Friday, August 21, 2015

I found some previously unposted pictures of baby Bess and Ruff

Late last August when I brought baby Bess home to meet her new Rottweiler family there was such a flurry of activity that I was snapping almost 25 pictures a day trying to capture all the excitement. i just found a sequence of photos that had not been posted here on this blog. And I think you will agree they are very funny.

Bess has never been shy when she approaches Ruff. I was convinced that Ruff was building up her self-confidence by letting the little midget think she was beating up the giant Rottweiler. Matter of fact she comes at him full of steam and bravado. In these pictures Ruff responds to one of Bessie's attacks with an explosive move that sends Bessie backwards. Then, undeterred, she starts another attack all over again.


These pictures were taken on September 2nd, last year, a few days after I brought Bessie home.
One more note about this. Everything you see above was happening in complete silence. I once wrote it was like looking at a silent movie. Ruff never growled or barked and neither did Bessie. It was a full two weeks before either of these two made any sound at all. And I seem to remember that Bessie was quite shocked the day she learned she had a voice.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Another night at the movies.

Ruff was taking a long snooze in the hallway so I decided to put a new Blu-Ray film into the player and spend the evening with my girl Bess watching a movie. I can always depend on her to lay on the couch next to me while we're watching TV. Tonight was no different. She seemed to have that snooty look on her face again so I paused the film to get a few pictures. She poses rather nicely, doesn't she. I love the causally folded front legs.
Then back to watching some more of the movie and Bess quickly dozed off. I thought the movie was exciting but I guess even the loud sound effects couldn't keep Bessie awake. Poor little thing looks like she could barely keep her eyes open.
After awhile Bess decided to stretch out and found a convenient platform to support her head, the coffee table that I made from a slab from a tree. So I paused the movie again to take one more picture.
Bessie reminds me of how Axl used to sleep on the same couch years ago.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Some really big news and a nice story, too.

Early yesterday morning I drove Ruff to the Vet’s office to have his nails clipped. He only gets this done with anesthesia so I had to come back around 3 o’clock to pick him up.
I was going to take Bess with him to get her nails clipped but she was acting all hyped up before we even got to the car. I didn’t want her acting that way at the Vet’s office so I put her back in the house.
This morning I planned on taking just Bess but she and Ruff were acting very calmly together outside so I took them both.
And I wished I had my camera.
The tandem leash hookup I made works fine and Bess and Ruff walked very nice side by side. Soon as we got inside the office they both did a simultaneous leap with their front feet onto the 4 ft. high counter to see the girls. It looked like a perfectly choreographed jump and they both hung their feet over the other side and stayed that way until they got some treats.
Then while the girl was checking us in the two of them repeated their trick three more times. I tell you, everyone was staring at them in amazement, with smiles on their faces. I think if someone had pulled out a cell phone to record this, I would have paid them for a picture.
Now for the BIG NEWS.
Bess weighed 91 LBS. on the Vet’s scale.
My little finicky eating baby girl has been secretly growing and I guess I haven't been paying attention.
It's times like this when I wish I had one of those small Go-Pro cameras mounted on my hat.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday kisses.

Baby Bess has been in a loving mood the past few days. She keeps climbing up on the small couch next to my wife's recliner and has been very persistent in giving her smooches. The first picture was taken yesterday.
Then I got these pictures today.
Later on at dinner time, Ruff went over and woke up old man Axl with some of his own kisses.
Ruff still treats Axl like his best friend even though Axl is too old now to play with Ruff like he used to. What I love about these Rottweilers is they are all so very close to each other. Bess also gives Axl lots of kisses in the morning when we get my wife out of bed. Must be a wonderful feeling being woken up with kisses.



Saturday, August 8, 2015

Dealing with Cabin Fever during our unusual Monsoon Season.

If you were a tree in Northern Kentucky this Summer, you would be a very happy tree. The rainfall totals for June, July and August so far seem to be twice our yearly averages. That doesn't describe the situation here very well but putting it another way, we've had some amount of rain at least 3 or 4 days out of every week for the last 3 months. In fact we have had so much rain, so often, that Ruffin actually went outside to pee the other day while it was still raining. Ruff is the one who will hold off business at the slightest look of rain. If the ground was wet outside he'd stick his nose out the door to check and more often than not, turn around and walk back inside until the Sun came out.

So more rain gets more days stuck indoors. And that leads to cabin fever. And uncut grass. Do you know how fast grass grows in cool and rainy weather?

I haven't posted much in the past two weeks. In between the rain and the drizzle the grass still had to be cut but it had to dry out first. And quite a few times my grass cutting was interrupted by storm clouds. Then there was other chores to be done. I have had the time to collect a few photos and found three taken a few days ago showing how the Rottweilers keep themselves busy.

Every once in awhile old man Axl would open his eyes from his nap on the couch and show he does not approve of the commotion. Then these two would move into my den and start the rough house all over. You can almost hear the sound effects in the last picture. Fact is, I did hear the sound effects while in the den and came in to the room with the camera.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Training a new babysitter. I think it comes in the DNA.

Good babysitters are hard to come by. Especially the nursemaid variety. I ought to know, I've gone through four of them in the last three years. Luckily, we have our three Rottweilers who are more than willing to take the job, but it always seems the female Rotts have a special talent for the work. I think you have seen the help I get tying my wife's shoes in the morning to see I have no trouble finding volunteers.

So it was yesterday afternoon. I spotted Bess doing something I hadn't seen her do before. She jumped onto the small couch next to Jacqueline's recliner and seemed to be in a particularly loving mood.
Bess can be a real sweetheart when she wants to as well as the Tomboy she enjoys being most of the time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A few odds and ends.

Old business first.
Breakfast this morning was a repeat of yesterday. Ruff ate by himself early and Bess and Axl ate much later, side by side again. Yay! I love it when a plan comes together. Ditto at dinner time.

Me and my shadow.

Got up from the computer last night to go to bed and my not so little anymore shadow was curled up around the base of my chair. I guess it is as close to me as she can get without climbing in my lap.

I think I spoke too soon.

Its been a long time since I had a Rottweiler climb in my lap and give me kisses. Ruffin was very good at that when he was much younger. So I shouldn't have been surprised when Bess did the same thing this afternoon. I didn't have the camera set up the first time so after enjoying a few minutes of her frantic kisses I made her get down and got the camera and remote ready. Then all I said was Bess, gimme a kiss, and she was in my lap again. And I could tell she was enjoying this new game she had just invented. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A strange observation at the feeding stand.

Bessie has been slowing getting over her eating disorder. And what I had once thought was a fear of her metal food bowl. OK, I've spent so much time observing the problem and trying to think of causes to eliminate that I've let my mind wander a bit. After all, there's nothing wrong with thinking outside the box. An hour ago I saw something that added a new wrinkle to the situation.

Our normal routine is that I get up first in the morning along with Bessie and Ruff, take them out to pee and then we have our breakfast together. Sort of, anyway. Ruff eats anything, any time, any place. Bess is more finicky. So Ruff has a bowl of dog food and Bess practically stays out of the kitchen until I open the jar of peanut butter for their pills and biscuits. Then Bess comes out and gets hers and always takes her big Milk Bone biscuit into the family room to eat it.

Awhile later its time to get the Mom out of bed and take Axl outside for his pee. Then Mom and Axl come out to the kitchen for breakfast. Since it takes longer to get my wife's breakfast I always set down a bowl of food for Axl first. Today I gave him a bowl of kibble with a handful of cheddar cheese sprinkled on top. When I set this down for him Bessie was also at the feeder so I made a second bowl of kibble and cheese and put it down for her. And Bessie and Axl ate their breakfast together standing side by side at the feeder.

Since the first day I brought Bess into her new home she has treated Axl differently that she treated Ruff. Axl earned the name Grandpa Axl because he acted more maturely to Bess than Ruff did. I had thought that Ruff was supposed to be teaching Bess discipline but he quickly became her playmate with all the daily playschool stuff that I was calling combat lessons. Meanwhile, Grandpa Axl remained aloof and acted more like a curmudgeon to the pesty little pup. The first time little Bess tried to jump on him to play like she does to Ruff, Axl swiped her with his huge head and flung her across the room. It was also the first time in six years I heard him growl.

Later on as Bess got bigger she warmed up to Axl and started flirting with him with ear licks and kisses. She was treating him with respect and he was responding to it. Many times I saw her laying very close to him, something that she never does with Ruff.

So the observation at the food dish this morning immediately told me that Bess prefers to eat along her Grandpa and does not like to eat with Ruffin. And tonight at dinner time I'm going to arrange it.
UPDATE: 7 PM same day.

Something old and something new. 
Well, dinner time arrived and I did what I had planned. My wife and I had a late supper so I fed Ruff about 6 o'clock which is close to his normal meal time. As mentioned, Axl doesn't come out to the kitchen until he follows his Mom so I held off putting down his and Bessie's dinner until we sat down to eat. Once again, just like at breakfast, Bessie stood next to Axl and they both ate from their bowls. Only difference was Axl finished his meal and then went to lay down next to my wife's chair at the table but Bessie walked away after only eating a little bit. Then I realized why. The humans still had food on the table. 

So after we finished our meal and Bessie got to help pre-wash the dinner plates and pick up a few scraps of leftovers, she then went back to her unfinished dinner and gobbled it up. I have seen this before. She treats her dog food as a backup meal and won't eat it until she is sure all of the people food is gone. (Actually, Bess only cleans my plate. Axl always cleans his Mom's plate.)

It amazes me what I've learned from watching them. Lets try this again in the morning.

On the care and feeding of Rottweilers, the eyes have it.

Sometimes I sit around trying to come up with an interesting topic to write about on Living With Rottweilers and then the idea pops into my head after reading someone’s comments. Like a nice lady from South Africa who wrote: 
Look at those tongues, lol. They would definitely be in contention for a Gold medal in Synchronised Licking in the doggie olympics… I love how a Rott tends to OPEN their eyes wide up when getting a treat, Both ours do it and it is hysterical… almost as if the wider their eyes the more peanut butter there is.
Her comment about the look in their eyes reminded me of my first Rottweilers almost 20 years ago. I used to call them my Three Bears and in fact that’s what they were named: Mocha Bear was my first Rottie girl who I got as a puppy, at first I called her just Mocha until we adopted her parents, Nikko Bear and Felony Bear. Here are Felony Bear, Mocha Bear and Nikko Bear in 2001.
As a funny side note, those are the actual names that I had engraved on their tombstones in the Highland Pet Cemetery. They are buried side by side.
The people who run the pet cemetery told me that another client had asked them in a rather concerned voice if there were real bears buried there. Why that would matter to anyone in a cemetery is beyond me. I did explain that among Rottweiler owners, Bear is a fairly common name.
Anyway, back to the care and feeding of Rottweilers. Felony, who I always called Felly Girl, always had the special “look” and it was that look in her eyes that literally changed my mind and made me decide to keep them and give them a forever home after my wife drove back to Long Island to get them from my daughter (but that’s another story).
The three bears always loved to share everything the two humans had and one of their favorite treats was pizza. 
Here’s the sequence of photos I took. Mocha first. The girls always go before the boys, don't they?
And then when my wife offered Felly Girl a slice I saw the Pizza Eyes look on her face. By the way, her official name on her AKC Pedigree registration is Erin Lee's Felony but since we were the third or fourth home she lived in we had no other details.
With Nikko Bear patiently waiting his turn in the background.
Not much has changed from one Rottweiler to another. Once again here is the look that seems inspired from Walt Disney's classic film Lady and the Tramp.

No tramps here in our house. 


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hijinks in the kitchen

Never a dull moment during the breakfast hour at our house. The Mom's been fed, the Rottweilers been fed and then its time for the peanut butter pills and big biscuit ceremony. A friend who owns Rottweilers asked me one time if I had trouble giving medicine to my dogs. I asked him back if he ever tried sticking the pills in a spoon of peanut butter and he said, no. Now he says he could never get by without a jar on the kitchen table. We've been doing it forever, at least since the early days when we first had Rottweilers. Peanut butter is irresistible. Every morning we give a spoonful with their Brewer's Yeast pills and any other medicine they may be getting at the time. And its all followed with a large Milk Bone dog biscuit.

As soon as Mom had her breakfast and the table was cleared, Bess and Ruff had gotten so excited knowing what was coming next that they decided to have some play-time.
Then after the last spoonful of peanut butter was used to dispense the pills I found the jar empty. So I got out the spatula to scrap the sides and bottom and give it to the dogs. As soon as they saw me take the spatula from the drawer they seemed to know what was coming next and they got excited all over again. Even old man Axl got up from his place under the table by his Mom's side to join in.
And this last photo is some sort of record. It's the first time I saw a triple header and recorded it with the camera at the same time.
Just one more photo that I forgot to post. Reminds me of the iconic scene from the Walt Disney movie Lady and the Tramp.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Birthday, baby Bess, you are 1 year old today.

Today was the day for another birthday party. Baby Bess is no longer a baby any more, she is now a young lady Rottweiler, all of one year old. Carrying on a tradition for special occasions at our house Bess enjoyed a special dinner with a filet mignon steak, the best that a special little girl could eat. The humans had the same and also had some birthday cake. A very special guest, the wonderful lady who made it possible for me to adopt Bess, brought over some doggie ice cream, something I never heard of before. From the looks of things Bess wasn't sure what had been placed in front of her but a few quick sniffs and licks and she decided this was as good as any other people food she has enjoyed.

Update to post July 3, 2015

Had an email exchange this morning about these birthday parties and decided to dig way back into my photo collection to find some pictures that explained how this all began. These pictures were taken about 18 years ago with a 35mm camera and the prints were scanned into my computer.

A long time ago, in what seems now to be another age, my wife Jacqueline used to bake a small meat loaf birthday cake for the Rottweilers and cover it with mash potato “icing”. The first picture is from  Nikko Bear's 5th birthday, minus the icing, in 1997. We kept that tradition going for many years until a mail-order steak company accidentally sent us a shipment of frozen filet mignon that got defrosted before it arrived. While still cold the meat couldn’t be refrozen so the steak company replaced the order and that was the first day our Rotts tasted this special treat. 
And three special Rottweilers are about to savor their first filet mignon dinner.
Skip forward to one year ago and we had the combined birthday parties for 8-year old Ruffin and 13-year old Axl and I cooked up a filet for them to share. Now I am blessed with a special little Rottie girl that us three boys all helped to raise and I felt she deserved the best birthday dinner ever. And not to be outdone, two months from now, God willing, Grandpa Axl will be having a 14th birthday party sharing another steak with his buddy Ruff who will be 9-years old.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Morning, Noon and Night

Note: The following three stories and pictures were taken over the past two days and not in the order presented. Hope you don't mind. 

The Morning Routine.

It pays to plan ahead. After the last episode of shoe lace tying when all of the action was finished by the time I got out the camera, this morning I decided to lay a trap for my ever-willing accomplice. So with the camera set up and the remote in my hand I began to do the simple thing that I do every morning. Get my wife dressed. And as soon as I got on her socks and picked up her shoes my little Bessie came into the room.

For some unexplained reason the flash didn't go off on the first three pictures and the camera shifted into aperture mode so everything that was moving (Bessie) was a little blurred.
But I think you can make out what was going on. Then I fixed the flash and continued.
Finished! Last shoe tied, again, and time for breakfast.

The Afternoon Routine.

The TV is on all day long even though I'm sure no one is watching it. It just works to keep everyone company, like having conversation in the background. So Jacqueline is in her recliner going through her collection of magazines and her bodyguards, baby sitters, companions are lounging around with her.
Just another quiet day. Thankfully, living on a dead end street we are seldom bothered by door-to-door salesmen ringing the doorbell. Glad we have a full-glass storm door, too. When the occasional salesman does ring the bell all I need do is open the inside door and let them see three excited Rottweilers standing there. A wave of the hand and they quickly leave.

The Nighttime Routine.

After dinner its back to the family room. And when I happened to walk in the room I spotted Bess giving Grandpa Axl some face licks so I went and got the camera. I didn't catch any more of that but I got a few nice pictures of Ruff, Bess and the old man.
And while I was sitting on the floor my best friend Ruff decided to wash my face. Actually, I think he likes to lick my whiskers because I hadn't shaved for a few days.
From this position on the floor I happened to notice up close Axl's face full of gray hairs and he looks so dignified in his old age. I can't believe he will be 14 years old in September and he is still able to get around by himself. Of course, I also realize he has taken on an important task being a constant companion to his Mom. Sometimes when you have a purpose in life it gives you the motivation to take care of it.
He sure does look happy in this photo, doesn't he? He deserves to be since he took on a new life after he retired seven years ago.