First, thanks to Miss Sandee at Comedy Plus for hosting Happy Tuesday Blog Hop!
Today I honor miniature schnauzers across the world. No, this isn’t a federal holiday or even one of those made-up Hallmark holidays — although I think that’s a great idea! I just love the breed. I found this on FB, where I rarely look at anything at all. My hubby laughed, knowing that only by the grace of God, we only have one schnauzer…for now!
I was always a “big dog” person. I had Alice, my dalmation until she passed at 11 years. After that, my “then” husband and I bought a house in Cleveland, TN, where we could have more dogs. He always talked about having a schnauzer, so I got him one for his first birthday in our house. I’ll admit that I got this 6 week old puppy from a backyard breeder. I had never heard of backyard breeders at the time, but something sure seemed “off.” About a year later, when I found out what kind of breeder and person this man was, I went back to try to get my pup’s mother, but he said he didn’t have her anymore. Here is Freda.
When her dad left us, I wouldn’t let him take her. She and I bonded while grieving together. She developed terrible allergies, and the steroid shots caused her to have cushing’s disease. At age five she went mostly blind. As long as I didn’t move the furniture, no one could tell she couldn’t see. She even led the way on our hikes down wooded paths! She was smart, feisty, “top dog” in all situations, had attitude, and wanted most of all to be with me no matter what I was doing. In other words, she was a miniature schnauzer! She taught me about the breed, and they embodied all the things I admired and could want in a companion. When, at 13, she passed from the terrible effects of the cushings, I found someone who needed to rehome their mini schnauzer.
I took Evie to the vet after picking her up, and was told she had a bad heart murmur. I then took her to UTC Vet School in Knoxville, and was told it was a class 4 murmur, as bad as it gets. They could do surgery, but there was no guarantee. She was only seven months old. She had very little energy, and just cuddled or hung out quietly with my other two dogs.
All I can say is she had a good life…boating, sleeping in my bed, going on trips, and playing with the big German Shepherd who was living with me at the time. Well, let me define playing. The GSD would run through the yard, slowing when he reached Evie so that she could grab ahold of his neck with her teeth and hang on him like a giant engorged tick while he kept running. When she was 19 months old I came home from work and found her gone, still warm in her kennel.
After that I was determined to find a well-bred schnauzer. After researching, I contacted a breeder, Becky, who lived three hours away in southern GA. One of her females had just had a litter, and she emailed me pictures of them a couple of times a week. I picked one out and gave her a very Southern, girlie name: Anna Belle Lee.
When they were six weeks old I made the trip to Becky’s to meet her and Anna Belle Lee and leave a deposit. I would have to return in two weeks to pick up my puppy. I sat on the floor for three hours watching them all play. I met their Mom and Pop, who were also house dogs and seemed happy and well cared for. Anna Belle Lee was every bit as beautiful and sweet as I had imagined. But I was still living with the GSD, and I was concerned this wouldn’t work. There was another puppy who stood out as the one who could deal with him..and pretty much anything. I left to get some lunch, and when I returned I had made a decision. On the way home I knew I had to come up with a different name for this one, the one who tore up all the newspaper while the others slept; jumped and bit at the air coming out of the floor register; and generally, although physically the same size as them, had a huge presence amongst the other little ones. She was no Anna Belle Lee. I named her Lexi. Many of you knew Lexi, who was the inspiration for this blog.
To the right, Ara is doing an alligator roll with 8 or 10 week old Lexi’s head in his mouth. She wasn’t a bit afraid, but I was holding my breath. He did this after she had repeatedly grabbed his lip and pulled it until he screamed. At least she stopped pulling his lip…
There’s not enough space in one blog to elaborate on everything Lexi loved and did, but here’s a condensed list.
- Titled in Freestyle
- Played Toto in 3 plays, each 2 years apart, and won the Annie Award in the The Chattanooga Theatre.
- Received a life-time pass to attend any Chattanooga Theatre production
- Advertised the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra from a pedi-cab
- Made a guest appearance with a children’s ballet troupe
- Helped us teach ballroom dance for 3 years to a group of homeschoolers
- Did therapy with physical rehab patients
- Visited nursing homes
- “Therapized” at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital for 10 years
- And more, so much more
Cancer took her in 2016 when she was 13 years old, only three months after she was diagnosed. I lost my partner and best friend. While I can’t say I’m done grieving her, someone else won my heart about a year later.
It usually takes me a while to actually, really love anyone. The day I brought Xena Schnauzer Warrior Princess home from another renowned breeder, I fell in love with her. Even though this is her blog now, and you see her all the time, she wants me to include her picture in this post. Like all my schnauzers, she loves having her picture taken.
She was 13 weeks old when I got her and took this picture. This is how the breeder groomed her, and I’ve tried to stay true to it. Oddly, her leg hair or “feathers” and her beard have never grown.
The personalities of all four schnauzers have been extremely different; they have been their own, unique dogs. Evie was too sick to be anything but docile. Lexi was self-confident, brave to the point of danger, was able to change to meet whatever was needed of her, and quick to see the upside and make the most of all the different situations I put her in. She didn’t like to cuddle.
Xena is a bit shy, sweet, loving, smart, and like the others loves to be with me and do anything I’m doing, especially freestyle. She loves to be outside and “hunt” critters. She’s also fearful of new situations and even of changing textures on the floor. She’s my baby.
If you’ve gotten this far in this long blog, I thank you. I’ll be back soon with more adventures with Xena and her “crew.” Thank you, Sandee at Comedy Plus for hosting Happy Tuesday, Oh, and why don’t you scroll back up and get one more laugh out of that meme?
Gru…er, I mean, Amy