Findell Kennels

Are you looking for a Miniature Schnauzer puppy? Look no further than Findell Kennels! We are a Miniature Schnauzer breeder in Benton, Arkansas, and we comply fully with American Kennel Club (AKC) standards.

We are continuing to be a small kennel in Benton Arkansas, transplanted from California. We offer Great AKC limited registration on miniature schnauzers from show lines, we DNA our girls and boys for genetic disorders associated with this breed and they are clear. Hearts and eyes are also clear. we will begin taking deposits again for fall litters. We are booked through the summer months. We also offer limited training and boarding. Training depends on the problems, boarding at $10.00 per day.

Thank you all for being great dog owners and sending wonderful pictures of Your fur babies.


Findell Kennels LLC

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Mornings 'round Shasta's House

It was so cold this morning that Shasta simply would not get out of bed, but lay there like a lump looking through disheveled beard, head just poking out of the covers.  She was torn between desperately having to pee and staying in her warm, soft nest.  It took some coaxing but I got her to come out, promising to get her some warm roast beef bits and gravy with her dog food. 

Our usual routine is to coax her out from under the covers with her little pink toy lobster, squeaking it back and forth.  She jumps like a cat across the bed to catch the offending little toy, then stands up on her back legs, front ones catlike stretching up on my chest, looking at me rather petulantly as though I’d done her some injustice getting her off our pillow and out into the chill air of the room.

Generally I clip her collar round her neck as she sleeps without it at night for comfort, and lift her down to the floor.  She immediately goes to investigate the toys in her dog bed on the floor next to my desk but eventually follows me to the kitchen and back door where she does that cat stretch on the door, letting me know it’s time to let her out to see to her business. 

Clipping her lead to her collar, I taunt her by getting her so excited she emits a sharp bark, darting at the glass of the outer door, anxious to get out and catch a squirrel, or at least chase one out of her domain, where she rules like a stern monarch.

This morning, the grass was covered with frost and she was none too pleased about being out, however still conducted her morning ritual of investigating scents and little dents in the lawn where the squirrels have been, hoping to chase one out, I expect, although she has never gotten close enough to any other than the ones that sit atop the fence taunting her.

Not having spent much time in the frost, I saw that she was stooped on the back step waiting anxiously for me to let her in from the frigid frosty air she was only moments ago so excited to purvey.  In she comes, and after I unclip her lead, she stands on her back legs and pushes open the inner door, trotting hungrily to her dog bowl where I have yet to fill with the proffered roast beef and gravy.

She sits under the kitchen table, near the heat vent and warms her bum.  Hilarious. She won’t come out until I have her food ready and do the “countdown.”  When she was a baby doggie, I used to make her wait to eat by counting to 10, 15, sometimes 20, then shout “OK!” and she would nearly leap to her dog bowl, devouring whatever I had for her.  We still do that occasionally only it isn’t nearly as fun as when she was a puppy. 

Immediately after eating, she walks to one of the rugs on the floor (we have wood floors so rugs everywhere) and begins licking herself like a cat, legs, paws, then sometimes even cleans her face like a cat with her paws.  I’ve never seen another dog do this so imagine how entertaining it is!  A few seconds later, she emits a small “brrrrp” so unladylike but so funny!  My little cat-monkey!

Shasta the Flirt

Shasta has been nothing but a HUGE flirt at the dog park these past 2 weeks. Every male dog in sight she meets she will try to engage in flirting. Most don't even pay her any mind, she's so small, and given that she only chooses LARGE dogs to flirt with, it's hilarious. 

When she spots a likely suspect, she will chase him down, sit in front of him with her little stub of a tail waggling at light speed. That alone is well worth the price of admission, but she continues to delight and amuse the viewing audience of dog owners who can do nothing but guffaw or choke on laughter as she wriggles round to face the dog, sitting in his path, every time he tries to move away from her. She sits RIGHT in front of the male dogs and "dares" them to have a go, then if that doesn't work, she rises on her back legs to wrap her front ones around the dog's neck, sniffing away at his ears or generally just try to get his attention and engage him in whatever the little nut has on her mind. Most of the dogs just shrug her off or ignore her but now and again, she gets one closer to her size that will have a few rounds of great fun with. 

Every time we go to the dog park, there is something new and fun she does that continually amuses and amazes me. Mini-Schnauzers are SO much better than cable tv, but I wouldn't ever cancel my weekend Manchester United football matches for her. Those are still on the top of my entertainment list. After all, I can't have ALL the fun, now can I? My face needs a break from smiling and laughing so much at Shasta. 

She went into heat last night. I sort of saw it coming the more time she spent cleaning herself, but was hoping it would be a bit later in the month until after I've heard from Masterchef about when we're going to Los Angeles for the show. I will likely now have to wait until May to breed her, but if she has a litter of puppies that are like her, you'll have your hands full with orders! Who wouldn't want one of Shasta? Or two even? :)

Richard and Shasta

There's nothing like love...

Excuse me if I get a little sentimental but the subject of love has that effect on me.  Here is the first short excerpt from Richard about Shasta, his beautiful mini from Findell.

"I don't think you sent me a dog at all but some form of mutated cat-monkey!  This crazy pooch has been jumping and pouncing round the house like a cat, then ends up on her back and looks like some sort of tiny simian or tree monkey.  She's now taken it as one of her duties to pull crabgrass outside whenever she sees me doing it.  What a nut!!  But I am loving every minute of it!  Who needs a girlfriend or wife?  lol....

Now I've a reason to hurry home from work.  :D    Well, that and to let her out to pee/poop.  

What a devil she is!  Smart and not afraid of anything.  Well, the huge black dog next door.  She was on the other side of the yard, saw the dog next door, RAN for the house and as soon as she got inside, barked at him like she was the Queen shouting orders.  lol.....She is a constant source of delight and there isn't a minute that goes by that she isn't amazing me with some antic, or just her looks or wanting to be near me.  She doesn't give me an ear battering I didn't feel like taking her to expensive dinner out, and she isn't constantly asking me "does this make me look fat?" or berating me because "it's Friday night and I want to go out!"  She just wants to spend time with me.  :D"

Unconditional love, beautiful isn't it.  It reminds me of a poem by a great poet Taylor Mali. I hope he doesn't mind me posting it here:

Falling in love is like owning a dog
an epithalamion by Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

Check back next week for more antics from Richard and Shasta.

What Comes After

A Dog Story by Richard

Driving home from the supermarket, Ian glanced over to the seat where Dabby used to ride every day for 15 years, his heart wrenching in grief seeing it empty.  These past few months had been full of tears and sadness over the loss of his companion, a beautiful and sweet mini-Schnauzer female that had filled every moment of his life with utter delight and joy.  From the time he retrieved her at the airport amidst crates of barking dogs and mewling cats, his the quietest animal in the lot at only 12 weeks of age. She had essentially chosen him he suspected when the breeder had taken photos of the new litter and Dabby had been the one on the end with the goofy smile.  He thought she had done that just to catch his eye.  He was almost afraid that she might have been retarded so took her to give her a good home.

Dabby was one of the smartest dogs he had ever seen, and certainly not retarded.  Never married, Ian had asked God for a companion for years; one who would love him and care for him unconditionally, however he hadn’t quite counted on a four-legged bearded lady. Ironically, after only a few weeks of living with this kind and gentle soul in a small dog’s body, he realized that his prayers had been answered.

The two were inseparable, always seen at the dog park together, or walking round the neighbourhood wearing identical football shirts.  Ian was British and had no family in the States where he lived, so Dabby was essentially his only relative.  He pampered her like the little princess she was, like the wife he never had, and only occasionally regretting not having human female companionship.

Retired now, Ian had decided to return to England since he had no real reason to remain in the States and just couldn’t continue to live in his empty house without his Dabby, the one thing that meant the world to him.  She had been with him through the most difficult of times with loving kisses, playful entertainment and devotion.  He used to feel so guilty going off to the office and leaving her alone for many hours every day, so made up for it by making each moment of their time together as if it were their last.  They did everything together he could do with a dog, and was truly happy for all those years.

That night, he sadly carried himself off to bed, keeping his years-long habit of sleeping early because he had  always been in the office at 6:00 a.m.; that way, he could leave early and have a bit of a day left to spend with his loving little monkey.  She was sometimes like a cat, sometimes like a monkey, but incredibly amusing and everything they did was a game of amusement for her and made her time awake and with him count as much as it could.  He always knew she would only have about 12 or 13 years, but she lived 15 years.  Now his life was empty and bereft of her companionship and love.

Sometime that night he had experienced trouble breathing.  He suspected for a long time he had heart trouble but decided not to be examined as he didn’t fancy some doctor telling him he had to be sliced open and modified or had only so much time to live without surgery.  Tonight the shortness of breath was a bit worse than usual but had finally fallen back asleep again at 3:00 a.m.

Awakening he thought that the sunlight was incredibly bright.  He didn’t recall having left the blinds in his bedroom open last night so couldn’t understand why he was nearly blinded by the light streaming in.  Slowly he opened his eyes and as they adjusted to the light, he realized suddenly that the dry eye he had suffered from for years didn’t trouble him just now.  It was nice for a rare change not to have to rub his eyes for several minutes just to focus.   He also noticed something else too….his breathing was easy and he felt as though he had all the energy and strength in the world to run miles if he wanted.

Glancing round, he saw he was in a green field of sweet heather; a warm fragrant breeze wafting over his skin.  The sun was shining, but it wasn’t hot.  The temperature was just right and there were wispy clouds floating lazily by overhead.  It was perfect.  He didn’t quite understand how he came to be there in the middle of that field with the beautiful trees, but the thought crossed his mind that the only thing that would make this moment completely perfect would be if Dabby could share it with him.  He knew that she would love this place.

Then rather unexpectedly, he felt a wet nose nudge the back of his leg.  He turned round and looked down.  Why, it was a little Schnauzer that looked like Dabby!!  How could this be??  Could this be her, standing right next to him, almost smiling at him?  Could it really be her?  His heart leapt in his chest and he realized that she looked just like she did when she was young.   What was the most amazing was that this little creature next to him was really his Dabby!  He could never be mistaken about that little black streak in her moustaches that made her look like a bandit.  He could hardly choke back the tears as he somehow knew this was truly the little soul with whom he had shared every joyful moment in his memory.

She nudged his hand as he bent over to pet her, just like she did when she wanted him to scratch her neck or rub her head in that way that only he could do.  Ian could almost hear her thoughts or feelings as his wonderment turned into questions and the answers were right there on the periphery.  It was as though the two of them were sharing thoughts as he felt the answer to the question of how he came to be “here” form in his mind.  This is “what comes after.”  After what?

He pondered this for a few seconds, then memories began flooding back, nearly causing him to gasp with emotion.  He remembered that awful day when he had to say goodbye to his little furry friend.  She had grown old and tired, but had hung on for the longest time.  He remembered feeling her little heart in her chest slowing down and weakening, her paw in his outstretched hand, as though reassuring him that everything was alright, even though soon she would be gone and he would never see her again.

He remembered the days after that passed like a blur, his heart shredded.  He had been unable to function for days after he buried her.  He recalled sitting at his desk and glancing down at her empty dog bed and seeing the toys that only had life when she was tossing them round like a little terrible dervish as she played, sometimes on her back, toy in her paws above her like some silly monkey.  He used to laugh so hard with delight at her antics as did everyone else who had ever seen it.

Then he remembered last night when breathing was so difficult he had wondered if this might be his last breath or if God intended to keep him here on this earth longer to suffer poorer health and pine for his lost companion.

Then it became clearly apparent where he was and why, and all the pain and grief he had experienced for those empty months of his life were filled with overwhelming happiness and  joy because he somehow knew that he and his friend would never be separated again.  

He could almost feel the vague thoughts Dabby was sharing, that she had come to him because he needed a companion all those years ago, and that God had chosen her for him to make his last years happy, years that would change who he was as a man.  Then he thought he understood how she felt…that he had also been there for her, and the only time she was truly happy was when Daddy was home with her.  It didn’t matter what they did together, but she loved him for making a game of everything, giving life to her little toys that somehow didn’t have meaning until he came home to play the tugging game with her.  It satisfied her instincts and was fun, but more importantly, she saw that it made him happy when she fetched the simple knotted socks and enticed him into tugging them with her, growling and laughing the two of them, like a couple of silly things.

She loved that he always made something special for her to eat, and curled up on the bed with her at night, like a pack mate to keep her warm.  She would awaken in the morning relieved that he was still there so she would groom him, sometimes his beard or ears, like she might do with a puppy.  She tried so hard to keep him at home sometimes, standing on her back legs and trying to grab his arm between hers so she wouldn’t be alone all day.  

She always felt so lonely when he went away but those times she would try hard to keep him home, he would always take her in his lap and brush her and she would roguishly try to bite the brush and get him to play with her a little longer.  She very much enjoyed the sweet foam that he would give her from that hot brown stuff he always drank in the mornings, but wasn’t so excited about having her teeth brushed.  

She thought her choppers were perfectly fine, but loved his gentleness and the taste of the toothpaste. Sometimes when she felt lazy in the mornings when it was still dark out and he would get out of bed, but he would entice her by wrestling with her, just like a pack mate would do, then hooking her collar around her neck which made her feel secure, and gently lifting her down to the floor so she didn’t have to stress her joints.  He would make her chase him round the corner, sliding her back end on the wood floor just like fish tail spinning around.

And finally during her last moments when she was afraid and weak, she was grateful and happy that she had him to ease her way through to the other side where she would wait him for a short time.  She was overjoyed to have him with her now in what comes after, even though she knew his journey here was more painful than hers.

There is no bond like that of human and dog, no love more unconditional, no friendship more forgiving or lasting.  Dogs were given to us to make our lives easier, to give us the one what we can’t give each other or ourselves, and after all….in English, the word dog is really God spelled backward, or at least it is in what comes after.

Snow Days

Old Man Winter came early this year for us and dumped around 12" of snow our way on Saturday. I'm still having a difficult time getting around in my truck, and I have 540 pounds of sand in the back! Needless to say, Shasta isn't very pleased having to be quarantined in the house while she's in heat and because we can't take her on a dog walk with sidewalks all piled high with snow too high to traverPapp

Tomorrow she's off to the groomer and Saturday we'll get this year's photograph with Santa. :) I'm looking forward to that as it will be Shasta's second winter here. Quite honestly, she doesn't seem put off in the least by snowdrifts higher than her head. I've watched her out in the back when I put her out to see to her personal business and she leaps around in the snow like some sort of icy dervish, even rubbing herself like dogs do in the stuff. I think she's part Eskimo. When it was coming down on Saturday, she was fiercely biting at the falling clumps of snow, trying to somehow stop them from piling atop her head, eventually giving up to come in where it was warm.

I cleared out a place for her to romp and see to her business but she prefers adventurous climbs atop the snow and investigating whatever scents she seems to encounter, covering her beard in crusty snow and ice. When she's able to go to the dog park without my having to ward off every male dog in sight, I don't think she has any idea what sort of adventure she's in store for. They don't plow the dog park so she will have to leap over it, and I guess I will too. 

Here's Shasta after she had chased all the snowflakes away. I think she's saying "ok...enough already! Let me IN!! It's COLD out here!!" You can see she's had a time of it, Old Crusty Beard. I also attached a photo of the lazy little devil after she came in out of the cold like an old spy from the Iron Curtain days. 

The nights have been in the single digits the past couple of nights so Shasta curls up against me. No need for an electric blanket! I have a warm, fuzzy, snoring little furry body to keep ME warm! Of course I tuck the comforter up under her so we can keep her warm too. Much better than a girlfriend and WAY better than cable!

Curious cat..I

As you can see, she is always the curious cat, sticking her little sniffer where it doesn't really belong, lol...

Weekly Update

Shasta has been a complete love bug round my place these past couple of weeks. Since my contract work ended, I've been able to get her to the dog park nearly every day for an hour or so and she's been so happy when we come home together. I know she missed me when I was at the office all day, even if the housemate was here playing with her. She knows who her daddy is!

I love seeing her at the dog park, greeting everyone as they come in, dog and person, like the little dog park ambassador, then shrilly barking at groups of dogs that are playing but sound like they're fighting. She is known as the dog park "referee" now because she tries getting in the middle of every dog play group to give them "what for!" 

Usually she terrorises other people's poor dogs so i'm considering changing her name to Shasta bin Laden! What a little firecracker she is! 

For Halloween, I found some little Martha Stewart dresses for the little terrorist on sale for $4 each that make her look like a little girl doggie rather than a football hooligan, and dressed her up in one of them for Halloween in one that I would NEVER allow a girlfriend or my daughter to wear in public, but got lots of attention from both people and dogs. She loves her little schoolgirl sweater and plaid skirt. Makes me feel like some kind of weird dog dress-up guy or something, but she loves them and they keep her warm, so I'm making no apologies for her attire.

I'm attaching a few photos of the silly creature. She's a cutie in her new fashion lineup.

Dog N Boots

Here's Shasta after battling with my housemate Casandra's Puss n Boots. She fancies him, I think. :) Slept with it, all curled up and arm over it. Not sure what she's thinking here... either she is enamoured or she just felt like she conquered him. Either way, it's hilarious. At the dog park lately, she seems to flirt with ALL: the male dogs. I don't think she's quite near a heat cycle yet, but in another few weeks.

We're stuck in the house today as my truck is being seen by a mechanic and it's too far and rainy to walk to the dog park. I will take her out tomorrow however so she can get a nice workout and meet some of her male dog "friends." Thankfully they're all fixed so I don't have to ward them away, but usually they just ignore her attention most of the time anyway.

A Day at the Dog Park

After a day of putting in resumes AGAIN, I took my baby out to the dog park around 2:00 p.m. She is SO happy going to the dog park that she anxiously scans the route we take to see when we get close. Sometimes she whines as we get a couple of blocks away so lately, we've taken to howling as we arrive. The two of us, heads thrown back howling, we're a sight, and I'm sure if anyone saw us, they'd think we were completely mad. I'd be a bit embarrassed trying to explain that to a copper if one pulled us up. :)-----

We get to the park and out of the truck, Shasta pulling me like she's pulling the truck instead, hunkered down,pulling with all her might against the lead, shrieking at other dogs, sounding positively embarrassing as though I'm torturing her as we approach the sallyport gate. In we go and she bounds down the path, up the little bridge making these HUGE thumping sounds as she crosses it, and round the corner. I don't even see her until I've caught up, then she's usually harassing some people or dogs down the path, practically 1/2 a mile away until I call her back. She rarely comes back, but sometimes waits a few seconds before exploding up the main path to the clearing where there are usually lots of other dogs. Today was slow so no dogs there, but sights and scents distracted her all along the way, and she would stop to raise a leg and pee, letting everyone know she was there.

It was such a crisp cold day that I wasn't complaining about it. I walked where she wanted to go, then when she was left behind doing some of her scent investigating or chasing squirrels, I would hide behind a tree large enough to and wait for her to find me. She ALWAYS finds me! We did this all day, just laughing and chasing, hiding and growling. It was a wonderful day with her.

When we arrived home I had to work more on my laptop and trying to get out some resumes. Later, as we were relaxing, I had her covered up on the bed with only her eyes and nose poked out watching me until I began growling at her and she jumped straight up, ready to engage! She was on my bed, so I just came over and wrestled the little monkey. She absolutely LOVES to wrestle me, moaning and making these funny sounds, somewhere between a growl and a howl, and nibbles my skin, not quite biting me, but playfully nibbling me. SO funny!

My housemate Casandra said that we must have been lovers or very close in a former life and God felt badly that we were separated so brought her back in my little dog's body. I don't know as I believe in that reincarnation nonsense, but she has the biggest heart in the tiniest body, and she's absolutely the best companion I ever had, in this life or any other!

Richard and Shasta

Way Better Than Cable

Last night she was hilarious!! I had her on my lap, snoozing lightly with her little "BIG" feet on my belly and her head on my arm when the housemate came in the back door. She jumped STRAIGHT UP, growling, shaking and quaking as she growled, and a few short barks, between the hilarious trembling growling she was doing. It was absolutely a hoot because she was trembling like the devil's own hound, growling and glaring menacingly in the direction of the kitchen. She KNEW who it was because who else would come into the house that I wouldn't bother getting up for?

That nutty dog carried on for a full 5 minutes until I was laughing so hard I had to let her off my lap to go chase the phantom apparition or whatever it was she thought had entered her domain. After a round of kisses, my housemate let her off her lap and she bounced round the house for nearly an hour past our bedtime, chasing her little Halloween pumpkins, nibbling from her dog bowl for the 3rd time that day, chasing me round the house trying to get me to play the tugging/growling game with her pumpkins.

WAY better than cable!

Shasta Buglet

My sweet little doglet! All weekend she was so sweet, cuddling with me, SO happy to go to the dog park, or just do anything or nothing with me. I know how happy she is at the dog park so I always take her on weekends so I can watch her flying through the fields or leaping down the paths. She's SO fun to watch and it's rare to find other dogs that are half as interesting as my little bearded lady. She leaps at every large dog play session, no matter how fierce they sound, and barks in her referee way at them, always picking one she favours over another. Then there are the Westies or other dogs of the same approximate size so she can dominate them, then flirt with them, then lead them on a merry chase, just like women do to us men!

When we leave the dog park, she sits in the seat beside me with the biggest smile on her face, then seconds later, collapses into a short nap, pretending to be exhausted. Once we arrive home, she will lie beside me or sometimes in my lap. This weekend, she would just bat her little eyelashes at me, looking so adorable, then put her paw on my chest, on my heart, as I was telling her how much she means to me, as if to say "I love you too, Daddy." It is the cutest thing I've ever seen and makes me love my little doggie even more.

We spent the weekend nights all curled up together in the bed, sometimes spooning to stay warm, sometimes her head on my pillow with her gentle little snores reassuring me, and letting me know that I've one of the tiniest hearts but biggest souls in the world right there in the bed with me. Why would I care about my beautiful housemate who doesn't fancy me that way when I have Shasta? That's my little Shasta Buglet!

My Sweetheart

I was so busy all week and weekend that I'd no time to get Shasta to the dog park until Sunday. Poor little thing was so done up but had a wonderful day at the dog park. Let me tell you about her romps. At the dog park she found a small pack of larger dogs, the lead dog being the fastest in the lot, which she began chasing as the lead dog made for the hills with leaps and bounds, outdistancing all the other hounds chasing him. Typical day at the dog park, but Shasta kept up on her short little legs bringing up the rear, making these leaping strides through the underbrush and on the path whenever the pack would intersected it, puffs of dust rising up everywhere. They would make 2 or 3 big circles, have a short break, Shasta barking at them as if to say "why did you leave ME behind?? Then they would start it up again. At one point, Shasta got rolled completely over in the dust by the pack, got back up and shot off after them. Finally had to take her for a swim to wash the dust off. She entertained everyone at the dog park that day with her antics!

I was rather surprised she didn't actually swim at the dog park because we'd just been to a "garden party" the night before and she got tossed into the host's pool. She swam to the edge but couldn't quite work out how to use the steps to get herself out. Poor thing. She still won't venture too far out into the water, never letting the feel of solid mud slip beneath her feet.


  Sunday night we crawled into bed after a rather exhausting weekend for the both of us, and she came by my side, tossed a paw over my arm as if to let me know she was there to reassure me, heaved a rather exasperate sigh and went to sleep that way. Cute. She's a complete darling sometimes that I can never quite resist and I always seem to spoil her with treats and things. Next week we're going to Chuck and Don's for frozen raw food and some bully sticks she fancies, and a new collar. She's worn hers out again. I may trot off to the Posh Pooch for a rather hoity toity collar we can put her in when we go visiting or to social events, and just use the other one for when she's in her football kit romping with huge dogs at the dog park, or for when she's just swimming, or her version of swimming anyway. Can't wait until she has puppies so she'll have a companion for my daytime hours at the office.

Richard and Shasta

Fake Out

I'm telling you....this CRAZY dog!! I have wood floors in the house and some of them are not covered with rugs. The hallway outside my bedroom just beyond my desk is not covered for instance.

Shasta brings me her toys every time I'm at my desk in my bedroom, urging me to play, and of course, as you know, I relent every time. Tonight she brought me her little pumpkin, the new one we bought at the pet shoppe recently, and was rather urgently insisting that I play with her. I played the "fake out" game with her, making her think I would toss it one way, then the other, watching as she wriggled her arse to sort of anticipate where it might fly, sort of a head start of sorts, then I tossed it outside the room and it bounced off the linen wardrobe door in the hallway and out into the living room around the corner. She did a stop, putting on the brakes as she slid out the door into the hallway, then rounded the corner, claws scrabbling to get a hold on the slippery wood, then fetched the pumpkin back to me. That arse sit on the floor move to stop was so hilarious I couldn't stop laughing.

We did try to duplicate that move but just couldn't. I did capture some of her antics on video so you can update your viewers if you like. She's so much better than cable that I've never a dull moment with her around!


Here's a short unrelated video!!! 

What better companion could a man ask for?

After I finally relaxed a bit after Shasta's daunting dash of Saturday night, I spent some time last night watching music video performances of last year's Glastonbury Music Festival, getting to know some of the groups I listen to every day on streaming radio from home. BBC 3 had a wonderful show that included most of the major acts, Morrissey being one. Morrissey, in case you didn't know, is HUGE in the UK and here as well, but had to go on before U2, who are even huger. After exhausting Glastonbury, I stayed up until 2:30 a.m. watching Led Zepplin, Uriah Heep and some older music which I grew up with at home, and having several glasses of wine, windows rattling from the bass, and the poor buglet trying to sleep through all the cacophony.

This morning, I could still feel the effects of the wine just a bit when she usually gets me up, but I whispered a promise to take her to the dog park today and asked for just an hour longer to sleep and the poor dear just curled up sweetly against me and went to sleep with me, doing that little teeth grinding thing she does when I know she isn't going to move anytime soon.  My sweet little Shasta buglet just went to sleep beside me, patiently waiting for me and not complaining a bit.


She wouldn't even think about leaving the bed without me until she grooms herself, then my face and beard, then we do her doggie stretching and I give her back a good massage, and we finally get OUT of the bed, although not until I wrestle her, fangs out and ferocity on her face, even though she's laughing inside from all the tickling and poking I do to get her out of bed, then finally I lift her down from the bed so the jump isn't hard on her joints and things and she trots off to face the day and chase squirrels outside while I make a cappuccino and watch her playing outside. :) What better companion could a man ask for anyway?

"Let's go do laundry!"

One funny story...she gets TERRIBLY excited whenever I go to the basement to do laundry.  No idea why.  I will say in an enticing voice "Let's go do laundry!" and she JUMPS up and darts to the basement door.  Once we're down there, I toss clothes into the dryer from the wash machine and she makes a game of trying to catch whatever I throw in there before it goes in.  Funny.  

Generally she precedes me up the stairs into the kitchen again and waits/stalks me at the top of the stairs.  I will creep up the stairs on my hands and knees,  crouched down and growling which gets her going!  She then starts this yowling and growling, then batting at me with one paw like a cat!  Sometimes I will reach eye level with her and just start howling a little and she will throw her head back and give me little catlike yowls!  Hilarious!!  Sometimes I actually frighten her and she runs and tries to dive under the ottoman but can barely fit underneath it.  She will then wait there until I come looking for her then try to entice me into a game of bite my hand while I try to reach under there for her.

She keeps me pretty busy and entertained!  


Another day at the office

I'm telling you, this dog of mine is a real nutter! She's the best thing that ever happened to me but she's a complete nutter sometimes; Today in the back yard we were playing with a tennis ball. She loves to engage me so I can toss it round the yard for her to retrieve, but she brought it back the last time, ball on one side of her teeth, tongue hanging out the other. I didn't have my camera phone with me but wish I had taken a photo of it! It was hilarious!


Just now, she was wrestling with a sock after we'd tugged and wrestled rather violently (she is a holy TERRORIST on those socks when we play together!), then I left her to it. I looked down and she was on her back, sock round her neck, but wrestling with a pig's ear between her paws! She's mental, I tell you! lol... She will roll around on the floor with those socks in her teeth, wrestling them up in the air on her back like a monkey, but the pig's ear at the same time was rather amusing. When she finally noticed me noticing her, she spun back on her front, beard wildly all over her face grinning at me through it as I could barely see her eyes, daring me to take it from her. Then she gave up as though exhausted and lie with it in her paws, head resting on the knot.

Just so you know...

So here's a formal introduction to Richard in his own words:

I came to the US from Dorset, England in 1990 because my father was ill with cancer and I wanted to spend time with him during his last days.  During that time, I managed to have a son who now attends a community college in Missouri, and moved to Minnesota to do comedy in 2006


Sometime after living in Minnesota, I met Erika, who owns a Findell Kennels dog named Sienna.  Sienna is actually Shasta's older sister from the same dam but different sire.  Erika and I had a relationship for nearly five years, and we bought Sienna together nearly three years ago.  We eventually broke up and several months later, Erika moved out, taking Sienna with her.  It left a huge empty hole in my heart and in my home so I went online and asked Carole if she had any puppies coming.  Much to my pleasure, she did!


After the puppies were born, she lined up the females and sent me a photo.  Shasta was at the end of the line with what appeared to be a rather goofy smile on her face.  At first I thought she might be retarded, so decided I'd give her a good loving hiome, but she ended up being the best of the lot, in my opinion!  There has been no end to her antics, entertaining and sweet personality. If I had to say, Shasta has one of the sweetest, kindest souls of any person or animal I've ever encountered.  She loves unconditionally, and is an ambassador at the dog park where we go, greeting each person and dog as if they were a new and exciting adventure.

Not only has Shasta filled the empty home but she completely overwhelmed my heart with love and "rescued" me from such loneliness that I sometimes have trouble putting it into words.  I asked god to give me a companion who would love me, one who knew what I needed and wanted, but I hadn't quite Shasta in mind.  I don't regret a minute of it.  From the time I picked her up at the airport on her trip here from Carole, quiet as a mouse until I left for work this morning, she has been the best thing that ever happened to me.


In December we are planning to breed her for only one litter because she has "told" me that she wants to be a mother.  I think she would be a fine one as she grooms my beard and ears and sees to me on a daily basis.  We will keep one puppy for her as a companion because I know she must get terribly lonely when I'm away at work each day, and I feel awful when I have to leave her there, but I know she is guarding our house like a pit bull, and when I arrive home, she greets me with such unabashed excitement that she nearly pees herself!  Much better than a girlfriend or wife!  I will do whatever I can to make her life with me the best possible, even if I have to sacrifice something to make her more comfortable.  She is my heart, that little scruffball.

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