Sunday, June 19, 2016

Just received this via email.

My daughter Karen sent me two pictures via email this morning. She took them when she came out here recently. During a break from her cleanup work she took Ruff and Bessie for a walk in the backyard and this is what she saw them doing. These photos were taken with her cell phone camera. Does Bessie look like she has gotten bigger?
Can't quite make out what's going on here. It doesn't look exactly like a game of tugs while it almost looks like the two were working together carrying that "big" stick. OK, call it Teamwork.
Updated June 21st: Took Bessie and Ruff the the county Animal Shelter yesterday to get their dog licenses renewed and saw they now had a large size dog scale in the lobby. I put Bessie on the scale and it hovered between 100 and 101 pounds. That's the same as it was at the Vet's office several weeks ago. So that answers my question, Bessie hasn't gotten bigger.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I'm back.

Lately I have begun to feel my life has become an obstacle course leaping over one hurdle after another. Maybe the 6-month battle with Prostate Cancer and the accompanying 3-months of daily radiation was too easy. For all those who offered prayers, I wish to express my sincere thanks. The cancer is gone. The after-effects are almost gone and life started getting back to normal. Then came the next hurdle, Carotid artery stenosis. A few more tests, and a few more visits to the hospital, a visit to the ER and some very worried Rottweilers, and now that is almost under control. So, hopefully, I am back posting for awhile, anyway. And I have a few stories to catch up on.

In between all these troubles the grass and weeds continued to grow and the rumored complaints from the neighbors about the run down look. That was helped along with several weeks of pleasantly cool weather and lots of rain, the two things grass and weeds love most. One thing I learned was teenagers living on my street now have cars instead of bicycles and are seldom at home and it is almost impossible to hire someone to cut your lawn. So I hired a "professional" guy to cut the grass but just because someone invests in a professional piece of equipment and does the work as a second job doesn't make them a pro. So after one particularly difficult weekend health-wise my neighbor volunteered to cut the grass. Then I got some additional unexpected help. My daughter Karen, worried about my health flew down for a 5 day visit and did an absolutely smashing job cleaning up the property, and the inside of the house. I just wish she'd paid more heed to my warning about wearing a long-sleeved shirt. She went home with both her arms covered in poison Ivy.

Several weeks ago, around the time of my last post, I took Ruff and Bessie down the back for a survey of the property and had some great photos of them standing in grass that was as high as their shoulders. And in my drug-induced misery I lost the pictures before I could post them. What a sight that was, though. Seeing them walk though the incredibly tall grass reminded me of the scene from one of the Jurassic Park movies of the people walking through the head-high grass before the Raptors attacked them.
And as far as those lost photos go, it wasn't just the few I took that day, it was my entire collection of over 25,000 digital photos taken with all four of my digital cameras over the last 15 years that I accidentally wiped out. I had mounted a new second hard drive in my computer and was in the process of partitioning it when I clicked on the wrong drive letter. Luckily I had prepared a backup of the photos but the backup was two months old and I had no copies of the pictures taken during that time except for the ones I had already posted here. So I went back and saved each one from the blog. Lesson learned, don't drink and drive, and don't mess with your drives if you're on medications.

I do have one photo to share with you. My big guy Ruff had fallen asleep on the couch one evening when it was his turn to keep an eye on my wife Jacqueline. This certainly is a classic pose, isn't it? Reminds me of my Porno Puppy Mocha.
I must tell you that for the time being my favorite place to take outdoor pictures of the Rottweilers has now become unreachable. By virtue of the fact that I have been having so much trouble walking down the back, until the meds begin to do their job I'll have to restrict myself to front yard and indoor  photography.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. And the personal emails were always a joy to read.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Who wants to kiss a green-eyed monster?

We have a green-eyed monster living in our house. And a pretty young Rottie girl who loves him. Some times the green-eyed monster makes ugly faces to scare away the young girl but he never succeeds.
Isn't love wonderful? As the saying goes, "Love conquers all".
You can see it in her eyes.
You did a good job raising baby Bess, Ruff. Now enjoy your senior years.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Are you ready for some "sick" jokes?

OK, I promise not to do this again. While this is technically a "sick" joke it did happen in conjunction with a visit to our Veterinarian's office so its also dog related. Even still, I couldn't resist the temptation to share this because its true.

I’ve mentioned before that I have been sick from the side effects of the radiation but I forgot to tell you the best joke that goes along with it.

If you spotted my previous blog post you’d read that I took Bessie and grandpa Axl to the Vet for their annual checkup. Well, for starters, Bessie now weighs 100.3 lbs. and the Vet commented to me that it seems she has gotten over her eating disorder. Then he asked me how I was doing with the radiation treatment and I said, I feel sick as a dog. (that is a common euphemism over here). He came back with the reply, Well, you’ve come to the right place.

I think the weather here in Northern Kentucky is having sympathy pains. When you’re sick there is nothing worse than looking out the window at a nice warm sunny day that you can’t go out and enjoy. So it helps a little bit when the weather is cold, rainy and miserable. It also makes it more convincing when I can tell the three Rottweilers why I can’t take them out to play.

Summer begins here on June 21st. I hope everything works out by then.

I finished the radiation treatment last Tuesday. Thank you all for the prayers and good wishes.
Post Script: A friend just sent me an email saying the Vet had a wicked sense of humor for saying "Well, you've come to the right place." after I told him I felt sick as a dog. I never took it that way. I have known this person for many years and that is the way people talk to each other when they try to inject some humor into a situation to cheer them up. I hope no one else misunderstood this conversation. I would not have written about it if I didn't think it was funny.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Ruffin wins the 2016 Kentucky Derby

OK, not really, of course he didn't win. But Ruffin did continue his unbroken streak of never missing a major televised horse race. And in our house that makes Ruff a winner every day.

And just for the record, Nyquist won the derby and continued his own unbroken record of wins. 
Instead of taking the photos in the family room I wanted to see how well the new TV looked in the background so we got everyone in the living room. All the previous horse race photos were taken in front of a plasma TV and the new TV is an LED. Here Ruff struck his usual pose standing in front of the TV during a commercial before the race started. Then as soon as the horses came out Ruff laid down on the couch to watch the race.
And here they come into the final stretch.
Nice going Bess. This was Ruff's picture session, not yours.

Earlier in the day Ruff and Bessie lounged around the pool like a couple of tourists on vacation. Bessie seems to like laying on the stone wall. If I could get a picture from the the other direction I think she would look as regal as a Lion statue outside a library.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Major announcement about Bessie

I took baby Bess and old man Axl to the Vet this morning for their annual checkup and I finally got a chance to put Bessie on a scale.

Holy Cow, has she grown.

Baby Bess now weighs 100.3 lbs.
And Axl, by the way, is only 15 lbs heavier than Bess.

56 years brings back lots of memories.

I was going to add this as a post script to my brief mention of our 56th anniversary yesterday but decided to make this a stand alone post because of the size. I thought I would share these memories before they start to fade away.

April 29, 1960

I was in the middle of a 4 year enlistment in the U.S. Coast Guard. It was a good time. The world was at peace, we were in between wars as it seems. The Korean War was almost a decade old and we were a few years away from getting involved in Vietnam. I was 20 years old and not even old enough to vote. And I met the girl of my dreams.

We dated for almost a year and decided to make it official with a small wedding in the Catholic Church in the town where she grew up. Apart from finding my life-long soul mate, my stint in the Coast Guard was the most uneventful time of my life. I grew up on Long Island, NY and after enlisting went to Cape May, NJ for boot camp. Then was assigned to a group of lifeboat stations on Long Island 30 miles from home. Never got to see the world like those guys who joined the Navy.

We took the subway into Manhattan to spend 5 days on our honeymoon. Ate at The Cattlemen’s, the best steak restaurant ever. Went to see Ben Hur on Broadway. Fondest memory that I never told anyone before was when Jacqueline told me that when we were about to go into a restaurant one night a prostitute tried to solicit me and I didn’t even notice her because I only had eyes on my wife.

After my discharge I started work with Pan American World Airways at Idlewild, later to become JFK International Airport. In the following 30 years I made up for that Manhattan subway honeymoon. Working for Pan Am had some wonderful travel benefits and we went to lots of places where honeymoons are supposed to happen. The flights to California and the days spent in Yosemite National Park, visit friends in Santa Fe, NM,  the Whale-watching trip to the San Juan Islands in Washington, two trips to Hawaii and one that took in 4 island hops, two trips to St. Thomas, then later on to see the Black Forest in Germany for our 30th anniversary, and, of course, the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. And to cap off our 10-day trip, a train ride from Munich to Zurich to spend 5 days before our return flight home. It was exciting when we discovered that we were followed by a plain-clothed German police officer all the way on the train. Yeah, I know, those were the start of some difficult times.

56 years ago we pledged to love each other in sickness and in health, for better or for worse. I am proud to say we have kept our word.

There's a running joke here with this photo. Jacqueline had a penchant for stopping at every stream in Yosemite Park to sample the mountain high fresh water. And every time I kept telling her a bear had probably taken a bath in it upstream.
And then came the Rottweilers.

And a new life filled with excitement began in Kentucky, thanks to my 10-years with Delta Air Lines... and 20 years with my new best friends.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Happy Anniversary

Last Friday, April 29th, Jacqueline and I celebrated our 56th anniversary. I just wanted to share a picture of the quiet event that we had here surrounded by our very best friends.

That wasn't meant to be a joke even though this night was not much different from any other night in our house because the three Rottweilers are always close by. If you own Rottweilers then you already know the depth of their devotion and love so you will understand what I mean. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Comparing original exposures to posted images.

My last post about the beautiful day had some photos that I thought needed to have the exposure boosted because they appeared too dark. The end result seemed to have lost some of the deep color in the originals. Not everyone has a monitor with the same calibrations so I am reposting the original images to see how they compare with each other.
Original image
Adjusted exposure
Original image
Adjusted exposure

How do they look from your end?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Enjoying a really beautiful day.

Got the grass cut and still had some energy left to take Ruff and Bess out back for a walk. On the way back they decided to lounge around before going inside.
Of course Bessie had to bring along her Bola. She loves to swing it around wherever she walks.
This picture is interesting. If you look closely you will notice that Bess has the Bola causally hanging off her left fang tooth.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Now we have a name for it: This is Bessie's Bola

Since I made the contraption that I wrote about the other day, I have been entertained by the gymnastic dancing display put on by baby Bess every time she plays with it. This has become, hands down, her all-time favorite toy so I have given some thought about a name for it. Well, what it seems to look like is a Bola, most famously used by the gauchos (Argentinian cowboys). So if the name fits, that's what it is.

More fun than a barrel of monkeys.

And if I get lucky enough to capture a photo of her new toy wrapped around her snout, I will post it right away. Because of the look on her face, is priceless. This was the closest I got.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Best home-made toy my Rottie pup ever played with.

When I put this contraption together a few months ago I has one idea in mind but apparently, I may have invented the best home-made Rottie toy ever. For the last few months I have been watching baby Bess spend hours playing with a simple toy I made for her. Not only is she having a ball with it (pun intended) but it is actually very funny to watch her. We have a selection of Rottie toys around the house, mostly a ball of some sort, and they all manage to roll under the furniture from time to time. One day I decided to attach two balls together using an old puppy leash that was used when Bess was little, so that they wouldn't roll on the floor. Both balls had large holes that were meant to stick a Milk Bone dog biscuit in, so it made it very easy to join them together. The handle loop end of the leash was pushed through one ball and the clip end passed through the loop. Then I passed the clip end through the smaller ball and after cutting off the clip I tied the end into a large enough knot so it would not pull through the smaller ball. This allowed the smaller ball to slide back and forth between the larger ball and the knotted end.

While it works as planned indoors, it wasn't until Bess took it outside that I saw how much she enjoyed it. And Bess figured out how to get the most fun out of it. She can pick it up several ways, either by holding the loose ball in her mouth or holding the large knot which puts both of the balls down at one end. And when she runs with it she swings this in every direction. The most fun is when she swings it over her head and it wraps itself around her snout or her neck. This causes more running and more swinging until it gets free. Here are some close up pictures I have already posted here a few months ago.
This does seem to be a puppy toy because as the above pictures show, Ruffin shows no interest in playing with it even when Bess flings the ball at him. If anyone reading this blog has a young Rottie pup and wants to try making one of these toys I'd appreciate hearing your reaction. And look at the good part, it isn't patented. And the whole thing makes it very easy to throw fairly good distances, which gives Bess more opportunity to run. Like they say, make one for your best friend and have a ball with it.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Escaping from the cabin fever

Today was only the second time in a few months that I managed to take Ruff and Bess down the back for a long walk. And I quickly noticed that the grass is sorely in need of cutting. So this weekend it looks like that will be the one project that must be done. Good thing Ruff and Bess didn't mind traipsing through the grass halfway up their legs. But first I have another photo to post here that I took a few days ago indoors. Bess went to sleep laying half off the couch and half on the wooden coffee table I made from a tree. That seems to be a popular table as old man Axl always used to sleep the same way when we were in the room watching TV. I still don't see how it is more comfortable than just curling up or stretching out on the couch.
The three Rotts have been really good lately babysitting their Mom in the afternoon while I was away so because the weather was so perfect for a walk we just had to do it.
Why walk when you can run. She always seems to have boundless energy.
One more reason to get to that weekend project. My neighbors have already started.
Its almost too hard to believe how time has flown by so quickly. Ruffin, who I often still call Baby Ruff, will be 10 years old in November. I took him to the Vet a few days ago to get his annual checkup and found out he was 135 lbs and that's 10-pounds overweight. The Vet took another blood sample for a new Thyroid check but I already new why he had gained so much weight. He can't walk past a food dish, anybody's food dish, without checking for scraps. And Bess is still a finicky eater and often walks away leaving half a meal. I'm not always around to see it but I know Ruff is scoffing it up. I knew I had to get to the Vet so I could renew Ruff's prescription for Levothyroxine for his Thyroid. We had been running low so I cut his dosage back to one pill a day to stretch it out.
Gotta give equal time to everyone in the family. Here is old man Axl out for his morning constitutional. 20 days after the start of Spring we had a half inch of snow on the ground. It all disappeared soon after the Sun came up but the Rotts all enjoyed it.
And one more of baby Bess.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A personal note to my followers

I apologize for the lapse in new posts on this blog. I have some serious medical issues going on right now that will continue until the middle of May. Seems I didn't have enough to worry about with my wife's debilitating Alzheimer's so now I have to deal with prostate cancer. Not the kind you live with, the kind that involves daily radiation treatment. I am now finishing my third week and have five more weeks to go. The only good part is they caught it before it began to spread so the prognosis looks good. If you feel inclined to do so, a few prayers wouldn't hurt.

I realize the best way to stop people from coming back to my blog is to have nothing new to write about or show, so I have decided to post some Best of the Best photos. And I have a lot to go through and choose.

Thank you all for your loyalty.

In no particular order, here are a few of my best Rottweiler images. Click the image for a full size view.

Ruffin has always loved horses. Ever since he actually was brave enough to walk up to one and go nose-to-nose. This was on October 8, 2008 and he was only 2 years old. He even became fascinated watching horse races on television.
September 3, 2009. A year after we adopted old man Axl, who was a spry 7 years old back then. Sassy was recuperating from ACL surgery and spend most of her day keeping to herself.
A lady who often visited us years ago always brought along her long-haired Dachshund, named Tinkerbell, and Ruffin made a new friend. Which always proved that size makes no difference.
One of the photos that I used in my blog masthead that inspired the name Living With Rottweilers. This is my first Rottie, Mocha, sharing a couch with my wife way back in 2006.
I have often mentioned that Axl was a trained service dog who previously lived with a handicapped woman. From the day we brought him into his new home he seemed to become attached to my wife. Soon afterward we learned about her Alzheimer's but I always wondered if Axl sensed that she needed him.
Ruffin and Axl are both lap dogs as you can plainly see.
Axl, Sassy and Ruffin pretending to pose for the camera after my wife got them to sit next to each other.
Moochers. It is impossible to enjoy a snack in our house without being made to feel guilty for not sharing it.
My wife Jacqueline did all the training in the early years, which I should have paid attention to because I don't have the talent that she had. This was June 25, 2007. She used to tell the Rotts that she was the Supreme High Commander and they would always listen to her. I gave this photo a title, I called it The Union Meeting.
This one has its own built-in title. Young Ruffin was very much in love with Sassy, even when she didn't want him to be. The innocent expression on his face, completely ignoring the ferocious snarl.
The Valentine's Day Kiss.
Back in the old days when they were all young enough to jump on the beds it sometimes became very crowded. But in truth, the only one who regularly slept on Mom's bed was Axl. And he slept on his own pillow right next to her's.

More to come.