Sunday, December 28, 2014

Hanging out together in the inner sanctum.

I have been spending several days now trying to keep the two young lovers apart. I have nothing against young love but Ruffin and Bessie take their view of it as time for active play. Very active play. She may be almost 6-months old but I would like to get Bess to calm down a bit because when she and Ruff are together it is anything but calm. So I've been keeping her with me in my den. And she has been acting like a little lady when we are together except when she has one of her toys. So this morning Bessie was determined to make me aware of her presence and try to get me to play.
By the way, I am getting pretty good taking pictures holding the camera with one hand and shooting without looking through the viewfinder. The auto-focus also helps a lot. Biggest problem is pointing the camera in the right direction without dropping it.
There is one more reason for my keeping Bess in the den - she has been stealing stuff when she has been left to roam the house. I have been trying to keep her off the kitchen table but she managed to take an old pair of my reading glasses and chew up the frames. Yesterday she took a plastic container with my wife's diabetic test strips and chewed it up. I managed to recover the test strips that fell out of the container before they got damaged. She has also stolen a few of my stuffed baby Christmas Rotties and chewed them up. Oh, and she has also stolen my heart, so I can't yell at her too much.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The little one isn't so little any more.

I spotted this in my wife's bedroom last night and couldn't believe my eyes. Our little girl Bessie was stretched out on the floor next to my wife's bed and she was almost as long as the bed. Of course, the frog-legs were included but she seems to be going through another growth spurt. I'm told they grow long and tall the first year and then bulk out in the second year. Now I wonder how big Bess will finally be when she is finished growing.
And in one more week, Bessie will be six months old on January 1st. Happy New Year.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Just received this from a friend in England. Holiday Etiquette for Dogs


Holiday Etiquette for Dogs

1. Be especially patient with your humans during this time.
They may appear to be more stressed out than usual and will appreciate your long sloppy kisses.
2. They may come home with large bags of things they call gifts. Do not assume all the gifts are yours.
3. Be tolerant if your humans put decorations on you.
They seem to get some special kind of pleasure out of  seeing how you look with fake antlers.
4. They may bring a large tree into your house and set it up in a prominent place, most likely where you are use to laying. They cover it up with lights and decorations. Bizarre as  this may seem to you, it is an important ritual for your humans, so there are some things you need to know.
*don't pee on the tree
*don't drink the water from the container that holds the tree.
*mind your tail (if you have one) when you're near the tree.
*if there are packages under the tree, even ones that smell interesting or that have your name on them, don't rip them open.
*don't chew on the cords that runs from the funny looking hole in the wall to the tree.
5. Your humans might invite lots of strangers to visit your home during this season. These parties can be lots of fun but they also call for some discretion on your part.
*not all strangers appreciate your loving nature and your sloppy wet kisses.
*don't eat from the buffet table. (there'll be plenty of crumbs on the floor to look for)
*beg for goodies subtly.. a raised paw and sad eyes almost always works.
*be pleasant when the strangers sit in your spot on the sofa.
*don't drink out of glasses that are left within your reach.
6. Likewise, your humans might take you visiting- here your season manners will also be important.
*observe all the rules in #4 for trees in other human's houses.
*respect the territory of other animals especially if they're wearing antlers.
*tolerate the little humans - they call them children and other funny names
*turn on your cuteness and charm big time.
7. A big man with a white beard and dressed in red, and a  very loud laugh may emerge from your fireplace in the middle of the night. DON'T BITE HIM!!
8. and please don't take the baby out of the manger - it's not really a toy - and it might be the most important part of this human ritual
8. the best thing is that before you know it all this nonsense will be over and done with. Tomorrow you'll have your favourite comfy spot back,  on the couch and maybe allowed back on the bed, where'll you'll get lots of human hugs and you can shower them with all your adoring sloppy wet kisses.
lots of love and hugs
'Auntie' Beryl
Merry Christmas, to you too, Beryl, and to all our Rottie friends, everywhere.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve and we are all waiting for Santa.

Rumors and Myths get to become part of tradition around our house - or so we would like to believe. The truth is it is Christmas Eve and tomorrow is Christmas Day but everything that follows that statement of fact is part of our Santa Claus Myth that I have passed down over the last few years to all our Rotties.
So it is with great pleasure that I retell the story of the Rottie Santa Helpers.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Rottweiler Christmas story, December 24th, 2009

We had an incident today that looked pretty serious but it turned out to be OK and everything is now back to normal. (for Christmas, that is)

A Bengal Tiger snuck into our house and frightened one of our Rotties. It is fortunate that I walk around the house all day carrying my trusty camera because now I can show you what happened.

The tiger went after Axl first and Axl didn't know what was going on. Poor Axl, look at the expression on his face.
Click the pictures to view larger size.
But all of a sudden the tiger's purpose became clear. He was one of Santa's helpers and he was helping spread Santa's Good Cheer.
And as soon as the ferocious tiger put on his famous Santa hat Axl knew he was not going to be harmed so went right to sleep laying his head on the Santa Tiger's paws.
While Axl was sleeping, Santa's Tiger Helper told Axl how he needed all the volunteers he could get so he asked Axl to become a Santa Rott.
And Axl said, "Yes", he would help as soon as he finished his nap.
"Maybe you are getting too old, my friend", said the Santa Tiger. "I will ask some of the other Rotties in this house if they will help."

So he asked the youngest Rottweiler in the house, Ruff, but Ruff only wanted to play. Ruff kept saying he wanted to stay up all night and see the real Santa.
So the Santa Tiger asked the little lady Rott, Sassy, if she would like to be one of Santa's helpers. And Sassy said, "Yes, I like to work." and she would be proud to be a Santa Rott. So Santa Tiger gave her his Santa hat to wear, and here she is.
Sassy only had one question for the Santa Tiger, she wanted to know if this job was all year long. The Santa Tiger told her it was. Rottweilers must always spread good cheer, every day, wherever they go.
Merry Christmas, from all of the Rott-n-kids and their humans, too.
----- end -----
It is sad to recall that our little girl Sassy passed away this year and is now waiting at The Bridge for her family to join her.
 --- + ---
So today we have a new little girl that is already starting to fill the gap in our hearts. I am so very grateful to my friend Barb who works at the Kenton County Animal Shelter for alerting me when Bess was brought in for adoption. She knew how hard I was looking for a replacement for Sassy. The moment I picked her up and held Bess in my arms all it took was one look and one kiss and one taste of her puppy breath and I couldn't say Yes fast enough. And so Bess came into our home and has taken Sassy's place in being mine and Ruff's constant companion. That was the best Christmas present both Ruffin and I could have received and we are both sharing her affections every day.

So what else has been happening around our house since my last post? We played ball in the kitchen and I managed a few good shots with the camera in high-speed Sport mode.
By the way, these were all one-handed shots, taken without looking through the viewfinder because I was tossing the ball with my left hand. Consider them all lucky shots. I threw out a dozen more bad pictures into the trash can.
Bessie's love for her big handsome friend Ruff has deepened and it seems to have replaced the hand-to-hand combat sessions of a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile my little sleeping beauty has begun to share my bed at night and even goes in to wait for me before I go to bed. And in spite of her size she can really warm up the bed. Before she found the right place to sleep on the bed she woke me up in the middle of the night laying on my pillow, curled around my head. Never felt so hot in my life.
And she follows me around the house and hangs out with me in the den. I took this picture about an hour ago while I getting ready to put up this post.
So now we are up to date on our adventures. It is time to begin preparation for the big day tomorrow. Hope you all have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A short history of my best family Christmas cards.

Updated to add new Christmas cards from 2015 and 2016.
I've owned and lived with Rottweilers since 1995 but the first family Christmas card didn't come about until 2001. It was a very crude and amateur attempt using a grainy picture taken with my first digital camera, a Hewlett-Packard. I actually printed this out and mailed it to my friends until one friend responded "That's your Christmas card?" I went back and hid in my cave for a few years with hurt feelings.
Here is another Christmas scene a year later but not a Christmas card.
December 22, 2002. Mocha and her father Nikko.
Then came my retirement, and a lapse in time and a whole new family of Rottweilers. By now I began to learn how to take better pictures LOL. 
Then I made this one in 2012, the best of our complete family.
But last year it became necessary to no longer include the two humans. It was not a good year for us.
But I didn't give up trying to have us all in the picture. This year, 2014, I tried once again but my original attempts were not very good as you can see. You can look at more examples of the outtakes for 2011 in the archives.
This was the last year I tried to use real Santa hats with elastic chin straps. Every year since I decided it was easier and better looking to do a photoshop and add the hats.
Then I tried again with just the Rottweilers and this is the one card I really loved. And the photoshop Santa hats came out perfectly.
 Christmas 2014
Last year (2016) too many problems prevented me from putting a lot more time into the annual Christmas card project. For one thing this was the best of many attempts to get the right group shot and the only head that left enough room for a Santa hat was mine.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The outtakes. For those who think its easy to get just the right picture.

I must admit that some of these photos were digitally altered in my computer before posting them. I am not a professional photographer, I take hundreds of pictures and manage to get lucky with a small handful. In these pictures the Santa Claus hats each had an elastic chin strap that I removed so it wouldn't show and all three Rottweilers had their leashes on in my failed attempt to get them to stay still. In the past I had relied on my wife to hold at least one dog while I worked the timer and shutter on the camera. But none of that helped and because of her Alzheimer's she wasn't able to assist me. One good thing about this comedy of errors is that it makes for some funny pictures. Old man Axl doesn't sit very well like he used to and after a few seconds he lays down and I couldn't get Ruff to look toward the camera. To make matters more complicated, we now have a puppy that is a bundle of energy and it's impossible to predict which way she will move or what she will do next.

Last year was the first time I stopped trying to include me and my wife in the picture and took our Christmas card photo with just the three Rotts. I tried it once more this year with the same problems plus a new one that I didn't have before. But as unpredictable as baby Bessie was, it was in that very last picture that she decided to give her over-sized boy friend Ruff a loveable little kiss and made everything perfect. So here are a few of the outtakes.

This was almost a useable photo except that Bessie was supposed to be sitting between my legs instead of me looking like I just got off a horse and Axl decided to lay down and Ruff got the Godzilla eyes. My wife is still holding some of the leashes but I removed the chin straps and the leads connected to their collars.
I have read that there is a remote shutter release made for my camera. I am going to look into it. If it is workable then my wife and I can still sit on the couch and get the dogs in position in front of us before taking the picture. Up to now the major problem is me having to release the timer on the camera and then walk back and sit down. But on the plus side, the Rottweilers are more photogenic than I am anyway so who cares what I look like.  

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a very enjoyable holiday.
p.s. If you are keeping track of Bessie's progress, you may be interested to know she now weighs 61-pounds and is 5 1/2 months old today.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Merry Christmas, everyone.

After several attempts to pose a family Christmas Card it turned out that it takes more people to make it work than I have so I ditched the idea of the five of us sitting peacefully on the couch and just went and made one with the three Rottweilers. Hope you like the results. 
And in the very last of almost 20 photos, Bessie decided to give Ruff a kiss. Bless her little heart, she really does love the big clown and I wonder if that is a shocked look on Ruff's face?
Why not make love and not war, it is the Christmas season, isn't it. Maybe we humans could learn something from them. They are the noblest of all the canines God created.
Merry Christmas, everyone.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sometimes its best to wait before passing on the bad news.

I wrote a few weeks ago that our old man Rottweiler Axl had surgery to remove an oral melanoma tumor from his lip and another growth from inside his thigh. The tumor was sent out to a lab for testing and a few days later I was told by our Vet that it was malignant. Malignant meant Cancer and my first thoughts were to panic because cancer is often and usually deadly and at the age of 13, even considering the available treatments would not be good for this old boy. 

Well, today I brought Axl back to the Vet to have the stitches removed from his leg (the stitches in his lip were self-dissolving). The Vet explained that if the cancer had started to spread it would move first into his lymph nodes then to his lungs. After a close examination the Vet said that Axl's lymph nodes are not at all swollen so it looks like we got him treated before it began to spread and it looked like the Vet did a good job removing all of the tumor.

We will be keeping a close eye on Mr. Axl in the coming weeks and months and he will see the Vet if anything unusual appears. I looked up what they symptoms were, an Axl has none of them and hopefully never will. The symptoms include loss of weight, mouth odor, frequent salivation, problems with eating, blood discharge or loose teeth.

Well, that's the good news and I'm glad I did not write about the initial lab results when I got it. Now to take care of some holiday duties I have to go back to working on our new Rottie Christmas Card. I just took a few pictures and here is a sneak peek. It is unedited so some things that show will be removed, including the chin straps. I will also be taking several more pictures later this afternoon.

Hey, the kiss was a bonus.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A few more thoughts on three dads raising one little girl.

Up to now baby Bessie has been getting most of her training from her two male Rottweiler surrogate fathers and some minor house-breaking from one ragged old human. On the subject of that ragged old human I think I really am getting old. Next month I will be three-fourths of a Century old. Yeah, the big 75, and it shows. I have been measuring Bessie's weight every week by picking her up and standing on a scale then measuring my own weight and subtracting the difference. Bessie is now 5-months old as of December 1st and she weighs 58 pounds. I only mention it because I can hardly pick her up. I was beginning to think she weighed a lot more until I realized I was just getting weaker with old age. Just for comparison, here are two pictures taken when baby Ruff was still a baby. He was 8 months old when these were taken and he weighed about 80 pounds.
It is worth noting that Bessie has been putting on more than 10 pounds a month for her first 5-months so it will be interesting to see what she weighs two or three months from now when she will be as old as Ruff was in these photos. Of course, that will have to be done at the Vets office because I don't think I will be able to lift her up on the scale.

I saw Bessie reveal her female dominance the other day. I had her and Ruff outside and she wanted Ruff to do something and stared him right in his face and lowered her head and gave a very distinctive bark. Reminded me right away about our girl Sassy telling the boys to behave. This also makes me wonder if her three dads can raise her the same way a female Rottweiler would. Sassy had a way of doing play school with Ruffin like Ruffin does with Bessie but with one big difference. Ruffin can not bring himself to tell Bessie to STOP! the way that Sassy did. Ruffin lets himself be a big play toy and he is so infatuated with the little girl he just lets her do what she wants until the two of them collapse to catch their breath. They also seem to be starting the tongue-kissing stuff that I saw with Ruff and Sassy. Bessie sticks he snout in Ruffin's mouth while they are playing. Sassy did that a lot but she knew how to end it as you can see here.
Now I can't leave this post with just some old pictures and not show any progress with our new girl. Except for her growing like a weed nothing else has changed. She is still going to play school but the subject she is learning now is about love. Love according to Rottweilers.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Meanwhile, the May - December romance is in full bloom.

I think Ruffin has given up trying to teach Bessie about respect and discipline. Maybe because the big lug has fallen madly in love with the pretty little Rottie girl. I noticed a few weeks ago that he started to cover up her pee outside so that officially makes her a girl, in his eyes. Funny how he didn't do that from the day I brought her home.
I took these pictures the other night while I was trying to watch television. This kind of wrestling is what goes on, all day long, in every room in the house. Yeah, even in the bathroom and thankfully not too often in there.
I know it must be love because I can't keep them separated. When we need some peace and quiet I will take Bessie into my den with me and close the door only to find Ruffin laying right outside, breathing heavily under the door. By the way, Baby Bessie has passed the 50 pound mark, two weeks shy of her 5-month birthday.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bessie and her favorite Grandpa.

After her two ventures into the Fall snowstorm, Bessie and Axl waited while we got the Mom out of bed this morning. And these two now seem to be best friends after Grandpa Axl laid down his own rules. He made it very clear that he was not going to be Bessie's playmate like Ruffin is. And she does not treat him like a playmate, she treats him with respect. And so it shows.
The part that amazes me is that old man Axl never snarled, growled or barked at Bessie any differently than Ruff does. So why does Bessie treat Ruff's growls, snarls and barks as a challenge to play harder or attack harder and when Axl does the same thing Bessie treats him with respect? Guess there are some Rottie Rules that I haven't learned yet.