The Boys

Schnoodle = Schnauzer + Poodle!

Our “boys” are a huge part of our lives! They are both so funny, sweet and loyal, but each has their own unique personality and story of how they became Parkers.

Ernie Banks

In the summer of 2009 shortly before B and I got engaged, we started seriously talking about getting a dog. We had always known we would eventually get one but it seemed like the right time had arrived. We both are a little borderline anal about cleanliness and knew the one requirement was that the dog didn’t shed. So we started doing some research and eventually decided that a schnoodle would be the perfect dog for us. I did even more research to find a good, reputable breeder within driving distance from Greenville. I called a couple and eventually found Acura Cockapoos (sadly, Acura does not breed schnoodles anymore, only cockapoos). Dee was very open, honest and professional. We put down a deposit immediately because she was going to be breeding for a schnoodle litter THAT WEEK! I received word from Dee a couple of weeks later that Miss Tootsie was pregnant and that as soon as the litter was born we would get pictures and have first pick. Tootsie had 3 pups on September 4th and it was very easy to choose which of the two boys would be Ernie Banks. (We knew we wanted a boy and clearly Brad is a HUGE Chicago Cubs fan!)

FINALLY after a long 7 weeks we were able to go to Irmo, SC and bring our little Ernie home!! Since then he has made us laugh, cry (he was lost once for 4 hours! Turns out he was in Brad’s parents’ neighbor’s garage the WHOLE time with his girlfriend, a golden retriever named Sadie!), and love a ton!

Walter Payton

Wally definitely did not have the same fortunate path to us that his brother did! Brad started bugging me about getting a second dog within months of getting Ernie. He really wanted a bigger dog and thought we could manage some of EB’s energy if he had a playmate. We wanted to rescue a dog this time around and did some searching online but it was summer and we had a lot of travel and lake trips planned so we wanted to wait until things settled down a bit and get serious about looking again in the fall. But one afternoon in June, Brad went to the Humane Society to donate a bunch of our old towels and blankets and told the girl who worked there that we were interested in another hypo-allergenic dog and to let us know if they had any come in. She told him that she knew of a BIG litter of SCHNOODLES that needed homes! What?! Schnoodles for rescue?! We couldn’t believe it. We later found out that they were Giant Schnauzer/Standard Poodle mixes and they were all around 40 pounds. I was a little hesistant about a bigger dog, but this was exactly what Brad wanted. He called me at work and I very hesistantly agreed to go meet one of the dogs from the petfinder website, where they had recently been added. We picked “Jonathan” from the site and Susan from Speak for Animals (more on that later) arranged for the current owner to bring him to the park to meet us and Ernie.

To put it nicely, Walter/Jonathan was in very rough shape. We didn’t fall in love with him and want to take him home because he warmed up to us and Ernie quickly, but more because our hearts broke because we knew he needed help. In fact, he really wanted nothing to do with us or Ernie that day and was fixated on the owner, although we couldn’t understand why because it became clear later that he was very malnurished, poorly taken care of and we are nearly certain, abused. We were able to bring Walter home about 2 weeks later and little did we know, but we were in for a long road of rehabilitation. The first thing Brad did was take him to get him groomed. He immediately peed in the car on the way over and then after his grooming, on the way to the vet, he jumped out of a the car window (that was only slightly rolled down) going 30 mph. Once he got to the vet, they treated him for yeast in his ears, fleas and all the cuts and scrapes from hitting the ground at that speed.

At the vet the first day we got him

In the coming months, he was also treated for hook worms, tape worms, more ear infections and crystals in his urine! Walter also had SEVERE seperation anxiety and was attached to Brad in a very unhealthy manner. We had a difficult time leaving him at all and eventually, at the recommendation of our vet, had to put him on anti-anxiety medication. It actually helped a ton and did not make him lethargic. We were able to use all of the training techniques for seperation anxiety successfully and he made dramatic improvements. The only really good thing that happened in the first week is that Walter finally warmed up to Ernie and they quickly became best buds. They play constantly and are inseparable.
It took over 6 months to get him fully house-broken and we really didn’t get there until we moved from the condo to a new house (with a yard!). I won’t even get into the number of times we spent scrubbing carpets, couches and car seats and washing bedding (ours and his!)because of all of the accidents. Walter is still very afraid of most men and a number of other things, but has come so, so far. He seems to truly know how fortunate he is.

4 Responses to The Boys

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