Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Something old and something new to end the year.

We went shopping today and stopped by the drive-thru at our favorite pharmacy to wish everyone a Happy New Year. As usual Ruff gets all the attention. The lady at the pharmacy thanked me for the Christmas card I dropped off and while we were talking she was joined by a few other girls who work there. Everyone was smiling at Ruff and Bess hanging out the window. I happened to mention that when we go into stores Ruff is the hugable one, especially when girls see him. So then we stopped in the pet store to pick up some dog food and Ruff did his thing once again. It must be his eyes and the way he looks at people. Or maybe his smiley happy face.
And I enjoy it when people come up to us and ask "Are they friendly? Can I pet them?" all the while their little stubby tails are wagging a mile-a-minute. But most of all, I really enjoy it when they say "They're beautiful".

Just looking back to a small sample of my favorite photos, in no particular order, here they are.

Didn't you know that Rottweilers could dance?
I often wondered where some people get their inspiration for depicting the normal lives of dogs. Two of my favorite cartoon strips used to be Dennis the Menace (and his dog Ruff) and also Marmaduke. So one day I found some cartoons that actually seemed like normal every day stuff around here and I put them together.

I took this next picture a few nights ago. It struck me as being funny because I spent $100 on that fancy dog bed and this is how Ruff sleeps on it. And as far as dog beds go, In all the years that old man Axl has been living here I have never been able to get him to sleep on one after he got to old to jump on his Mom's bed. It almost looks like Ruff came in late after some party and fell off his bed.

And just one final word

from all of us
Ruff, Bess, me, Jacqueline and Axl

Saturday, December 12, 2015

My second attempt to get my Christmas card photo.

Either I am getting old and losing my touch or the Rottweilers are getting bored having their picture taken. I have had another failed attempt to get this year's Christmas card photo. Without further comment here are the photos. Enjoy them anyway. I think I'll try an work with what I have.

And the winner is.... our 2015 Rottweiler Christmas card.

As I already mentioned, most of my first attempt to create this year's Rottweiler Christmas card wasn't very successful. I couldn't get old man Axl to sit up and I couldn't get any of the three Rotts to even look at the camera. OK, part of that was my fault because I shouldn't have brought the biscuits into the room. I don't know how to unlock their food radar. And my second attempt had a few different problems but I posted the working photos anyway. I think I already dropped a hint about which photo I was going to use even before the second try. So here it is, and I hope everyone enjoys it.
Merry Christmas
Wherever you are.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A change in the weather.

We had an unusual weather event over the past two days. At least for us it was. Heavy fog. Interestingly, our usually perceptive Rottweilers paid no attention to it. You would think that when you go outside and can't see across the street that you might wonder what's going on. None of our Rotts did. And the fog was pretty thick at times. Much more than this picture shows.
But the really unusual event was when the overnight temperatures dropped below freezing and it caused the fog to freeze on all the bushes, grass and trees. Its called hoarfrost. 
For some reason the white frosty covering remains on the trees and bushes longer than it does on the grass except when the morning sun shines on it but the effect on the grass is more dramatic. But once again it did not get anyone's interest.
I can't wait for baby Bess to enjoy her first snow. Last year she was too little to be allowed to run and play in it. I have already seen the affect the freezing cold air has on her. It makes her act crazy and run around like a nut. When she comes in the house her whole body was filled with exhilaration.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The 2015 Rottweiler Christmas card project begins

Oh what fun we had. Really! Its hard to describe the total lack of cooperation I got while trying out my new shutter remote. At least these will get a few laughs. We're going to try this again, possibly tomorrow. I didn't use any leashes today but the two big problems were Bessie didn't want to look at the camera and I was only able to get Axl to sit up for one picture.
The dry run. Checking the camera angle.
Notice that old man Axl is still laying in his favorite spot on the couch. I had thoughts of leaving him there and me squeezing in next to Jacqueline and then calling for Bess and Ruff to come site in front of us. It didn't work too well. I couldn't get Axl to move over at all and I was afraid to try and lift him.
Changed plans when Ruff and Bessie came in. I got Axl off the couch and I went to the kitchen and brought back a handful of small biscuits to bribe them with. Of course, Ruff's food radar zeroed in on the biscuits and he kept waiting for another handout. I gave one biscuit to Ruff and tossed two more on the floor for Bess and Axl hoping they would turn and look at the camera.
Then I realized that the camera wasn't picking up Axl so I had to tilt it down more. I also tried to get Bessie to site on the couch between my wife and me but all she wanted to do was lay in my lap and stare at the biscuits.
Then I got off the couch and picked up Axl so he was in a sitting position. This lasted only for one picture.
As usual the last picture always seems to be the best. Maybe its after everyone calms down, but I am going to have to refine my techniques and keep trying.
Followup: did you wonder what Bessie and Ruff were staring at in some of the above photos? Here is the answer.
They don't miss a thing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Just another ordinary day

This first photo came with its own built-in caption. I was in the den this morning checking my email and the latest news when I heard a knock on my door. I had the door closed so as not to disturb my sleeping wife with the smell of my pipe tobacco while I was smoking. Well I knew it had to be one of my friends so I opened the door with my camera in hand and got a nice picture of Ruff and Bess coming in for a visit.
Knock, Knock. Who's there?
Being such people animals as they are they probably craved some human companionship which is something I kinda love about them. Bess has become my shadow and loves to follow me around. She spends a lot of time napping on her bed next to my office chair. Ruff is very much in love with Bess and hangs out with her a lot. Not as much as Bess hangs out with me because she wants to play with Ruff whenever they're together and Ruff likes a quieter relationship.

A few days back I found the whole crew in the family room keeping my wife company while she was taking a nap. It was either that or they were watching the TV which is always on for Jacqueline to watch. Love those 30-year old TV shows on Me-TV. Those were certainly some innocent days and they bring back fond memories.
I just noticed in this photo that old man Axl always lays on the right side of the couch while Ruff and Bess seem to take turns on the small leather chair and the other end of the couch.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Seen through the kitchen window

A few nights ago we had a beautiful sunset. I first spotted it through the kitchen window and like many before it, I stared at it for a while before thinking of grabbing the camera. It seemed to predict the cool, clear weather we had these past few days. "Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky at morning, sailor's take warning".
Then last night about a half hour before sunset I noticed the sunlight glowing through the leaves on the trees behind the house. This didn't last very long and I think by the time I retrieved the camera I may have missed the best part because when I first saw it the leaves were really glowing from the sun behind them, especially the red Japanese Maple.
Just before noon today I saw another sight through the same window. Bess was perched atop the stone wall looking like a library lion, and her protector and champion Ruff was laying nearby.
Then I got noticed and they both turned to see what I was doing hanging out of the open window. I'm sure they think I'm very strange.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Love on a little dog bed, part 2.

Bess loves Ruffin and Ruff loves his little girl Bess. Its been that way since the day she came into her new home 16 months ago. Bess also loves her Grandpa Axl but not the same way she loves Ruff. Axl is special because he so old and he commands more respect than Ruff does. Sometimes she wants to play with him but I keep telling her he is old and fragile so she contents herself with flirting and kisses. That happens in almost every room in the house but especially in my wife's bedroom where Axl hangs out when my wife is in bed. Those are the wake-up morning kisses she slobbers all over him while I'm getting my wife dressed.

Bess also spends a lot of time in my den while I'm on the computer and I brought in one of the dog beds for her to lay on so she doesn't get tangled underneath my chair. Most of the time she actually uses the bed and once in awhile she entices one of the boys to join her. Last month I posted some pictures of Bess smooching Ruff on her bed. The other day she got Axl to join her for more of the same.

By the way, Axl loves the attention he gets from the pretty little girl. What old man wouldn't appreciate that. Bess just seems to love everybody.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The lost photo that almost got away.

It is one thing to forget about some pictures and then to stumble upon them unexpectedly and to remember a particular picture and be unable to find it. Sort of like looking for a needle in a haystack when you have tens of thousands of pictures cataloged in five or more sub-directories. That was the problem I had with my last post, The beauty of living with Rottweilers. I knew there was one picture that I had taken of my my wife Jacqueline and her constant companion Axl that I was especially fond of and I wanted to add it to that previous post.

I literally browsed through those pictures more than once without finding it. So I posted what I had and then two days later the proverbial light bulb went off over my head. I had remembered the special occasion that I had taken the picture on. It was on Mother's Day. So I did a search on this blog for "Mother's Day" and there it was. And thanks to digital images always keeping Meta Data records, I was able to find the file name and go back to my hard drive and locate the picture.

Why am I writing to such lengths about just one picture? Because it depicts such a perfect bond of love between one human and her Rottweiler more than anything else. See for yourself.
Mother's Day 2010
One very proud looking Rottweiler and one very proud looking Mom and the smiles says more than words. The photo was taken when Axl was 9-years old, two years after he came to his forever home. I often joke about his brief retirement but the truth is it only lasted about two weeks. That was the time he was in foster care after his first Mom lost her house in a fire. Axl was trained to be her companion service dog and when he got to our home he seemed to know just what needed to be done when he met my wife. And it turned into a good thing for Axl, too. I'm told that service dogs don't do well in retirement because they need to work. Axl is 14-years old now and well beyond his normal life expectancy but he has a sense of purpose and his devotion to his Mom is what is keeping him alive.
That is what the love is all about that I witness every day living with Rottweilers.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

The beauty of living with Rottweilers.

I'm not bragging here but the fact is I've been taking lots of photos of my Rottweilers since I got my first one in 1995. This may be because I find them so entertaining to watch and be around. In those early years before digital cameras became affordable, shooting pictures in 35mm was rather expensive so for obvious reasons I didn't take nearly as many as after I got my first digital camera. But then in 2002 everything changed and my collection of photos of my best friends grew and grew. Today, after going through a Hewlett-Packard, then a Sony DCS-S85, a Nikon D-40 and another Nikon D-3200, I have accumulated over 25,000 pictures. And I'm sure that Google Blogger is very glad I don't try to post them all.

While going over some old pictures a few days ago to send to some new dog people friends I met, I came across one photo taken 5-years ago that struck me as just being so beautiful. While most of my pictures of my Rotts are action shots of them doing something or else lounging around on the furniture, this one shows my two boys, Axl and Ruff, just taking a nap with their Mom on her bed. 

And it looks like a Rottweiler sandwich.
Or maybe an Oreo cookie, giant sized.

The best photos I've ever taken always showed the extent of love and companionship these wonderful dogs have for each other and especially for their humans, and Mom in particular. Like this one taken 4 years ago:
Or the clown photos that everyone laughs at. Such as sleeping like a naked centerfold pose or kissing his Mom on Valentines Day.
Or the photos that show their depth of love as my wife's Alzheimer's progressed.
And Mom's constant companion, Axl, never got to enjoy his retirement very long.
I don't think he minded that very much.

Love really is Living With Rottweilers.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

New signs that Bess is growing up.

Subtitle: How to scare your humans to death.
Our young lady Rott Bess has entered a new stage in life. She has become Dora The Explorer. I should have anticipated this since my first female Rottweiler, Mo, also did the same thing 20-years ago. And can you imagine how scary it is when you realize that your big black dog walks away and disappears into the dark? And I mean pitch black dark. Then after ten minutes of frantic calling, running inside to grab a flashlight and come out to begin a search. Then, all of a sudden, "Hi, here I am." her face lit up with excitement and the little girl suddenly reappears out of nowhere coming from a different direction.

It took me completely by surprise the first two times it happened but the third time she did it in the daylight so when I saw Bess take off I followed her. Little Bessie was doing a perimeter check. Yesterday morning when I walked down the driveway looking for her, I spotted her walking back toward the front on the other side of the fenced area around the pool.

Usually, when I put Bess and Ruff outside in the fenced-in area around the pool they methodically walk the inside perimeter of the fence, sniffing and checking everything out. But when I take the three Rotts out for the bedtime potty around midnight we are in the open front yard. And there is a very wide-open area outside of the fenced yard behind the house and little Bess had decided to do her perimeter check walking the outside of the fence and around the house. In the dark. Alone. With no one to protect her.
That red line is the length of two football fields.
This morning Bess decided to expand her range of exploration beyond the perimeter check. When I saw her walk down the driveway I thought she was going to circle around the house so I took my time and put Ruff and Axl inside. But when I walked out back I didn't see her. I quickly checked the other side of the house hoping to see her coming back but she wasn't there. Instead of doing a perimeter check Bess had completely vanished. I came back and grabbed her leash and took Ruff with me. We started walking down to the far back yard calling her name and whistling for her. Then after another 10-minutes or so I spotted Bess emerging from the woods at the very back of the yard where the creek divides the property line. Running toward me and Ruff with the happy look of extreme excitement on her face that said "I just had a big adventure." "I'm a big girl now."

So now I have to give her another lecture on how precious she is because she has no concept of danger and how someone might see her and take her away from her family or how she could get lost exploring places she has never been to before. And after the warm greetings on her return everything returned to normal. Except that I feel a little older than I did when I woke up this morning. And I sure Bess feels a little older, too.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Peanut Butter magic and love in other places.

A long time ago I discovered that Peanut Butter was irresistible to every Rottweiler we ever had. Every morning for almost 20-years, without fail, all of our Rotts have gotten a spoonful along with whatever pills they were taking at the time. While not every one of our Rotts has been taking medicine all the time they have always been given 6-7 Brewer's Yeast pills to help ward off fleas. I've mentioned that to our Vet and they seem to have heard this from others as well. I can't say there's scientific proof to support this but on the other hand, none of our Rotts have ever had fleas and none have ever worn flea collars.

The real enjoyment I get in giving them their "peanut butter pills" is the look on their faces when they get to clean the spoons. As what happened this morning when I also happened to have the camera in the kitchen after taking the picture out the window. Please note the dreamy look in Ruff's eyes as he gets the first taste.
Immediately followed by his little girlfriend, Bess.
Ruff and Bess have become inseparable. The earlier lessons in future warrior queen training that Ruff was giving the little girl have turned into a genuine love between these two. They go outside together and hang out together as I often see looking out the kitchen window. So I put the telephoto lens on the camera and grabbed this shot this morning of the two of them sitting side by side at the far end of the pool.
Around the house, day and night, but what seems mostly while I'm watching the television, my companions are always engaged in playful contact. And as a few pictures show, they seem oblivious to old man Axl who may be laying nearby.

Love is a beautiful thing to see. And I am so glad that Ruff has found a new companion to take the place of his first love, Sassy. He doesn't get to play with Axl very much any more because the old man has trouble moving around.