Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mysterious visitor

This morning around 8AM I let Ruff and Axl go out into the fenced portion of our property that surrounds the pool for their potty break. Shortly after while I was in the kitchen making some coffee I looked out the window and spotted the dogs at the far end of the swimming pool, and one of them had a tail. In spite of the fact that I had not had my morning coffee yet I knew in an instant that one of those dogs wasn't mine so I went out to see who it was. The dog was a good size, about 60 LBS and was a solid color that was almost black with some reds and browns evenly mixed in from head to tail. I have never seen a dog like this so I could not tell his breed. He also didn't have any collar. The dog looked a bit overweight and he was old. I could see his gray whiskers speckling his muzzle. I guessed by his age and weight that he didn't climb over the fence into our yard and because we have a chain around every gate I thought someone may have put him inside the fence. Maybe someone who knew we cared about dogs and they couldn't take care of him any more so they left him with us. Our visitor seemed somewhat timid but not aggressive and our guys were quite interested in checking him out in their friendly fashion.

I went inside and got a bowl of water and a dish of dog food and left it on the sidewalk in back of the pool. I also took Ruff and Axl back inside so they could have their own breakfast while our visitor could find the dishes I left for him. I saw from the window that he did drink some water and I was very curious how he got in our yard. After we had our breakfast I went outside to find him but he wasn't in the yard any more. I have already checked the perimeter of the fencing to make sure there was no way our Rottweilers could get out of the yard so unless I missed something our visitor didn't go under the chain-link fence. How he got in and how he got out remains a mystery.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Now I know. Deer can run faster than Rottweilers.

We have a wide open back yard almost 500 feet deep beyond the fenced in swimming pool, with a tree lined creek running across the end. All of our neighbor's property on both sides of us are the same. The Rottweilers love this area as it gives them so much room to run around in. Last night after dinner, about 7PM I took Ruff and Axl for a walk down the back and all of a sudden they both took off in a run that I thought was their usual play thing. It was already close to sunset and the light was dim but still bright enough to see the expanse of the property. Then I noticed they had spotted a deer and were in hot pursuit after it. As soon as I saw the white tail of the deer standing up in the air against the backdrop of the darker trees behind it and the deer racing away in long leaps I started yelling for Ruff and Axl to stop and come back. By this time they had only ran about 200 feet across our property and our next door neighbor's property as well. The deer was getting further away by every second. The boys were extremely excited by this whole event and were very much out of breath when then came back. They both were supercharged with adrenalin from their chase and continued to be excited even after we got back in the house. In spite of his being almost 9-years old, Axl was actually running ahead of Ruff during the chase. It was a sight I will never forget and hope to never see again. I don't know how long they would have chased the deer if I hadn't stopped them in time.
I was standing about where the "A" marker is and the red line is the path of our racing Rottweilers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Axl's adventures at the local library.

Last night we were invited to bring Axl to the local library to be part of the Puppy Tails program where small children sit with a dog and read a book to them. Everyone who has met Axl has been impressed with his very gentle demeanor and a woman who works with therapy dogs told us about this program and invited us to participate. Axl will be 9 years old next month and he has lived with us for the past year. I know the lady who purchased him as she used to be a breeder and Axl is a pedigree Rottweiler. She sold him to a handicapped woman after changing her plans and this woman who also was a dog trainer trained Axl to be a service dog and he lived with her for 7 years until their house was destroyed in a fire last July. I was lucky to be allowed to adopt him and it was only because his first owner put in a good recommendation for me. Axl has been my wife's constant companion since the day he came to live with us.
We brought Axl over to the William E. Durr branch of the Kenton County Library at 6:30 pm and the woman in charge of the program told us how it would work. They had four dogs come in to a large room and sit in opposite corners and each child would sit with a dog for twenty minutes and read a book. The children were allowed to pick the dog they wanted to read to. There were two small dogs and a yellow Lab along with Axl. Jackie and I sat with Axl and as the first group of children came in the room. The first child in the room was a little girl, about 4 years old and she walked right over to Axl and petted him and sat with her mother to read. Axl was a little nervous because he had never been there before so I guess he didn't know what to do. He just sat there and seemed to want to spend more time with his Mom than with the little girl. Axl did manage to give the little girl some licks and the little girl was petting him on his head a lot.
I was more concerned over Axl's reaction to the other dogs but after the first nose to nose greeting with the second dog who entered the room, nothing happened. The next two children that came in for the following sessions were little boys. All of these children had been to the Puppy Tails before and none were bothered by Axl's large size. When the first boy sat down to read, he came in alone without any adults. The lady who ran the program came over and sat on the floor with Axl and got him to lay on the carpet. By this time Axl was not as nervous as he was at first. She petted Axl and he almost went to sleep.
The Puppy Tails program is a serious effort to help get children to read more. Several adults came over to visit Axl including a few who worked with the library. The only concerns they mentioned was his large size and one did mention a concern about his breed. It seems that children do not share these concerns with adults as I have seen many children walk up to our Rottweilers in Petsmart and ask if they could pet them. Some even wrap their arms around them and give them hugs and all usually get a few face licks in return. People do not seem too understand that dogs are not born vicious, they are made that way by irresponsible people. That is why responsible dog owners must stand up to oppose Breed Specific Laws.
When the reading session ended we were told they had one cancellation and the fourth child that would have read to Axl didn't show up so we left the library around 7:45 pm. The woman in charge repeated her concerns about Axl's size and we left with the impression we would not be invited back. I thought the event was very interesting and would like to do it again.
We got back from the Puppy Tails reading to a dog program at the library just before 8pm and saw that my neighbor's two German Sheppard dogs were running loose in front of our house. Rommel and Maggie are two friendly dogs who are owned by a friend I used to work with at Delta who lives over on the street behind us about 1000 feet away. They have both come over for visits before and all of our Rottweilers know them.

Jackie went into the house and I let Ruff and Sassy out and me and the five dogs walked over to where the German Sheppard dogs live. Along the way across the wide open grass back yard they had a great time running around playing with each other.

At first I thought no one was home so I followed the dogs around the house and found the garage door was open with a TV on. The garage was set up as a rec room with chairs and couches. I yelled out asking if anyone was home and heard a woman's voice from inside the house. The German Sheppard's ran ahead through the garage and through an open door into the house followed by Ruff and Axl and me and Sassy right behind them. My friend from work wasn't home but his wife was. I had not met this woman before until last night when we were all inside her small kitchen along with five large dogs. I guess she was surprised to see her two German Sheppard's come home with their two Rottweiler friends. I introduced myself and we had a brief conversation and then we left and walked back to our house.
It was a very interesting and exciting evening, for sure.

Friday, September 10, 2010

After the movie, at our house tonight.

One picture is worth a thousand words or so they say. That would make this a very short post. Our favorite old Rottweiler, Axl, who will be 9 years old next month, spent the evening laying on the couch between me and my wife while we were watching a movie. It shouldn't make any difference that it was a funny movie about animals and that Ruff watched the whole thing from the other couch, and thankfully, didn't charge up to the TV and leave nose prints on the screen. Axl, on the other hand, slept through the whole thing. And did he ever sleep. After the movie ended my wife and I got up from the couch and Axl remained sound asleep with his head resting on the table I made from a slice of a tree, with his front legs dangling off the edge of the couch.

When we came back in the living room Axl hadn't moved one bit so I went and got the camera to record the scene. After taking a few pictures we sat down and watched the 11 o'clock news and then we carefully woke him up so he could go out and do his pees before bedtime.
By the way, this Summer has been one for the record books. We have had a severe drought and more than 60 days of temperatures in the 90's. It has been so uncomfortably hot we have not been outside very much at all. That would explain the lack of more posts and pictures. The weather has just begun to cool off and all we need now is some rain.