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.