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."