Sunday, January 26, 2003

Prize Possessions

Playful dachshund best of her collection

By Marsie Hall Newbold
Enquirer Contributor

Who: Sue Mantell, 34, of North College Hill, a research associate at Johnson Diversey who adores wiener dogs.

On display: More than 50 dachshund-related items, including figurines, planters and bookends.

Where: In a set of antique dresser drawers that she has mounted on the wall of her living room.

Great idea! "They have really neat dividers with the cubbies already built in," she explains of the drawers. "I almost left them empty, but the dachshunds fit perfectly."

Most of the canines in her collection are crafted from metal, porcelain and wood, but her favorite is made of fur and grrrr. That is Dusty, a black and tan dachshund that Ms. Mantell and her daughter, Sydney, 4, adopted from Angel Animal Rescue.

Puppy love: "I got my first real one when I was a teenager - that's when I started collecting dachshund items as well,'' she says. "His name was Willie and he was a black and tan standard. Then I got Roxie, a red standard. They had four puppies. I kept a red one named Max, and then I got Sammy, who was also black and tan."

That makes Dusty Ms. Mantell's eighth dachshund. "They're adorable," she sighs. "Besides that, they are loyal, protective and very playful."

Part of the pack: One of the family's favorite rituals is to hold Dusty and make him "sing."

"We pretty much howl at the moon together," she chuckles. "Dusty is our favorite playmate."

Oops! According to Ms. Mantell, Dusty doesn't take up nearly as much space as the dachshunds in her collection. They would be spread out even more if not for an unfortunate accident 10 years ago.

"It was at a party," she recalls. "Everybody was dancing and the shelf where I kept everything took a dive."

She lost about 75 percent of her collection, including her favorite piece, a life-sized dachshund that played "Edelweiss."

Keep your chin up: "It was heartbreaking," she says with a sigh, "but you literally pick up the pieces and go on. The guy who knocked down the shelf never lived it down.

"But I learned my lesson, I keep everything higher up and in a safer place."

On the lookout: Ms. Mantell finds most of her collectibles at thrift stores, flea markets and tag sales. She skips online auction sites, because she thinks shopping online takes the fun out of the hunt.

"My collection may not be huge," she says, "but it sure is cute and is always growing."

Share your prize possessions with Marsie Hall Newbold by mail: c/o The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; e-mail: Please include a daytime telephone number.

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