I’d never had a Giant Schnauzer before. Sophie taught me all I needed to know. Heroic and strong, my Sophie relished her role as the fun police. Whenever the younger dogs would dash into the back yard and start to play, she’d hurry behind them, barking insistently until they stopped. Then she would look at me and snicker, while the younger dogs would beg me to make her stop.
Looking up the breed on the Internet, I discovered the Giant Schnauzer is a working breed of dog developed in the 17th century in Germany. It was unknown outside of Bavaria until it became popular as a military dog during World War I and World War II. The first Giant Schnauzers were imported to America in the 1930s, but didn't become popular until the 1960s. In 1962, there were 23 new Giant Schnauzers registered with the American Kennel Club; by 1987 it was around 1000 animals. Over the years the Giant Schnauzer has shown outstanding abilities in search and rescue, schutzhund, conformation, obedience and agility thus earning the reputation as a handsome, intelligent and truly versatile working dog. [from Wikipedia and Westminster Kennel Club web sites.]
Miss Sophie was a law unto herself. Though not a formal Alpha Dog, she was a respected matriarch and loved barking with much enthusiasm when the younger dogs played. Shows of affection, such as when Stewart gave her a big, sloppy doggy kiss, seemed to surprise and baffle her. However, she loved to be brushed and soaked up all the Reiki offered to her.