Sunday, September 30, 2012

We now have a robot in our house and Ruff has checked it out.

I don't usually succumb to impulse buying but a few days ago I was in Sam's Club and saw a display for the iRobot Roomba vacuums. Two words jumped off the display and caught my attention: PET HAIR. If you own Rottweilers you know what I mean and if you own more than one Rottweiler you really know what I mean. So I bought it and took it home wondering all the time how it would be greeted by the rest of our family. In case you're interested, the model 585 was $279 which turned out to be a pretty good price and the reviews were mostly favorable, too.

I charged the battery in the robot overnight and the next day gave it a try. The first thing I found out was that my original plan to use this after we go to bed was not feasible because it is loud. Then I discovered after one try that the best way to use it was to keep it from wandering all over the house by blocking it into one room at a time. And it did a very good job. It got under the furniture in the living room and under the beds and dressers in the bedrooms and it chirped out a plain language message every time it needed its waste bin emptied. And when I used it in the living room where the charging station was set up, it plugged itself back in when it need to be recharged.

Oh, and how did the Rottweilers think of it? Axl took a look at it and then went up on the couch for a nap and ignored it afterward. I used Sassy's bed to block the entrance to the living room and she laid on her bed and watched it working. Ruff, on the other hand, followed it all over the place, nosed it a few times and tried to pick it up once. After the first time I used it Ruff left it alone.
I really love the way the little iRobot got under the beds and the dressers. And it did a really good job, too. Now if they could build a bigger model to cook, do laundry and dishes, I would be thrilled.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Have you ever seen a Rottweiler chorus?

Here is a story without pictures. Sad, but true, so I hope you can visualize this in your mind.
Last Thursday our good friend Lucy came by to sit with Jackie so I could take care of some chores. After a brief chat I told her I had to leave to do some shopping. When I left, Lucy and Jackie were sitting together on the small couch in the family room along with Ruff and Axl who had taken up their places on the larger couch and the chair along with Sassy who was laying on her bed.
I went down to the basement to get my car and as soon as I backed it out of the garage I heard the three Rotties doing their wailing chorus like they usually do when Jackie and I leave them home alone. I had to go back inside to check this out because they have never before cried while someone was still in the house.
I could still hear the singing as I climbed the stairs. When I walked into the family room, I got a look of shear embarrassment from our three best friends who all acted like I had interrupted them in the middle of doing something wrong. Then I saw Lucy, who was still sitting next to Jackie on the love seat, she had a shocked look on her face because of what had just happened in front of her. As soon as the three Rotts heard the car start up they had all stood up and raised the noses toward the ceiling and began singing their heartbreaking song of disappointment. It was as if they didn’t realize there were still two humans in the house with them. Sitting right there watching the whole time.

I wish I had seen it but then if I had been there it wouldn't have happened.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Always on duty, always watching out for their mom.

The weather was beautiful outside today. My wife Jackie was tending her flowers while her two protectors, Ruff and Axl, kept their eyes on her. I watched them from inside the living room and took these pictures through the glass storm door. That explains the glare from the sun. 


We had company visit us yesterday. Ruff's two best friends.

Well, Bev and Rich are our best friends, too, even though Ruff thinks they belong to him whenever they visit. Ruff's Auntie Bev has been training him to act a bit more restrained when she comes over. Seems to be working - but only for her. Bev simply folds her arms across her chest and turns her back away from Ruff whenever he gets too playful and the not-too-subtle hint of disapproval doesn't go unnoticed. Rich, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoys Ruff's playfulness, and the kisses. Well, we all had a good time with their visit as the pictures tell.


Friday, September 21, 2012

How to get comfortable while watching TV.

Rottweilers invented comfortable. And sleeping on their backs on a nice soft couch is the preferred way to do it. Best of all is when you're laying next to your human and you can get an occasional belly rub. This photo was actually taken just after I turned off the TV last night and was getting ready to take everyone outside for their last potty break. I asked Jackie to stay where she was until I retrieved the camera.
The only bad part is when you get kicked with a hind foot while your best friend is dreaming. And that happens a lot. And it hurts.
During the night the couches become a favorite spot but unfortunately the Rotties tend to get too hot laying on them so they alternate with getting off and resuming their naps on the hardwood floor. But as soon as one Rottweiler gets off the couch another one gets up from the floor and takes the empty spot. We call it a shift change.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sharing some new pictures taken in the last few days.

Well, things have gotten back to normal around here since the last emergency. That means time for some new pictures. One significant event is that our old boy Axl has celebrated his 11th birthday. And he is still the most wonderful, loving Rottweiler I've ever met.

And baby Ruff still loves his mom.


Monday, September 17, 2012

All's well that ends well. Humans and Rottweilers all came through.

My wife has had some health issues lately. She has had Alzheimer's for some 5 years now and things will likely get worse. Once in a while everything turns out better than usual. Like what happened at 3 AM two weeks ago. Jackie woke up a few hours after going to bed and was in a state of high anxiety about needing to get dressed and go some place. The alarm on her door woke me and after some strenuous attempts to convince her to go back to bed she worked herself into a fit and began having difficulty breathing. Then she grasped her chest and complained of pain. I gave her two aspirin and a prescription drug to calm her down but after some twenty minutes of no relief, I called 911 and asked for an ambulance.

A few minutes later the doorbell rang and three police officers were there. They said they always arrive before the EMS does so I let them in. I took them to my wife's bedroom and they saw how agitated she was. Then the doorbell rang and two EMS guys came in. The hallway outside the bedrooms was getting crowded. I had put Ruff in my room and closed the door. Axl had left his mom's room as soon as the commotion started and he went into the living room and laid on the couch. The next thing I knew the last police officer in line outside the bedroom announced that "There's a big baby out here." Axl had come out of the living room and walked up behind the cop and put his cold wet nose on his hand. Then Ruff managed to open the door and came out to join the party. As soon as Ruff got into the hallway one of the cops asked me to get the dogs out of there and I put them both down in the basement. Little Sassy remained on her bed in the living room and I'm so glad she didn't let out one of her trademark WOO WOO greetings. During the entire time neither Ruff nor Axl ever growled or barked or made any sound at all.

The EMS guys took my wife to the Emergency Room and they kept her for about 12 hours. The doctors congratulated me for the foresight of giving her two aspirin. All the tests turned out normal and she did not have any signs of a heart attack. I brought Jackie home about 3 PM and everything went back to normal. The two boys were very glad to see her. 

As if to make a counterpoint to this episode, some 4 or 5 weeks earlier Jackie had found an unlocked door and went for a walk by herself one afternoon. I have inside keyed deadbolts on the outside doors just to keep her from wandering off but on that day a friend was over for a visit and I forgot to re-lock the front door when she left. Oddly enough my wife has had both knee joints replaced and does not like long walks but I searched up and down the street and could not find her. I called 911 and explained the situation and they sent over a County police car. The officer called in the report and asked for help. Then he asked me to take him inside the house so he could recheck every room. On the way to the front door I told him we had three Rottweilers inside. Well, he got as far as the vestibule and was surrounded by Ruff, Axl and Sassy and each one was curious and began quietly sniffing him. And no one growled or barked. The police officer decided, anyway, that  he didn't have to go through the house and check the rooms after all. A few minutes later another cop found Jackie walking down the next street about a half a mile away and brought her home. I never imagined how she could have gotten so far away.

All's well that ends well.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Everyone watched TV last night - but us.

Here is a rare group shot of our Rottweiler family.  From left to right, that's Sassy, Axl and Ruff. The TV was on but my wife was preoccupied with something at her desk. I was on the computer in my office so the couches were vacant. Guess you already know that Rottweilers abhor vacant couches, just as Nature abhors a vacuum.


Speaking of crowded rooms how about crowded beds?

Last night Ruff wanted to see why Axl was so interested in sleeping on his mom's bed every night. So he jumped up first and after my wife got in bed he gave her a few good-night kisses and snuggled right in. Axl came in a few minutes later after his mon was in bed, jumped up on the bed and also claimed his spot. Axl will be 11 years old in a few weeks and I am still amazed how agile he is and still able to leap on the bed every night. Just so you know, most nights Axl gets up on his mom's bed before she gets under the covers so there is no one in the way when he comes trotting in and jumps. But on the few occasions that Axl comes in after his mom is in bed he does a magnificently accurate leap, touches his front and back paws on the edge of the mattress then hops over her legs and lands on the other side of the bed. Now that must be a sight to behold from ground level watching this huge dog flying over you. And never once has he landed on his mom because he is so heavy he could do some serious damage.
And last night was no different except that Ruff was laying on the other side of the bed and Axl had a bit less room to make his landing. The amazing thing is that the bed is higher than Axl's line of sight so he can't see where he is jumping until he is flying through the air.

Another view of my crowded office.

Tip toeing through mounds of sleeping Rottweilers. Turn around and see a great photo op. Oops! I forgot the camera, got to go back in and get it. Well, this time the crowded office has a different viewpoint. Instead of 135 lbs baby Ruff and 125 lb old-man Axl sleeping side-by-side, they are now lined up like airplanes on a runway waiting to take off. And, of course, one of them is right in the doorway.