Sunday, September 23, 2018

Never underestimate the power of bacon

I don't often use the slang "OMG" but a few minutes ago I did.
I just observed THE POWER OF BACON.

Since Griffin arrived here 19 days ago he has been introduced to a whole different kind of life that he had before. New sights, new sounds, new smells and new tastes. Today was another first. The smell of Bacon.

I decided to cook a couple of slices of bacon in the microwave to make a sandwich for lunch. Griff and Bess always follow me to the kitchen and enjoy some dog treats while I eat lunch. But when the bacon was finished cooking Griffin started acting really crazy. Jumping up on me and jumping up on the countertop and trying frantically to grab the paper towels that I wrapped the bacon in from my hands. This was a first for me, too. I have never seen any of my Rottweilers act this way over the smell of bacon. And, yes, I gave him a piece of my grilled Swiss Cheese and Bacon sandwich.

A bedtime story

Meet the morning crew.

Yesterday was a big day. I have been promising myself for almost 2 years that I was going to buy a new mattress for my bed and I finally did. I found just what I wanted, an extra firm orthopedic mattress, at The Original Mattress Factory, made locally in Cincinnati. Matter of fact, the mattress was manufactured the day before it was delivered. So after all the excitement of watching the delivery everyone was anxious to help check it out.
Griffin spent the entire night sleeping next to me but Bessie jumped off my bed as soon as Griffin climbed on it. She slept in the family room all night either in her crate or on the couch.
Sometime between 7 and 8 AM this morning Bess decided to join us. You could imagine the results since I was sound asleep. For me, this was a bit too early to be rudely awakened. The time on the alarm clock says I took these photos at 8:05 AM and now I need to take a nap.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Something wonderful arrived in the mail

Found this wonderful letter in my mailbox yesterday.

Someone who has been quietly following my Living With Rottweilers blog for the past 10 years took the time to look up my postal address and write me a letter that I will always treasure.

I don't know your name but I want to say to you how much your letter touched my heart. I posted photos of your letter on my Facebook page because I wanted to share your wonderful comments. Many followers on my Facebook account commented how much they liked it.

Click the image for a larger view
Rosie Ann DeLuna - Carpenter
You never know who's heart you are going to reach. That's a great letter.
Amy Valentini
That makes all those blog posts so worth it, Nelson. I know how it feels because sometimes you think you're just talking to the wind. You're not and this is proof.
Kelly Looney
This is so precious
Theresa Howard
Told you it needs to be in a book
Carey Smith
Oh wow! That’s really special. I would treasure it too!
Deloris Gonzales
That letter is totally awesome Nelson. I just love it.
Dawn Anderson
What a wonderful gift of an unexpected "atta boy" and little bit of kindness in a hard, hard world. God bless the heart behind these words.
Angela Lee
I like the sentence: "I am not the only crazy rottweiler person out there!" Precisely how I felt when I 1st came across your blog all those years ago before I came to be a part of the FB madness! And all the rottie families.. Totally concur!
Bette High
Beautiful and heart felt letter which indicates how positively you have affected the lives of those you have touched over the years. Regrettably, I was late to the party but having found you, I understand completely the sentiment shared. Thanks for being you!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Trials and tribulations. Part 3

Wish I could post the video here that I uploaded to Facebook this morning. For one thing, it might make this post easier to understand. This morning Bess and Griff had a some rough house play in the family room. I caught it on video. Then a little while later I wrote.

Suddenly the quiet has become deafening.

One thought leads to another. I had to get up and see what was going on because it has become so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Griffin is sound asleep in the foyer and Bess is quietly resting outside my den. She has a look on her face that makes me think that proverbial light bulb just went off over her head. As if to read her thoughts, "Now I know what Ruffin wanted. He raised me to have NO FEAR. I am invincible."


Trials and tribulations, Part 2

Morning report from the front.
Truce declared, all is quiet.

I think I may have entertained the thought at one time or another that I always wanted to hear the pitter-patter of little feet around the house. Last night I got what I asked for in droves. The wild and overly enthusiastic play outside that I've written about, made its way indoors last night. While it works well on a wide-open grassy lawn it does not work well in a room full of furniture. Happy to report that Bessie held her own against the younger, bigger and stronger baby boy. She has some spunk for a girl. 

It got so rough that I had to bring Griffin into my den and close the door. Also good to report no one got hurt and nothing got busted.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Trials and tribulations

Late last night there was an attempt to overthrow the Queen. At least the attempt was aimed at her throne. I don't know if the this was a silent coup or not because I was watching a movie on Amazon Prime using my headphones and did not hear any commotion. When I walked into the family room to check on Bess and Griff I discovered the stuffed brown dog bed that Bessie uses had been hit by a bomb and the foam pellets scattered all over the floor. Needless to say I was not pleased at this wanton act of destruction and made my feeling known to all. Mr. Griffin had a muzzle put on him until bedtime but since we never go to bed feeling angry we are still friends. I didn't think to take any photos.

Tonight I thought I saw some improvement. My big baby Rottweiler is slowly revealing his history. Poor Griffin came into this house and acted like he never ran around and played with another dog before. He knows what play is, he gets so excited outside with Bessie that he leaps all around her but she isn't into the rough stuff like boys are. I bought a bunch of toys when he arrived and one was a long tugging toy for two dogs to play with. And finally, tonight I saw Bess and Griff playing with it. When it looked like Griff was going to overpower her, she ran into her crate with the toy and Griff didn't know what to do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

All about love

Bessie becomes the Queen.
I have yet to capture the full extent of our young and powerful adopted Rottweiler boy as he leaps (literally leaps) with joy around the very pretty Rottie girl he found living in his forever home. 
In plain language Griffin has been acting like a clown to get the attention of a girl.
But the pretty girl happens to be the future Queen of his new home. And she must learn to wield the power of her throne as she is doing in these photos today.
Fear not, they still love each other very much.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

My two lovebirds.

Whether it is the true nature of Rottweilers to make new friends or my recently adopted rescue Rott Griffin is just a very fast worker. In only ten days he has overcome Bessie's resistance and won over her affections. These two spend a lot of time with me in my den because I spend a lot of time on my computer. And when they are not taking naps they are, for want of a better term, making out. 

Late last night the two lovebirds began playing with their squeaky balls in my den. This time I held the camera down at floor level to get some new shots.
 A Saturday Night bath?

Thursday, September 13, 2018


Finally, the Sun came out today and the lovebirds went out to play.
The first pic begs for a title: "Will you dance with me?"

And, yes, Griffin is feeling better today. Just dealing with a drippy nose.

This fenced-in area is the only part of the backyard where Griffin is allowed off leash. I haven't taken him and Bessie down to the back to explore yet and when we do go he will have to be on a leash so he won't run away. My property measures 115 ft wide and 600 ft deep. The telephone pole in one of the photos is the boundary marker on one side.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Probably the strangest story I ever wrote

The best place to begin is at the beginning.

My big boy Ruffin was born on November 13, 2006 in Sharonville, Ohio and passed away in his sleep on August 23, 2018 in his home in Independence, Kentucky where he lived all his life. During his lifetime we became more than best friends forever. From the moment he licked my nose when I picked him up out of his whelping box he stole my heart. And every day of his life we gave each other hugs and kisses. To say that we bonded together during his almost 12 years on the Earth doesn't completely explain how much love we had for each other.

During Ruffin's life in our home he was a witness to much sickness and death. When we brought him to his new home he was introduced to his new family, Mocha and Sassy my two female Rottweilers. Sassy, who was four years old became Ruff's foster mother and because they were so close later on they fell in love. And when Sassy died in 2014 Ruffin was heartbroken and mourned her loss for months. During this time my beloved Jacqueline was fighting a losing battle against Alzheimer's and I was drawing upon the compassion of my two Rottweilers to help me deal with this. Two years after Sassy died I underwent months of treatment for Prostate Cancer. This was followed by Ruffin's loss of eyesight and his own treatment for cancer and dealing with his total blindness. I was Ruffin's rock, his anchor, his safe place. Every single day he would come to me on numerous occasions to get hugs and kisses. He needed his batteries recharged frequently. All this time we became closer and closer together. We became inseparable.

Then last month I had to go into the hospital with heart problems. I was so fortunate to have met a wonderful Christian woman from a local church who came to my home to take care of Bessie and Ruff. But still, Ruff missed me and it began to affect his health. On the 3th day I was hospitalized the woman told me Ruff had stopped eating. He missed me and probably thought I was never coming back. The next day they implanted a pacemaker and on the 5th day I told them I couldn't stay any longer so I came home. When I walked in the house Ruff heard my voice and came out of the bedroom to greet me. We hugged and kissed for a long time and I told him how much I loved him and missed him. That night Ruffin ate his entire dinner and seemed to be back to his old self. The next day he stopped eating again and I became worried and took him to our Vet. Dr. Black was Ruff's favorite lady doctor and he always greeted her with kisses. This time he didn't move off the floor in the exam room and she said to me, "He must really be sick if he didn't give me any kisses." She did a thorough exam, took x-rays and an ultrasound and didn't offer any clues to his problem and sent him home with me. Whether she suspected anything I will never know because if she had suggested keeping him overnight for observation, Ruff would have died alone in a cage instead of next to me in his home. Several friends pointed out that Ruffin was holding on waiting for my return home before he died.

In the last 23 years I have owned 7 Rottweilers and faced the hardest part of saying good bye when 5 of them passed away. But I felt a strange difference in the days after Ruff was gone. It was not the great feeling of grief one would get over the death of a very close friend. It didn't occur to me right away but later I started feeling like Ruff had not gone too far away.

After the surgeon implanted the pacemaker he said to me, "You will live for another 20 years." I said, great, this gives me time to have one more Rottweiler. And I started letting people know I was looking on Facebook. Within days a friend alerted me to a notice posted by Pawsitive Warriors Rescue of New Carlisle, Ohio, about 100 miles north. They had a 15 month old male Rottweiler who was just given to them for a new home. My first impression was he looked like Ruff. And somehow, someway, I began to think my best friend Ruff was still looking over me and knowing that I needed this new friend.

It has now been one full week since the rescue group drove down here and delivered Griffin (Bruno). I fell in love with him the moment I saw him. He was more beautiful than his pictures. It didn't take Bessie too long to start up a friendship, either. She seems to be trying to be the pack leader and girlfriend/playmate at the same time. Today she was all playmate when they were outside and she seemed to be coming to life enjoying her new friend. And I am beginning to notice some peculiar personality traits with Griffin that bear an uncanny resemblance to Ruffin.

Tonight I had a strange thought about Griffin. I wondered where he came from. I reached out to the rescue group and wrote them: "you mentioned when you delivered (Bruno) Griffin that you thought you had a copy of his pedigree. I am very much interested in seeing it if you can locate it. FYI my big boy Ruffin was born in Sharonville, Ohio and there have been several times that (Bruno) has shown me personality traits identical to Ruffin and as strange as this seems it is not beyond the realm of possibility that (Bruno) might be an offspring of one of Ruffin's siblings. And besides, (Bruno) even looks a bit like Ruff, too. I have Ruff's pedigree and would like to compare them."

And I sent another message to Theresa Howard, the ARC Certified Breeder who had bred Ruffin at her home. Theresa and her husband came to my home last year for a visit and to see Ruffin. It was the first time she had seen him in 11 years.

Hi, Theresa, you have not yet met my newest addition to our family but when you do I think you may be surprised. I have begun to see several personality traits in Griffin that remind me of Ruffin, not to say the least they look alike. I have sent a request to the lady who runs the rescue group in New Carlisle, Ohio to see if she can locate the pedigree for Griffin. She told me that she had it when she got him. I am wondering if you still have the names of the people who purchased the other Rottie pups from Ruffin's litter? I think there is a slight chance that Griffin may be an offspring from one of them.

Now we wait. One thing in my favor is there are not too many Rottweiler breeders in southern Ohio so that works in my favor. Wouldn't it be a wonderful coincidence if Griffin turned out to be an offspring from one of Ruff's brothers or sisters? It would be like Ruffin found a way to come back to me. That's what true love is all about.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Continuing the story about our newest Rottweiler, Griffin

A lot has happened in the last 5 days. Our big baby has developed Kennel Cough in spite of getting a vaccination shot for Bordatello and has been doing a lot of hacking around the house. I took Griff to our Veterinary Clinic, Noah's Ark on Thursday, September 6th to have him checked out and begin a new treatment record on him. Several of the ladies there including Ruffin's favorite lady Vet came out to see him. He was an instant hit. A few of the girls said Griff looked so much like Ruffin. On the way home we stopped at the KentonCounty Animal Shelter and got his a dog license. And once again he was a big hit.

Update on Griffin, September 7, 2018.
Another trip back to the Vet today for Griffin. The hacking cough has persisted every day since he arrived and it sounds worse now. Vet prescribed Cephalexin antibiotic and Hydrocodone to ease his sore throat. Since he arrived on Tuesday afternoon he has had diarrhea, little or no appetite and several bouts of vomiting. I decided this morning to have a full workup done on him to see if anyone missed something. As we were leaving the Vet this morning Griff had a massive stool dump in the office, half solid and half diarrhea and a smaller diarrhea in the van. The Fecal exam came back clean and the Heart worm test was negative. So far so good. Waiting for the rest of the blood panel tomorrow. (it was also good except for some elevated white blood cells due to the kennel cough) Vet suggested boiled chicken and rice for dinner. With an empty stomach he must have been hungry. Griff ate it all and vomited it 3 hours later. I noticed on his previous Vet report before we got him his weight was 115 lbs on 8-30-2018. Yesterday it was 107 lbs and today it was 106 lbs.

Bessie and Griffin are getting along fine, Griff still wants to play and Bess has begun to show her command voice. She stopped one of his exuberant attempts to play with a few very loud barks right in his face. And the barks have a different sound to them, they didn't sound like the one's she makes at the front door.

Morning update on Griffin September 8th.
Griff has become attached to me. He spends most of his day sleeping on the floor under the computer table. And I love the way he snores. He follows me around the house wherever I go and the last two nights at bedtime I was forced to use that to my advantage because he does not willingly go into the crate. Good thing I bought the extra large size because I found if I crawl into the crate he follows me and then I can back out and close the gate.
I found a way to get him to take pills.
It's still raining so I haven't gotten to the store with my shopping list so I melted some shredded cheddar cheese in the microwave and formed it in a ball and buried his pills in it. But he spit the whole thing out when I put it in his mouth. Not wanting to waste the pills I dropped the ball of cheese into the dog food bowl with a handful of kibble. Griff went over and ate the whole thing.

The other night I found Bess and Griff snoozing together in the hallway. They had their faces so close together it looked like they were smooching.
Last night I saw a major change in our sleeping arrangements.
Griffin may be only 15 months old but he is as smart as a whip. After three nights of coaxing and tricking him into the crate at bedtime, even to the point of me crawling in first and having him follow me, last night he wasn't having any of that. And this posed a major problem. I couldn't let him roam the house after I went to bed because he is so curious he gets into everything. This same problem would apply to him sleeping on the dog bed on the floor in my bedroom. So I tried letting Griff sleep on my bed. Which, of course, is where Bessie always sleeps but they wouldn't make any room for me.
So I put a 6 ft leash on Griffin and tied it to the corner of my bed so he could sleep on the dog bed where Ruff used to sleep. Bessie didn't like this so she left my room. Griffin found the leash gave him enough room to climb on my bed and after I turned out the lights he came over me (literally standing over me) and drowned me in kisses. When he tried to lay on top of me I forced him off and he ended up sleeping down at the end of the bed with his back pressed against my back. And thank God he didn't snore once. When I woke up this morning Bessie was sleeping on Ruff's bed next to mine.
I wish there was a way to publish a video on this blog. I just had Griffin and Bessie outside and watched Griff dance all around Bessie trying to get her to play. At first she would just lunge and snap at him to make him stop but he never gave up trying. Then she started playing with him and it was the most enjoyable sight I've seen in the 9 years since we adopted Axl and he played with 2 yr old Ruff. And they kept it up for almost 10 minutes.
Oh, I almost forgot. This was really uncanny. The other day I sat down in the leather chair in the family room and almost immediately Griffin casually stepped up on the arm of the chair and climbed on to my lap and gave me kisses.  Once before many years ago, when Ruffin was young he did the exact same thing. Back then my wife Jacqueline grabbed the camera and took some photos. When Griff did it I went and set up the camera on the tripod and sat down with the remote in my hand and Griff came over and did the whole thing again. Here are 2 photos of Griff and 2 photos of Ruff.
In 2008
And here's the really weird thing, in both photos I was wearing the same old work jeans.