Friday, January 15, 1999

My first Rottweiler Mo is our Papergirl.

It was apparent from the beginning that Rottweilers were very intelligent dogs and some of their other attributes were quite remarkable. They loved to do work and always wanted to please their humans. Maybe this was our reward for showing them so much love and affection. My wife Jackie took on the task of training Mo because she always wanted to show off in front of her parents Nikko and Felony. I might add that as Mo began to mature her mother Felony continued to treat her like a baby especially when she was around Nikko. Nikko was Felony's mate and Felony made Mo aware of this.

One of the jobs Mo took on was to do pick up and delivery. To get Mo to do any work all we had to do was ask her if she wanted to "work" and her expression lit up with excitement. One day I was in the upstairs bathroom getting ready to go to my job and I called down to my wife that I was out of toothpaste. The next thing I saw was Mo climbing the stairs with a box in her mouth with a tube of toothpaste.

My wife taught Mo to pick up the newspaper and carry it into the house. At first she kept Mo on a long 35' leash but soon Mo could be trusted to do this on her own and all we had to do was open the front door and tell Mo to go get the newspaper and she would run outside, down the steps and find the paper and bring it in.
Here are some photos of Mo doing her Papergirl work.

Click the photos to see a larger view.
One day I witnessed a most remarkable event that convinced me of the intelligence of this breed. We used to get two newspapers delivered to our house, The Kentucky Post and The Kentucky Enquirer. One day Mo was sent out to get the newspaper, this time she was going out without the need for her leash. When Mo got to the end of the driveway she found both newspapers laying a few feet apart and she stopped and looked at them. Mo picked up one newspaper and dropped in by the other and then made a few attempts to pick both of them up at the same time. She wasn't able to do get both newspapers in her mouth at once so after a few tries she took one paper and brought it up to the front door and went back and picked up the second one. When I watched her try to figure out how to deal with this unexpected problem it was like watching her brain think. Someone later told me this is called deductive reasoning and they use this to figure out how to handle situations.
Mo was very proud of her work and she would go out every day for 11 years in any kind of weather to get the newspaper. When we moved to our new home years later she continued to do her job. Our new home had a large property with many trees and a long driveway. Several times Mo had to search for where the newspaper had been thrown before she found it. One day she had looked all over the 100' front of the lawn and when she searched the corner of the property she happened to find our next door neighbors newspaper and she picked it up and carried it in.

Here are a few more photos of my amazing girl working.

In 2002 we adopted a young female Rottie and named her Sassy. The next year we moved to our new home and Sassy would accompany Mo when she went out for her newspaper work. Here is a photo of Sassy watching Mo working.

Later on, when Sassy was older, she would go out without a leash and walk with Mo to get the newspaper. This is my favorite photo of the two of them coming back with the newspaper.

At this time Mo was over 10 years old and getting on in life, for Rottweilers have a normal life expectancy of only 10 years. I often thought there was another reason why Sassy spent so much time keeping Mo company and that maybe Sassy knew Mo needed her. For the record Mo went to the Rainbow Bridge in August of 2008, two weeks shy of her 13th birthday.
There is a another side story to Mo the papergirl that I haven't mentioned. It is all part of the normal routine of how Mo did her work. When my wife first trained Mo to go out and bring in the newspaper - after Mo came in the house with it my wife would take if from her and tell her "We have to put it on top of the TV for Daddy." One day we had gone across the street to visit our friend Lucy and we took Mo on her leash. When we got to the other side Mo saw Lucy's newspaper laying on the sidewalk so my wife told Mo to pick it up and give it to Lucy. Mo picked up the newspaper and carried it up the driveway but wouldn't let Lucy take it. It wasn't until we went inside Lucy's house that Mo would let the newspaper go, we had to tell her "It had to go on top of the TV."
I couldn't end this story about my beloved Mocha without including a few more photos of Mo bringing in the newspapers. Rain or shine, Summer or Winter, nothing stood in her way to do her work. Of all my memories of my first Rottweiler, her love and her enthusiasm to do work still stands out along with her intelligence as my fondest.