At the risk of sounding immodest, six years ago I became one of the most interesting women in England.
Complete strangers started stopping me on the street, or pushing up their seats in cafes, begging for selfies and desperate to talk to me.
Maitre d’s at top restaurants, even the woman across the street who never invited me to her parties; suddenly everyone wanted to be my friend.
And honestly, I ate it.
But what had I done to deserve this unadulterated attention?
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How had I become a nighttime sensation?
The answer was not in the stars, but at my feet in the form of a smooth, coated, cappuccino-colored dog with 2 high legs, oversized ears and eyes that would melt puddles of ice.
In short, I had become the proud owner of a miniature dachshund – the hottest dog in the world.
They have their own couturiers, specialized hotels that only allow sausage dogs, Dachshund discos that serve cocktails with puppicinos, masseurs who are trained to caress their bellies and pedicurists who know how to take care of their delicate feet.
Cool customer: Sadie Frost chilling with her dog
Miss Darcy Bustle does not yet have access to any of these services, but she lives in hope. In the meantime, at least she has her own, almost mandatory Instagram account.
If ever there was an animal designed to appear on social media and in the homes of the rich and famous, this breed of dog is it.
From Nicole Kidman to Dita Von Teese and Cressida Bonas, these adorable creatures have captured the hearts of their A-lister owners and their devoted followers.
Where it was once pugs, then a whippets time that delighted the Insta crowd and fueled a whole host of merchandise, now the most darling of all dogs is the Dachshund.
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Enter the simple hashtag #dachshund and it returns 17 million results. Darcy’s meager numbers pale next to Crusoe_dachshund, a handsome beast with nearly a million followers who has a real-life job as an ambassador for dog ramps – small devices you place next to your couch or bed so the little love of your life can reach you whenever they feel like it.
Which usually is. Because when a human sits down, a dachshund assumes he has to sit down.
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That’s not to say they’re needy or weedy, not at all, they have no idea of their small size and are fearless, fearless souls.
Last month, for example, Ralph, a long-haired mini from Leeds, ran up Snowdon and reached the summit in a matter of hours to the amazement of the hardened climbers at the summit.
He celebrated his 2nd birthday.
As the dark-haired Bosco has become a TikTok megastar, movies in which he drags sticks five times the width of his own body through the local park are regularly watched by more than 33 million people.
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That’s more than a Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special in its heyday.
So what’s their appeal?
They love to show off and have an irresistibly cocky side. Darcy hardly does sidewalks when given the choice, and never when it rains.
Queen Victoria loved their royal appeal and once said, “Nothing will turn a man’s house into a castle faster and more effectively than a Dachshund.”
They can also be very inspiring.
One of Andy Warhol’s greatest muses was his brown dachshund, Archie.
The pair were inseparable and often appeared hand in hand at Studio 54.
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Our greatest living artist, David Hockney,
was so fascinated with his own, now sadly deceased, Stanley and Boodgie, that in the 1990s he placed several donkeys around his California home to capture them in various natural poses.
A significantly more stylish version of Instagraming.
The result was 45 paintings that became a large-scale exhibition titled Dog Days, with a book of the same name that continues to be a bestseller.
They are easy to please and as Hockney once pointed out, they are not picky eaters. “They eat everything I eat and I eat everything, I,” he once said.
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They have great take-along appeal and are allowed in places normally off limits to “other” dogs. And they make pretty good cupids.
Last month, Darcy and I were strolling past a local diner full of people having lunch in the sun when a young woman stopped me and screamed. ‘OMG’. I love those dogs.”
Then she told me how she’s always wanted one, how she followed designer India Hicks on Insta and her puppy, Stretch.
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How India had to balance her wedding organization with the demands of her sweet new puppy.
At that moment her young man knelt and said, “If I get you one, will you marry me?”
Needless to say, there was more screeching and the answer was a resounding yes.
They’ve promised to let us know when and where so Miss Darcy Bustle can be a guest of honor.
We can’t wait, though, as Darcy would like to say, it’s dachshunds, not diamonds, that are a girl’s best friend.
Photo research: CLAIRE CISOTTIA