How We Got Phoenix and Bing
By Rick & Maggie Schmude

Ch. Sqwires Playing With Fire and Ch. Hiwire Pinball Wizard


My husband Rick and I mourned a long time when our beloved schnauzer, Fella, died 12 years ago.  He was a dear little beast and, my husband said, "No more dogs for a while, if ever.  I can't go through this again.  It hurts too much."  At that time, our last son was going off to college and an empty nest, including no dogs, seemed to make sense.

Fast forward to about seven years ago: we moved to Lake Bluff , and couldn't help noticing all the dogs in the neighborhood.  We enjoyed talking to the dogs and their owners, particularly a little Yorkie named Mandy, who lived down the block.  She and her owners, Mike and Jane, became good friends.  Last year, we were watching the Westminster show and Rick commented that he wouldn't mind having a dog again, after I retired, which was about a year and a half down the line.

I grew up with an English grandmother who spent many hours telling me stories about her wire-haired terrier, a cute little guy named Paddy.  Since that time, I had always wanted a wire.  We were also great fans of the Thin Man films, and greatly enjoyed Asta's antics.  Since I knew that it would probably take a while before we could find a breeder and even longer before we could get a puppy, I started searching the Internet to see who around here bred wires.  I started with the Westminster site, and soon found Diane's AfterAll page.

I was astounded at how much information Diane had on her site.  Both Rick and I read almost the entire site, first to see whether or not a wire was the right dog for us, and second, to find out what the procedure was to get on Diane's breeding list.  Rick also learned about therapy dogs from the AfterAll page, and thought that that was something he'd really like to do.  We had already decided that whatever dog we got would receive obedience training, and working with therapy dogs seemed to both of us as a way to give back to our community.   

Thinking that this would still be down the road I while, I called Diane.  She called me back and we spent 45 minutes on the phone.  The grilling she gave me was like applying for a mortgage!  I knew then and there that she was the right person to get our dog from.  Her foremost concern was finding the right home for the dog.  Did we have a fenced yard?  Who was home during the day?  Did we realize that these were active dogs that needed exercise?  Finally, she said, "Would you be interested in a retired show dog?  Phoenix is going to be bred once more, and then she'll be ready for a forever home."

Phoenix With Her Puppies...a tri boy & three ginger girls

Rick and I talked about it, since it was really earlier than we had anticipated.  He preferred having an older dog and neither of us cared what sex it was.  We made arrangements to come and visit the kennel, and meet Diane and Phoenix .

Phoenix Goes Home

Well, all it took was one look at Phoenix , and we knew that she was the girl for us.  We hoped that we passed Diane's test, and luckily, we did.  Phoenix became ours on September 8, 2007.  We waited almost six months for her, and it was well worth it.  She immediately made herself at home, and became totally devoted to Rick.  She was as sweet as Diane said she would be, and we both fell in love with her.

The "no furniture" rule lasted about 5 minutes!

We met Bing on one of our visits to Diane's kennel.  He had just had knee surgery and was crated most of the time we were there, since he was still recovering.  I commented to Diane that we were thinking of eventually getting another one, since we enjoyed Phoenix so much.  She said that Bing and Phoenix really got along well, but that Bing wouldn't be ready for a home for a while, because of his surgery.  Several weeks later, Diane was planning a trip and was looking for people to take her puppies.  We thought that might be fun, but I was afraid that Rick would get so attached to one of the puppies that he wouldn't was to give it back.  Instead, Diane suggested that we take Bing for a week or two. 

Phoenix & Bing go to "Hawk Watch" and play on the beach!

It didn't take more than a week to know that Bing was staying. Just as Phoenix became devoted to Rick, Bing became my boy. As Rick says, "One dog per lap."

Phoenix Goes Shopping & Bing Gets His Turn Too!

Bing and Phoenix are still working out their dominance issues.  They squabble some times, but then fall asleep together in the Lazy-Boy.  They play together in the yard, and follow us around the house to see where we are and what we're doing.

A nice fenced yard, a tug toy and a pal to play with....It's a good life!

These dogs have totally changed our lives. We waited a long time for them, and both of us agree that they were worth the wait.  They are wonderful companions, and they make us laugh every day.  Not only did we get two wonderful new family members, but Diane and Mark became friends.  Diane is a terrific teacher, and we are continually learning from her about how to care for and groom our wires.

Agility Training & Fun With Maggie & Rick At AfterAll

Thanks, Diane for all the time and care you put into your dogs.  They've made our lives so much richer, and filled an empty place that we didn't even realize we had.  We look forward to many years with our canine companions, and many years of friendship with you.