A Crafter Needs to Eat, Guest Blogger, Miniature Schnauzer Musings

Guest Post: John, Project Man (Part II)

This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer guest posting as Tierney has been taking too long to write Part II of this two part series of posts that began with John, Project Man (Part I). Okay it’s only been a couple of days but Miniature Schnauzers are an impatient breed in general so it’s my nature.

So I opened up the laptop and got to work:

Ready to fill in for lazy Tierney

Yes, John has been busy on projects, and I would prefer he follow my lead and do something like this:

The perfect “hobby”

He won’t listen to me about napping instead of remodeling, so I’ve had to spend a lot of time at home improvement stores supervising him:

I need to charge an hourly dog biscuit wage for all this work

So Tierney and John got it in their heads that they needed to remodel the basement bathroom, which is also the main guest bathroom for pesky humans that visit us.

And then they decided that they should also replace all the toilets in the house as they are the original toilets from when the house was built.

I am unclear why they would want to waste their money on new toilets as we have a perfect good backyard to take a pee in like I do.

And if they need to poop they could just follow my lead and do it on my twice a day walks.

But I am not going to carry around their poop bags like they do for me – ew! (What is wrong with humans, why are they always collecting my poop and carrying it around in little baggies on our walks – what are their plans with it?!??!)

I know the answer…

We have a lot of pesky humans scheduled to visit us in the near future, so last weekend they worked on remodeling the bathroom (I used the term “they” loosely as it appeared Tierney was only in charge of snacks).

Here is John removing the old tile floor:

Take that floor!

I stayed away from this as he was making a lot of noise and creating a lot of dust.

Instead I did this on his behalf:

These naps aren’t for me, they are for John so he can live vicariously…

Tierney did not bother taking step by step remodeling photos (there goes her career as a home remodeling Instagram influencer) but here are some photos of what it looked like with a new floor, new toilet (waste of money), new lighting, new fixtures (whatever that means, dogs don’t care about “fixtures”), and new shower curtain:

John has his bar near the bathroom and collects nice whiskeys as a hobby, and so they went with a whiskey themed bathroom. The shower curtain according to Tierney is a reproduction of the original “whiskey still” patent (whatever the heck that means, humans are so weird).

They also took photos that John took in 2019 when he went on a Kentucky Bourbon tour with his friends, converted them to black & white photos, enlarged them, and then framed them as art for the bathroom:

They were pretty pleased with themselves when the project was done.

Tierney did mention that her fantasy would have been to just gut (that sounds painful) the whole bathroom and do a nice tiled walk in shower but that was too expensive an option. But they are happy with the small amount of money they spent (they wasted) on the remodel.

When John is not doing remodeling projects, he is doing his other favorite hobby: cooking.

Here he is in the kitchen making my favorite of their human meals – pizza! I like when they (using the word “they” loosely again as Tierney is in charge of getting pizza making supplies out of the refrigerator only) make it because sometimes a little cheese will fall on the floor, and they always give me a piece of their pizza crusts!

John always makes a pizza for my Grandpa (John’s Dad who I visit all the time) who lives nearby; and my human brother (John’s son) and his family, whenever he makes pizza. It’s like he supplies pizza to 1/2 the neighborhood!

So this closes out the series of posts on “John, Project Man”.

Now I have to get back to my very important project:

If you’d like to read more of my musings, they are all under this blog post category: Miniature Schnauzer Musings.

Guest Blogger, Miniature Schnauzer Musings

Guest Blogger: Ladies Please Control Yourselves…

This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer that lives with Tierney and John. I see that pesky Beastie has had like 4 guest blog posts recently; and it is time for me to have one. (Plus I am a REAL miniature schnauzer, I am tired of that allegedly cute little fake miniature schnauzer – Mikelet.)

Last time I did a guest blog post for Tierney, I wrote about how Tierney and John tried to scare me to death in the post Guest Blog Post: How to Completely Terrify Your Miniature Schnauzer. And before that I wrote about some of my adventures as Dog Camp: Guest Blogger: What Happens at Dog Camp, Stays at Dog Camp.

In my Dog Camp post, I shared my challenges of being EXTREMELY popular at the Dog Camp I attend whenever my humans go out of town (though occasionally I stay with John’s Dad who refers to me as “his dog” even though he now has a miniature schnauzer puppy living with him).

The Dog Camp is only for smaller dogs and I am always surrounded by the little female dogs that attend camp for daily dog daycare or are boarders when their humans go out of town like mine.

Recently I spent a stint at Dog Camp when my humans went to Chicago and oh my goodness – from the minute I arrived the ladies went crazy!

The human that runs Dog Camp took this video and my human Tierney uploaded it to YouTube so you can see what happened the moment I arrived at Dog Camp!

Ladies, there is only one of me, calm down!

I am so glad to be back home and take a break from the ladies. I am neutered but it still does not matter, they all follow me around!

It is not all “Mike-stalking” by the female dogs at Dog Camp, I did also have time to play lots of ball with my buddies there:

Guest Blogger, Miniature Schnauzer Musings, Outside Adventures!

Guest Blog Post: How to Completely Terrify Your Miniature Schnauzer

Well it’s time for one of her guest bloggers to step in, as Tierney has disappeared from the blogging world for some time now due to “Hooman Life Distractions“.

I recently learned us dogs are supposed to refer to our Humans as “Hoomans” courtesy of looking at too many dog postings on Instagram. I guess they feel dogs are not very literate? Nah, I am going to keep called them “Humans”, as you can see I am literate enough to write guest blog posts.

In case you have not guessed it, this is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer here to fill in for Tierney and do a blog post.

Here to fill in (though it takes away from my nap time)

If you are new to this blog, I fill in from time to time and here are a couple samplings of my previous posts:

Guest Blogger: What Happens at Dog Camp, Stays at Dog Camp

Guest Blogger: Happy in My Box

Guest Blogger: Obsession with Making Crocheted Dishcloths

Once you recover your awe from the brilliant writing by a 12 year old Miniature Schnauzer in the links above, you can continue on with this post.

I am not sure if my Humans Tierney and her partner John will like this post, because I am going to tell you of how they attempted to COMPLETELY TERRIFY me by taking me on a day trip to Seven Falls in Colorado Springs, Colorado and making a death-defying vertical climb up the scariest stairs I’ve ever seen, with me in a backpack!

Here we are at Seven Falls before the terror started:

When I thought it was just a fun day out with the Humans…

Seven Falls, according to the Broadmoor’s website (yes Miniature Schnauzers are capable of online research, duh) Colorado Springs Seven Falls, is Colorado’s most majestic waterfall.

The only waterfall in the state on National Geographic’s list of International Waterfalls, and often called “The Grandest Mile of Scenery in Colorado,” Seven Falls is situated in a 1,250-foot-wall box canyon between the towering Pillars of Hercules. Take in stunning valleys, striking rock formations and golden prairies as you climb the challenging 224 steps to the hiking trails and the banks of glistening streams that feed the falls, and its 181-foot drop of falling water.

Did you notice the phrase in the quote above: “as you climb the challenging 224 steps…”? To me it seemed like they were climbing 224,000 steps to get to the top as I was looking our the backpack on the back of John’s back.

Here is the photo my Human Tierney took (she caught the photo during a moment that I had turned my head to take a break from the terror I was looking at below):

Why are they making me endure this? I was perfectly happy looking at the scenery from ground level

Oh! My Human Tierney just walked in while I am working on this post, and is now insisting that I share more photos from this day trip to show the climb was worth it.

My guest blog post writing is being interrupted by an irritating Human

Although I don’t agree, here are a bunch of random photos from our day trip to Seven Falls. Just know the photos I like the best are the one’s taken on the ground before the crazy climb, even if the Humans think the climb was worth it!

All I see when I look at these photos are rocks, rocks and more rocks. But the Humans seem to enjoy the scenery in Colorado.

Here is the scenery I really enjoyed: after we climbed back down the 224 steps (and the Humans’ legs were like jello), we found a nice place to have a picnic before heading home:

Now we are talking about beautiful scenery!

And here I am trying to convince the Humans that I’ve earned a sampling of their food:

Me, me, me, me, me!

So that’s the end of my story, here I am putting the finishing touches on this guest blog post:

I know I can edit this post better than my Human Tierney does her posts…

You will hear from my Human Tierney again after she catches up reading her blogging buddies posts (and she’s let them go too long without reading). Hope she gets her act together!

Guest Blogger, Miniature Schnauzer Musings

Guest Blogger: What Happens at Dog Camp, Stays at Dog Camp

This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer that manages Tierney and her partner John (who I will refer too as “the humans”), guest blogging for this post.

I borrowed Tierney’s laptop to write my post

I heard the other guest blogger that lives in my house, the tierneycreates Beastie, was going to be posting soon and I wanted to get my post in before hers. She is the one with that fake schnauzer “Mikelet”. I cannot believe the humans named him after me.

Only one real schnauzer in this house!

But we don’t need to discuss our guest blogger rivalry, I do not want to interfere with your enjoyment of my excellent post.

So if you’ve been following my female human’s blog, you’ve noticed that she’s been up to a lot of traveling since late Spring. You might wonder what becomes of me when she and the male human go out of town (or into “storage”, see post “Human Storage” and Airport Lore).

Well I go to Dog Camp.

A couple years ago the humans found a family who only watches small dogs (the best kind in my opinion) at their home; and they live near us.

I really like Dog Camp because they throw the ball for me as much as I want, there are lots of fur people my size there, and they give me special treats with my meals such as mashed sweet potatoes and chicken.

But what I really like are all the cute little female dogs to hang out with there. I am a single (and yes neutered) guy and I like hanging out with the girl dogs, what can I say.

Now personally I believe that: “what happens at dog camp, stays at dog camp”, but the lady who runs Dog Camp, keeps taking photos of my exploits and sending them to the humans! Is there no privacy??!?!

Since the humans already know, I thought I would share some of the photos and video from previous dog camps. I sort of have a thing for cream-colored girl dogs and here are a couple of my girlfriends from previous dog camps:

But sometimes the girls go a little crazy over me (which is understandable) as in this incident below captured by the female human that manages Dog Camp:

Ladies – there is enough of me to go around – stay calm!

But that is enough, I have to keep some secrets from Dog Camp.

My male human is trying to help me fend off the girl dogs by going incognito with some shades for next time:


Guest Blogger, Miniature Schnauzer Musings

Guest Blogger: Happy in My Box

Hi this is Mike, the Miniature Schnauzer that lives with Tierney of tierneycreates and her partner John.

I saw that the tierneycreates Beastie did a guest blog post, so I wanted to do one too.

Since you last heard from me (see February 2021 post Guest Blogger: Obsession with Making Crocheted Dishcloths), I’ve been busy overseeing remodeling projects by my human John, just like in the post from 2020 Guest Blog Post: A Whole Lot of Remodeling Going On.

I spend a lot of time in home improvement stores (Lowe’s and Home Depot) and I love riding in John’s truck as his co-pilot:

He always has my box ready to go behind the seats, which I ride in whenever I am in a home improvement store helping him select the next round of home remodeling supplies:

(Note, I’ve gotten a summer haircut recently and look less shaggy)

I’ve met a lot of staff and customers while riding around in my box in home improvement stores, and the other day John wheeled me in via the shopping cart into Home Depot and heard “Hi Mike!”

It was one of the cashiers greeting me as I went by! They remember my name.

Same thing happened that day when he had to go to a different home improvement store.

I am sort of a local celebrity!

John and I have been working on sprucing up the backyard. I oversaw his installation of pavers under a bench that Tierney found on clearance to place under the large Aspen trees in the backyard; his installation of pavers under their new backyard swing; and his building of a privacy screen for the backyard patio area.

I was pretty exhausted after all that work!

Guest Blogger, Miniature Schnauzer Musings

Guest Blogger: Obsession with Making Crocheted Dishcloths

This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer who lives with the human Tierney.

I am overdue for a haircut so I currently have the constant “bed-head” look

I was reading Tierney’s posts (yes Miniature Schnauzers can read, duh) and I was wondering how she was going to keep up her current practice of daily posting to her blog (since February 11, 2021).

I guess she’s trying to make up for taking a several week break from blogging…

She was having difficulty getting motivated today and I don’t want to break the streak, so I offered to guest blog for today’s post.

You’ve probably read some of my other previous guest blog posts like The Inpatient Schnauzer: Update on the Granny Square Afghan (Guest Blogger), and Guest Blog Post: A Whole Lot of Remodeling Going On; and was highly impressed by how well I write without opposable thumbs, so I suggested to Tierney that I treat you to another sample of my writing.

Aren’t you lucky!

Miniature Schnauzers are very confident in their abilities even if they are sorely in need of a haircut

I thought I would combine discussing a crafting project and me (as it is important that I am one of the main features of this post) for this post.

Obsession with Crocheted Cotton Dishcloths

For years Tierney has a huge stash of cotton yarn that a friend gave her over 20 years ago:

A small sampling of the large stash

Well Tierney decided a couple of months ago that it was time to do something with this stash. She needed new dishcloths in the kitchen, so why not crochet them herself out of her old stash of cotton yarn? Additionally it was a great portable project when in the car or waiting around, etc.

She put together a little zippered bag of yarn, crochet needles and supplies:

She’s been taking this bag everywhere with her, especially on car rides, and I am not sure I like this.

Why? Because when she is the car her primary responsibility is to pet and cuddle me while the car is moving.

Instead, I’ve had to cuddle with the yarn:

Sigh, resorting to cuddling with yarn instead of getting the head rubs I need and deserve

Also she has mocked me with the yarn and placed it on my head while crocheting as if I were some live furry yarn holder!

Absolutely humiliating! (and unacceptable)

Finally, I’d had enough and resorted to just cuddling with the dishcloth she was working on to block her progress and make her re-evaluate her priorities!

Choose me – I am more adorable than a dishcloth!!!!

She did laugh and stop crocheting to love on me (how could she have refused?)

She even had me pose for some selfies in the car with her but as you can see I am still a little perturbed that I was ignored for part of the car ride:

I am sure in time I will emotionally heal.

Oh I should probably close this post with an image of what the washcloths look like completed and you will see on the left one actually in action (wet from being used to washed dishes!)

Wait. I think I hear you all saying that you wished another image of me would close this post. Your wish is granted – here I am finishing up the post. Hopefully my human will get her act together for tomorrow’s post.

And to schedule me for a desperately needed haircut!

Guest Blogger, Knit and Crochet Away!, Miniature Schnauzer Musings

The Inpatient Schnauzer: Update on the Granny Square Afghan (Guest Blogger)

My Human is Too Slow!

This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer who lives with Tierney of tierneycreates. I am guest blogging on this post as you may have noticed Tierney has not blogged in a while and someone has to keep you updated…at least on my frustration.

If you saw this post like 3 weeks ago (maybe less, Schnauzers are not great with their perception of time) Update on the “Granny Square Madness”, she has been working on (like forever…or “fur-ever” as we say in canine) on a granny square afghan after teaching herself to make one via videos on YouTube.

Well I’ve been waiting a long time for it to be finished and I am getting very impatient!

(First I need to tell you that afghans and other cozy blankets are the “natural habitat” of Miniature Schnauzers)

I first fell in love with the afghan when it was just a couple of square she had made:

2020-09-04_12-50-53_047

Then she made more squares and my love of this afghan kept growing and I would sneak in to lay on them whenever I could:

2020-10-12_14-08-10_919

A Partial Afghan Will Do…I Guess…

Now that she finished 90 granny square blocks, she is SLOWLY (at least in the Schnauzer-Time-Space-Continuum perception) putting the afghan together.

And I cannot wait.

I’ve begun nesting in it, while it is in assembly, any time she steps away from it:

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I’ve even begun nesting in it while she is working on attaching the blocks together (note the crochet hook on the lower left):

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She’s tried to appease me by wrapping me in it, but I am not fooled:

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Do I look “appeased”?!?!? Nope. I want a finished afghan.

Unfortunately she only has 3 rows together and has 7 more rows to add:

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Unacceptable.

She has a system on the guest room bed where she has stacked the individual blocks for each granny square row (so I won’t topple over the rows and mess up her order like I was doing when they were laid out on the living room floor):

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She says she is working on it as fast as she can but has this full-time job thing going on and other life activities (poor excuses).

Absolutely Not Appeased

I know I mentioned somewhere in this post that a partial afghan might do but on further thought it does not. I want to nap in the full completed thing!

Here are some photos of me “not appeased” to close out this post: 

2020-11-02_11-56-32_0322020-11-02_11-56-35_0162020-11-02_11-56-36_875

Now get to work Human!

From the Woodshop, Guest Blogger, Miniature Schnauzer Musings

Guest Blog Post: A Whole Lot of Remodeling Going On

Recently I’ve had several guest bloggers on my tierneycreates blog – Wendy Hill (a human) with her series on her Quarantine Quilt collaboration (see link Quarantine Quilts for all the posts); and the tierneycreates Beastie (non human, monster) announcing her new Beastie partner (see link Beastie Adventures for all her posts).

Well Mike the Miniature Schnauzer (non-human, canine) was feeling a little irritated that he had not been invited to guest blog. So I guess it is his turn…


A Whole Lot of Remodeling Going On

Hello Bloglandia.

This is Mike the Miniature Schnauzer. I am dictating this post as although I might secretly have opposable thumbs that would allow me to type for myself, I like to keep certain things secret from my humans.

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I am Mike and I am a Miniature Schnauzer the smartest dog breed imaginable (maybe)

It’s my turn to do a guest blog post! My adopted sister Sassy (who passed in December 2017) used to have her own blog, Schnauzer Snips: Musings from a Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer. I am not asking for my own blog, just to be invited to guest blog once in a while so you can read about life from a Miniature Schnauzer’s perspective.

I am a rescue (I rescued my humans from life without me) and if you’d like to read my story it is on this post – Taking Chances: The Mike Hogan Chronicles (re-post). I lost one of my humans (male human, Terry) suddenly in December 2018 but my female human (Tierney) and I have been making the best of our new life in the metropolitan Denver Colorado area since April 2019 (see series of posts Colorado Bound).

I now have the new male human in my life (John) nearly fully managed as you will see later in this post.

I’ve been spending a lot of time at home improvement stores during the pandemic. My humans have been working on a lot of remodeling projects and I am trying to supervise them as best I can.

2020-08-06_19-33-02_390Back in late March/start of April 2020 my humans made the decision not to move to a new house they were going to buy and instead to stay in their current abode (see post Perspective) due to the initial financial crisis in the early days of the pandemic.

Staying in their current residence meant fixing it up so that both humans were happy with it and it met their needs.

For my female human, that meant redoing her studio (see post Guest Blogger: tierneycreates’ “New” Studio Tour); and for my male human it meant building a workshop for his woodworking in the daylight basement:

2020-07-08_16-05-22_7772020-08-07_08-07-02_0832020-08-07_08-07-06_936His workshop is still a work in progress but he is very happy to now have his own “playroom” like my female human!

So you might ask – what did it mean for me? Well it meant lots of trips to home improvement stores for supplies.

Sometimes on my male human’s back:

2020-06-15_11-05-29_5162020-06-15_11-07-03_5522020-06-15_11-07-06_9512020-06-15_11-10-59_046And sometimes in the shopping cart:

2020-07-19_16-22-13_3132020-07-19_16-22-15_4622020-07-19_16-24-29_4482020-08-06_19-33-05_305I know, I know, you just can’t get enough of the cute photos of me in a shopping cart. Unfortunately my female human said we have to limit the photos to only four (4) because she has to protect her digital storage allotment on her blog (sigh).

The humans also did a lot of “fixing things” in the house to include dangerous high altitude ceiling fan installation:

2020-03-01_13-29-53_037Yes that is a ladder, on top of scaffolding. Looks pretty safe to me (NOT!)

My male human even figured out during the early days of the pandemic how to fix their dryer himself by watching YouTube videos and ordering parts:

2020-03-28_09-24-51_903He also completely redid the garage, drywalling it in, painting it and installing shelves:

2020-05-09_15-33-57_714He also built bookcases in the front room to create our “home library” as my female human mentioned in this post – The Library Book and the Home Library. In this post she promised to share updated photos (and forgot), so I guess it is up to me to make sure you see how the room turned out:

2020-06-25_09-17-13_9932020-08-06_20-35-44_710Most recently he added in a shelf behind our living room TV to distract your eye from the fact the flat screen TV is in front on an alcove (circa early 2000s) for a large deep TV. This was my female human’s idea from looking at too much Instagram home decorating feeds!

2020-08-08_17-36-32_5002020-08-11_07-55-48_819I am sure there were a lot more home remodeling projects that occurred over the past four (4) months but this is all I can remember since I was sleeping through many of them.

schnausleep
Trying to block out all the remodeling noise and get some sleep!


Postscript

When I am not overseeing the humans while they complete their home remodeling projects, I am going on bike rides. I appear to have convinced my human John to ride me around on his back in addition to carrying or shopping-cart-driving me around stores!

Here we are headed out for a bike ride and then on a bike ride (in the second photo my female human Tierney is behind us dangerously taking photos while bike riding…)

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A Crafter's Life, Miniature Schnauzer Musings

Taking Chances: The Mike Hogan Chronicles (re-post)

In honor of Friday August 26 being “National Dog Day” and in celebration of Mike’s 2  year anniversary with us, here is a re-posting of a post from 11/27/15:


Making a decision whether to “take a chance” on something or someone, is part of life. We all face  decisions on whether to take chances related to work, family, relationships, finances, environment, career, artistic endeavors and so forth.  Most of the time there is no guarantee that the chance we are taking is the right one to take.

Even the most evaluated, considered and researched “chance” requires an element of risk and an element of faith that it will work out. Otherwise it would not be “a chance”, it would be “a certain”.

In September 2014 I took a chance that required a very large element of risk and faith, and that chance’s name is Mike Hogan. 

(Usually any posts about the miniature schnauzers are done on Sassy the Highly Opinionated Schnauzer’s page Schnauzer Snips, but she gave me permission to post on this topic.)

Meeting “Cujo”

For nearly 24 years we have adopted miniature schnauzers from rescue organizations. Our first miniature schnauzer, Kerie, was from a rescue organization in Houston Texas, where we volunteered as Caring Critters Animal Assisted Therapy Volunteers, visiting health care facilities, residential homes, and shelters with animals to foster the human-animal bond.

After our first rescued miniature schnauzer, we were addicted to the breed. Kerie passed away after we had moved to the Pacific NW, and we adopted our next rescued miniatures schnauzers (two brothers, Fritz and Snickers) through Miniature Schnauzer Rescue, Inc. and all future rescued miniature schnauzers.

In July 2014, after losing the second of the two miniature schnauzer brothers we had adopted from Miniature Schnauzer Rescue, and applying for another rescued dog from the organization, we were contacted about a miniature schnauzer “Michael” that needed a new home.

Michael was a troubled rescue – surrendered by his family due to excessive nuisance barking and aggression. We first met Michael at the end of July 2014 at his foster parents’ home. After meeting him, I nicknamed him “Cujo” (yes, after the terrifying rabid dog from the Stephen King book and movie), I  gave an apologetic but firm “NO” on adopting Michael.

To summarize his behavior when I first me him: He was insane.  My husband Terry however saw something in Michael and was willing to give him a chance but I quickly talked him out of it.

Alright, You Can Come Home with Us

In September 2014, we were contacted by the rescue organization asking us if we would reconsider adopting Michael (they were persistent!). He had been living between two foster homes (Michael needed to be shared!) and the rescue organization had brought in an animal behaviorist to work with him. I am not sure what convinced me to say yes to meeting with Michael (aka “Cujo”) again but I did.

When we met Michael again in September 2014, he was a bit calmer and we could see the good work his foster parents, in two different homes, had done with him. He was still territorial and moderately insane. I had a lot of hesitancy but my husband Terry felt strongly that Michael needed to come home with us, and I agreed to give Michael a chance. (My primary fear was that Michael, with all his territorial issues, would not fit into our very social lifestyle).

When we loaded Michael into our car, he became very quiet and calm on the ride home to our house. He seemed like a different dog once he got into our car. He got along well with our other rescue dog Sassy on the ride home.

The first couple of months with Michael were challenging – he had anxiety issues, engaged in plenty of nuisance barking, had leash aggression and was very territorial to anyone trying to come into our house. He even chewed on one of my quilts (it was an old quilt and I was able to repair it but it was very upsetting and I was worried for the other quilts around the house).

My husband Terry was very patient with him. We spent a lot of time working with him and renamed him “Mike Hogan”. (He appears to love his new name “Mike Hogan” and his tail goes wild whenever we say it.)

One of the Great Loves of My Life

It is now 14 months later and Mike Hogan is now one of the great loves of my life (as are all my dogs). He is still territorial at times (though we are now able to have friends over without him being too insane as well as bring him over friends’ houses); he still has a bit of leash aggression and he still likes to bark.

These things do not matter as he is the most loving, cuddly, sweet dog I have had in my entire life. Every night I go to sleep snuggled to him and every morning I wake up to him nestled against me. He insists on sharing my pillow with me. He is obsessed with my husband Terry, and I refer to Mike as “Terry’s Fan Club President”. He is also very sweet to his adopted miniature schnauzer sister, Sassy, who we got a year before Mike.

Mike Hogan now knows quilts are for napping and snuggling in, not chewing. He appeared to sense how upset I was when he chewed on my quilt when we had first adopted him. He is attuned with our moods and seems to want to make us or keep us happy. He continues to struggle with wanting to protect his home and his people versus being open to meeting strangers and giving them a chance. He has learned to trust us: if we act like someone is okay, then they just might be okay!

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One of the things I did with Mike Hogan during the early days of adopting him is continually tell him “you are safe” and “we are your forever home”. You can debate whether or not you believe dogs understand human language but in my heart I feel he heard me.

He obviously suffered from anxiety, as confirmed by a veterinarian friend of mine, and by continually making him feel safe and loved, he settled down. I cannot imagine not having adopted Mike Hogan, he was a chance well taken! (I am forever grateful to the volunteers at Miniature Schnauzer Rescue who encouraged us to revisit giving him a chance).

Living with fear stops us from taking risks, and if you don’t go out on the branch, you’re never going to get the best fruit. – Sarah Parish

By the way, I now lovingly call Mike Hogan my “sweet little Cujo”…

A Crafter's Life, Miniature Schnauzer Musings

Taking Chances: The Mike Hogan Chronicles

Making a decision whether to “take a chance” on something or someone, is part of life. We all face  decisions on whether to take chances related to work, family, relationships, finances, environment, career, artistic endeavors and so forth.  Most of the time there is no guarantee that the chance we are taking is the right one to take.

Even the most evaluated, considered and researched “chance” requires an element of risk and an element of faith that it will work out. Otherwise it would not be “a chance”, it would be “a certain”.

In September 2014 I took a chance that required a very large element of risk and faith, and that chance’s name is Mike Hogan.

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Meeting “Cujo”

For nearly 24 years we have adopted miniature schnauzers from rescue organizations. Our first miniature schnauzer, Kerie, was from a rescue organization in Houston Texas, where we volunteered as Caring Critters Animal Assisted Therapy Volunteers, visiting health care facilities, residential homes, and shelters with animals to foster the human-animal bond.

After our first rescued miniature schnauzer, we were addicted to the breed. Kerie passed away after we had moved to the Pacific NW, and we adopted our next rescued miniatures schnauzers (two brothers, Fritz and Snickers) through Miniature Schnauzer Rescue, Inc. and all future rescued miniature schnauzers.

In July 2014, after losing the second of the two miniature schnauzer brothers we had adopted from Miniature Schnauzer Rescue, and applying for another rescued dog from the organization, we were contacted about a miniature schnauzer “Michael” that needed a new home.

Michael was a troubled rescue – surrendered by his family due to excessive nuisance barking and aggression. We first met Michael at the end of July 2014 at his foster parents’ home. After meeting him, I nicknamed him “Cujo” (yes, after the terrifying rabid dog from the Stephen King book and movie), I  gave an apologetic but firm “NO” on adopting Michael.

To summarize his behavior when I first me him: He was insane.  My husband Terry however saw something in Michael and was willing to give him a chance but I quickly talked him out of it.

Alright, You Can Come Home with Us

In September 2014, we were contacted by the rescue organization asking us if we would reconsider adopting Michael (they were persistent!). He had been living between two foster homes (Michael needed to be shared!) and the rescue organization had brought in an animal behaviorist to work with him. I am not sure what convinced me to say yes to meeting with Michael (aka “Cujo”) again but I did.

When we met Michael again in September 2014, he was a bit calmer and we could see the good work his foster parents, in two different homes, had done with him. He was still territorial and moderately insane. I had a lot of hesitancy but my husband Terry felt strongly that Michael needed to come home with us, and I agreed to give Michael a chance. (My primary fear was that Michael, with all his territorial issues, would not fit into our very social lifestyle).

When we loaded Michael into our car, he became very quiet and calm on the ride home to our house. He seemed like a different dog once he got into our car. He got along well with our other rescue dog Sassy on the ride home.

The first couple of months with Michael were challenging – he had anxiety issues, engaged in plenty of nuisance barking, had leash aggression and was very territorial to anyone trying to come into our house. He even chewed on one of my quilts (it was an old quilt and I was able to repair it but it was very upsetting and I was worried for the other quilts around the house).

My husband Terry was very patient with him. We spent a lot of time working with him and renamed him “Mike Hogan”. (He appears to love his new name “Mike Hogan” and his tail goes wild whenever we say it.)

One of the Great Loves of My Life

It is now 14 months later and Mike Hogan is now one of the great loves of my life (as are all my dogs). He is still territorial at times (though we are now able to have friends over without him being too insane as well as bring him over friends’ houses); he still has a bit of leash aggression and he still likes to bark.

These things do not matter as he is the most loving, cuddly, sweet dog I have had in my entire life. Every night I go to sleep snuggled to him and every morning I wake up to him nestled against me. He insists on sharing my pillow with me. He is obsessed with my husband Terry, and I refer to Mike as “Terry’s Fan Club President”. He is also very sweet to his adopted miniature schnauzer sister, Sassy, who we got a year before Mike.

Mike Hogan now knows quilts are for napping and snuggling in, not chewing. He appeared to sense how upset I was when he chewed on my quilt when we had first adopted him. He is attuned with our moods and seems to want to make us or keep us happy. He continues to struggle with wanting to protect his home and his people versus being open to meeting strangers and giving them a chance. He has learned to trust us: if we act like someone is okay, then they just might be okay!

One of the things I did with Mike Hogan during the early days of adopting him is continually tell him “you are safe” and “we are your forever home”. You can debate whether or not you believe dogs understand human language but in my heart I feel he heard me.

He obviously suffered from anxiety, as confirmed by a veterinarian friend of mine, and by continually making him feel safe and loved, he settled down. I cannot imagine not having adopted Mike Hogan, he was a chance well taken! (I am forever grateful to the volunteers at Miniature Schnauzer Rescue who encouraged us to revisit giving him a chance).

Living with fear stops us from taking risks, and if you don’t go out on the branch, you’re never going to get the best fruit. – Sarah Parish

By the way, I now lovingly call Mike Hogan my “sweet little Cujo”…