A woman who spends at least $3,000 a year feeding her sausage dog addiction has gone viral on TikTok – with her seven-strong pack melting hearts on the site.
Grace Park, 26, a sales executive, lives in El Paso, Texas, US, with her husband and their dachshunds; Boots, eight, Bandit, seven, Peanut, six, Plopper, six, Tubby, five, Punkin, two and Einstein, one.
A big fan of the breed, the dog lover recently decided to share their personalities on social media in the hopes of putting a smile on people’s faces but never expected her account to take off – having now racked up 400,000 followers.
However, being mum to seven dogs doesn’t come cheap, as Grace estimates having spent around $2,900 acquiring her pack and also shells out over $3,600 a year on their up-keep – not counting veterinary bills.
Her obsession with sausage dogs started in 2004, after her parents bought her a chiweenie – half chihuahua and half dachshund mix – who she named Hershey.
She immediately fell in love with her unique personality and quirky body structure.
Once she finished high school in 2013, Boots joined the budding pack, costing $1,200.
“Hershey was my best friend growing up, and that’s where my love for dachshunds started,” she told Jam Press.
“My favourite thing about them [dachshunds] is that they act like they are a big dog stuck in a long body with short legs.
“My first sausage dog [I got] on my own was Boots and my husband got her for me as soon as we graduated high school – I was absolutely in love.
“We felt like Boots needed a friend and Hershey was already getting older and didn’t have much interest in playing with her, so we got Bandit.
“When the time was right and the opportunity arose, we couldn’t stop getting them – especially seeing how they developed as a little pack.”
A year later, Bandit became a part of the crew – costing much less at $400 and formed a romance with Boots, with the pair having two puppies: Peanut and Plopper in 2015.
Tubby was rescued from a shelter in 2016 and Punkin is her baby, born three years later, while Einstein was the most expensive of the bunch at $1,300 and only joined last year, during lockdown.
But money makes no difference to the TikTok star, who just wants her little ones to be happy.
She said: “People spend money on things they love and for us, we love our little sausages.
“As long as they are happy and healthy, we are happy.
“Sharing them on social media has been fun for us and it makes us so happy to hear from our followers that we were able to make their day after having a rough week.
“We’re very thankful that there are people that love our pups as much as we do – but it hasn’t really hit us yet that our little weenie pack is popular.”
And the pack certainly has taken social media by storm with the owner sharing their hilarious day-to-day antics.
One of their most popular videos shows Grace and the dogs dancing on the couch while dressed up as hot dogs, having been viewed 29.2 million times and racking up 5.3 million likes.
“I need to invest in some hotdog costumes for my eight weiner dogs,” commented a fellow dachshund owner.
Someone else wrote, “I’m jealous and I strive to live this lifestyle,” while another person added: “If this isn’t goals idk what is.” [sic]
”I watched this too many times,” added another fan.
Other popular videos include Grace accidentally ‘throwing away’ her seven sausage dogs instead of rotten hot dogs, which has racked up 14 million views.
Another shows the pack refusing to leave the house when it’s raining outside, which resulted in seven surprises left on the floor for Grace to clean up, which has over 1 million views.
Despite their popularity, Grace has received some negative comments from viewers who say she has too many pets or that her house must “smell” but she takes no notice of trolls.
She also plans to get even more dachshunds in the years to come.
Grace, who also has a cat called Simon, said: “I’ve seen somewhere before that says, ‘dachshunds are like potato chips, you can’t just have one’ and seeing how happy they all are together makes me believe even more that we don’t have too many.
“If in the future we can get a bigger yard, I can definitely see us having more.
“I always tell my husband, if we lived on a farm, I would have a whole field of dachshunds to just play with all day.”
There are some challenges to having seven dogs though, including taking them on walks.
While Grace usually takes them out to an open space, where they can go off-leash, public places are difficult to navigate.
Retelling a recent incident, where an elderly woman walked by using a walker that had tennis balls on the legs, she said: “Our dogs love tennis balls, so their eyes lit up and sure enough, they were trying to rip the poor lady’s tennis balls off her walker.
“I was embarrassed, but she was having a laugh seeing all those dogs go after her.
The pups can also be quite smelly and bark a fair bit, as their owner attests to.
She added: “One of my favourite stories is one where it comes to farts – sometimes they have gas and when one passes, they all start sniffing the air and looking at each other to see who it was.
Grace’s advice to anyone looking to get a sausage dog is to be patient when training them.
She added: “Sausage dogs are stubborn, well, all seven of mine have been.
“They are so smart, that’s why I think they are so stubborn.
“They know what they can and can’t get away with. They are the most loving and loyal companions you can have, and their personalities will always keep you laughing.
“They are wonderful breeds.
“Their barks are quite loud as well. So if you are looking at getting seven, prepare for some loud noise!!!”