Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ruff's adventures.

At the age of 1 1/2 Ruff weighed almost 90 lbs. By this time he gotten so used to strangers telling him how handsome or gorgeous he was he must have thought those were his other names. Here is a picture my wife Jackie took in July 2007. I was just able to still pick him up at that time.
Click the pictures to see a larger view.

In October 2008 we took him back for a visit to see his father in Burlington, Kentucky. Ruff was almost 100 lbs and when he met Kentucky Colonel, Ruff looked just like his father. Kentucky Colonel is owned by Cliff Haffer who also breeds Rottweilers on his horse farm. Cliff owns five Rottweilers and three horses.

Ruff had another surprise that day. We spotted Cliff's three horses out in the field and I asked if it was all right to take Ruff out to meet them. The horses were familiar with the Rottweilers Cliff owned so I didn't think there was any danger to letting Ruff get up close to them. Here is a sequence of photos of that moment.

I don't know if Ruff was able to tell how big the horses were because he never saw one before but as soon as one of the horses started walking towards us Ruff leaped back. Then the horse stopped and Ruff started staring at him.

Then the horse lowered his head and shook it back and forth. I have seen my Rottweilers do this same thing when they are in a playful mood so I am guessing Ruff recognized this as a friendly gesture. Then the horse walked slowly toward Ruff and got closer and closer.
Ruff and the horse were now nose to nose. I could tell when Ruff looked up how amazed he was at the size of this animal. Ruff has never seen anything this big before let alone get this close to one.Then the horse notice me taking the pictures and started to walk over to me when Ruff ran around and got up very close to the horse's face.
Then they touched their noses together and I saw a truly amazing sight.
Ruff kissed the horse.
Then our brave but foolish young Rottweiler did what he he does to every animal he meets. He went around and checked out the rear end of the horse. Cliff, the owner told me if the horse hadn't been use to Rottweilers he would have instinctively kicked back with his hind legs and force would have ended Ruff's curiosity.
From that day on Ruff has shown a special reaction every time he sees a horse. If the horse is on television Ruff walks up to the screen and sometimes touches his nose to it, especially if the horse looks like the one he met in the field that day. The one that he kissed.

All photographs contained in Living With Rottweilers are copyrighted by Nelson Abdullah and may not used for any commercial purpose.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mocha goes to the bridge. The last of The Three Bears is gone.


In looking back at the saddest day of my life, I must admit I prolonged the inevitable too long and caused my girl Mo unnecessary suffering. Sometimes, I think, you can love someone so much it makes it impossible to part with them. I wonder how many others have felt the same way. We always boasted how healthy and long lived our Rottweilers were. Apart from Felony's tragic sudden death, Nikko Bear lived to be 12, which is 2 years beyond their life expectancy. We used to think it was because of the pampered, stress-free life we gave them that allowed them to live so long. Mo passed her 12th birthday in good health. Her only problem seemed to be a slight limp which was a leftover from a miraculous recovery from a stroke three years before. We though that Mo had suffered the same problem as her father Nikko when he had a ruptured disk in his spine but after an extensive exam that was ruled out. In the Fall of 2005 Mo began to have trouble standing by herself. By Christmas she became lame in her hind legs and was unable to stand without a belly band to lift her up. She also had trouble holding food in her mouth and her voice sounded slurred. By her voice I mean her day to day conversation words, the moans, grunts and low barks, they sounded different. Then on New Year's Eve I saw Dick Clark on television and he had been recovering from a recent stroke and I listened to his slurred speech and I knew for sure that Mo had suffered the same thing. 

We gave Mo our own physical therapy spending hours moving her hind legs and massaging her thigh muscles and within three months Mo had worked her way back to almost her normal self. She was able to stand and walk without assistance and she got her normal voice again. She just had that slight limp and the Vet said it was a miracle she was alive at all. I think that love is a powerful vitamin and Mo knew she was loved and she got the strength to fight her way through her problem.

The next two years were almost a normal existence for us. Mo got her excercise in the back yard and Sassy became closer to her and acted almost like a nursemaid. Then in the Spring of 2008 following a nail trim, Mo got an infected toe and it had to be amputated. This seemed to be too much for her to bear and she became withdrawn. She wouldn't eat or exercise and she had a hard time just going out to pee. Finally, two weeks before her 13th birthday I realized I had allowed her to suffer for no reason and I picked her up and brought her to the Vet to put her to sleep. 

I blame my own ego for Mo's suffering. I was so proud of how old she had become it was like boasting of a record. I have gone into great detail with this in hopes that anyone who reads this and loves their dog as much as I did would not let them suffer needlessly. When their time has come do the right thing and let them die with dignity.

I look back at my 12 years with Mo and have fond memories of our relationship. We were so in tuned with each other it was like we communicated by thought waves. She had a remarkable vocabulary of understanding human words and she was such a wonderful companion.
Let me show you some pictures of her.
 Click the pictures to see a larger view.

This is Mo and Neek in laying in the bathtub. We used to say this place was their Fortress of Solitude.

Goofy Mo would let you do anything to her and never complain. Here she wears a babushka made from a shoe box paper.

Mo was curious about a cat that had come to visit us. She was checking it out through the glass table top.

The first time I saw Mo laying on the couch on her back I called her a Porno Puppy. It turned out to be her favorite way to take a nap.

When Mo was awake, she was quite a pretty Rottweiler.

Here is young Sassy, Mo and her father Nikko. They were all very close to each other.

 Among her unofficial duties, Mo was my sock warmer. She took every thing I gave her and turned it into a smile.

Mocha was buried next to her mother and father in the Highland Pet Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.

I am forever grateful to have been able to spend so many years living with this wonderful, loving canine.