Tag Archives: miniature schnauzer

Barking back

Getting older sucks sometimes. Even for doggies.

My adorable little 8-pound schnauzer somehow hurt her back this week. Chloe quit using the stairs and was acting generally listless, but the tip-off that she threw out her back was when she yelped as she was doing an up-dog in her typical morning doggy yoga routine.

At just more than 5 years old, she is equivalent in dog years to National League Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey, who at 38 has mastered his knuckleball pitch for impressive results. And most days, Chloe has the energy to race me up the steps, demand visitors play fetch and chase squirrels in the back yard like she deserves some sort of accolades.

But this back pain is getting her down, and she’s spent the better part of the week lounging in her doggie bed and gulping down pain pills (yes, my Beloved broke down and brought her to the vet on Wednesday; for $120, the doctor shrugged her shoulders and agreed with our assessment that Chloe’s got a slipped disc or pinched nerve which is apparently common in small dogs).

The spine is an amazing creation that holds up the whole system, but one little thing out-of-place, and ouch! I can relate. Two weeks ago, after running 2.5 miles on the treadmill in the morning, I could hardly get in and out of the car in the afternoon; my back inexplicably tightened up in the space of a couple of hours.


Because I’m getting older. (That’ll teach me to skip my post-run stretch.)

Why is my normally frisky dog looking at me forlornly rather than spreading her dog toys from here to kingdom come?

Because she’s getting older.

Sucks sometimes.


It just figures

My dog is a canine vacuum. If there are crumbs on the floor, she finds them.

She’s picky though. Dirt? Leaves? Inedible detritus? Well, those remain on the floor until I sweep, mop or vacuum, but if there is food to be found, she’s on it.

So her bowl of food spills this afternoon, and there are kibbles and slimy bits of soft dog food strewn around, and where does her nose go? Into the empty bowl!

On any other day, she’d be gulping down human food on the floor she’s not supposed to be eating and here she is, surrounded by food made especially for her palate … and she’s licking an empty bowl.

Dumb dog. She’s a sweetheart. But she’s not winning any awards for timely mess rescues here.

Speaking of dogs with bad timing, did you see the Chicago White Sox didn’t make the playoffs?

8 pounds of sweet

Do you know pictures of dogs and babies make people happier?

OK, I don’t have a link to the scientific study, but I’m sure it must be true.

I’m working on a project purely for my own personal enjoyment, and I ran across this photo of my dog taken last Christmas.

And I just had to share.

It makes me happy, and I hope it makes you happy, too.

Absence makes the dog lover’s heart grow fonder

Chloe, the wonder dog. I wonder what she’s thinking.

She’s a sun worshiper, but she’ll never get burned.

My 8-pound miniature schnauzer has this adorable little habit of frolicking around on her back in the sunshine. Twist and turn, this way and that, as if she’s scratching an itch. Lately, she does it in the rare patch of green grass in our back yard, but here she’s doing it in one our big purple living room chairs.

I miss my little doggy so I dug this photo up from the archives. She’s been staying at my mother-in-law’s house this week while we traveled around in the Jeep with the open windows. As we transported her to Grandma’s house, I was terrified she would jump from my arms to the skull-crushing pavement; it was too stressful, so I’m glad we left her behind.

But I miss her and her wheezy little snooze by now.

Ramblers are death traps

OK, my headline my be overstating my case, but I got your attention.

People who sit all day and watch TV all night — even ones who run 35 miles a week — have a higher risk of heart disease than people who move around all day. Mayo Clinic cardiologist Martha Grogan told the radio program “Here & Now” that sitting for more than four hours a day gives you the same risk of a heart attack as smoking. (Click here for the story.)

Today’s news comes on the heels of yesterday’s “Fresh Air” interview with author and fitness expert Gretchen Reynolds who said just standing for 2 minutes every 20 minutes can improve your health.

“Sitting for long periods of time — when you don’t stand up, don’t move at all — tends to cause changes physiologically within your muscles,” Reynolds told “Fresh Air’s” Terry Gross. “You stop breaking up fat in your bloodstream, you start getting accumulations of fat … in your liver, your heart and your brain. You get sleepy. You gain weight. You basically are much less healthy than if you’re moving. … If you can stand up every 20 minutes — even if you do nothing else — you change how your body responds physiologically.” (Click here for the full story.)

Which leads to me to this unscientific, self-serving conclusion: Two-story houses — with lots of steps — have healthier occupants than residents of ramblers.

I prefer the appearance of two-story houses, and all the houses I’ve owned have had two stories. (Heck, I think three- or four-story houses are impressive — I just could never afford one of those.)

But presentation aside, two-story houses win on function, too. To my way of thinking, single-story ramblers are a sign of resignation to being lazy or getting old. I’m going  into old age kicking and screaming, and all that kicking and screaming turns out to be very good for my health.

With my Beloved now working from his home office in the basement and me working in a bedroom on the second floor (alternatively known on some of our address labels as Suite 4 and Suite 2), I take the steps many times a day. Sometimes, I take the steps just to take a break. Usually the break involves a snack (sometimes a lower-calorie hug), but still, I’m moving. Our little 8-pound schnauzer is in good shape, too, what with all the to-ing and fro-ing.

I’m not ready for a stand-up desk or a treadmill desk, but the news that even a little movement is better than none is compelling. Compelling me to stand up and take a walk.

What are you looking at? Get moving!

Shave and a haircut, two biscuits

Before the groomer, a shaggy dog:


And after the groomer, a pretty puppy again:


Sun worshipper

Surrounded by piles of receipts and tax records on the living room floor, I tackled the taxman’s demands this morning. I was preparing for an ominous meeting with our tax preparer on Tuesday (yes, my Beloved scheduled a romantic rendezvous over the tax code on Valentine’s Day).

The little bearded lady, meanwhile, was chasing the sun. From one chair to another,

she moved locations as a shaft of sun did. The best location, though, was down on the floor with me. And my paperwork.

Well, at least one of us enjoyed our Saturday morning.