“I was sick of the whole 9-5 office thing. I announced to my husband- I’m going to open a Sausage Dog Hotel. ‘Yeah, alright then,’ he said. Now we’re walking 10 Dachshunds round Chatsworth.”
There was no better time to open a luxury getaway for pooches of a single shape and size says Hannah Stuchfield, who describes herself a ‘literally, that crazy Sausage Dog person’.
"They’re very en vogue,” she said. “And what’s more, people seem to collect them. I have two myself.”
The Sausage Dog Sanctuary, in Holmesfield, ('for your little sausage') has only been up and running for a few months- but has already seen Dachshunds and their owners descend from far and wide.
You can’t really blame them- a promo video of the ‘hotel’ shows a pack of Dachshunds gather for cakes at afternoon tea, tails wagging, before enjoying a relaxing spa treatment.
"When can I book in? But I don’t have a Sausage,” jokes one of the video’s 25,000 viewers.
But behind the scenes are Hannah, 41, and Ewan, 38, keeping ‘really organised’ to ensure their canine guests have a paw-sitively perfect stay.
Hannah said: “We offer Dachshund daycare and overnight boarding, and are fully licensed for up to 15 dogs- but may expand.
"We really wanted to get away from the ‘kennel’ thing, aiming instead for a more boutique feel.
"The Sanctuary reflects what these special dogs mean to their owners.
"You’ll get some of them dropping off their dogs in floods of tears, like they’re dropping off their kid for the first day of nursery.
"But even the most stressed Sausage Dog will soon settle in and you'll even get a postcard from them.
The trick, says Hannah, is to keep the Dachshunds occupied with long walks around the Derbyshire countryside along with games and puzzles.
The popular breed is notorious for back problems so the Sanctuary offers Sausage Dog Agility programmes to help ward off any future health issues.
"By 7pm, they’re out for the count,” added Hannah. "They’re just the coolest little dog. So yeah, this is pretty much the dream.”
And on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sausagedogsanctuary/