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Dizzy Izzy!

“Izzy! Izzy, come! Izzy, where are you? There you are! Wait a minute, what have you got? Izzy, put that down – you can’t have that! … Good boy!”

Sorry about that. Had to check on our Miniature Schnauzer, Izzy, before I began writing about him.

Since about 2005 we’ve had a mini schnauzer or two in our home, all rescued from Animal Care & Control where my wife, Marty, volunteered for nearly 23 years. We fostered a pair initially for about five weeks, naming them Hanzel and Gretal since they appeared to be bonded. Both had health and social problems. But we fell in love with them even though Gretal was recovering from a bout of heart worms and Hanzel had a host of other problems.

We’ve also had a loving adopted canine companion for the past 15 years who keeps us all company. Her name is Taffy and she’s a mix of Golden Retriever and maybe a Briard. There’s not a more loving, gentle dog in the entire universe! She welcomed the schnauzers with open paws.

Unfortunately, both schnauzers died within a short six-year period. So, having become attached to the breed we adopted Sadie. And that’s a story in itself.

Briefly, Marty stopped at South Side Market to get strawberries for me for Father’s Day about 10 years ago and spotted Sadie, a Miniature Schnauzer on a leash held by an older gentleman sitting on the back of a pick-up truck. She asked if she could pet her and he said, “Not only can you pet her, you can have her!” And to make a long story short, she was adopted practically on the spot minus the strawberries.

Sadie and Taffy got along very well together. But again, after only eight years, we lost Sadie due to diabetes in September 2021.

Initially we decided to just be happy with Taffy. But she seemed lonely and was getting listless, so we returned to the shelter when we read about a mini schnauzer up for adoption. He reportedly was about four years old and had been picked up roaming a westside street. Since the fur didn’t fly when he and Taffy met, we adopted another mini schnauzer. And this is where the story begins.

First of all, this so-called Miniature Schnauzer is mixed with another breed that appears to be a Border Collie. And, he’s not four years old but still a pup just over a year old. Marty and I did not plan on raising a puppy. But he and Taffy are getting along famously so here we are, training a puppy and trying to rid him of many bad habits.

The first problem was trying to find a name that suited him. We had far less difficulty naming our four children! Nothing seemed to fit until one of our children visiting us suggested “Izzy!” It’s maybe a girl’s name but the handle seemed to fit his exuberant personality, especially when you add Dizzy to Izzy.

We hate to be negative listing many of the things he’s chewed, dug up, or destroyed, but it paints a picture of him and explains why we had to make sure at the beginning of writing this article where he was and what he was doing. Here’s an abbreviated casualty list, but then who’s counting:

Three hand calculators, six pairs of reading glasses, three TV remotes with teeth marks in them, eight ballpoint pens, countless socks, four spools of thread, three rolls of toilet paper, one fur teddy bear, the leg and arm of a wooden Humpy Dumpty, one almanac, two foam pumpkins, three stuffed dog “chew” toys, two potted plants, two dog beds, a half box of Junior Mints, two holes in the carpeting, one hole in a throw rug, at least a dozen holes in the backyard, all the green beans off the bottom of a trellis and anything else on the floor! He also tends to run away if we’re not extremely careful!

But just look at him! Could you return any animal as cute as he is to the animal shelter? He and Taffy adore each other. And Izzy’s getting more loving every day as he curls up on our laps while we’re watching TV and at night sleeps peacefully between us. His good qualities are beginning to outweigh the bad. He’s smart, he’s a great watch dog, a superb shortstop able to catch a tennis ball in midair, and he never growls at anyone. He’s a good sport, too, and doesn’t seem to mind being called Dizzy Izzy! But we’ve hired a professional trainer to begin working with him!

P.S. She can’t start soon enough! Dizzy Izzy just chewed a hole in my wool cap woven in Ireland!

Vince LaBarbera
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Vince LaBarbera

Vince is a Fort Wayne native. He earned a master of science degree in journalism and advertising from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. LaBarbera is retired but continues to enjoy freelance writing and serving the Radio Reading Service of the Allen County Public Library. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer