Growing up, my family’s pets were Miniature Schnauzers. My parents elected for the breed because, among other factors, they wanted a small dog that did not shed and got along well with children. Our Schnauzers made excellent family companions, jogging partners, foot watermers, house guardians, and general bundles of exuberance and bed beards. Over many years, we had four: Murphy, Mimi, Rabita, and Dottie.
We bred Rabita (Spanish for “little tail”, Rabi for short) once, resulting in six puppies, one of which we kept (Dottie). Although Rabi certainly chose my mother as her designated person, I have incredible fondness for her because she was such a character. Imagine a prim, fussy, utilitarian, uptight, and old-fashioned British nanny and put it in a Schnauzer. Basically Rabi was the canine version of Dame Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham from Downton Abbey (and I mean that in a good way). She positively brimmed with vibrant personality, especially when she scolded us in Schnauzerese when she caught anyone out of bed past what she considered bedtime. Plus she had Flying Nun ears and an incredibly smoochable head.
Photo courtesy of The Daily Shep
Dottie was a happy-go-lucky mama’s girl who thrived on being in the center of the action. She hopped (my family called it “bing-binging”) in the middle of a run and liked flaunting her belly to the world as she napped. One of Dottie’s favorite pastimes was charging into an enormous pile of leaves and temporarily hiding in the heap, smelling everything and having a grand adventure while doing so.
Photo courtesy of Greenfield Puppies
On National Purebred Dog Day, we should celebrate all dog breeds: herding, hunting, bird, gun, companion, hounds, pointers, scenthounds, setters, sighthounds, sled dogs, spaniels, spitz, terriers…the list goes on. The development of these breeds have fascinating histories. If you would prefer to adopt rather than purchase one from a reputable breeder, you can find many purebreds needing a home in animal shelters or through rescue groups.
How can you celebrate this holiday? Spend some quality time with your dog, whether it is a round of fetch, a long walk, a thorough belly rub, or kissysnuggles on the couch!