“Taming of the Schnauzer”


“Petruchio: Come, come, you wasp; i’ faith, you are too angry.
Katherine: If I be waspish, best beware my sting.
Petruchio: My remedy is then, to pluck it out.
Katherine: Ay, if the fool could find where it lies.
Petruchio: Who knows not where a wasp does wear his sting? In his tail.
Katherine: In his tongue.
Petruchio: Whose tongue?
Katherine: Yours, if you talk of tails: and so farewell.
Petruchio: What, with my tongue in your tail? Nay, come again, Good Kate; I am a gentleman.”

In the mid-1970’s, Mom and Dad traveled to Janesville, Iowa and adopted a schnauzer puppy that we named Katie, or as her AKC papers read, “Katherine of Aragon” (I know, self-appointed fact checkers will insist that it is spelled “Catherine”, but WIKI and history will show that Henry the 8th’s first wife also spelled her name with a “K”, so there!).  And Mom got the “Aragon” from “Dargan”, her maiden name.  She believed that somehow, we were related to Katherine, or Catherine of Aragon, but she had no proof….just family folklore.  (We also are supposed to have French and Spanish blood somewhere way back in the family tree, and at one time, there was a myth that the Maruska’s —Grandma’s maiden name—were Jewish, but that story doesn’t pan out when scrutinized)

Anyway, I am more convinced more than ever, after having read the stories of other Miniature Schnauzer

A black-and-silver Miniature Schnauzer named M...

A black-and-silver Miniature Schnauzer named Mattie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

owners that members of  this breed that the Schnauzer breed has the unique characteristic of communicating telepathically to other schnauzers in a 50 mile radius at 2 AM and they all gather at a local Denny’s or other coffee house and drink enough coffee to keep Folger’s and Maxwell House in the black for the next millennium!

I will never understand some of Katie’s idiosyncrasies, but as far as I’m concerned, if she could have talked and carry on a conversation, I’m pretty sure that a psychiatrist would have made a case study on her.

One of my favorite games that I loved to play with Kate was the “Daddy’s Home” game….Katie could be sound asleep, and I could just say the words, “Daddy’s Home”  or sometimes, just “Daddy”, (or, “Mommy”) and she would be on all fours and in full attention in 0.005 seconds, and running up to the back window and wait for Mom or Dad to come walking up the back sidewalk, and she would be ballistic and would want to be let out of the house immediately.  Or, there was she “Sammy” game  “Sammy was a generic name that mom gave to all squirrels….Same scenario, but instead of uttering “Daddy” or “Mommy”, I would say, “Sammy!”, and I got the same results

“Sammy”

After coming home one day from running errands, we all entered the house to find that the phone was knocked off the hook, and you could hear the dial tone from way in the kitchen.  We searched the house for clues…nothing…no break in, Thank God….

…Well, this went on for several more times, and then I got the idea that Katie was the instigator….I go an idea on how to catch her in the act….

I ran upstairs and got Mom’s binoculars, then grabbed the cordless phone, and then opened the Levolor blinds on the living room windows, and instructed Mom and Dad to not answer the phone under any circumstances for the next 3-5 minutes….

Now, back in those days, before the break up of Ma Bell, if you wanted to make your own phone ring, you substituted “99” in place of the first two digits, and that is what I did….I ran across the street with the cordless phone and binoculars and made the call… and waited….Ran across the street and stood in Meyerhoff’s front yard with binoculars aimed at the east living room window….

…Sure enough, Katie thought that she was left alone in the house…and when the phone rang, she ran for it, bit the receiver, and pulled the damned thing off the hook!

Too Cute!

From that day on, whenever we left the house, we made darn sure that the phone was in a place where Katie could not get to—Problem solved!

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