1. Today Arlo had a gun pulled on him. I wish I were kidding. The punks who were playing with a very real-looking bb gun in Cambier Park this morning, thought it would be funny to point their toy at my dog — probably didn’t anticipate that I would later have them arrested. Losers. Never mess with a girl and her schnauzer.

    Arlo and I escaped the dangers of Old Naples for a hike in the swamp that would clear our minds. We drove east to Fakahatchee Strand to celebrate a beautiful fall-like day in Florida on the award-winning boardwalk nature trail.



    I assume Arlo realized he had a close call with death and decided to make the most of his second chance. Today was the best day of his life.

    The strand probably doesn’t allow dogs, but there was no sign, so we didn’t care. Arlo, who was off leash, charmed everyone we met with his good manners and obedience.



    I love this original Florida Royal Palm—there aren’t many left. Most of the ones in Naples are the ornamental, non-native Cuban Royal Palms. Hold up. I just fact-check this… turns out they are now considered the same tree!

    I stopped to chat and to teach the other visitors about the wildlife I spotted and shared with them… and I offered to take their pictures, which everyone appreciates. Norma, who was celebrating her seventieth birthday with her daughter was thrilled to have the memories of the special day captured digitally.



    The swamp was rather quiet at first glance. However, I spotted a beautiful red-shouldered hawk, a few heron, kingfisher, wood stork, alligator, downy woodpeckers, and too-fast-to-identify warblers. I also had the pleasure of listening to a couple barred owls call to each other, their hoots and responses getting closer and closer and they found each other.



    Looking for gators.



    I met Ron, a volunteer ranger, who rather than reprimanding me for my schnauzer, was delighted by the enormous bees’ nest, high up in an old cypress tree, I pointed out to him. (You’ve never seen someone so happy by a secret bee discovery.)



    Back at the car, we rehydrated and snacked. On the drive out, while smelling the late-afternoon air, my co-pilot got his head stuck in the automatic window. The scaredy-cat rode on my lap the rest of the way to town.
     



  2. Today at Food and Thought, the most adorable little girl French girl, wearing a black-and-white gingham dress with matching patent leather Mary Janes and frilly socks, came up to Arlo and whispered to him, “You are very special.”

     



  3. Arlo joined the dinner party.

     



  4. Oh, Arlo. Can you even stand it?

     



  5. Louis Armstrong goes for a stroll with a pet schnauzer and neighborhood kids in Queens in 1970. According to an excerpt from Louie’s writings:

    “We have two dogs. They are Schnauzers, male and female. And they are two very fine watch dogs. They not only bark when the door bell rings, but anybody who comes up our steps and they bark their (a)spirin off. The male dog is the older one and his name is Trumpet. The female, the baby, her name is Trinket. I gave Trumpet to Lucille and Mr. Joe Glazer gave us Trinket. And when the two of them start barking together, oh boy what a duet.”

    From FeartheBeards

     

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  7. Dopplegangers

     



  8. The writer of this blog, Fear the Beard, chronicling the lives of her two mini schnauzers, has just made my day. “Don’t call them Scotties.”

     

  9. Life with a Schnauzer



    These are the eyes Arlo gives me when he wants a walk.



    This is where we go on said walk.

     

  10. Arlo Learns to Swim at Dog Beach



    Just north of New Pass, tucked away on a quiet stretch of Bonita Beach is Dog Beach — a strip of powder-white sand, shallow, crystal-clear water and mangroves, where leashes are cast off and everyone acts like the animals they are.

    After blabbing with several other dog-owning beachgoers and tossing the ball for Arlo, my pink bikini and I jumped into the Gulf. Arlo, who was the smallest fellow there, went nutso — pacing the beach, whining, wondering what on earth he’ll do with all that water between us.

    Everyone on the beach watched as he started wading in after me. He looked like a drowned rat, fearlessly paddling forth as the small waves broke over his silly schnauzer face.

    We met half-way to cheers from the shore.

    Oh, he swims like his mama.