"Miss Anna" My Inspiration by Sculptor Joy Beckner

Miss Anna
Anna von Pumpernickle Gesundheit
10/24/83 - 5/7/96

Joy Beckner with her first Inspiration Anna

Anna Photos by Brian Beckner

My life with dachshunds began in 1984 as a pre-nuptial agreement. My fiancé, Brian, who previously owned two smooth dachshund dogs, researched breeders and found that Audrey Nick of Erie, PA, had a standard, smooth, six-month-old, red puppy bitch. I picked up “Anna von Pumpernickel Gesundheit” at the airport, and when she got home, she piddled all over my hardwood floors. Anna was an adjustment for me, as I’m sure I was for her.

Since that time, I have grown from being a pet owner to being the proud mama of a champion and the recipient of numerous awards earned by my loving, sculptural tributes to my dachshunds. I consider myself very lucky to have had good parents, a loving husband, a keen sense of observation, and by 2013, a total of 5 sweet, beautiful dachshunds.

In Fall 1995 Anna’s age and health inspired me to do a series of sculptures devoted to her. Although I had a model, I felt I needed help with anatomy. Through Audrey Nick, I met the late Weldon Long, a dachshund judge, who taught me “Dachshund Anatomy 101.”

A name for Anna’s first sculpture came to me while she and I were out putting up Christmas lights. She sneaked to the back garden where she looked for tasty summertime tomatoes. I would often hear her woof in her sleep. That’s when Anna in bronze became “Dreaming of Tomatoes.” Little did I think I would be making bronze tributes to my dachshunds, but Anna started it all. Bless her sweet heart.