Rascal

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Rascal

We lost our buddy Rascal November 11, 2006.  He was a bossy little schnauzer that was involved in just about every part of our lives.  This page has become a tribute to him.

We rescued another schnauzer ("Bugsy") on January 14, 2007.  This tribute is as it was written in November, 2006.

Rascal camping at Dolly SodsIf you've never owned a dog or had one that didn't get "involved" in the family, you may not understand this discussion.  It may also give you some insight about why people become so attached to their pets.  I'll have to work through the occasional tear but will try to tell his story.  The pictures are especially hard on me.  We called Rascal our Psycho Lover Dog.  He could run around the house going crazy, grabbing socks or anything else he wanted.  Next thing you know, he was cuddled up in your lap.  He preferred Sue's lap but I was OK if she wasn't available.

Rascal died on November 11, 2006.  Throughout his life he ate anything he could fit into his mouth.  The first day we met him, he ate a pine cone. While especially fond of tissues, socks and ice cubes, he'd try anything once.  Not to be coarse, but his bowel movements occasionally had interesting things.  Red and orange plastic once.  Plastic papers frequently.  He'd chew a plastic bottle cap at any opportunity.  Thursday night he got into something in my bag that he couldn't handle.  It was the only time he ever rummaged around in it but it was enough.   He was fine Friday morning but when I got home he was obviously sick.  I took him to the vet and finally figured out what was causing the problem.  They worked with him all night but couldn't save him.

We're now devastated.  We have a serious void in our family.  There's almost nothing that doesn't remindRascal and Sue us of him.  You can't walk through the door and not miss him.  Your spouse will never greet you with that much enthusiasm.  Even if you were only gone 5 minutes.  Coming into the house now, we're greeted with silence.  No nutsy greetings from Rascal.  No going for a walk.  No snuggling before dinner.  It almost seems like it would be better to just stay at work.

Rascal wanting somethingRascal was a people dog.  He wanted to be with Sue and I.  At 25 pounds he was kind of big for a miniature schnauzer but he was a lap dog.  When Sue sat in the recliner chair, he'd all but race her there to sit in her lap.  I was afraid he'd get there first and she'd squash  him.  If I was in the computer chair, he came under the arm rest (only he knows why) to get in my lap.  There were easier ways but that was his way.  He always slept in the bed with us.  He pretty much had to snuggle for a while before going to a neutral corner to sleep.  Stress to him was when Sue and I were different rooms.

If Sue dropped an ice cube on the floor, he was all over it.  Great stuff to chew.  Now getting ice or putting ice in a glass is a reason to miss him.  When he could find one, he loved plastic bottle caps.  He's also happy to just sit on the floor and enjoy your company.

Since I've gone this far, I might as well talk about socks.  No amount of trouble was too much trouble for him to get socks.  He looked under the covers to see if Sue left any at the foot of the bed.  He knew there's be fresh ones when I changed clothes after work.  He knew where they were and frequently showed up with one of them.  Now we can't see socks on the floor without missing him.

Sometimes when he had a sock or something, he didn't want to part with it.  I watched Sue chase him down.  He'd lay on the floor and then jump back and forth like he was spring loaded when you reached for him.  Sue would get aggravated at him and then wind up laughing endlessly.  Rascal would drop the sock and walk away like, "What's your problem?".

Rascal and Sue by fireHe could be sneaky too.  He was taller than we were used to so he could reach more of the table.  Sue had cookies and sugar spread on the table.  She noticed some were gone and accused Rascal.  He gave her the sweetest look  you could imagine.  Kind of "I would never do that!".  Of course, the side of his head was covered with sugar.

Another time, he grabbed Michelle's scrunchy.  She got it back from him and sat back on the couch.  He jumped up on her lap to snuggle with her, or so she thought.  He stayed there a few minutes, grabbed the scrunchy and split.  She never had a chance.

One final story.  We were on the deck and there was a popsicle wrapper on the table.  Rascal politely stood up and helpedRascal begging himself.  We got him cornered and took it back and placed it in the middle of the table.  We watched him come over and sit by the table.  He looked like he was measuring it.  The next thing we know he leaped onto the table, grabbed the wrapper and headed for the door.  The next thing we heard was BONK because he forgot to see if the door was open.  He staggered sideways and quickly surrendered the wrapper.  We almost hurt ourselves laughing at  him.  Now that is no more.

We didn't want a boring dog and we certainly didn't get one.  I don't know if we wanted another family member but we certainly got one.  As I tried to show here, he was always involved.  That's wonderful at the time but makes it hard to deal with his loss.  We still miss him. 

We loved him and tried to treat him as well as a dog could be.  He more than returned that love and was more than a companion.  We'll miss him for a long time.

We got another schnauzer in early 2007.  Bugsy has been a lot different than Rascal but is a nice dog in his own way.  We now don't remember Rascal as well as we used to but still talk about him sometimes.

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Rascal's Story as Initially Told on this Page

Rascal is our Miniature Schnauzer puppy.  We adopted him from the Schnauzer Rescue League.  He's a wonderful dog and loves everyone.  The first day we took him home, he came to us with a leash in his mouth.  He clearly wanted to go out.  It sure was nice to have one that started out house broken. 

Rascal campingHe started out chewing everything and grabbing things to get our attention.  We seem to be past that now since he gets a lot of attention anyway.  You still don't want to tempt him with a sock or napkin though.  The problem initially was that you couldn't catch him.  Whatever he had, he kept unless two people could get him cornered.

Doggie school was required so we took him.  The first night he met all the other dogs and barked most of the class.  The instructor shook her "penny shaker" at him.  That shut him up quickly.  His whole personality seemed to change for the better after that first night.  Apparently he started deciding that he wasn't totally in charge after all.  In the remainder of the classes, he's been a lot better.  If you tell him to "drop it", he will usually put whatever he has on the floor.  Unless its a sock or a napkin.  Those he's willing toRascal and Sue defend.

By the end of class, he improved some but not a lot.  He's fine at home but he is very distracted by the other dogs.  In his test, he got an A and two C's.  The A wasn't really his fault but good timing on Al's part.  He was told to sit and stay.  He did but briefly.  Al said Come as he saw Rascal getting up anyway.  At least he sat when he was told to.  All in all, though, he's much better than before the first class.

We took him on a football trip with us.  We stay in a rustic cabin that has a picnic table and fire circle.  We kept him on a leash long enough to let him explore while he was outside with us.  He doesn't even want to far because he seems to want to be with us.  That went so well, we took him camping.

Rascal and Sue on a rockI was a little nervous about how a camping trip would go.  As it turned out, he did very well.  No barking at people walking by.  No issues on a long hike we took.  At night, he slept on the air mattress and the night noises didn't bother him.  At the campsite, he mainly sat and listened to the new sounds and watched.  I think he liked it.

We've since been to more games and another camping trip.  He still really likes people.  Maybe too much.  He greats everyone with enthusiasm but not everyone wants to be greeted like that.  We're still working to improve on that.  We even had him in an inn that only allowed well-behaved dogs.  We were even to make that bluff work.