Wrigley was the best dog we have ever had. Wrigley was the worst dog we ever had.
Wrigley was an unwanted puppy rescued from the side of a busy road. We had recently lost Snort, our first dog. Puppy Wrigley was very scared and clingy – for about 48 hours. Then the schnauzer part kicked into high gear.
Wrigley was smart, possibly the smartest dog we ever had. She was the easiest dog of the six we have had to house train. She learned obedience well on a leash. Wrigley was the best dog we ever had.
We crate our dogs at night. Wrigley loved her freedom. This was the beginning of a nightly struggle lasting more than a decade. She wanted to be free, we want her in a crate, Wrigley hid. She hid in so many ways. She would be motionless in a corner. She would hide behind stuff. She would hide outside.
Wrigley never ate a dog treat given when crated – ever. We even gave her freshly made bacon. She ate it the next morning when the crate door was opened. Wrigley was the most frustrating dog ever.
Wrigley loved people. She never met a human from infant to the elderly that was not her friend. She loved them all, greeted each one by putting her paws on them and wagging her tail. If a large number of strangers were in the house, she would “work the room” by greeting each person individually. We trusted Wrigley around everyone – she was the best dog ever.
Wrigley was a great walking dog. She never got tangled. Until her health collapsed in her last year, you could not outwalk Wrigley. Wrigley never tangled leashes when two dogs were being walked. Wrigley never attacked other dogs and every human she met was her friend. Wrigley was the best walking dog ever.
Wrigley always wanted to be with us. She did not want to be in our laps, just in our presence. She would follow us around the house (usually Lynn). Wrigley led, but had to keep looking over her shoulder or backtrack if she chose the wrong hall. Wrigley was a sweet companion.
Wrigley never showed pain – ever. Puppy Wrigley would flip herself over a gate, land on her spine on hard wood, and dash off. Shots, snake bites, accidently stepping on her, nothing ever caused a whimper or a yelp. Wrigley was the pinnacle of dog stoicism. Wrigley was the best dog ever.
Young Wrigley got bored. Young Wrigley would sit in Lynn’s lap, stick out her tongue just a touch, grin, and reach her front paw back and pop Lynn on the cheek. She did the same thing to my Niece Laura. Wrigley was a pest.
Wrigley never wanted to play. Ball, tug of war, all of this was stupid. She wanted to watch for trouble. She watched a lot out of windows and doors. Wrigley barked at intruders: other dogs, people, cats and deer. Squirrels were beneath her notice. But once a stranger was greeted by Lynn or I, they became Wrigley’s new friend. Wrigley could be annoying.
Wrigley thought she was the best dog ever. Wrigley knew we did not need any other dogs. Lynn wanted a lap dog that would play ball, so she got Zippo. Zippo became the focus of Wrigley’s rage. Wrigley had a lot of hate. After months of discipline, Wrigley learned that she could not bite Zippo. But she could growl at Zippo, chew at his neck fur, block the hallway, block the path to Zippos’ food bowl, take Zippos ball, bone or whatever and then lay on it and go to sleep. Zippo was clearly a waste of oxygen.
When Lynn got custody of her Nephew Sam (aged 16), Sam decided he wanted his own dog. So he got Max. Wrigley hated Max and only then decided hated Sam. Before this, Sam was a dear friend. Now, if Sam left the door open to his bedroom, Wrigley would go in and pee on the clothes on the floor. Wrigley would stare down Sam in a hallway, and then pee right in front of him. Wrigley was pretty perfectly housetrained – this was hate pee. Wrigley was the worst dog ever.
I got Panzer two years ago. Panzer is a miniature Schnauzer. Panzer plays amazingly well with other dogs and attempted to be Wrigley’s friend. Wrigley was elderly, in early stages of kidney failure, and slept constantly. Wrigley would have nothing to do with Panzer. Wrigley intimidated Zippo and Max – but Panzer lacks fear. Panzer started to torment Wrigley by snarling and jumping around Wrigley. Panzer would even nip Wrigley on the butt occasionally. Wrigley learned that Zippo and Max were not the worst dogs ever – Panzer was. But elderly Wrigley could no longer do battle with teeth and claw.
Wrigley started asking me for a handgun to kill Panzer.
Wrigley continued her decline. She ate little, slept even more, and became skin and bones. She gradually lost almost all hearing and sight. Her arthritis accelerated.
Another dog, Dash a four pound Sheltie puppy came into the house. Elderly Wrigley snarled and snapped at Dash. Puppy Dash was terrified and gave Wrigley a wide berth. As Dash grew into an adult, he continued to avoid Wrigley and had a certain level of respect and fear. Wrigley hated Dash less than every other dog that came into the house.
Wrigley’s teeth started rotting. She had four teeth removed in 2018 and felt better. She ate a little more. In late 2019 another 8 rotted teeth were removed – but Wrigley’s appetite did not improve. Wrigley had lost 25% of her weight, was mostly deaf, blind, and somewhat toothless. By Summer, 2019 she could not get onto the sofa without a doggy stepstool.
By October, 2019 Wrigley started falling. Her back legs no longer worked reliably. By December she could no longer get on the sofa on good days – even with the doggy steps. Almost nothing could get Wrigley to wag her tail, even briefly. She hurt, but never moaned, whimpered or complained. Wrigley was a tough old dog. Wrigley was the best dog ever.
We had to put Wrigley down last week. Although she never complained, she was suffering. The tail did not wag. Wrigley got a fresh strip of bacon from Auburn’s meat lab every day for her last ten days on Earth. Meat lab bacon is awesome! But Wrigley’s tail barely twitched.
The vet gave Wrigley a sedative to put her to sleep. She went to sleep over the next five to ten minutes sitting in my lap with Lynn and I petting her and telling her she was a good girl. Once she was in deep sleep, the vet gave her the final shot. Wrigley’s death was probably easier than mine will be. She was a good girl – the best dog we have ever had in many ways.
We will never have another dog like Wrigley – we hope. Rest in Peace.