A Publication of St. Louis Critter Sitters
August 2006

Breed of the Month – The Miniature Schnauzer

DESCRIPTION You will find that the typical well-bred Miniature Schnauzer is relatively small in size but in no way toyish or delicate. When you pick him up you will discover he is sturdy, heavy, and muscular... ruggedness combined with the elegance and beauty of a pure-bred. He makes an excellent companion because he is extremely obedient and quick to learn, is devoted, playful and affectionate. His alertness makes him an excellent guard dog. He is spunky and fearless but not aggressive so that he can run with other dogs. And, like other terriers, he will go to ground to attack vermin of all kinds. One must become aware of these characteristics lest he be lost, stolen, or a victim of an accident. In the suburbs he should be fenced in or walked on a leash.

He is as much at home in the city with a small amount of exercise as he is in the country where he appears tireless. And, he easily adapts to any change of condition or climate. His deepest need, however, is to live as a part of the family, going where they go, doing what they do. Sleeping on the bed, or in his own, beside his owner is his great joy. The Miniature Schnauzer does not shed, so he often can be enjoyed by persons who are allergic to other breeds of dogs. In return, the owner must keep him groomed to maintain his handsome appearance.

Are they Color Blind?

Dogs are often thought to be colorblind, yet now it is thought that dogs see some colors, but their spectrum is limited. Eyesight is generally considered the poorest of the dog’s senses. A dog’s eyesight is certainly not as acute as its hearing and sense of smell, but it suits a purpose. Before dogs were domesticated it was more important for a dog to see in low light situations than it was to see a full range of colors. A dog’s eyesight is most effective at dusk, and is best suited to spot prey. The acuity of their eyesight is less than most humans, yet they can see texture and brightness and most importantly movement.

One who plays fetch or Frisbee with their dog can attest to the ability of their dog to clearly see the toy they are chasing or catching. While they rely on smell and sound for much of their ability to track, find, hunt, and navigate the world use of their eyes is also important. For dogs that are blind, fortunately they typically can adapt well as they have other stronger senses. However, there usually are some modifications that need to be made for blind dogs so that they can find their way and recognize the people around them.

It is relatively common for older dogs’ eyesight to either decrease, or for them to loose their vision altogether. With some assistance these dogs can still have happy active lives.

Pet Tip – Summer Pet Tips

Keep water bowls full and accessible.

Provide a cool shady spot for pets to rest.

Never leave a pet alone in a car.

Provide exercise either in the morning or late afternoon (or other appropriate times) when it is cooler.

Don't walk a dog on a hot sidewalk it could harm his paws.

Don't cool a pet down with ice water, it can cause shock.

Be aware that pets can get sunburned, particularly light skin/fur or thin furred pets.

If possible provide a sprinkler or kiddy pool for dogs to cool off in.

Make sure pets have a well ventilated cool spot to rest whether inside or out.

St. Louis Critter Sitters
Recipe Corner

Wheat-free Tuna Biscuits

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 can tuna in oil [small] undrained
  • 1/3 cup water

Grind oatmeal in processor till a coarse flour, put in a bowl. to processor add tuna with the oil, and water , process till pureed, add all the rest of ingredient.Pulse til mixture forms a ball, Pulse to knead for 2-3 minutes. Turn out to floured board, knead if needed to soft dough. Roll out to a 1/8"-1/4" thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet, at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.


Shedding is a common issue for pet owners during Spring and Summer. Some lucky pet owners manage to avoid this problem by choosing short haired or thin furred pet. While most pets with fur will shed to some extent, it can be extreme for some thick furred pets particularly in hot weather. (Be aware that if fur is coming out in a clump that is not shedding but most likely indicates a skin problem or other condition.)

Shedding can’t be completely stopped, but it can be managed. One of the simplest solutions is frequent brushing and grooming. For thick furred pets and particularly dogs with a double coat such as Golden Retrievers this is an excellent way to remove excess fur. Wipes can also be a helpful tool, particularly for cats that may not want to sit for a brushing, and also for excessive shedders who can benefit from a quick wipe down. Having a pet with a healthy skin and coat also helps in reducing the amount of fur shed. Often adding a supplement with Omega 3 fatty acids can improve skin and fur condition, which frequently leads to less shedding.

The next issue with shedding is how to clean it up. Fur on fabric can be tough to clean as it can cling due to static. Cat fur can be particularly tough as it is typically finer and can float through the air easier. While vacuuming is an obvious way to clean there are also products such as vacuum sprays that help fur come up easier. Also there are lint rollers, and fur removers that can help keep fur off of clothes and furniture. For allergy suffers shedding can be problematic as fur often contains the dander that triggers allergies. If allergies are an issue for you or a family member a Hepa filter may be a wise choice to help keep the air clean.

"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That is the essence of humanity."
...George Bernard Shaw