Friday, November 20, 2015

Seen through the kitchen window

A few nights ago we had a beautiful sunset. I first spotted it through the kitchen window and like many before it, I stared at it for a while before thinking of grabbing the camera. It seemed to predict the cool, clear weather we had these past few days. "Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky at morning, sailor's take warning".
Then last night about a half hour before sunset I noticed the sunlight glowing through the leaves on the trees behind the house. This didn't last very long and I think by the time I retrieved the camera I may have missed the best part because when I first saw it the leaves were really glowing from the sun behind them, especially the red Japanese Maple.
Just before noon today I saw another sight through the same window. Bess was perched atop the stone wall looking like a library lion, and her protector and champion Ruff was laying nearby.
Then I got noticed and they both turned to see what I was doing hanging out of the open window. I'm sure they think I'm very strange.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Love on a little dog bed, part 2.

Bess loves Ruffin and Ruff loves his little girl Bess. Its been that way since the day she came into her new home 16 months ago. Bess also loves her Grandpa Axl but not the same way she loves Ruff. Axl is special because he so old and he commands more respect than Ruff does. Sometimes she wants to play with him but I keep telling her he is old and fragile so she contents herself with flirting and kisses. That happens in almost every room in the house but especially in my wife's bedroom where Axl hangs out when my wife is in bed. Those are the wake-up morning kisses she slobbers all over him while I'm getting my wife dressed.

Bess also spends a lot of time in my den while I'm on the computer and I brought in one of the dog beds for her to lay on so she doesn't get tangled underneath my chair. Most of the time she actually uses the bed and once in awhile she entices one of the boys to join her. Last month I posted some pictures of Bess smooching Ruff on her bed. The other day she got Axl to join her for more of the same.

By the way, Axl loves the attention he gets from the pretty little girl. What old man wouldn't appreciate that. Bess just seems to love everybody.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The lost photo that almost got away.

It is one thing to forget about some pictures and then to stumble upon them unexpectedly and to remember a particular picture and be unable to find it. Sort of like looking for a needle in a haystack when you have tens of thousands of pictures cataloged in five or more sub-directories. That was the problem I had with my last post, The beauty of living with Rottweilers. I knew there was one picture that I had taken of my my wife Jacqueline and her constant companion Axl that I was especially fond of and I wanted to add it to that previous post.

I literally browsed through those pictures more than once without finding it. So I posted what I had and then two days later the proverbial light bulb went off over my head. I had remembered the special occasion that I had taken the picture on. It was on Mother's Day. So I did a search on this blog for "Mother's Day" and there it was. And thanks to digital images always keeping Meta Data records, I was able to find the file name and go back to my hard drive and locate the picture.

Why am I writing to such lengths about just one picture? Because it depicts such a perfect bond of love between one human and her Rottweiler more than anything else. See for yourself.
Mother's Day 2010
One very proud looking Rottweiler and one very proud looking Mom and the smiles says more than words. The photo was taken when Axl was 9-years old, two years after he came to his forever home. I often joke about his brief retirement but the truth is it only lasted about two weeks. That was the time he was in foster care after his first Mom lost her house in a fire. Axl was trained to be her companion service dog and when he got to our home he seemed to know just what needed to be done when he met my wife. And it turned into a good thing for Axl, too. I'm told that service dogs don't do well in retirement because they need to work. Axl is 14-years old now and well beyond his normal life expectancy but he has a sense of purpose and his devotion to his Mom is what is keeping him alive.
That is what the love is all about that I witness every day living with Rottweilers.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

The beauty of living with Rottweilers.

I'm not bragging here but the fact is I've been taking lots of photos of my Rottweilers since I got my first one in 1995. This may be because I find them so entertaining to watch and be around. In those early years before digital cameras became affordable, shooting pictures in 35mm was rather expensive so for obvious reasons I didn't take nearly as many as after I got my first digital camera. But then in 2002 everything changed and my collection of photos of my best friends grew and grew. Today, after going through a Hewlett-Packard, then a Sony DCS-S85, a Nikon D-40 and another Nikon D-3200, I have accumulated over 25,000 pictures. And I'm sure that Google Blogger is very glad I don't try to post them all.

While going over some old pictures a few days ago to send to some new dog people friends I met, I came across one photo taken 5-years ago that struck me as just being so beautiful. While most of my pictures of my Rotts are action shots of them doing something or else lounging around on the furniture, this one shows my two boys, Axl and Ruff, just taking a nap with their Mom on her bed. 

And it looks like a Rottweiler sandwich.
Or maybe an Oreo cookie, giant sized.

The best photos I've ever taken always showed the extent of love and companionship these wonderful dogs have for each other and especially for their humans, and Mom in particular. Like this one taken 4 years ago:
Or the clown photos that everyone laughs at. Such as sleeping like a naked centerfold pose or kissing his Mom on Valentines Day.
Or the photos that show their depth of love as my wife's Alzheimer's progressed.
And Mom's constant companion, Axl, never got to enjoy his retirement very long.
I don't think he minded that very much.

Love really is Living With Rottweilers.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

New signs that Bess is growing up.

Subtitle: How to scare your humans to death.
Our young lady Rott Bess has entered a new stage in life. She has become Dora The Explorer. I should have anticipated this since my first female Rottweiler, Mo, also did the same thing 20-years ago. And can you imagine how scary it is when you realize that your big black dog walks away and disappears into the dark? And I mean pitch black dark. Then after ten minutes of frantic calling, running inside to grab a flashlight and come out to begin a search. Then, all of a sudden, "Hi, here I am." her face lit up with excitement and the little girl suddenly reappears out of nowhere coming from a different direction.

It took me completely by surprise the first two times it happened but the third time she did it in the daylight so when I saw Bess take off I followed her. Little Bessie was doing a perimeter check. Yesterday morning when I walked down the driveway looking for her, I spotted her walking back toward the front on the other side of the fenced area around the pool.

Usually, when I put Bess and Ruff outside in the fenced-in area around the pool they methodically walk the inside perimeter of the fence, sniffing and checking everything out. But when I take the three Rotts out for the bedtime potty around midnight we are in the open front yard. And there is a very wide-open area outside of the fenced yard behind the house and little Bess had decided to do her perimeter check walking the outside of the fence and around the house. In the dark. Alone. With no one to protect her.
That red line is the length of two football fields.
This morning Bess decided to expand her range of exploration beyond the perimeter check. When I saw her walk down the driveway I thought she was going to circle around the house so I took my time and put Ruff and Axl inside. But when I walked out back I didn't see her. I quickly checked the other side of the house hoping to see her coming back but she wasn't there. Instead of doing a perimeter check Bess had completely vanished. I came back and grabbed her leash and took Ruff with me. We started walking down to the far back yard calling her name and whistling for her. Then after another 10-minutes or so I spotted Bess emerging from the woods at the very back of the yard where the creek divides the property line. Running toward me and Ruff with the happy look of extreme excitement on her face that said "I just had a big adventure." "I'm a big girl now."

So now I have to give her another lecture on how precious she is because she has no concept of danger and how someone might see her and take her away from her family or how she could get lost exploring places she has never been to before. And after the warm greetings on her return everything returned to normal. Except that I feel a little older than I did when I woke up this morning. And I sure Bess feels a little older, too.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Peanut Butter magic and love in other places.

A long time ago I discovered that Peanut Butter was irresistible to every Rottweiler we ever had. Every morning for almost 20-years, without fail, all of our Rotts have gotten a spoonful along with whatever pills they were taking at the time. While not every one of our Rotts has been taking medicine all the time they have always been given 6-7 Brewer's Yeast pills to help ward off fleas. I've mentioned that to our Vet and they seem to have heard this from others as well. I can't say there's scientific proof to support this but on the other hand, none of our Rotts have ever had fleas and none have ever worn flea collars.

The real enjoyment I get in giving them their "peanut butter pills" is the look on their faces when they get to clean the spoons. As what happened this morning when I also happened to have the camera in the kitchen after taking the picture out the window. Please note the dreamy look in Ruff's eyes as he gets the first taste.
Immediately followed by his little girlfriend, Bess.
Ruff and Bess have become inseparable. The earlier lessons in future warrior queen training that Ruff was giving the little girl have turned into a genuine love between these two. They go outside together and hang out together as I often see looking out the kitchen window. So I put the telephoto lens on the camera and grabbed this shot this morning of the two of them sitting side by side at the far end of the pool.
Around the house, day and night, but what seems mostly while I'm watching the television, my companions are always engaged in playful contact. And as a few pictures show, they seem oblivious to old man Axl who may be laying nearby.

Love is a beautiful thing to see. And I am so glad that Ruff has found a new companion to take the place of his first love, Sassy. He doesn't get to play with Axl very much any more because the old man has trouble moving around. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Love on a little dog bed.

I am used to having Bess keep me company while I work on my computer. That's why I brought one of the dog beds into my office. Since she got to be full-sized I try to discourage her from wrapping herself around the base of my chair. So I often pay no attention to her sounds while she is on her bed. She takes noisy naps and snores a lot. Yesterday, the sound of heavy breathing caught my attention. When I turned to look the little dog bed was occupied with two Rottweilers. Bess and Ruff were both on the bed and it looked like, for want of another word, they were making out. 
Normally, when Bess starts hanging all over Ruff, Ruff gets up and goes into the bathroom for some peace and quiet. That's because the little girl can be quite a pest. She loves to grab his leather collar and pull him around. The strange thing about this case is that Ruff didn't leave. So maybe he was enjoying it.
This went on for several minutes and except for Ruff's occasional look up at the camera, not quite a look for some help, the two Rotts just kept enjoying themselves. And the odd part is that since the little bed is used exclusively by Bess I have not been able to get Ruff to come in and lay on it.

It must be love. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

An unexpected visitor came for the weekend and brought along another Rottweiler.

My daughter Karen gave us all a big surprise a few days ago and drove down from Long Island to spend the weekend with us. And Karen brought along her own best friend, a Rottweiler whose name is Boo Bear. To say the least we had an enjoyable and very exciting few days together. This is the first time we ever had four Rotties in our house at the same time.
Boo Bear is in training to become a service dog and often wears his vest and collar but for most of his visit with our three Rottweilers he was able to enjoy just being a dog. I was impressed with how calm he was coming into a home he has never been to before and meeting three strange dogs who were very eager to play with him. One of the first things Boo did was go up next to my wife Jacqueline and give her a kiss.
And during most of the quiet moments Boo spent his time laying next to Jacqueline, almost as if he realized she needed his company. This seems to be a natural inborn trait of Rottweilers which makes them wonderful companion dogs.
But except for one rainy day the weekend was too nice to stay indoors so we all went out for some play in the backyard. Boo was wearing a bandage on his right front paw because he got a small cut on one of his pads but that didn't prevent him from running with Ruff and Bessie.

Ready, Set, Go....
Now that is an action shot. And Ruff was doing a great job keeping up with the younger Rotts. His limp was all gone and he was running faster than I've seen him run in a few years.

Karen had to leave early Monday morning for her 800-mile drive home. It was a nice visit and we were glad to see her again. Now that she knows she can do this I'm sure we'll see her again soon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A gorgeous day for a walk and a chance to enjoy the fall foliage.

Clear blue skies and a warm sunny day is a temptation for a long walk that's hard to resist. Combine that with an opportunity to see what Mother Nature has done with her new Autumn colors and the fact that all three of my Rottweilers were eager to go for a walk and my camera was close at hand and.... Well, here it is. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
And look who is coming with us.
The only disappointment was this was the only tree that had changed color. The Bradford Pear trees and the Gum trees have only started to turn color.
Last but not least old man Axl finally gets back to the house. Can't blame him one bit because of his age. But I think he may be in better condition than I am.
Ruff was the first one to get back to the front door. I'm so glad to see that the meds the Vet gave him yesterday have cleared up his limp. Although the walks lately have not been like they were a few years ago when he and his buddy Axl use to chase each other around the back yard. Hey, we're all getting old.