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Schnorbitz died. Aged 13 ?

My neighbour, Chris, who many of you who have visited know, has a JackShit - a Jack Russel dog mixed with a shih tzu- and if I have never met anything that looked more like an Ewok in Star Wars, it was this little fella.

After Chris lost his last dog to old age, a local lady friend had this small dog and didn't want it, Chris asked and was given Schnorbitz and we think he was about 7 years of age at the time.

When I asked how he would get on with such a small dog and as he is 6'7" tall, he just said he could have a small dog as he had nothing to hide.

The first time he brought him round to the hotel, he took to me straight away and I was like his second Dad, as he would have sleep overs here with Honey, my Weimaraner, and times when his Dad, Chris, was away for weeks working he would live here with us.

We knew each others routines and while his routine was different to the one I have with Honey, we managed and he adapted and he was such a sweet little thing and would curl up next to you on the couch and sleep real close, whereas Honey is a more independent madam and a lot less affectionate and it was great to be loved so openly by Schnorbitz compared to Honey.

Walking him could be a nightmare if you let him off the lead as he would just go off on his own and not really pay attention to where you were so you had to either REALLY keep an eye on him at all times, or keep him on a long lead, which is how I always walked him.

Like all small dogs, he had an attitude with bigger dogs, especially golden Labradors for some reason and while he was a feisty little bugger who would bark at them, being on the lead you were always able to pull him away and one does wonder what he would do if not on the lead as he was not a vicious dog and would not attack, so why all the barking. Mind you, small dogs often are the noisiest and like the Napoleon Complex with short men, he always appeared like the little tough guy.

As he got older his eyes began to fog over and his eye site was pretty bad but he seemed to find his way around places and never had any problems, and as he was also going deaf a lot of the shared language between us was sign language and he seemed okay with that and quite happy.

This weekend while out with Chris - somehow he slipped his lead and wondered off on the harbour and it appears he fell into the harbour without anyone noticing he had gone off on his own and sadly, he fell into the harbour and drowned and was found by someone in a boat - and after a frantic half hour trying to find him., Chris was heartbroken, as are we all, at the sudden and unexpected death of such a sweet little fella.

We think he was about 13, so a good age and he would not have been with us much longer anyway, but to fall into the harbour and drown is such a sad ending and I am sure Chris is now beating himself up for letting him slip his lead and wonder off without being noticed, but then, that was his way - the little fella would wonder off on his own and was why I kept him on a lead at all times when out. Being someone else's dog the last thig I wanted was for something to happen when he was with me.

Sadly, it happened when he was with his own Dad.

Here he is - LEFT - asleep while we were putting up the Christmas decorations and he made himself at home on the pile of decorations and it looked so sweet last Christmas. He would walk up and just plonk himself down...

We forget that as the years pass, our pets grow old and will die on us and we will be heartbroken when it happens. If we have dogs - on average we get 10 - 15 years and then we are bereft when they go. You can never replace a beloved dog and while I have had 4 Weimaraner's over the decades, every one was different personality and you cannot replace one animal with another any more than two twins are very different people, as is my own twin brother and I - very different people.

Just because a dog is the same breed does not mean they will be the same as your old one.

Chris says he will not get another dog now - it is too painful when they go and his lifestyle is busy and Schnorbitz had several weekend homes and it would / is not fair on animals who need / like routine - yet little Schnorbitz seemed happy with his multiple homes and just plodded into the house and knew where his favourite sleeping areas were, and where he could keep an eye out for his Dad coming to collect him.

Fussy eater though. You were always adding bits of cheese or ham to his dinner so he would eat it, whereas Honey will eat anything you put in front of her and then try and steal anything Schnorbitz may have left... and for a small dog, his poos were mountainous and he eat as much as Honey and considering his weight was 12kg and Honey is 35kg - he eat like a horse.

So we grieve. We are sad. Chris will eventually throw his lead away and get rid of things ( probably to me as I can use ) but - the memories are still there and we concentrate on the life lived and not the tragic ending.

I remember one night when he was on sleep overs, when he had a bad tummy and got me out of bed 10 times throughout the night and it is from one end of the hotel to the other to go from my apartment at the top, right down through the whole hotel and to the back door, and bless him, he had the trots galore and he was suffering so you just get up and let him out - again and again - as he was ill and cannot help it. At least I could go back to bed the next day if tired and the poor little boy - he was fine the next day while I was knackered.

Bless you Schnorbitz. Thanks for so many years of joy and happiness, play times and sleep times, barking and getting me up at 3am to go pee or finding him asleep on my bed curled up amongst the pillows in the middle of a rainy afternoon.

He was loved - and he loved in return.

Thank you for our time with this sweet little fella.

He will be remembered with much affection.

John Bellamy


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