The Misadventures of Mildred

December 17, 2015 | My Jottings

It seems to me like the older one gets, the less resilient. Our nine year-old Miniature German Schnauzer Mildred Virginia Sizzlelorum (Millie) is one example.

When Millie came into our household, we already had Edith Elaine Bubbleloo, another Schnauzer four years Millie’s senior. But Millie wanted Alpha dog position and just took over, and Edith assumed a deferential demeanor and let her have her way to keep the poochie peace.

Millie still likes to be first and displays very jealous behavior when anyone is paying attention to Edith, but as she has gotten older, she seems to be more emotionally fragile. Millie is afraid of sounds. She hates the vacuum, while Edith watches languidly when I’m doing the carpets. Sharon came over to take the dogs’ pictures for us yesterday and we learned another sound Millie hates: the soft click of a camera’s shutter when a photograph is taken. Millie could barely bring herself to look Sharon’s direction because of the clicks. She had to be restrained from running out of the room.

If anyone ever makes a raspberry sound with their mouth against a baby’s belly, Millie slinks from the room in fear. When the microwave beeps its signal that a cup of water has heated, Millie looks up nervously from her own personal wingback chair in the living room, clearly considering whether or not she should run to the back of the house or brave it and stay put.

So you can imagine what might happen if one of the smoke/carbon monoxide detectors in the house has a battery that’s fading and begins to chirp loudly every minute. This happened recently and it took me a couple of minutes to find which one it was. We have one in each bedroom. By the time I had gotten the step stool and unscrewed the unit from the bedroom ceiling, my ears were ringing, and Millie was nowhere to be found. At least nowhere usual.

I finally found her in the corner of my office, vibrating pathetically. I felt so sorry for her.


Later, she was clearly done in and needed a lot of rest. She spent most of the day recuperating on my unmade bed.


Poor Mildred. She has such a hard life.


  1. Pat says:

    Julie, that is so funny (and sad – that picture was heart wrenching)! I had the same thing happen with my smoke alarm. Cosette woke me up by laying on my face and trembling all over. I knew something was wrong and then I heard it – a very faint beep signaling the batteries on one my smoke alarms was fading. I got up (3:30 am) to find which one with Cosette clinging to my side. Of course it was upstairs and by the time I found it and fixed it, I was wide awake. It took Cosette a good hour or more to calm down, yikes! Jasper ignored the whole thing.

  2. Just Julie says:

    Poor Cosette Pat! I’m afraid this is going to happen in the middle of the night sometime and I won’t be able to find it for 20 minutes or something! Jasper has the idea. xoxo

  3. Sam says:

    Ohhh! We have a Jack Russell/Rat Terrier mix (named Freckles) that does the same pathetic vibrating that you speak of. He hates the sound of the pressure-canner and is afraid of long, narrow objects that make no sound like fishing poles and skis. Poor puppies.

  4. Just Julie says:

    I feel so sorry for Freckles Sam, but I have to admit I laughed out loud when I pictured him being afraid of long, narrow objects that make no sound! Hahaha! (Sorry!) xoxo

  5. Ganeida says:

    I have a cat that has done some serious damage to me because he suddenly got frightened. Sadly not possible to explain everything so they understand.

  6. Just Julie says:

    Yes, I keep thinking that if I look deeply into my dogs’ eyes and speak slowly, they’ll understand me. Doesn’t work with cats either, eh? 🙂 xoxo

  7. Ganeida says:

    Nope. Nor does holding them to comfort them! 😀

  8. Just Julie says:

    So true. xoxo

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