Ray Charles

Charlie came to us from a breeder of Miniature Schnauzers in southern Indiana when he was 8 weeks old.

When he sees us go to the kitchen sink or the refrigerator for a glass of cold water, he comes, gives a little bark and waits for a cold drink for himself even though there is always fresh water next to his dish.

Charlie’s hobbies include, cooking, neighborhood watch, bicycle chasing and napping on the sofa.

When Charlie was about 2 years old, we took him to Nickerson Park to play in one of the ponds. He kept trying to get up enough courage to go in to chase a stick but then would back out very gingerly. We sent a picture of this to friends in North Carolina who commented, “ He peed how much?”

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Charlie’s best friend was an 80lb American Stafford-shire Terrier who died last year. But her owners now have another whom he likes just as well. His favorite toy is “big dog,” a stuffed animal he stole from our guest bedroom, even though he has a box full of his own toys.

We drove from our home in Michigan to Southern Illinois to pick up Charlie. He had never been away from his litter mates before. On the way home, he crawled from my lap to my shoulder and wrapped himself around my neck, effectively turning himself into a tiny fur collar. And that’s where he stayed, sound asleep, for the long ride back to his new home.

We named him “Ray Charles” because he was a black mini-schnauzer and male but also as a kind of tribute to our first schnauzer, Emma Lily, who because of cataracts, had to wear sunglasses when she went outside. He doesn’t sing exactly, but he has a variety of vocal sounds to suit different situations. And… He’s taking piano lessons!