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!


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.


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.


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!