Wednesday, October 22, 2014

After 19 years I finally learned something about my Rottweilers.

Since 1995 I have been privileged to have shared my home and my life with seven wonderful Rottweilers and be allowed to witness how they live among themselves. One of the things I've learned is that all of the females in our home were always the leaders of the pack. I have seen the generations of the older Rottweilers pass on to the young the qualities we recognize as being so noble. A friend some years ago told me to be careful of falsely attributing human traits and characteristics to my Rottweilers because it was called being anthropomorphic. But besides the hugs and kisses all species share some common things like compassion, devotion and leadership.  In the last two months since I adopted a 7-week old baby Rottweiler girl I have mentioned the play-school that Bessie has been put through by our almost 8-year old male, Ruffin. But now I see some differences going on from what I saw in the past with our other adopted pups.

In 2003 we adopted another baby girl we named Sassy who was about the same age as baby Bessie was when we got her.
Our 8-year old female, Mocha immediately became Sassy's foster-mother. Mo never had any puppies but she was raised by her mother Felony who ruled our house like a Drill Sergeant.  We were constantly entertained by Sassy's playfully combative attitude with her adopted mother and the fierce and strict reactions she received from Mo. Mocha was teaching Sassy that she was the leader of the pack and that someday Sassy would also become the leader. Then we bought baby Ruffin from a breeder and another round of training began. Ruffin was the only one of our seven that came with a pedigree. Technically, Mocha wasn't adopted, she was a gift from my daughter but we did adopt Mocha's parents, Nikko and Felony.

Sassy's determined schooling teaching Ruffin discipline and respect almost seemed the same but it had a minor quality that didn't become obvious until I began to watch Ruffin teaching baby Bessie. Sassy was teaching Ruff that she was the leader to be respected and obeyed while Ruffin is teaching Bessie to become the leader. Ruffin was letting Bessie get away with things that Sassy never allowed.

At the very young age of 3-months, (she will be 4-months old November 1st), I saw baby Bessie already acting like the protector and leader of the pack. She has become unusually brave and outspoken when she is outside. She loudly challenges everyone and everything. And then it occurred to me that her self-confidence has come from the fact that for the last two months she has been allowed to beat the crap out of a 130-LB male Rottweiler and get away with it every day whereas Ruffin was never allowed to beat up Sassy because she was the boss.

A few weeks after we got Bessie I noticed there were some things she was afraid of and being so little it was to be expected. If I took her outside alone at night and she heard a train whistle or a barking dog off in the distance, she would run as fast as could back to the front door for safety. It was so cute to see when Ruffin was outside with her at night she would run and stand behind him for protection when she was frightened. She doesn't do that any more. Now she stands firmly with her legs apart and listens to the sounds as if she is thinking about them or she challenges the sound with loud barking if it is close by. Another new thing Bessie does is after I put on her leash - as soon as I open the front door she lets out a few barks to let the world know she is coming out. Bessie is becoming our new warrior Queen and Ruffin is her trainer and champion and knight in shining armor. So much for being anthropomorphic.

Friday, October 17, 2014

More odds and ends. In one 24-hour period, not counting the toilet paper episode.

War declared: Ruffin stole Bessie's red ball. The same one he hasn't played with since we adopted Bessie.
The watering hole. Sort of like National Geographic.
Peace declared.
Fighting resumes.
Axl says, I wish these two would grow up so I can get some decent rest and relaxation around here. I thought this was supposed to be my retirement home.
And it isn't even time for dinner yet.

Bad Girl stories with pictures.

You have all heard that raising a puppy is almost like raising a child. With children they say the "terrible twos" are worst times but they are referring to 2-year old's. With puppies it seems the terrible twos are when they are between 2 and 3 months old. Well, Bessie is now 3 1/2 months old so we should have been past that point but I am beginning to have my doubts. I think that her adoration of Ruffin has had some unexpected consequences. Whenever they are together she acts completely wild. When they are in different rooms she acts like a little angel. And then there are her bad manners.
OK, these are the cute pictures that make you laugh. She has the "I didn't do it" look on her innocent face. And it was my fault for not closing the bathroom door. But then again these are the polite pictures that I'm sharing, the other things that she is still doing on the floor I can't show you. I ought to mention that the other two puppies we had, Mocha and Sassy, were raised mostly by my wife. She trained them and got them house-broken while I was working. Now this job is up to me and I have no clue how to handle it and I'm obviously not doing it well.

Then we have the bad manners. Also, it makes some cute pictures, but if it isn't stopped I can only imagine how bad it will get when she is fully grown.
Ruffin will occasionally lay his chin on the kitchen table to see what we got but he doesn't try to steal any food. Bessie will come right up while we're eating and try and get some. I'm going to have to keep her on the other side of that gate.


Friday, October 10, 2014


Well, today we had another birthday party but it wasn't the one I planned. It rained all day and I couldn't get out to the supermarket to get the "birthday cake" that I wanted. Our past Rottweiler birthdays usually involved a cake made from a meatloaf covered in mashed potatoes but old man Axl deserved something more special than that. Our adopted old Rottweiler Axl became 13-years old today (For the record, that's equivalent to 103 human years) and I wanted him to enjoy a filet mignon steak because of the love and devotion he has shown us in the last 6 years but as you can see in the photos, I had to settle for 13 meatballs instead. He did not seem to mind and I promised him he would get his steak. I just wish I had the idea sooner. 
And an uninvited guest who literally jumped the fence to crash his party. I had set up the gates to keep Ruff and Bessie out because Axl is so easy going they would have taken his food and he wouldn't complain.
But after she turned out to be his new best friend.
Next up will be Ruff's 8th birthday next month.
Just how old is the old Rottweiler in human years? Here is an interesting chart that explains the dog years to human years. It varies by size of breed and Axl is in the Giant Breed category. From the Business Insider c/o Yahoo Finance.
Since smaller breeds tend to live longer than larger breeds, it's important to calculate your dog's age according to the right category: small (20 pounds or less), medium (21-50 pounds), large (51-90 pounds), or giant (over 90 pounds).
Age Of Dog
(Human Years)
Small Breed:
Age In Dog Years
Medium Breed:
Age In Dog Years
Large Breed:
Age In Dog Years
Giant Breed:
Age In Dog Years
1 15 15 14 14
2 23 24 22 20
3 28 29 29 28
4 32 34 34 35
5 36 37 40 42
6 40 42 45 49
7 44 47 50 56
8 48 51 55 64
9 52 56 61 71
10 56 60 66 78
11 60 65 72 86
12 64 69 77 93
13 68 74 82 101
14 72 78 88 108
15 76 83 93 115
16 80 87 99 123


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A few odds and ends.

Followup note to Bessie Wins post yesterday. This afternoon I walked in on Bessie and Axl sharing the couch again. Seems that Bessie likes her new best friend and seems to treat the old Rottweiler differently from her aggressive war games that she plays with Ruff. She likes to rub up against him when they are outside together but she doesn't jump on him - which is a good thing. Axl's hind legs are not too strong anymore and some weeks ago Bessie actually knocked him over.
Speaking of those war games, tonight Bessie and Ruff were at it again while I was trying to watch TV. She has grown quite a bit and it becomes evident when she stands on her hind feet and stretches out.
Her growth is even more obvious when you take a close look at her feet. At 3-months of age her paws are almost as big as my hand. I noticed that this morning when I managed to clip all of toenails. They were getting to be as sharp as needles. I hope I can get her used to this later on. I have to take the boys to the Vet to have their nails done - with anesthesia.
I think Bessie is going to be a big girl. Just the way I like them.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Persistence pays off.

Title this post:

Bessie Wins

And meanwhile, grouchy old Ruffin plays sore loser.

What lurks beneath my chair.

What lurks beneath my chair? I'll give you three guesses. Hint, two of them wouldn't fit. This is what I saw when it suddenly got quiet in my den a few minutes ago. It's a sleeping baby Rottweiler. And, by the way, this is not an easy photo to take while still sitting in the chair. I had to lean over and hold the camera as far above my head as I could. The lens was set for wide angle and the pictures below are full frame.
When the flash went off she awoke for a few seconds and rolled over. Now we can see who it was.
OK, you knew that, didn't you.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

End of the day at our house.

After a quiet day at home we sat around the TV watching an old movie tonight and it was almost Midnight when Bessie came walking into the family room clanging away with her empty food dish in her mouth looking for a snack. In the background you can see a scene from the The Incredible Shrinking Man. And then when it ended everyone but me headed for bed. Bessie has been carrying her food dish around a lot lately and I wanted to get a picture of her doing it. When she came through the room from the kitchen, I went back to the den and grabbed the camera. When I returned I caught her heading back to the kitchen.
What the house looks like at the end of the day. Took this before I swept the floor.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ruff and Bessie explore the backyard.

Since the day that Bessie entered her new home all of Ruffin's old toys became hers to play with. Even Ruffin's favorite red ball. All three of them and while Bess could only play with one at a time, Ruff never made any effort to reclaim them. Well, today we went for a walk in the backyard and this time I took my camera, and Ruffin snatched up one of the red balls like he used to do before we got Bessie. And Bessie was well aware of this. All the while we were outside she tried to reclaim her toy and only succeeded on the way back to the house.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A really beautiful family portrait.

It isn't often that everything falls into place perfectly when I take pictures of my Rottweilers. I had just retrieved my camera to take a picture of Ruff and Bessie looking out the back door - but of course when I got back with it they had moved a bit. Then for no reason at all Ruff gets up on the couch with Axl and Bessie wanted to join them. So I picked her up and sat her between the big boys and got this wonderful family portrait on the first try. I mean, it is perfect. Everyone has their eyes open and all three are looking right at the camera.
Please note that Bess has her front leg on Ruff's shoulder just like formal portraits are posed. Then as would be expected, these two had to begin wrestling. And also note the disgusted expression on Axl's face. He definitely does not approve.
Oh, and here is the original picture I took of Ruff and Bessie at the back door. Notice the fine selection of home-made toys laying on the floor including the empty plastic jar that makes so much noise when Bess tosses it around. You can't buy stuff like that in a pet store.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hanging out in the break room.

Just a quick one this morning before I go outside for some yard work. While sitting in the den reading the news and my email I became aware that it got very quiet all of a sudden. I have gotten so used to Ruffin and Bessie playing everywhere and following me around while doing it. I turned around and spotted them napping on the floor behind me.
I put Bessie on the scale this morning and she weighed 28 LBS. I am still impressed how brave she has gotten outside even when she has no backup from one of the big boys. She firmly stands her ground and lets out her little puppy bark challenging everyone she sees. And when Ruff is out there with her he immediately begins to bark too, even when he doesn't bark when Bessie isn't with him. Bessie has definitely taken over Sassy's spot. She was the Early Warning System and the leader of the choir and Bessie is doing everything that Sassy did.


Monday, September 29, 2014

The games continue. They never really stopped.

Baby Bessie is turning into a bad girl. She is now big enough to jump up and put her paws and her chin on the kitchen table where we sit to eat our meals. If I wasn't paying attention she would have snatched some food off my dinner plate last night and this morning she grabbed the paper towel that my toast was laying on and almost dragged it onto the floor. I'm adding that problem to the growing list of things that need to be corrected.

This morning we resumed the games with a slight change in the strategy. Mr. Ruffin anchored himself like a couch potato and battled his young attacker without leaving his comfortable couch. And take not of the 3-month old Rottweiler puppy standing in front of him. Now you can see how easy it is to reach the table.
How quickly the "violence" turns to love.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Now, Deja Vu times 3.

I hate to keep using the term Deja Vu over and over but I am being reminded every day how similar the relationship has become between Bessie and Ruffin as it was with Ruffin and Sassy and Ruffin and Mocha. I just spotted the two of them laying together in the very same spot where baby Ruffin was when I took a picture of him and my old girl Mocha 7 years ago.
By the way, it is very handy to have a few pairs of old shoes laying around, just in case you have a puppy that like to toss them, chew them and carry them around.
And where is Moosey? Yep, we still have him. I added him to this later photo.

A quiet night together watching a movie

My little girl Bess spent most of the evening laying next to me on the couch watching a movie. And Ruffin slept through the whole thing on the floor. This was quit a change from what has become the norm these past weeks. There was no play fighting or attack-puppy finger biting and no hyperactive house-wrecker puppy. Just a nice quiet puppy and it almost seemed like she suddenly was all grown up. After the movie Bessie posed for some cute pictures, including her own version of Mocha's famous Porno Puppy shot.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The little one is getting big.

Just took these pictures a few minutes ago and it is pretty obvious that little Bess is starting to fill in her over-sized feet. I have been weighing her almost every day because I also noticed she feels heavier when I pick her up. Bess is closing in on 30 LBS and she won't be 3 months old for a few more days.
Bessie likes to lay in her Mom's lap in the family room and she gives Mom wake-up kisses every morning. And when I put her up on the bed she sometimes runs up to her sleeping Mom in leaps and bounds to deliver those kisses.