Hi there! We are Frankie & Dottie and we are both Miniature Smooth Haired Dachshunds and sausage sisters with the same mum and dad! We are Butcher’s Brand Ambassadors, you can find us on Instagram where we share our lives and tell all our friends how much we love Butcher’s Healthy Heart recipes. Our hoomans Sarah and Jordan answered some questions all about us and our lives in the North West of England. We’re not surprised you’re interested, we’re kind of a big deal…
Frankie is the older of the pair at 6 years old, Dottie was the next litter 8 months after Frankie, and will be 6 in June this year! Frankie is a black and tan, and Dottie is a Silver Dapple, hence the name!
Although they’re full sisters, Frankie & Dottie both have such different personalities. Frankie is bold and inquisitive to the point where it borders on just being nosy! She’s a strong independent woman and will happily play on her own for hours on end.
Dottie on the other hand is just a little baby, even though she is close to 40 in human years. She loves cuddling with her sister and parents, but loves her food even more… She will come and nibble your face and eyebrows to remind you that it’s almost time
Even though they have their different personalities, they’re still just classic Dachshunds. Hilarious, full of character, needy and love a snuggle under blankets!
If they were film characters who would they be?
It’s fair to compare them to Timon (Frankie) and Pumba (Dottie) from the Lion King – we even call little Dottie Pumba!
Frankie loves her toys, and anything new in the house instantly becomes new favourite. Her true love is Mr Fox who she regularly just takes to bed to cuddle with. Dottie’s favourite toy is anything that Frankie has!
They’re both big fans of exploring new places on their walks, and especially love a beach day! Having said that, they hate water and so the sea is a no go and if it’s even the tiniest bit of rain, it’s a no from them – Classic Dachshunds!
Both Frankie and Dottie have had spinal surgery for Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), a degenerative condition that is unfortunately particularly prevalent in Dachshunds. All dog’s spinal discs degenerate with age, but Dachshunds start degenerating from a much earlier age, with 1 in 4 Dachshunds suffering from some form of back disease in their lifetime.
Frankie’s first time was in May 2021 when she was diagnosed with stage 2 IVDD. We took her in because she was in pain when picking her up or moving her, she struggled to walk and would look “drunk” on her back legs. She had an MRI which identified the IVDD and she had spinal surgery to remove the fluid that was compressing on her spinal cord.
The surgery went well and she was on crate rest for 8-12 weeks, which saw her back to full health. Unfortunately a different disc then went another year later, and the same process was repeated!
Dottie also had IVDD in September 2021, but she was worse than Frankie with stage 3, and so was completely off her feet and couldn’t use her back legs at all. It was a really scary time, as IVDD can progress so quickly and leave dogs with permanent paralysis. Fortunately, our veterinary hospital was amazing with all three occurrences in the girls. Dottie still has a strange gait in her back legs as a result of the IVDD and surgery, but both are otherwise really healthy and you genuinely wouldn’t know that they’ve had spinal surgery.
The advice is to ensure we exercise them both as we normally would (30-45 minute walk a day) as this will keep their muscles and body strong and healthy. As with all Dachshunds and smaller dogs, you should avoid letting them run up and down stairs, and jumping on and off high objects as this will increase the chance of a disc going.
We’ve been feeding Frankie & Dottie Butcher’s dog food for around 4 years now. We started with the traditional Lamb, Turkey and Beef recipes. They’ve always loved their Butcher’s and wolf it straight down. Then we were fortunate enough to be able to trial the new recipe Healthy Heart in late 2022, specifically designed for breeds that may struggle with heart issues, such as Dachshunds. The girls loved it (of course!), and we’ve been feeding it them ever since. It’s reassuring to know that we’re doing the best we can for the girls to support their heart function and keep them healthy and happy with their food choices. They always get compliments on how shiny and perfect their coat is looking as well.
Try and keep regular feeding times every day, even at the weekend when you might want a lie in! We feed F&D at around 7:30am for breakfast and then between 5 – 6pm on an evening. This way you will get your dog into a healthy routine which will help with their general behaviour and sleep. It’s amazing how their body clock knows exactly the time they want their Butcher’s!
Outside of their regular meals, we give them Butcher’s Naturally Meaty Treats as a reward for good behaviour (when out on walks, teaching tricks etc.) and limit the amount of human scraps they have. Dottie would probably eat everything in the house if we gave in to her, so it’s healthy to manage their weight.
Did you know?
We have our own business inspired by and named after us – Frankie & Dottie’s. We sell premium clothing and accessories for dogs and hoomans, and have also been featured on Joules, Mountain Warehouse and Debenhams. We’ll be at our second Crufts this year in March, so come and say hi if you are visiting!
As mentioned earlier, the girls love going to the beach. We’re not that close to go all the time, so it must feel like a real treat for them when they get on the sand and off lead. There are loads of great parks and forests around Cheshire including Delamere Forest, Alderley Edge, Dunham Massey, and Tatton Park which are great for exploring. These are definitely on lead walks though because they can’t resist chasing squirrels!!
Their bestie is a Golden Retriever named Hank – they’ve known him since he was a pup and taught him how to be a good boy. The size difference is huge (he’s probably about 14x their weight) but he’s a very gentle soul and is careful around them both.
When mum and dad are both away, they go to a Dachshund Daycare in Cheshire, which is licensed to have up to 18 Dachshunds at once! They absolutely love it there, even though it must be Dachshund chaos!
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