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19 June 2011 / leggypeggy

Bad news Aggie—you aren’t German

Aggie (Agadore Spartacus) with the birthmark on his tongue

Aggie, our standard schnauzer, has always been proud of his German heritage. For starters, he loves sausages and regularly steals any unattended sausages from the dining table or kitchen bench. He loves chocolate and ice cream too. It once cost me $166.70 at the vet’s to get a 300-gram of dark Lindt chocolate bar out of his gut. He had broken into Poor John’s office, and then desk, to sink his teeth into a chocolate block purchased duty-free at the border between Syria and Jordan.

Punctuality is also a priority. He wants breakfast, dinner and walkies on time. He loves having his head out the car window (see the banner on this blog), but I suppose that’s not a particularly German trait.

But I guess I’m going to have to break it to him that he probably isn’t German after all. While books on dog breeds claim the schnauzer originated in Germany (Bavaria) about the 15th century, they are wrong. The breed name may be German, but there aren’t any (well hardly any) schnauzers in the country. We’d spent a whole month—travelling all over the country including Bavaria—before we finally saw a single mini schnauzer in Münster.

Of course, there is no shortage of dogs in Germany. They are everywhere—on trains and subways, in department stores, in restaurants, even in parks. And way too many people leave their dog’s poop to be trodden on by unsuspecting passersby. I had a close call recently, but a nice local woman frantically warned me to avoid the Hund’s **INSERT whatever the German word is for dog poop**. As I said in an earlier post—what’s a language barrier.

But for all the dog poop in Germany, there doesn’t seem to be any that belongs to a schnauzer. Spaniels and dachshunds (or sausage dogs as Poor John calls them) are especially common. Jack Russell terriers and westies are abundant too, as are shitzus and bichon frisés. I haven’t seen many poodles, but they must hang out in France.

As for truth in advertising, the Belgians do much better at actually having dogs that are Belgian. I’ve been in the country for less than a week and have already seen three Belgian barge dogs, and heard of two Belgian Bouviers and two breeders of Belgian shepherds.

Schnauzer birthday cake

And a bit of an aside. For those who haven’t seen it before, here’s a pic of the schnauzer birthday cake that was made for me by the amazingly talented Rachael Szczerbiak. The cake was the size of a mini schnauzer and I was absolutely gobsmacked when it appeared. Thanks again Rachael.

A sad footnote: Our dear Aggie, who was 15, had to be put down not long ago. I still miss him and always will.


Leave a Comment
  1. Sy Seltzer / Jun 19 2011 10:43 am

    Hello Dawg Lovers,

    I am very big on Dawgs aka Dogs…… own an pure bred Irish Terrier… so really enjoyed this thread. Did you see any Giant Schnauzers? An impressive looking dog! Aggie is a cool looken Schnauzer! Sooo where is he? Back in Australia? I understand in France they also do not pick up after their dogs??? Here in NYC there is a “Heavy Fine” if you do not pick up your dogs poop… but still people let their dogs do it on the sidewalk and leave leave it???


  2. leggypeggy / Jun 19 2011 5:19 pm

    Schnauzer-wise I have seen only that one lonely mini schnauzer. 😦 But I’ll keep everyone posted on what dogs I do see.
    Aggie is in Australia—missing his mum, but being well looked after by Graeme and Emma. I’ll post a message about that because Aggie is misbehaving in my absence—mostly food-related.
    I have seen a few responsible dog owners picking up after their pooches. Good citizens they are.



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