Schnauzer Splitsville by Ruth Ross Saucier

                           [As noted elsewhere, my family once included six schnauzers.]

Carting all six schnauzers around often approached clown-car pandemonium, but sometimes it seemed like the right thing to do. For example, when they all needed something at the vet, taking all six seemed like a time-saving choice.  So one day we headed off to the vet with six fifteen-pound dogs, all of them competing for either Mom’s lap or a spot at a window.

When you travel with six schnauzers, you get laughter. We once made a trip to Dick’s (a favorite Seattle burger drive-in) with the whole family, pulling in and throwing open the hatch.  The Schnau all lined up and behaved reasonably well, given the clear promise of cheeseburger treats. The spectacle entertained the entire parking lot for the duration of dinner time.

Our vet was located a few miles away in a beautiful building that had floor-to-ceiling windows in the waiting area.  We managed to acquire a parking space on the street directly in front of those windows, a Godsend really, since wrassling six schnauzers on leashes tends to be chaotic, even if they were calm and trained, which they were most definitely not.

Having put on a street side show for the entire lobby full of pet owners, we made our way inside and waited to be taken into an exam room. After making noisy friends with several patients, the techs did the only smart thing and swept us into a room with alacrity. Dad Shadow and Uncle Snickers needed exams, so they were first up.  When they were done, my husband and the vet quickly agreed that it would probably be good if I were to take the boys out and deposit them in the car while my husband stayed with the four girls.

           I hustled the boys out and made it to the car, attracting once again the attention of the pet parents still waiting.  When I opened the car door, I discovered that the deafening car alarm was engaged and was now blaring at a truly painful decibel level. By now, ALL the pet parents were watching the audible debacle and waiting impatiently for me to stop that Infernal Noise. But I didn’t have my alarm fob; handling the schnauzer herd had distracted me from that little necessity.

Amelia Peabody and Derry meet Santa. Nope, picture is not related
to story. . . it's just here so you can see why we decided to keep
these little marauders.  
But I knew there was a backup alarm release under the passenger side dashboard somewhere, so I threw the dogs inside, bent over and presented my posterior to the crowd, and began searching for the backup alarm release. The noise was worse under the dash and it was terribly hard to see anything there. The noise went on and on as I struggled futilely, bent over and bum-up to the audience.

Finally, my husband came racing around the corner with the four little girls and beeped the alarm into silence. The ride home was equally silent, particularly because I was half dead and wholly pissed; I had hated car alarms with a passion before this incident, but now I was ready to tear the damn thing out with my bare hands.

When we reached home, the dogs and my husband raced inside as I walked slowly up the garden stairs. My darling neighbor lady leaned over the fence and asked how I was doing, saying I looked stressed and a bit exhausted. I assured her I was just tired from wrangling the herd and trudged past her, up the walkway.

“Oh, Ruth,” she called out when I was past her. “Sorry, honey, but I thought you should know—your slacks are split up the back.”

My hand flew to my posterior.  Sure enough, my trousers were split wide open. Must have happened under cover of the alarm, when I was bending over to find the off switch.  I had just mooned a full waiting room.


  1. Oh my, Ruth! I love reading about the antics of these precious and precocious little monkeys. Thank you for sharing.

  2. LOL! You've painted a vivid picture Ruth! I love it.

  3. I'm sure the other pet parents found the picture vivid, too...

  4. What a story! There used to be, and maybe still is, a segment in the Reader's Digest called "My Most Embarrassing Moment." I do believe your story is right up there with most embarrassing. Thanks for sharing, Ruth.



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