"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
CLICK HERE to meet
"Rudi Klaus Wolfram"
to read his story (below)
CLICK HERE to meet
"Ava Annabelle Wolfram"
to read her story (below)
CLICK HERE to meet
"Max Gerhard Wolfram"
to read his story (below)
Boys And Their Toys (5:30)
Rudi, Fritz & Oskar play with their toys - Rudi wants to control them, but Fritz wants to control Rudi...and Oskar, the elder statesman, is content to enjoy the day!
The music is by Mark Wolfram: "Chipper Round Tripper", "Upper Berth Bounce" and "Hasty Lumbago".
Life With Rudi: Oskar & Fritz Welcome Their New Friend (3:11)
Meet our new rescue RUDI - he's a standard schnauzer - about 4 years old - and truly a sweetheart! Our smaller schnauzer mixes (Oskar & Fritz) were at first intimidated by his size - but now they're all good buddies...playing, snuggling and having good times! Long live Rudi!
Canine Wrestlemania: Fritz vs. Oskar (2:22)
Fearsome Fritz takes on Oskar the Ogre in this exciting Canine Wrestlemania bout!
Meet Fritz . . . The PLAY-BOY! (1:41)
Our new rescue puppy FRITZ plays with his toys - and has a great time! He's about 14 months old and a real bundle of energy! Hope you enjoy his video as much as we're enjoying sharing our home with him! The music is "Lover" - music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart - with an arrangement by Hugo Montenegro from his "Bongos & Brass" LP.
Gustav & Oskar - Doin' The Hang (1:58)
Gustav and Oskar get ready for their evening walk - it's a time of great excitement! Afterwards, they relax with some delicious dog biscuits - YUMMY! It's a GOOD life!
CLICK HERE for VIDEO of Dunkel Doing Tricks in 1984
Click on the small photos below to see more schnauzer pictures!!!
The first schnauzer I ever met was my brother-in-law Max, in 1980. He was 9 years old, very frisky and extremely talented: he would dance for Milk Bones, sit, lie down, roll over, shake paws, jump and bark on command. In 1982, we got our own schnauzer puppy, Dunkel, who was the runt of the litter. We kept his ears "natural" and the first noise he ever made was to howl along with the fire truck sirens going down Seventh Avenue in midtown Manhattan.
When Dunkel got his first haircut, he looked so different, the people in our apartment building thought we'd gotten a new dog! His ears, which had flopped over attractively since we got him, now stood straight up! We tried taping them down, but that made him miserable, and lasted less than a day! We let the fur on them grow, so they'd naturally flop over a bit - but Dunkel always liked to HEAR what was going on!
Dunkel was the perfect son - never thought that he was a dog! When put with other dogs, he wasn't exactly unfriendly - but he had this look on his face of confusion, and he'd stare at us as if to say, "What am I doing HERE? With all these DOGS? They're nice and all, but... Hey, I'm a PERSON!! I don't belong with DOGS!!" He was the only dog who got carsick (the rest LOVED to ride in the car!) and the only one who slept between us in bed - pushing one person away while bracing against the other!
Dunkel Does Tricks for a Treat - 1984 (1:23)
Our first miniature schnauzer Dunkel vigilantly performs MANY tricks for Marilyn and nephew David - for just a SINGLE biscuit. This rare old clip was unearthed by videographer (and brother-in-law) Merle - a special thanks to him!
In 1986 we got a little sister for Dunkel - we named her Gretel Garbo, and her mother's name was Miss Molly Hollywood. Gretel knew she was royalty from the get-go, but she would humor us by letting us dress her up, sing love songs to her and carry her around in our arms, like an infant. Gretel had many adventures her early years - she fell through some stairs and damaged her back - developed bladder stones that had to be removed several times - and had a near-death experience with a parvo-like virus. Once on a trip to San Francisco, she tried to go exploring on the streets by herself. She put us through our paces, that girl!
But she also alerted us to and scared off an intruder to our apartment one night by continuing to growl when we wanted to sleep.
In October 1991 we lost Dunkel at age 9 to congenital kidney failure. He'd gone from 17 pounds to 12 pounds almost overnight, and we hadn't noticed right away because Gretel was busy scarfing down his food (and bulking up to almost 20 pounds, herself! She eventually had to have chest-reduction surgery and managed to get back down to a svelte 14-15 pounds by 1997.)
Gretel was actually quite happy as "an only child", but we missed Dunkel so much we had to get another puppy within a month. True to his name, Kaiser was dominant right away - you can see from the Christmas photos 1991 and 1992 what a difference a year makes!
Kaiser was exuberant, even for a puppy, and a bit fear-aggressive, so we took him and Gretel to dog obedience class. They both did pretty well, but not up to the exacting standards of the teachers, both of whom had German Shepherds, and who dismissed any problem we had with, "well, what do you expect? They're SCHNAUZERS!" - like it was a fatal disease!
Meantime, Mark's parents had acquired two beautiful miniatures after Max died at age 15 in 1986: Tina and Tinkerbelle, who were both related to Gretel. Tina loved EVERYONE - and everyone loved Tina! Tinkerbelle was a bit more reserved but every bit as sweet and loving once she got to know you.
When the parents passed on, we inherited Tina and Tinkerbelle - and it was FUN having 4 schnauzers in the house!! Coming home from an outing was an EVENT, with four little ones taking notice when you walked in the door! After being couch-potatoes for many years, Tina and Tinky adjusted well to nightly walks. Going around the block together, the pack exuded an energy and camraderie that was awe-inspiring!! T & T both shed a few pounds over the years from improved diet and exercise (wow - what a concept! Think it could work on humans???) Grooming was an all-day affair, but they looked so great, they were well worth the effort!
On walks, we noticed that both Tina and Tink would cry and whimper whenever they'd see people of "a certain age" - i.e. GRAY-haired people - and we realized that after growing up their first 6 years with the parents, they'd never feel entirely at home with us. Oh, they liked us well enough - but we were just pinch-hitting until their REAL folks came back to pick them up!
Tinkerbelle's heart gave out in September 1997 and we all missed her terribly - especially her older sis Tina. Tink was only 10, but had had a bad heart murmur for at least 4 years. We lost Tina this past February, at age 13-1/2 - also from heart failure. Five weeks later we lost Gretel to kidney failure at age 14. She was a queen to the end.
In the middle of losing Tina and Gretel, Kaiser (at age eight-and-a-half) was diagnosed with diabetes and started getting insulin shots twice a day. For a while he seemed to be enjoying being a solo dog - lots of extra attention, playtime, affection. But he was looking lonely at times - and we all missed the frenetic chaos of having a pack of schnauzers in the house - especially when the doorbell rang!
We hadn't realized how gloomy the place was getting after we lost Tina and Gretel. Our once crowded home suddenly seemed so much bigger, and the energies of schnauzers past filled many an empty "special place" around the house. We'd drag ourselves through our days, and then cruise the internet at night for Miniature Schnauzer websites, rescues and ANY photo of a schnauzer. It's not that Kaiser wasn't enough dog for us - we were just used to having LOTS of schnauzer energy in our home...we needed an infusion of new blood!!
Then came Gustav!! He was a rescue we saw online at the Schnauzer Rescue Board (see link below). Sunny Arruda at the South Bay Purebred Rescue in San Jose, California was his foster mom, and she told us so many wonderful things about this little guy that we had to take a chance and drive up to see him. (At the time they had dubbed him "Dusty" - see the "before" photo on the Welcome Gustav!!! page and you'll understand why.)
It was love at first sight - we played with a toy, he ran around the yard, snuggled with us (perfect strangers), nibbled our fingers and kissed us - whoa!!! This dog was putting the moves on us! And boy, did we like it!! Although he seemed a bit underweight and more like a "puppy" than a 2-year-old (that's what they guessed his age to be, based on the wear on his teeth), we decided to adopt him almost immediately. Mark went to the car to get a collar and leash we had brought with us - and Gustav ran to the kennel gate and cried as he left. As Mark returned Gustav was very excited and happy. We filled out the adoption papers, paid the adoption fee and had a quick "photo op" with our new son. Then it was back to Los Angeles!! After a very long day of dogs and driving we arrived home just after midnight. Kaiser seemed to "tolerate" this new guy immediately. Since then he's been fitting into our family just great!! He's the "lap dog" we always wanted,the "cuddle and snuggle dog" that we tried to make our other dogs into - and a terrific companion who wants to please. He and Kaiser have even played tug-o-war a few times. (Of course, Kaiser won!) The only "downside" to Gustav is that having him necessitated our getting a new bed - this guy needs to sleep "among the pack" at night - given his druthers, he'd sleep ON TOP of us.
As the year 2000 came to a close we began to notice that Kaiser was having trouble sleeping through the night. After many visits to the vet it was determined that Kaiser had a cyst on his pancreas the size of a SOFTBALL!!! Surgery at the end of February had mixed results. While it gave him some relief, they weren't able to remove the cyst entirely and decided to "marsupialize" it. After many months of constant care (flushing the open wound and re-bandaging several times a day), the cyst continued to shrink to the size of a golfball. Meanwhile, with his renewed vigor (due to more sleep and less pressure on his organs from the cyst) Kaiser came roaring back in rare form! He was so thrilled with the Los Angeles Lakers Back-2-Back World Championships that he took up the game of basketball! (Check out his jersey on the inset photo) After traveling up the California coast to meet them in April, Kaiser & Gustav received a mid-July visit from their buddies Sheila & Tucker (from Santa Barbara), along with their mom, Susie. Everyone had a GREAT time and we look forward to our next visit with them!! Click the photo-link (to the left-above) to see dog pictures from Kaiser & Gustav's Summer Fun 2001!!!
KAISER WILHELM WOLFRAM
August 27, 1991 - September 9, 2001
Rest In Peace, Beloved Friend Thank you, Lori Bush, for this moving tribute! And thanks to the many Hoflin listers who sent us words of comfort - Love Marilyn & Mark
While he'd had several periods of relative good health, since his surgery last winter Kaiser had experienced more serious infections than usual and had to be hospitalized on the average of once a month. He'd had at least one seizure that we know of and we'd taken him to the wholistic vet when our regular vet couldn't help him with an injured shoulder that made him limp with pain so that he could not longer play fetch with his beloved tennis ball. When it became apparent that he was in real discomfort and there wasn't anything else we could do to ease his suffering, we had to help him to the Rainbow Bridge on the Sunday after Labor Day of this year. (2001)
He was a beloved Best Friend who we all miss dearly.
We saw Liesel (aka "Sassy") on the South Bay Purebred Rescue webpage and called Sunny to find out more about her: she's 4 years old, overweight and blind (we believe from a genetic disorder called Progressive Retinal Atrophy [PRA] which can't be cured). People panic when they learn that she's blind, but it really isn't that much of a problem - she won't let it be!! We warn her of potential pitfalls and she gets around GREAT! Liesel absolutely LOVES to go out for walks and is CRAZY about the backyard, where she chases cats (can't see 'em, but she knows they're there!!) and sniffs around to her heart's content! She's only been with us for a little over a month now and already she's looking a BIT more svelte! And Gustav is starting to play with her - he gets her to chase him, then he hides behind the jade bush because even HE forgets that she can't see him!
As the dog days of Summer (no pun intended) passed in 2002 we saw Gustav longing for a playmate. We immediately thought, "Puppy!" After putting out a few feelers we got an email from Sunny Arruda at South Bay Purebred Rescue who told us about a 7-month-old puppy in Fresno, California. His former owner, an elderly woman, had passed on a week earlier and Oskar spent the following week in a cage at his vet's office. He came to the attention of Jan Torrez of ACES (English Setter Rescue) who contacted Sunny. This little guy was a delight to all who came in contact with him! Sunny suggested if we were interested that we move QUICKLY and contact Jan immediately. That was Tuesday at 11am - by 8pm on Tuesday night we were in Fresno (with Gustav & Liesel) to check out the little guy. Well...what a high energy little guy, indeed!! We forgot how much "zip" that puppies have. Boy was he cute!! Not a purebred Schnauzer - but there was some in there. We brought him home that night (we got home about 12:30am) and it has been a blur of puppydom ever since!! Pictures, feeding, walks, manic playtime with Gustav & Liesel - now you know why it took a couple days to get this page up. What a fantastic addition he makes to our family!! We look forward to years of fun and love with this little guy!!!
LIESEL SCHÄTZE WOLFRAM
September 2, 2001 - June 28, 2008
Rest In Peace, Sweet Girl
Our sweet little girl Liesel was diagnosed with diabetes in July 2005, and while it took a while to get her blood sugar regulated, she did very well for quite some time. She went quickly from complications - most notably kidney failure.
She had an indomitable spirit and she was the most sighted blind dog ever - she always wanted to take the lead on our walks and was fearless about making her way around her world. She had self-possession and loved to cuddle while watching TV. We'll miss her impatience to "get GOING already!" on our nightly walks before bed, we'll miss her Dinner Dance (she was the most enthusiastic eater EVER!), her insistent NUDGING when she wanted attention, and her contented snoring every night.
Rest in peace, sweet girl!
In the months that passed after we lost Liesel (in June of 2008) we truly missed our little girl! While Gustav and Oskar fine-tuned their dynamic it became more and more evident to us that we needed another special friend to help fill the void left by Liesel. This, of course, led to months of online searching for just the right type of personality to complement the boys and still have plenty of personal pizzaz! We found "Leon" at the Not So Grande Dachshund & Small Dog Rescue in Tucson, AZ. Upon first meeting this little boy was very shy - although he got to know our boys very quickly and they accepted him immediately! It took lots of patience and dog treats for him to start to warm up to us that sunny winter afternoon - and before we left, Jess (one of the owners of NSGD&SDR) picked him up and handed him to Marilyn to hold. He seemed totally at ease in Marilyn's arms - and as he began to relax his eyes rolled back in his head as if to say, "She's the one - I can go home with these folks!" After his shots and neutering "Fritz" will start 2009 as the newest member of our family. He's a little guy (about 14 months old) and he's cute as a button with bright, clear eyes - he seems to be a Border Terrier with a little Miniature Schnauzer mixed in - and definitely all love! You may not hear from us for a while - we'll be in puppy bliss! In the meantime, we're all looking forward to many happy years with Fritz!
FRITZ UPDATE - Summer 2010: With the passing of Gustav our little Fritz has decided that he's the ADIC (Alpha Dog in Charge). Below are a couple of pictures of Fritz and Oskar, 1) just after Fritz's 1st haircut last Summer, and 2) just lying around this steamy August weekend. We hope you enjoy them!
Fritz & Oskar - Summer of 2009 (just after Fritz's first haircut)
GUSTAV GUNTHER WOLFRAM
April 18, 2000 - June 23, 2010
Rest In Peace, Best Friend
In November of 2009 our Gustav wasn't feeling well. We took him to the vet and had him looked at thoroughly. In addition to a couple of bad discs in his back he had an enlarged liver - and a mass growing on the liver that was about half of the liver's size. His bloodwork numbers were remarkably bad. Our vet suggested using a liver cleansing supplement, milk thistle and Sam-E on his food and some pain pills for his back. The idea was to keep him comfortable in the short time he had left. (Our vet figured 4 to 6 weeks)
Over the next 7 months Gustav seemed to be getting better every day. His appetite was generally pretty good and his energy level was high. He loved his nightly walks around the block (about a mile) and he definitely was the king of the castle! But in early June - despite very encouraging numbers on his bloodwork - he started feeling bad. His back legs started to lose sensation and his liver growth was getting much bigger. Add to that his eyesight and hearing starting to fail and you could see why he was an unhappy boy. But he rarely complained. Finally, on June 23, 2010 we helped him to the bridge.
Gustav was our first rescue. He was a 2 year old Oakland crackhouse dog who was moments away from euthanasia when Sunny Arruda saved him - for us! He immediately became Kaiser's best friend and single-pawedly invented the position of "bathroom monitor" - any time you're in the bathroom you could count on him guarding the door for you. He was our "speed bump" dog - he was ALWAYS under foot - he always had to be where the action was. He was also our "Velcro Dog" - always attached to us. Our lives have been infinitely richer for having him with us. No dog will ever replace him!
Rest in Peace, Good Boy!
Fritz sulks on a hot August afternoon - "I have to stay home again!"
Oskar chills on a hot August afternoon - happy to be at home.
In the 16 months that passed after we lost Gustav (in June of 2010) we felt an absence of pure Schnauzer energy in the house! While Oskar and Fritz were keeping us on our toes - and wrestling with each other, it seemed to us that it was time for a new infusion into our little family. Marilyn found a male schnauzer "Rudi" (a.k.a. Obi) on the internet (yeah, we often search the rescue sites - even when we don't need new dogs!) and contacted Justin at the Adopt-A-Bull Dog Rescue in Tucson, AZ about meeting this handsome fellow!
We met him this afternoon and it was LOVE at first sight! The big surprise was on us, though - he isn't a "big" miniature schnauzer (as described) - but he is actually a STANDARD schnauzer! 38 pounds of pure Schnauzer joy! He walks on the leash well, is house-trained, does a few of the standard commands (sit - stay - come, etc.), and does pretty much whatever we ask of him. We went and got a harness and a new crate on the way home - then we walked all around our neighborhood before playing in the back yard, having dinner and settling in for some TV time and cuddling. It's gonna take some time to get used to a standard schnauzer - but we'll happily adjust! Marilyn's has wanted a standard schnauzer since we first met one at a dog show in Chicago in 1986! See, dreams do come true.
We look forward to many happy years with Rudi - and thanks, again, to Justin at Adopt-A-Bull Dog Rescue.
OSKAR OTTO WOLFRAM
February 11, 2002 - June 24, 2015
Rest In Peace, Best Friend
In late December of 2011 Oskar wasn't feeling well. We took him to a new vet and had him looked at thoroughly. In addition to a heart murmur and very bad diabetes he also had a very toxic liver and needed fluids badly. His bloodwork numbers were horrible. Our vet suggested a number of paliative measures to make him more comfortable - but she didn't seem very optimistic regarding his long-term survival. We weren't ones to give in easily - and as it turned out, neither was Oskar. He not only got through this episode but went on to thrive for 4½ years. A couple of times in the last few years Oskar had minor health issues - but he always seemed to bounce back - and better than before!
Lately Oskar started having problems with his memory. And his sight was almost gone - with the hearing not far behind. His appetite was erratic, sometimes enormous and other times non-existent. When he started having bowel problems we knew that his myriad problems were getting the better of him. His last week was spent in diapers (he lost bowel control), sleeping in his crate at night and not really being aware we were there. It's so hard to see a vibrant friend go into such a steep decline and suffer being a shell of his former self. We knew we had to give him relief, so this afternoon we helped him to the Bridge.
Oskar was our third rescue from Sunny Arruda. (She always found us the nicest friends!) He was a 7 month old puppy from Fresno, California whose elderly owner had just passed away. When we saw pictures of him his gorgeous looks stole our hearts! Everyone who visited our home was always charmed by him - he always seemed like he wanted EVERYONE to love him and take him home! But we were the lucky ones to have spent almost 13 years with Oskar. We'll miss his beautiful tenor singing voice - his stubborness - and his snuggling and love. Rest in Peace, Good Boy!
FRITZ FRANZ WOLFRAM
January 21, 2009 - April 19, 2017
Rest In Peace, Best Friend
In late January of 2017 Fritz got a horrible hacking cough and wasn't feeling well. We took him to the vet and the diagnosis was a very bad heart murmur, breathing problems and an enlarged heart. X-rays confirmed all of these things and the ultimate diagnosis was congestive heart failure. The vet prescribed some meds to help him be more comfortable but it was just a matter of time before the disease would claim him.
The last 3 months of his life were a bit of a roller coaster ride! He would be his usual bouncy and loquatious self one day, then hacking and panting for air the next. When he stopped eating and devoted all of his energies to trying to breathe and being afraid we knew it was time to help him to the bridge. And so we did that this afternoon. We were so sad to lose him, but happy he was finally at peace.
We rescued Fritz in January of 2009 - they said he was about 14 months old. He was found after spending time running free in the desert. It's amazing the coyotes didn't get him - but he was very smart and incredibly quick. In his short 9½ years Fritz left a big pawprint on this earth! He was a Miniature Schnauzer/Border Terrier mix - Schnauzerrier or Bordauzer. His unique coat had a golden hue, hence his moniker: The Golden Child. We'd always say that he had a "crisp, crumb coating!" Fritz got along great with Gustav and Oskar. He loved to wrestle with Oskar and then Rudi (who was twice his size). He LOVED his back yard. He dug so many "fox holes" where he would hang out that you could see them on Google Earth maps - he loved to roll in the dirt, too! You always needed 4 hands (or more) when grooming him - he didn't put up with anything he didn't like. He had an "I WANT IT NOW!" personality - and he usually got it! But mostly Fritz was a lover who loved to hang out, share a treat, be part of "the pack" and snuggle with you. He will be missed!
Rest in Peace, our Golden Child!
Even though Fritz was gone only 6 weeks we noticed that Rudi was a bit mopey and we really missed Fritz! We saw an internet listing for a bonded pair of 8-or-9-year-old rescue miniature schnauzers in Tempe/Chandler, AZ. We met them, along with Rudi, and fell in love! After waiting 3 weeks for medical evaluations and tests, we drove to Chandler and picked them up June 2nd, 2017 after they had extensive dental work and cleaning done. We'd like you to meet Ava (L) & Max (R). Each of them is about 15 pounds - Ava is salt & pepper, Max is solid black!
After a few days at home, we have found them to be SO sweet! We're just adoring them both!! They snuggled all the way home from Chandler and did VERY well after all their surgeries. The veternarian in Chandler (Homeward Bound Spay Neuter Hospital) is a GREAT place!! They gave our new babies excellent, compassionate and very affordable care! We want to extend many, many thanks to all of the wonderful and giving people at rescue organizations, foster homes and caregivers we dealt with in our search for Ava & Max. The work they do makes this world a much better place!
The longer Ava & Max hang out with us, the sweeter they get - they are very affectionate and loving. They both like to sit in our laps and watch TV. They both pull like crazy on our nightly walks. What else would you expect from schnauzers? Between them and Rudi they make an impressive trio!
We look forward to many happy years with Ava & Max- and thanks, again, to Sherry and Sue at Pathways Home Animal Rescue of Phoenix, AZ.
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Some of my favorite dog LINKS:
Rudi's Old Man: Doggy Daddy!!!
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