The couch, her favorite spot
Fritzi was born on April 4, 1997. Her "full fancy" name on her pedigree is "Friedlinde Flora von Baerlein" but she was Fritzi to us. She had many other names too, like Sweet Pea, Girlfriend, Beauty, Booty, Pea-Pea, and Little Bitty Pretty One.
I will NEVER forget the first time we laid eyes on our Fritzi! We had already put a deposit on the 2nd male pick of the litter. We were going over to our breeder's to choose our boy, when my mom (who lived with us at the time) and I said "maybe we should be getting TWO. We decided that we would inquire about a little female. My poor husband wasn't thrilled with that idea, but he was outnumbered!
When we arrived, there was the little pen FULL of puppies! There was one very tiny one, less than half the size of the rest. She was so ugly, her body seemed misshapen, and she had huge gremlin ears. The breeder set a dish of food in the pen, and this little gremlin was the first one jumping in the middle of it, growling and trying to cast the others aside! My mom and I looked at each other and smiled. I said to the breeder "is that a female?" and she said "YES". I said "is she available?" Again the answer was "YES". "We'll take her too" I said, and our life of having our twin Mini-Schnauzers had begun. I then picked out our boy, who would be named Freddy. Freddy was the dog love of my life! Freddy passed in Sept. 2007 and has his very own memorial here. Please visit it!
When our "Twins" were 8 weeks, we picked them up and brought them home. Their ears were cropped, so at least the gremlin ears on Fritzi were gone! But she was only half the size of Freddy and very misshapen. We loved her though, and had high hopes that she would grow into a beauty. And that is just what she did! Once she was home with us, and no longer had to fight off a litter of pups, she grew and grew. The lumps and bumps disappeared, the hollow places filled in. Within no time she was absolutely stunning! It was a story I told her over and over (as if she could understand) "I picked you out, just like I picked out your brother, and we loved you SO MUCH even though you were ugly then! Who know you would grow from a little ugly duckling into the most beautiful swan!"
Fritzi was always sweet and loving, but independant. She wasn't much for cuddling but she would always give lots of kisses. She loved her Papa the most, but after Freddy passed she switched and became "Mama's little girlfriend". It was a time I treasured greatly, and I know she did too. We had almost two years with just our Fritzi girl as the little princess, queen bee ruler of the home!
Fritzi didn't like to go out where there were crowds of people and loud noises, but she loved it when we had people over. She was the perfect hostess, sitting on her couch and letting various admirers come and sit with her. She enjoyed greatly presiding over all the festivities.
Fritzi loved to go for walks! Long or short, it didn't matter. While she was healthy, we would go on very long walks, me, Fritzi and Freddy. As Freddy's health declined the walks grew shorter. Just before he passed, Fritzi too showed signs of the disease that took her brother, congestive heart failure. So the walks for Fritzi were long at first, but decreasing over time. The last months we only went around the block, at her pace; she enjoyed sauntering around and intentaly sniffing every bush and tree! We usually ended the walk with a brief visit to the Beagle next door, "Libby". They would touch noses, then Fritzi was ready to head for home.
We took Fritzi on several camping trips in our motor home. She loved the experience because of the many walks she got to take every day! The last year I purchased a stroller for her, so she could still get out and go with us even when she couldn't walk as far. She loved riding in that thing! She would sit and look around as if to say "look at ME, I get to RIDE!"
Fritzi was truly the energizer bunny! Even though she developed congestive heart failure in August 2007, she stayed with us almost two more years. With each crisis or progression of her disease, our wonderful vet, Dr. Steven Dunbar, was able to "tweek" her meds and buy more time. More QUALITY time too. Every time we would think "This is it" she would rally and be good as new! She lived 4 months longer than the longest predicted lifespan for a dog with CHF. Dr. Dunbar told me that he was always amazed at her, that in spite of her condition she was always so HAPPY, alert and bright eyed.
On Monday June 15, Fritzi had a crisis with fluid buildup, but was able to rebound. Another crisis would follow on Thursday; a fainting spell followed on Saturday morning. We knew her time was winding down, but we went ahead and took her to our antique car club picnic with she enjoyed IMMENSLEY! She loved the ride there in the car, getting to hang out with 3 other girl-dogs, and walk around the park some. She was the center of attention in her pink Hawaiin print collar and matching pink harness and leash! I was very happy, I thought "well, our energizer bunny is at it again" and I thought we had a reprieve.
Sadly Monday June 22, she had another fluid crisis. In spite of several lasix injections at home and oxygen at the vets she was not able to rebound this time. We had to let her go. I softly told her "doctor is going to give you some medication then we'll go for a ride in the car and go home, would you like that?" Bless her heart, she perked up a little at the notion of going home, so she wasn't afraid. She passed away peacefully in my arms.
My beautiful little girlfriend is gone forever now. Our home is utterly empty, and my heart is broken. I hope that one day I'll see her again, with her brother Freddy. I believe with all my heart that if there is indeed a Heaven, they will be there.