My dog’s life

Some of you might have seen my Facebook post when our 15 1/2-year-old rat terrier, Astro, died in October 2012. I’ve tried writing some posts about her this week to celebrate what would’ve been her 16th birthday on April 15. Not quite ready, I guess. Lee isn’t the only one having trouble getting used to a dog-free home. So I’m going to share that post with those of you who didn’t know Astro or aren’t connected with me on Facebook. Below it are some of my favorite images of her.



Once called the world’s most photographed dog, Astro is no longer available for pictures.

She was born in April 1997 on a farm north of Newton, Kan., and became a birthday present for MeLinda from Lee. She lived all of her 15 1/2 years in Wichita and despite Lee & MeLinda’s frequent traveling only ventured as far as Missouri.

She shunned formal education, instead learning through the school of life how to shake and to snag from the air the treats we sat on her nose. Rather than the full roll-over move, though, she perfected the belly-rub move — the pay off was much better.

From 1997-2006, Astro starred in the Schnyder’s annual holiday card. She despised the costumes and ridiculous poses forced upon her. She had no choice at the time but it was no coincidence that the few items Astro chewed to destruction belonged to the photographer.

Her hobbies included regular walks through the neighborhood, laying in the front window for hours and hanging out with Lee while watching sports (despite her name, she rooted for the World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals).

If you haven’t hugged your dog today, go do it now. If you don’t have a dog, consider adopting one from a local no-kill organization or donate to Best Friends Animal Society


She loved her sun spots.

Our dog Astro the rat terrier

Astro was a happy rat terrier.

Our dog Astro the rat terrier

Ears down — the usual pose when she was having her photo taken.

Our dog Astro the rat terrier

Lee making her work for a treat.

Our dog Astro the rat terrier with cat

She loved to play with my mom, and my mom’s cat.

Our dog Astro the rat terrier

Always waiting for Lee to come home.

Our dog Astro the rat terrier

A rare photo: her ears were usually laid back when she knew I was taking a photo. Her eyesight was pretty bad by this time, so maybe she couldn’t see the camera.

Our dog Astro the rat terrier

One of the last photos I took of her.

Our dog Astro the rat terrier

I love coming up with captions for what she was thinking in this picture.


This entry was posted in Animals, Family, Lee, Photography and tagged , , , , .


  1. Elyse April 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    For the longest time the kids referred to Wichita as “where Astro lives.”

    • Melinda April 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

      This makes me smile :)

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