Eye of the Tyler: It’s a dachshund’s world out there

  • Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Someone get Charlie, reporter and columnist Tyler Heffernan’s dachshund, a modeling contract. STAFF PHOTO BY TYLER HEFFERNAN

Photos

It’s a dachshund’s world out there, and we’re just livin’ in it.

Jonathan Miller doesn’t even own a dog, but he’s made a living out of “The Adventures of Sammy the Wonder Dachshund” book series and related artwork. Miller has a friend with a dachshund named Sammy.

“It was the first time I really ever clicked with a dog,” he said at a book signing for his third book at Triangle Char & Bar in Mount Pleasant. “I was doing artwork at the time, and I was trying to figure out what to actually do. Then, a spark just went off.”

Although dachshunds have short legs, they have long bodies and bigger personalities. “He was just such a funny, quirky little dog. He always looked like he was up to something,” Miller said. “I’ve never cared for a dog licking me and slobbering all over. I just clicked with him.”

Miller has sold more than 10,000 copies of his first book titled “Sammy’s Last Week in Charleston,” over 5,000 of the second book called “Sammy on Safari” and already more than 1,200 of the third installment in the first month it was released. The third is titled “Sammy in Space.”

The books, like the loveable main character, are short but complex. Artwork is a selling point for the books, as Miller is an expert artist.

“I used to come home from school with money and my parents would say, ‘Where are you getting this money from?’ he said. “I was drawing pictures for kids at school – like of Michael Jordan dunking a basketball.”

He made greeting cards for friends and family using layers of paper for a three-dimensional look. They loved it, so Miller turned back to his schoolyard hustling ways and made a business out of it. Some art pieces take more than 70 hours to produce, the College of Charleston business graduate said, and each page of the book can take 30-40 hours.

“The Adventures of Sammy the Wonder Dachshund” will continue, and Miller said he has ideas for a fourth book that could be released in about a year. He visits schools all over the Carolinas and Georgia reading to children and selling copies of his series. “There’s a lot of competition,” he said of the business. “Everybody and their brother and sister have an idea for a children’s book.”

But, he also has more plans. “I want to get a Sammy eventually, because I have to bring ‘Prop Sammy’ sometimes when I go to schools,” he said. “Eventually, I’ll get a Sammy. I have to find the right dog.”

On behalf of all dachshund owners, I can say getting your own stumpy-legged friend is a wise choice.

Down the road from the book signing, Seppy’s Hot Dogs is in its beginning stages since opening the restaurant earlier this year. Its secret weapon – other than homemade ingredients – is the logo of a dachshund with its ears blown back by a fan. It’s cute, and well, what better logo to have for a hot dog place than a weiner dog?

“I always associated dachshunds with hotdogs and when the logo was being designed, the fan just went along with it,” Seppy’s Twitter account explained to the Moultrie News last week.

There’s no actual dachshund named Seppy, and since Miller doesn’t yet own a Sammy, it got me thinking.

When can my beloved Charlie sign his modeling contract?

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