Hund, Sweet Hund
He's the hottest hound on the Internet, and no, we don't mean the Lycos Lab.
It's "The Little Dog Joschi," who is winning hearts worldwide on his Web site, "The Little Dog Joschi Introduces Himself" at www.reocities.com/Petsburgh/4000/
It's a simple idea: Have a dog tell his own life story online. But this site, created by German artist Ulrich Leive, has such an unusual mixture of innocence, poignancy and dang-cute doggie pix that you find yourself unable to leave it.
Joschi, a bilingual mutt, tells his tale in German or English, according to visitors' wishes. He describes how he came to live with "a little old lady" in Osnabrueck, Germany, when he was a puppy. But one day the lady went away and never came back. Luckily, a neighbor (Leive) took Joschi and became his "new person." Now Joschi spends his time putting together his Web pages, which include perhaps the saddest picture online today - a shot of Joschi standing at his "lady's" memorial.
How can you miss with a page like that?! You can't. We e-mailed Leive and he happily described the more-than 700 awards this gentle little offering has won.
"Within a year, my little dog's site has become the most-awarded animal site of the world and meanwhile there were more than 11,000 visitors from all over the world mostly from the U.S.," Leive replies. And, yep, the site shows that Wisconsinites have been among the panting visitors at Joschi's virtual doorstep.
"The Little Dog Joschi" is one of those grass-roots efforts that becomes a winner not through professional hype, but because of down-home charm. Check out Joschi any time you need a smile.
Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Sept. 23, 1999.
Copyright © Jackie Loohauis / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel