Vincent – a dog tale

Vincent is our 95% Schnauzer and 5% something else dog. He came to us kind of accidentally. Our next door neighbor is Lucy. Her oldest son, Colby, is best friends with Jacob. Jacob’s father had made a trip to the animal shelter and brought Vincent home when he was 8 weeks old. Vinnie has a breeder tattoo on the inside of his leg. Obviously, the breeder was upset because there was a break in the purebred cycle. The litter of puppies had been dumped off at the shelter. Jacob’s father had Vinnie for a couple of weeks and then Jacob’s father passed away.

Lucy took care of Vinnie during the funeral and wake. A week passed and finally Lucy asked Jacob if anyone was coming to pick the puppy up. Jacob’s mother didn’t want him and the maid didn’t want the responsibility. So, Lucy called me and asked if I would go with her to take the puppy back to the animal shelter.

We already had two dogs. One was a high maintenance, totally neurotic mini-dachshund, riddled with separation anxiety and pancreatitis. Harley was eating prescription dog food as well as constantly being treated for back injuries, allergic reactions, unexplained seizures and a heart murmur. The other dog, Sydney, was a dachshund mix with the most precious face and perfect disposition. Our household was extremely busy and I was the only member with patience enough to take care of the dogs. I absolutely could not and would not participate in taking the little black puppy to the pound. I told Lucy to bring him over to our house.

Vinnie was now about 12 weeks old. He had a very tiny body and long lanky legs, curly black hair and a little head. We had no idea what he was or how big he would get. I almost named him after my prospective divorce attorney! It would definitely be the end of a long-term marriage if this dog was half Mastiff and half Basset hound.

The vet took one look at Vinnie and immediately stated he was definitely a Schnauzer but with a round jaw instead of a square one. As previously stated, someone back in the lineage stepped out for a fling one evening. I remember looking at that little 5 pound dog and trying to imagine him turning into a Schnauzer!

Vincent’s appearance changed into a Schnauzer at about 6 months of age. His face changed dramatically, resembling the Star Wars character, Chubaka. Vince’s first trip to the groomers did not fare very well because he exhibited anxiety while getting his hair cut. Is it me? Why are my dogs nuts, except for precious Sydney? Needless to say, Vinnie’s photo hangs at the groomers’ reception desk with a sign simply stating, “no longer welcome here”. Because he is uncooperative and looked like he had been shaved into a Schnauzer with a lawnmower. His appearance now is constant bed head.

Vincent, named for art and not a divorce attorney, turned out to be Mr. Personality. He is the happiest dog on the planet. Devotion and eagerness to please are his focus in life.

The purpose of this blog entry is to urge people to pay attention to and care for their dogs. Abuse is intolerable. Ignoring them is just as bad. If you don’t have the time to interact and truly get to know them, please find someone who will.

Shelters are full of dogs like Vincent. Please know the amount of  responsibility and patience it will take to open your home to a dog or puppy. Words can not describe the gifts you will receive in return for letting one into your heart.




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