There’s just something about dachshunds. Perhaps it’s that the very name dachshund translates as ‘badger hound’. Badger hound! Certainly it’s their low-slung bellies and industrious little legs. More than that though, it’s the sense that—with their elegant posture and proud chests—they have no idea how small or how funny they are. I gathered my motley crew together to tell them I was off to the Dachshund U.N. They were pumped!

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The Dachshund U.N. is exactly what it sounds like, only more awesome. As part of the Next Wave festival, Bennett Miller has installed a scale replica of a former U.N. office in between the Melbourne Museum and the Exhibition Building. It’s quite something.

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On Saturday afternoons between 2–3pm this ‘office’ is occupied by a series of dachshund representatives. The result is out-of-this-world wonderful. When the first representative took up its position (Nigeria, a distinguished miniature who remained composed for the full forty minutes we spent pressed against the fence) delighted laughter spread through the crowd. When Cameroon appeared, as heroic as any teenage-sailing-around-the-world-girl I’ve ever seen with its two wheels instead of back legs, there was a collective Nyaaawwwww. Strangers exchanged observations: Oh Madagascar is totally bored; Looks like Chile and Finland are in talks; Burkina Faso just won’t shut up! When the Secretary-General decided he’d had enough and bolted across the front of the installation I struggled to keep what little composure I had.

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By the time we retired to Southpaw (SouthPAW!) for refreshments (hush PUPPIES!) my cheeks ached from smiling. Sunshine on a cloudy day doesn’t come close to describing these guys. Go!