Sunday, April 27, 2014

Close-ups, Axl and his Mom.

Call it the look of love. I don't think he would rather be any place else but by her side.

Sunday morning, after church.

The crying started as soon as I locked the front door. I could hear it all the way out to the driveway as we left to go church. It was 8:15 AM when we left. I hope it didn't wake the neighbors. When we got home it was almost 10:30 AM and our nervous crew was waiting for us at the door. They all came outside to greet us and make sure their Mom was alright so I had my wife sit in the chair on the porch to get some sunshine while I went in and grabbed my camera. Axl had done a quick pee and came right back to sit by his Mom. Ruff took his turn on guard duty while Axl finished his business then he came back with Sassy for a group photo.
Then we all went inside and had breakfast.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Axl's story. I could write a book about what this picture doesn't say.

This is our old Rottweiler Axl. Look at this photo and the expression on his face and let me tell you what was going on:
The one thing our Rottweilers love most (besides food) is going for a ride in the car. They get excited even when they overhear a conversation that inadvertently mentions the word "go". The other day I had to move my mini-van down the driveway so I could get my other car out of the garage so when I had Ruff and Axl outside with me I asked them if they would like to go for a little ride. Ruff immediately ran over to the van when I opened the door but Axl walked back to the house and sat where you see him in front of the front door. It only took me a moment to realize why. He thought we were going someplace and his Mom was still in the house. He knew he could not leave her alone.

I was extremely fortunate to have been able to adopt Axl 6 years ago even though he was 7 years old at the time. Carey, the woman who sent me the email saying he needed a new home, was the person who bought Axl as a puppy. She owned him for a year and then sold him to a handicapped woman who had trained him to be her companion. I had met Carey when we once belonged to the same Rottweiler club. The handicapped woman's house burned down and when she was forced to move she couldn't take him with her. I have mentioned before in bits and pieces that Axl has been devoted to my wife since the day we brought him home. My wife has Alzheimer's and even then he realized something was wrong with her even before the symptoms became obvious. From the first day in our house, Axl's forever home, he stayed close to her and even used to jump up on her bed at night and sleep next to her. He is almost 13 years old now and for the past two years he hasn't been able to jump on her bed so he has taken to sleeping outside her bedroom door.

During the day I don't spend constant time in the same room with my wife and whenever she used to get up and move around, Axl would come to me and give me a worry sound. I can't describe the sound he makes but it definitely tells me he thinks something is wrong and he is worried and I must go with him and check it out.

This is how Axl spends his day. He may be napping from time to time, more now as he gets older, but he wakes up whenever my wife makes a sound. He seems content to just keep watch over her.
Every once in awhile Axl will come into my den when I am working on the computer and he lays his head in my lap and looks at me with his sad eyes. I have come to understand that he simply needs some hugs and kisses and ear scratches to recharge his batteries. I have lived with old Rottweilers before and we tell everyone that from my experience when they get old their mush bucket (I pronounce it "moosh bucket") begins to leak and they need some love to refill it. I can assure you that Axl gets more than he needs. He is a beautiful, gentle and loving animal and I find myself depending on him as if he were a human baby sitter and I hope and pray he lives a long life. I am forever grateful for the lady who helped me get him.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Adding insult to injury, more snow this morning, 26 days into Spring.

The weatherman began the forecast the other night by saying the dreaded "S" word was coming back. Well, we didn't get the expected 1-2 inches but it was enough to make the guys curious. I can easily understand the confused look on their faces when I took the three Rottweilers out this morning. On Sunday it was 81 degrees. Yesterday it rained and this morning, well, see for yourself.
Suddenly, Ruff heard a noise down the street and he went on alert mode. He does make a fine presentation, doesn't he.
Well, enough with this stuff, I said, "Let's all go have breakfast". And at the mere mention of the word breakfast they all started walking to the front door like a herd of cows heading back to the barn. 
Maybe if we all took a long nap Spring will come back.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Exploring the changes from our harsh Winter.

The ground was sufficiently dry to take Ruff for a walk down to the back today. We had 5 inches of rain earlier this week and I wasn't looking forward to giving him a bath. Every time he walks through the soggy grass his belly gets soaked with the muddy water his paws kick up.

Our old senior citizen Rottweiler Axl has been getting cataracts and I think his eyesight is getting bad. I've noticed the last few times I've taken the boys for a ride in the car, that Axl has problems getting out of the mini-van when we get home. It was bad enough when he began tripping over the door sill every time he trotted over to get in the car, now he has taken some falls trying to step out of it. I have stopped his tripping by making him step in slowly, even lifting his hind legs, but even helping him exit has become a problem. His hind legs don't seem very coordinated anymore, which adds to his problem. While this doesn't affect his car-riding enjoyment, he has another problem with stairs. He has refused to go down the stairs to the basement which is probably due to his eyesight. And that is the usual way we leave the house for our walks, so today he stayed in the living room with his Mom. With my wife's advancing Alzheimer's, and Axl going on 13 in September and Sassy already past 11, I am not looking forward to the day when it will only be me and Ruff alone together. I have placed notices in several dog shelters that I am interested in adopting an adult female Rottweiler to be a companion to Ruff. I came close to getting one a few months ago but the woman changed her mind when she learned how much her dog had bonded with her little children.

OK, enough with the grim and dreary. The Rottweilers are my major joy in life and that is what this blog is all about.
Seems the first place Ruff goes is to check under the fir trees where the rabbits live. Every once in awhile the Rottweilers spook one or two of them and the dart out and run to the woods. So that is where Ruff went.
Not sure if anyone was at home so Ruff then went further down the yard. Our property ends about 20 feet beyond the tree line but we never go there because there is a small creek that runs through it. The only time we can see the houses is when the trees have no leaves on them.
Then Ruff must have noticed I was carrying the camera so he decided to do some poses. He does this very well.

Yesterday we went to Petsmart and I took Ruff inside while Axl stayed in the car with his Mom. Ruff must have gotten hugs and kisses from some15 different customers including one on the way in the store and one in the parking lot while I was loading up the car. He had a very enjoyable day.