BERLIN (Reuters) - By Charley-Kai John
A museum dedicated to the dachshund, Germany’s short-legged, long-bodied “sausage dog”, opens next week in the southern city of Passau, and will show more than 2,000 exhibits from dog-shaped bread to a giant golden statuette.
Two proud sausage dog owners and former florists gave up their jobs to open the museum in Bavaria, which they say is the world’s first devoted to the “dackel” and built it up from nothing in just three months.
“The world needs a sausage dog museum... No other dog in the world enjoys the same kind of recognition or popularity as the symbol of Bavaria, the sausage dog,” said founder Seppi Kueblbeck.
The exhibits in the more than 80 square-meter museum cater for all tastes. Visitors will see canine stamps, artistic prints with sausage dog motifs, handmade puppets and porcelain figurines.
“We wanted to give this dog a home where people can come and share their joy. Its popularity is increasing because the sausage dog, with its so-called sausage dog look, has conquered the hearts of many people,” said Kueblbeck.
Prominent dackel fans include artist Pablo Picasso, actor Marlon Brando, former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, scientist Albert Einstein and even Napoleon.
One of Germany’s oldest breeds, the dachshund can be long-, short- or wire-haired and is one of the country’s most popular dogs.
Bred for hunting since the Middle Ages, dachshund translates literally as ‘badger dog’ and their long snouts allow them to burrow into holes to catch small animals.
Kueblbeck and his museum partner Oliver Storz said they have a further 2,000 sausage dog exhibits at home.
The owners have diligently collected pieces over the years and can call a substantial amount of the dackel paraphernalia their own. However, their breakthrough came with the lucrative purchase of a Belgian punk rocker’s extensive collection.
The museum opens its doors on Monday.
Reporting by Charley-Kai John and Reuters TV; Editing by Hugh Lawson