In February 1998 an energetic, irrepressible entity entered our family. It was the very tiny miniature Schnauzer puppy "Fritzi". Fritz, a distinctly German name, was considered. It was changed to Fritzi, more familiar and personal.
The name "Schnauzer" refers in German to "snout", the distinctive beard of the dog's snout. The breed originated in Germany in the 15th and 16th centuries. The miniature Schnauzer was bred by crossing the original Schnauzer with the poodle and affenpinscher. Miniature Schnauzers weigh from 14 to 20 pounds.
Fritzi at his feeding and watering station. Dad always kept the water bowl full of clean water which, of course, didn't mean puddles on the street after a rain were not attractive. Fritzi had a distinctive way of drinking from the water bowl - a motion from side to side, dipping into the liquid.
A typical position when Fritzi's sensitive hearing had picked up the sound of someone passing by.
If something serious (a dog) was passing by it required climbing the back of his chair to have a better view.
Looking a bit frazzled from his outing, Fritzi got to his chair still wearing his custom made coat. It was a battle to familiarize him with the clothing - he thoroughly loathed it and made amazing acrobatic moves to slip out of it. However, it was required in the cold winter days and nights with occasional rain or snow.
The shape of dogs but no smell. This deserves closer investigation.
Mom played a game with Fritzi that he loved, at least for a few throws. He would (sometimes) try to catch the frisbie but, in any case, brought it back for a treat. Once Mom forgot to give him the treat which resulted in what you see in the picture. He would bring it back and sit down with his paw on the frisbie. It stayed there until he got his treat.
Fritzi, by the time of this photo, was suffering from problems common to the miniature Schnauzer breed. Fritzi became blind. Taken to an animal opthalmologist it was learned that his problem was not cataracts but progressive deterioration of the retina. Here Dad has carried Fritzi into the yard on a day cool enough for his coat. He carried on like a trouper around the house despite a lot of bumps to his nose.
Fritzi, exploring a stream in Thatcher Park in the Helderbergs. He wore himself to a frazzle checking out this new territory.
August 18, 2002
A visit by Peter resulted in Fritzi getting chummy. Could be Peter's dog Mandy made him a "dog person" to the usually reluctant Fritzi. The green eye color is typical of dogs, while humans get "red eye" in flash photos.
On a visit by Russell and son Alex we had a picnic in the Lock 9 park, suitably guarded by Fritzi. On August 28, 2011 Hurricane Irene struck and the Mohawk River bypassed the lock and dam, washing out a section of the highway and sent the park land down the river. The park was completely destroyed. Lock 8's washout has been restored but Lock 9 is still not restored.
June 29, 2007.
One of Fritzi's favorite toys - a birthday cake with candles.
An alert Fritzi has detected something amiss in the fireplace's chimney. Mom and Dad noted his attention but dismissed his interest. Later they heard small noises coming from the fireplace. Chimney workers identified the cause as a female raccoon who had taken up residence to raise her young in a protected and warm place (it being winter). She was removed before the young. Dad was told to place the babies in a cardboard box in a visible outside place for the night. Sure enough, the baby raccoons were gone in the morning. Needless to say, a cap was placed on the chimney to prevent any further wildlife problems.
Fritzi on a potty break to which he had to bring his birthday cake to keep him company. Note the nicely cleared area in the snow for Fritzi's constitutional.
On September 16, 2013 Fritzi passed at the age of 15 years and 7 months. This painting is in commemoration of his life. We all miss his lively presence.
Original: March 31, 2014.