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DEXTER AND RITA
The last few newsletters have included pictures of Dexter and Rita, whom I refer to as our firm’s mascots. A great number of clients have asked me about them, so we decided to talk about them in this issue. About four years ago, I was living in an apartment in downtown Chattanooga. I decided that I wanted a dog to keep me company. I have previously owned labs, boxers, a French bulldog, small mixed breeds, and large mixed breeds. Every dog I have owned was unique in his or her own way. I started doing some research, and I knew that I wanted a large dog that was intelligent and didn’t shed much. I eventually ran across a breed of dog known as black Russian terriers. They’re huge dogs! Unfortunately, the males of this breed often weigh north of 140 pounds. That seemed a bit large for the apartment — and that’s not even considering the amount and size of the … uh … droppings I would have to collect. That led me to a breed called giant schnauzers. Size? About 85–100 pounds for a male. They also shed very little, have a great temperament, and are very intelligent. All the boxes were checked, and I ended up buying a giant schnauzer whom we named Dexter. He is the male on the left in the picture below.
children. Those characteristics are typical of the breed. Fair warning, though: Giant schnauzers must be clear on who is the boss! If you cannot be a true pack leader (in the words of renowned dog trainer Cesar Millan), this is not the breed for you. Dexter was everything I wanted in a dog. Pretty soon, though, I decided
Dexter needed a companion. My wife, Casey, and I purchased Rita (above left) from a breeder in Atlanta. Rita is also a giant schnauzer, but she’s much more “standard” than Dexter. She’s jet-black and really just a beautiful animal. Rita is much more athletic and determined than Dexter. Her speed and jumping ability are quite amazing for a dog her size. I was not surprised to learn that giant schnauzers are used as police dogs and for personal protection in Europe. Like Dexter, she is also very smart and affectionate. She is a little shorter than Dexter, but she weighs more. She loves to climb into Casey’s lap and watch TV. She seems especially interested in shows with horses, although she appears to like Willie Geist on “Morning Joe”! If you have any questions about either of them or the breed in general, give me a call at 267-6715.
Dexter was the runt of the litter and weighed 12 pounds when he was about 11 weeks old but that didn’t last long! About eight months later, he tipped the scales at 95 pounds. Despite a hip issue, Dexter has turned out to be a great dog. He’s loyal, smart, protective, and very affectionate. He is also gentle with
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