Schnauzers In The Sun

Today I took the Fabulous Famous Five crew to visit DBARC.  If you are not familiar with them, The Fabulous Famous Five are Gertie, Violet, Hansel and Nell (all ex-puppy farm schnauzers I have adopted from DBARC) and Henry- the long-suffering Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  We were joined by Janet, DBARC Manager, and her schnauzers along with current DBARC residents Zena, Pansy and Dennis.  It was a paradise of schnauzers in the sun (and Henry).

It was fantastic to get outside with schnauzers in the sun after all the horrible wet weather we have had recently.  Here is a brief update on each of the DBARC residents: Zena, Pansy and Dennis.


Zena was totally blind when she arrived at DBARC.  She had cataracts in both eyes.  A few weeks ago she underwent surgery on both eyes.  Sadly, one eye could not be saved and had to be removed.  The cataract was removed from the other eye but it was not possible to implant a new lens.  It is hard to tell how well she can see.  However, it is obvious that she is no longer totally blind.

Violet & Zena

Zena seems to be more confident now she can see.  She is being fostered by Janet and is slowly coming out of her shell.  There are a lot of similarities that I can see between Violet and Zena. 

Firstly, they have had similar outcomes from their eye surgery.  Violet also had one eye removed and has no lens implant in her remaining eye.  Violet’s sight is limited but she manages perfectly well.  Vi won’t walk up and down the stairs or jump off the sofa but she has very recently started to get up on the ottoman by herself.  When we are out walking, she is very happy to sniff around and trot along with us.  I do have to watch her though, because if she loses sight of me, she will start to trot off in a random direction.  On the whole, Violet is a very easy dog and her sight has not caused any significant problems.  I imagine this will be the same for Zena.  She had grown used to having no sight, so surely some sight is a vast improvement for her.  We are very conscious of taking extra-special care of Violet’s remaining eye and she has regular check ups with our vet to test the pressure, and occasionally will visit the specialist for an in-depth check.  These are becoming less frequent over time.

Secondly, they seem to have a similar nature.  Violet was very shut down when we first met her and Zena appears to have been shut down too. I have met Zena on a few occasions and she has definitely grown in confidence.  It was so heartwarming to see her trotting and sniffing around the field today with all the other schnauzers in the sun.  She let me sit near her and stroke her whereas in the past she has been very jumpy.  She was a bit too busy though to spend much time with me!  Janet said that Zena will not walk on a lead at the moment. When Violet first came to live with us, she wouldn’t walk on a lead either.  It just took some time to build her confidence and trust so she was comfortable on the lead.  She will now trot along merrily (until we reach the door at the vet – then the brakes go on!)

Zena is a gorgeous girl, so like our lovely Violet and we hope that she finds her perfect forever home soon.


Dennis is a busy man!  He was so busy, I didn’t manage to get a photo of him on his own.  Dennis has always been a very friendly little chap who loves his treats.  He really is such an endearing character who just seems to love life as you can see from this video.

Dennis recently had cataract surgery on one eye.  The other eye was not operable but did not need to be removed.  He can now see and if it is possible, he is even more exuberant than ever!

Julie Scott from DBARC gave us an update on Dennis this week:

“He came to DBARC blind but he had such an amazing personality. He often bumped into things and just got himself together and just carried on.
The best part of him getting his sight is he stares at your face recognising your voice and wants you to cuddle him. He’s so affectionate and always wants to be with you. Dennis loves every dog he meets. He absolutely loves treats.”

Dennis had his post-surgery check up at The Ralph this week and everything appears to be going well.


Pansy had cataract surgery at the same time as Dennis. It was successful and she now has sight restored.  Pansy has been incredibly timid every time I have met her but today I could see how much she has progressed.  You can see her in the video above playing with Dennis.  She is absolutely adorable.  Pansy was very happy to potter about outside today.  She still wouldn’t take a treat from me but she was definitely interested.  It didn’t help that there were about 10 other greedy schnauzers trying to snatch the treat from my hand (Gertie!).

Julie Scott from DBARC gave us this update on Pansy this week:

“When she first came to DBARC she was very shy. Regaining better sight has given her a real confidence boost. She will pull me on the lead now to race ahead of Dennis.
Pansy has got very waggy since her operation. She loves other dogs and gets so excited when different schnauzers come to play”

The surgery has made such a difference to both of them. It’s amazing to see.”

Thank you to everyone at DBARC who let me and my pack visit today.  It was lovely to see everyone and catch up on how all the schnauzers are doing.


Visit our fundraising page for more information about how Mad About Schnauzers raises money for DBARC to help Schnauzers like Zena, Dennis and Pansy

Author: Joanna Booty

2 thoughts on “Schnauzers In The Sun”

  1. Elaine Wood says:

    Such amazing stories of hope for these beautiful dogs. We have a MS and a JRT. If we had more room we would love to rescue a schnauzer. On day , hopefully X

  2. Barbara Johnson says:

    Wonderful to see them doing so well and learning that life – and people – can be good

Leave a Reply