Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I forgot to tell everyone about the big celebration we had three days ago.

On November 13th my baby Rottweiler Ruff celebrated his 4th Birthday.

Ruff has been the joy of my life since the day I bought him from a great Rottweiler breeder, Theresa Howard. I can't begin to tell you how many times people have told me how handsome and beautiful and gorgeous he is. I didn't make up those words, that is what everyone has said. Ruff loves to meet people and has charmed more women into hugs and kisses with his friendly smile than I could begin to count.
Ruff may be all grown up now, but he still acts like the lovable puppy he has always been.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The gang says, "Hi!" everyone.

I was walking to the living room and spotted the three Rottweilers all on the same couch, intently watching the television. I quietly fetched my camera and caught this shot.
Then I walked around to see what they were watching. It was a figure skating competition. And when they looked up at me I took a second picture. It just seems like they were all saying, "Hi!".
I love the smiley faces they all had. This was a lucky shot with no second chances. They are a happy bunch.

An old favorite. Mom tells the story of how the Rottweilers came to Kentucky.

I found an old photo I had taken about 6 years ago and it brought back some wonderful memories. Our Rottie's Mom was telling them a story and it happened just the way it looks in the photo. It was their favorite story and they all paid close attention whenever Mom told it. It was how the Rotties (in our home) came to Kentucky. Here is the picture and then I'll tell the story to you.
My wife and I came to Kentucky in 1991 after I got a job transfer from New York with Delta Air Lines. Four years later my daughter Terry on Long Island invited us back for Thanksgiving and we drove our car 800 miles back home. Terry had been given a pair of Rottweilers from a couple who were getting divorced and these two Rotties, named Nikko and Felony, had produced a litter of puppies. Terry sold the puppies but saved one of them for me and we took it home to Kentucky. I named the puppy Mocha (seen in the photo - pink collar on the left, with Nikko and Sassy). Mocha was the first Rottweiler I had ever owned and she was the smartest dog I've ever met. She learned things quickly and loved to do work. Mo would carry things when you told her to and go up and down the stairs and deliver them. From the day she was two years old Mocha went outside every day and picked up the newspaper and brought it in the house. Soon after we got her I started to call her Mo for short. Mo was both goofy and lovable at the same time and she attached herself to me and followed me wherever I went in the house.

When we were visiting my daughter that Thanksgiving in 1995 I got to meet Nikko and Felony. They were both beautiful dogs with a majestic and noble character and an inquisitive nature. They both checked us over carefully when we entered my daughter's house and we made friends with them right away. Six months later my wife got a phone call from Terry saying she had to move and couldn't keep Nikko and Felony. My wife volunteered to drive back to Long Island by herself and bring the two Rottweilers back to Kentucky.

As soon as they arrived home I realized we were going to be very cramped having three large dogs in a small house on a 50x150 foot property. I started looking around for a good home for these two. I searched the Internet and found a Rottweiler group and posted a message putting them up for adoption. The biggest problem was they were almost 5 years old. I soon learned about Rottweiler Rescue groups where people volunteer to transport these dogs long distances to new homes, even connecting with other volunteers who would take then a few more hundred miles. Then one day about two weeks after Nikko and Felony came into our home I happened to catch a look from Felony and I had the strangest feeling that I could no longer give them up. And I was so close to doing just that. I had actually begun to make arrangements for a meeting place halfway with a woman from Wisconsin when I called her to say we had changed our mind.

I have never regretted that decision. Nikko, Felony and Mo became My Three Bears and they filled our home with so much joy and love. My wife told me later that on her way back to Kentucky she would talk to the dogs in her car and tell them they would never need another place to live. I think they all knew this and they worked on me from the moment they walked in the door. In 2003 I created the illustration below of Mo and Nikko and called it Thief of Hearts because that is how I felt about them.

And that is how the Rottweilers came to Kentucky.
Well, the version of the story Mom tells her Rotties in the photo above is a little different than the one I just wrote about. Mom's version goes something like this. "We all got up in the middle of the night and got into my little car (a Ford Escort wagon) and we went for a very long ride. We went over the river and crossed the bridge and through the tunnels and then we went through the mountains. We stopped along the way and had breakfast and then we stopped again and had some dinner. We rode in the car for a very long time. After more than 12 hours until we crossed another river and went over the bridge to our new home in Kentucky. And we all lived happily ever after."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A very busy month and a lot to catch up with new photos

I haven't posted any news and photos here for almost a month because a lot has happened. Apart from the very important mid-term elections which took some effort campaigning for the people we supported, we had a great time enjoying a week-long visit from our daughter Karen who flew down from Long Island. Karen has owned Rottweilers for a long time and was anxious to meet in person the creatures she had only seen in my pictures. I must say that Karen fell in love with our big baby Ruff, but that didn't happen right away. The moment Karen came into our home she was greeted the same way our Rottweilers greet everyone else. Exuberantly! Yes, with an exclamation point. The first thing Karen said to Ruff was, "I don't want to get my face washed." But I must post some pictures that tell a different version of this.
Karen was trying very hard to keep Ruff off of her. It almost looked like a wrestling match. A few hours later, this is what happened.
I think you get the picture, pun intended. Ruff has a one-track mind and when he wants to do something he works at it until he does. Ruff followed Karen everywhere and then to his surprise, our visitor didn't leave at the end of the day. So Ruff slept on Karen's bed in our finished basement every night she was here.

Karen helped us put a new pool cover on the swimming pool and Ruff was right there with her. By now he seemed to totally infatuated with his new girl friend by the look on his face.
We all went out to dinner at the Hofbrauhaus in Newport. Twenty years ago on our 30th anniversary, Jackie and I flew to Munich, Germany and had dinner in the famous Hofbrauhaus restaurant there. The one in Newport is first American copy and the food and drink are exactly the same.
That is our old friend Lucy in the above picture taken at Hofbrauhaus. Although Karen was here to visit her Mom she managed to find time to do a lot of yard work and play with the gardening tools. She had a lot of fun playing with the leaf blower.
The night before she went home we had a few more friends over for dinner and our Rottweilers favorite couple Bev and Rich paid us a visit. You may say that our Rottweilers often misbehave when we have company but they are so full of love they just get very excited to meet old friends. Bev's husband Rich is the one they are particularly fond of as you can see from these pictures. Bev told me that Rich thinks he is Ruff's boy-toy because Ruff loves to play with him so much.
Everyone is ignoring Bev because they all want to give Rich kisses or is it because she has her arms folded? But wait, Ruff isn't finished yet.
After dinner, when everyone was posing for a final group picture, Ruff pulled a sneak attack on his Aunti Bev. A perfect Gotcha! moment to be added to my collection. 

Well after a fun filled week, Karen had to finally go home and take care of her own dogs (and cats) and Ruff spent the whole day looking for her everywhere around the house. Then the next day she gave us a phone call and we turned on the speakerphone so Ruff could hear her voice.