I wasn’t a really a pet person, or a people person for that matter, at the time. The idea of dog hair on my designer clothes, picking up poop and being responsible for another living being was a little intimidating for me at first.

We named the fish JC, and the act of regularly cleaning the bowl, feeding him daily – just the right amount of food – and making arrangements for someone to look after him when we traveled was an excellent preamble for what was to come. And for anyone wondering, JC and I did have a strong bond; he was a real good listener. (Pause) He also lived under my care for 5 glorious years, and taught me the importance of consistency and routine when caring for a pet.

Rufus, as a puppy

Rufus 1st picture ever. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

On October 30, 2004, my world changed forever when I met this precious puppy. After living in LA for 22 LONG months and caring for JC the betta fish for 15 of those months, we were finally ready to move from a possibility to action. We woke that Saturday morning, checked the newspaper for any breeders selling dachshund puppies and found two. We made the hour long drive from the familiar West Hollywood to somewhere foreign for me in the San Fernando Valley.

When we finally arrived at the breeders, it was dust and we were presented with three puppies. The first two were carried in and looked like picturesque model puppies – like something you’d see in a book about dachshunds. As I held the first one, he pooped on me. (Pause) The second one was shy and nervous, but the third came into the room on his accord, marching in tail wagging, curious to meet us and inspect his surroundings. The decision was easy, this was our dog. We could just tell there was lots of personality and confidence in this small and sweet package. He reminded us of a little Napoleon.

I held that dachshund puppy all the way home, and at the end of that hour drive, we were bonded and I was in love. We just had to pick a name; and after trying a few others we finally settled on Rufus, which means red-haired. And with that, the adventures of Rufus, the red smooth miniature dachshund begins.

Rufus, 10-week old puppy

Rufus, 10-week old puppy. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

Caring for a 10-week-old puppy is a huge undertaking, and on the fifth day I knew I needed help. Some of the best money we ever invested was hiring our trainer for Rufus. He came to our home and honestly trained us. He spent the whole afternoon teaching us how to properly feed, walk and crate trained our hound. Zach outlined the work we had to do to create the perfect dog for us, and now with laser like focus and armed with knowledge, I was ready to meet the challenge head-on.

Training Rufus

Training Rufus. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

One of the basic fundamental truths Zach bestowed on me was the importance of regular socialization for our dogs. We defined socialization as introducing Rufus to a variety of people, places and things. Most importantly, other dogs – both big and small. With that gem of information, I immediately and aggressively looked to schedule a few play dates for Rufus. I used Craig’s List Pet Community and to find other doting dachshund dads and moms. This was before Facebook and Instagram.

Rufus & Benny

Rufus & his best bud Benny. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

Since I worked from home as an assistant production accountant, I had the freedom to host other hounds during the day, and quickly found a friend living walking distance from our home that had a chocolate smooth miniature dachshund named Benny. Benny’s mom was a single mom, and an elementary school teacher; she would bring him over two to three days a week for play dates. She would drop him off in the morning and pick him up after school. It was the perfect situation for us. We also took turns watching each other’s pup when we travelled.

Although we only had one dachshund to start, I knew in time we would want more so socializing Rufus with other dachshunds was something I took very serious. Play dates with Benny were great, but I wanted to give Rufus more.

I also wanted to take advantage of the beautiful and dog-friendly backdrop of Los Angeles.

LA Doxies Meetup Group

LA Doxies Meetup Group. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

In less than a year, I went from a member of an informal public meetup group to its leader. And in the course of 12 years, we went from a laissez-faire attitude to structured and regular meetings at 12 different off-leash dog parks all over the greater LA area – while also organizing and participating in a variety of other dachshund centric special events. To date, LA Doxies is one of the oldest and consistent FREE meetup groups of its kind in the country. We have partnered with every notable LA dog store at one time or another, and have proudly pioneered the way for other meetup groups – including Ojai Doxies.


ROTW / DOGS. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

Rufus has inspired his own photo blog –, and the charity DOGS – which stands for Dachshund Outreach Giving and Socialization. Our DOGS’ Facebook page has 1.1 million likes. Rufus has been the catalyst of much good in my world.


Rufus. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

Rufus will be 13 in August, and he has already visited over 20 different states, at least 50 different cities including New York City, Chicago, Austin, San Francisco and Las Vegas. He has been to the Grand Canyon twice, met a tortoise at Joshua Tree, visited Mount Rushmore during its fame Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, barked at a bison in Yellowstone National Park and posed for a picture with Elvis at Graceland.

Rufus at Graceland

Rufus at Graceland. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

Rufus has traveled by car, plane and boat. He has played on many beautiful beaches in Southern California, walked in wintery white wonderlands like Mammoth Mountain, and swam unexpectedly in the lake at Big Bear. If a man can be a reflection of his dog, I feel good by our long list of accomplishments in a relatively short amount of time.

Rufus in Mammoth

Rufus in Mammoth. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

After 7 years of being an only hound, we decided to expand the pack and rescued Emily our smooth black and tan in January 2012. 18 months later we were foster failures and got our red smooth female Lily; a shier version of Rufus.

Rufus & Emily

Rufus & Emily. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

Rufus & Lily

Rufus & Lily. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

Los Angeles is no a longer lonely city for me. In fact, it’s truly one of my favorites. And, I can thank Rufus for much of that experience and state of mind. Rufus introduced me to a world of people and places that I would have never known if it wasn’t for him. Rufus helped me to step out of my comfort zone, pushed me to meet strangers and motivated me to get up and get out.

I Heart Rufus

I Heart Rufus. Photo by: © Johnny Ortez-Tibbels |

Today, I have more friends than I did when I first moved here. But whenever they’re all too busy with work or their own lives, I know I always have a constant companion in Rufus. He never says no and is always eager for whatever is next – whether it’s visiting an art gallery, lunch at a café or running errands around town.


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Rufus goes to the Grand Canyon (again)

Rufus returns to the Grand Canyon. Rufus and family visited the Grand Canyon once before; and we all had so much fun that we simply had to make the trip again. Last time we were there in the summer so, it was nice and new experience to see the majestic scenery again as a winter wonderland blanketed in snow.

This was additionally a special trip because it was just Rufus and dad, while the girls (Emily & Lily) stayed home with their other human. Rufus is 12; I value, cherish and appreciate each day we have with one another. I expect Rufus to be around for a lot longer, but I know our time together isn’t indefinite. So, I love making the most of it – every chance we can.

Enjoy the video, and we’ll share more pictures from our trip in the days ahead. Love and spoil them while you can for as long as you can. JOT 🙂

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Happy New Year 2017

Rufus, Milo, Lily & Emily | October 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Milo, Lily & Emily | October 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Wishing all of our friends a very happy New Year!!!

DOGS’ Shop:

Rufus, Milo, Lily & Emily | October 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Milo, Lily & Emily | October 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Milo, Lily & Emily | October 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Milo, Lily & Emily | October 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

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Dachshund Holiday Photos 2016


Dachshund Santa Photos | December 2016.


Dachshund Santa Photos | December 2016.


Dachshund Santa Photos | December 2016.


Holiday Brunch at Azu Restaurant | December 2016.


Sam wearing our collectible Dachshund Hoodie | December 2016.

On Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, members from LA Doxies and Ojai Doxies came together to support our local Humane Society of Ventura County by taking photos with Santa. We did both group and individual photos. Afterwards we ended another year of wonderful meetups with brunch at Azu Restaurant sponsored by the DOGS charity. Check out the video below or click here. Hope everyone had a happy holiday season.

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Emily turns 5

Rufus, Emily & Lily | October 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Rufus, Emily & Lily | October 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Wishing our Emily Sue a very Happy 5th Birthday!!! In celebration of Emily turning a year older, Black Friday weekend and the upcoming Cyber Monday, Emily is happy to offer our friends an exclusive 25% off the “clothing collection” at our DOGS’ Shop. Check it out friends! In lieu of gifts or cards, support the charity DOGS and enjoy some original, unique, collectible, wearable dachshund art while being philanthropic. Enter “EMILY” at checkout and save 25%. Remember prices include shipping in the USA. Thanks to all for their wonderful well wishes today, and the continued support. This Thanksgiving weekend, we’re grateful for all of YOU! Thank you!!!

Emily & Lily | October 2016.  Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

Emily & Lily | October 2016. Photo by: Johnny Ortez-Tibbels ©

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