The Amazing Schatzie!

Let me start by saying: Weimaraners are not for everyone. But for those of us who enjoy a challenge & yearn for an intelligent & unwaveringly loyal companion that is eager to please (when they are not on a scent mission), enthusiastic, fun to be around and fairly easy to maintain grooming-wise, you just can't do better than a Weimaraner.

In 1990, I saw the most gorgeous dog I had ever seen in my life. He lived several floors above me in a penthouse suite in NYC with his Vizsla companion. He was staring at my banana (lunch) and I was sure he thought it was something else. The intense focus was beautiful. He looked like a gleaming silver sculpture. I promised myself someday I would have that breed of dog.

Over the years I reflected on that regal dog. Fast-forward to 1995. I was finally in a position to have a dog with my boyfriend of 5 years. I did lots of research on the Weimaraner, and decided it was a good breed for us. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a breeder for months ( and weren't aware of breed-specific rescues back then - and no internet!). Then a friend called to point out an ad that was just placed for Weimaraner puppies! This was 12 years ago- and as luck would have it, they were very reputable breeders that had nothing to do with puppy mills. They even took him back for "hunting lessons" later. We got lucky. Now I wouldn't even consider going to a breeder when they are so many fantastic shelters & breed-specific rescues (shout out to Darci at MHWC!! haaay!) That pup came to be known as Klaus von Silber Schatzi ('Klaus of the Silver Sweethearts') and for 12 years (and many training manuals later) he was the most wonderful companion-- human or canine-- anyone could hope for when looking for a dog. I won't kid around, we did our homework, chose a compatible breed & were nothing short of militant about his training, but our reward was this utterly amazing companion. The boyfirend & I ended up splitting when Klaus was just 1 1/2, but he maintained his 'fatherhood' all through the years and was even there when my darling boy took his final breath in our little cabin in the woods. This huge, strong man with a deep, booming voice-- completely reduced to whimpering and tears at the realization of his loss. I was, months and months later.... stalking the Mile High Weim Rescue website (just to look at the pretty pictures... of course). I just read over & over 'this one jumps 6 ft fences' or 'this one can't be left alone.' At that point it really sunk in how special Klaus was, and that this breed is not for wimps. I felt there couldn't be an equal. My next thought was fostering....maybe I could get that ol' feeling back. Funny, I always thought I'd try a different breed next time, or maybe a mixed-breed, then after I lost my Main Man I couldn't imagine ever having anything BUT a Weimaraner (after, of course, the blue period when you are so devastated that you swear you will never have another dog again-- ever). I loved my friends' dogs, and signed dogs out from our shelter (an awesome feature of our no-kill facility at the Aspen A nimal Shelter), but there is nothing like the feeling of coming back to your very own baby.

That's when I saw her! She was a beaut-- ean, girly, delicate and described as very affectionate, which, to be honest, with Klaus I was not used to! They are a lot of things, Weimaraners, but clingy & super affectionate ...mmmaybe not so much? I was also sort of 'set' on an older gentleman- over 5 or 6, XL. But I got in touch with Darci and found out that she was already being fostered, and that I could do the trial-basis thing. Her foster mommy was extremely picky, and I found out that in the time she fostered her, I was the only person she'd let meet her. I met her part-way and we hiked the trails. She melted into my lap. I spent the next few days saying to myself 'well, she's no Klaus' but then came to realize, she was not Klaus, but in the best possible way. She was so mindful of my commands, and went through training with Weimaraner's trademark vigor & zeal. Every day she amazes me more with her eagerness to please and her capacity for deep love & trust in me.

My friends laughed when I would tell strangers 'I'm only fostering her short-term.' They would snicker and say 'Seriously-who are you kidding? You are so into her!' We are a pair, I tell you. Till death do us part-- that's for sure. Now I just imagine how life would totally suck without her. She has helped distract me through one of the most trying times in my life. And I suppose that aside from sleeping with the occasional pinecone brought in from is pretty good.

So, really I suppose the point of this painfully long story is... who rescued whom?

Thursday, December 20, 2012 11:05:00 AM


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