Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How is Your Mush Bucket Holding Up.

How is Your Mush Bucket Holding Up.

For those who don’t know a mush bucket is something used by all dogs in general and old dogs in particular, to carry around their mush. Mush is what you give your dogs every day. It has another name, its called LOVE. Hugs and kisses are also referred to as mush, as well. Old dogs need more mush than young dogs because they live on love and love is a very powerful vitamin.

So to explain the reason why old dogs need so much mush it is because as they get old their mush bucket gets holes in it which causes the mush to leak out so it has to be refilled more often. So when one of my old Rottweilers come up to me and lay their heads in my lap I know exactly what they need. As I begin to scratch their ears and kiss the top of their heads I say to them, “Do you need some more mush? Does your mush bucket have holes in it again?” And the old Rottweiler will always agree by making some soft moaning sounds.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Indoor camera games

I took two photos of my pretty girl Bess this afternoon. Used only natural light - no flash. It was late afternoon and the sun was shining through the back doors and Bess looked gorgeous curled up in her chair. She also had a real sour-looking sad sack look on her face and I wanted to get a photo of it. When I brought out the camera to take the photos her sad sack look disappeared and then she began to smile when I started taking the photos.

Just before dinner Bess had moved to the small couch so I tried again for a few more shots. It quickly turned in a selfie-session and then Ruff joined in, too. One thing about the big guy, he may still be blind but his tongue seems to work on radar. Got a bunch of mixed pics here including a close miss of both Ruff and Bess giving me kisses at the same time and a real close up of Ruff that was another accidental photo.
Bess has grown up very nicely in spite of Ruffin's combat school training. She may not act refined like a lady but she is full of love and affection for me and for every person she gets to meet.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Finally, a break in the weather

It couldn't have come at a better time. After days upon days of humid, rainy weather, some very enjoyable high pressure has moved into the Tri-state and the temperature has dropped to to high 70s, low 80s. Best of all the air is dry and the humidity has dropped as well. Assessing the damage shows a major lawn mowing project was needed since the grass in the larger backyard has grown to over a foot in height. This problem with heavy rainfall is usually an annual springtime event but the consequences are the same. Rain makes the grass grow as well as making the ground muddy. While the Rottweilers have no objections to either rain or mud, humans do. Here is a photo I posted here back in 2011 that shows the problem with cutting grass after heavy rain.
So it did become a major project cutting the foot-tall grass. I had to do it in two passes changing the height of the mowing deck. And yesterday, I finished the job while the ground was dry and the air was cool and then I took Bess and Ruff outside to enjoy it.
I let Ruff off his leash so he could walk around on his own. He still can't see so he took his steps very carefully while he sniffed everything.
And Bess played with her favorite toy, walking around and swinging it over her head.
The fresh air and sunshine was invigorating but after coming back in the house everyone was tired and took long naps. And we all went to bed early.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Hello, everybody. We're still alive.

Sorry for the bland attempt at humor. I did not copy that line from the movie The Martian. I just responded to an email from an old friend who said he hasn't heard from me in awhile and he wanted to know how things were going. If you don't mind reading this I'll fill you in with the reply I sent him. Most of this stuff you probably already know so don't be shocked when I talk about my bout with cancer last year or the latest complications.

I am still dealing with the after effects of the radiation from the cancer treatment. With all the warnings and precautions they never told me about what the long term problems would be. A few months ago the Urologist was about to restart the Lupron injections to keep my testosterone low until my visiting nurse researched my list of health complaints and informed me she thought they were being caused by low testosterone. The Urologist advised me two years ago that the prostate cancer feeds on the testosterone so even after the radiation wipes out the cancer any new appearance of testosterone can regenerate it. So he planned on a three year program of six Lupron shots, one every six months. (Talk about the high cost of prescriptions, go look that up) But the radiation did more than kill the cancer, it fried my testicles and they no longer produce any testosterone. The only small amounts in my bloodstream are coming from my adrenal gland. So my Primary Care doctor has now got me on a prescription for Andro-Gel  to raise my testosterone levels. (The last blood test I had showed the T-level was 173 and the normal T-level should be 300-720.) And they plan to keep a close watch to see how much it goes up. By the way, the low T-level problem is not about sex. Testosterone does a lot more.

Other than all that, apart from having no energy to do anything, and paying the price for forcing myself to actually get some things done, I feel fine.

I spend my days hanging out with Bess and Ruff or I should say they spend most of their day hanging out with me in my tiny office. As you can see they fill up most of the floor.
As you can see, baby Bess has grown up to be almost as big as Ruff. And she is still very affectionate with him.
Bessie had her 3rd birthday on July 1st and I made one of our traditional meatloaf birthday cakes, topped with mashed potato icing and we all had it for dinner. I cut it into three pieces and ate it for dinner, too.
I have found a new way to pass the time while being cooped up around the house. I started up a Facebook page and joined a bunch of groups that post pictures and stories of their Rottweilers. You can imagine how popular the old pictures from my Living With Rottweilers blog is. In the 20 years since I started my first web site I have posted several thousand photos and none of these Facebook friends have seen them, so I have been sharing them on a daily basis. Here's a picture of me working on my Facebook page.
I am so glad the heat and humidity from our summer has finally gone away. The temperatures have finally become enjoyable and I have spent more time outside with Bess and Ruff.
Next big thing on the calendar will by the total eclipse on August 21st. This will cross the southwest corner of Kentucky, about a 4 hour drive away, and I am planning to drive down and take pictures - if the weather is good.

Take care and enjoy the rest of your winter.

p.s. If you read this blog on a continuous basis you may recall the trouble I found looking for an adult Rottweiler to be Ruff's companion after his beloved Sassy passed away in 2014. Ruff was so close to Sassy that after she died he went into a prolonged period of mourning that began to affect his health and I had to do something. I had the foresight to want an older female Rottweiler because Ruff was 7 years old at the time and Axl was 12. I realized that I was getting older as well and didn't want a dog that I couldn't take care off later on after Ruff and Axl were gone. As it turned out there were no adult female Rotts available to adopt or buy so out of desperation I jumped at the chance to adopt a 7-week old puppy. Well, the puppy grew up to be a beautiful lady Rott who now has two big loves in her life, me and Ruff. So I often talk to her and tell her I want to grow old with her since she is the last Rottweiler I will ever have. When she gets to be toward the end of her lifespan I will be 88 years old and I only hope I will be able to care for her. Long live this blog and long live Living With Rottweilers.
One thing I've learned over the years is I could never live without having a Rottweiler for a companion.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

My lunch time friends.

I just sat down at the computer with a snack in my hand and my lunch-time moochers came in to share it. Well, at least one of them did. Ruff always follows the foods sounds. Or maybe he overheard me tell Bess I was getting the camera out and he wanted his picture taken. Bess has acquired a taste for the vanilla Ensure but so have I and she only gets the last few drops.
The heat wave we suffered through in the past few weeks has gone. After several nights of thunderstorms the rain last week managed to cool things down. We had three days of sunshine in the mid 80s and another light rain last night so today we hang out together inside.

UPDATE: Thirty minutes later.
A half hour later after the preceding post, lunchtime is over and I'm sitting here listening to the gentle sounds of snoring from my two sleeping beauties. I just love this. Every bit of it.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Just some crazy stuff to help pass the time.

I just took Ruff and Bess out to go pee before bedtime last night and as soon as I opened the front door I noticed a frog clinging to the outside of the glass storm door. They love to eat bugs and mosquitoes so that's a good thing to have hanging around (pun intended). So here are some photos. First photo is of me on the inside reflected in the glass with the frog on the outside. Seems I need to get out the Windex and clean the glass. Second photo is the frog on the outside. Every Summer we've had a frog hanging around by the front door. I started calling it Mildew. I don't know how long frogs live so this can't be the same frogs from years past. On a few occasions the Rotts have gotten close enough to sniff them and I had to remind the Rottweilers not to bother the frog.

Taking a break in between the storms. 
This has been a week of extreme weather. Daytime temps in the 90's plus humidity in the 70's have made the heat index soar above 105 degrees. And all the heat and humidity created lots of fuel for some violent thunderstorms every night. So we stayed inside as much as possible. Bess has her own little house and she spends a lot of time napping there when she isn't hanging out with me and Ruff in the den. Her house sits in front of one of the two outside doors to the deck that we don't use. You might remember the story I wrote in September 2015 about the Rottie plush toy on top of Bessie's house.
Current Heat Index for Kentucky. (week of July 16 - 22)
How bad was the weather outside? Across the country America has had a deadly heatwave: Temperatures hit 115 degrees as authorities warn of ‘dangerous’ levels of humidity. Here is a map of Kentucky with the heat index.
One consequence of all the heat and humidity has been some pretty severe thunderstorms and heavy downpours passing by every night. Over the weekend one storm dropped 6-7 inches of rain on Bracken and Mason Counties, two of the eastern counties near us, and it caused flash floods that swept houses off their foundations and piled up dozens of cars. Story and photos here on WXIX Channel 19.
Needless to say, this is not a good time to spend outside with the crew. Their black fur coats get so hot in the sun you could fry eggs on them.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Surviving the dog days of summer

Well, summer has finally arrived. The weather this week has been so hot and humid that I haven't let Ruff and Bess stay outside for very long. The front of my house faces East and the morning sun up to around 1PM has even gotten the metal handle on the storm door too hot to open. I had to put a towel on it it was so hot. Once I've gotten the two of them outside their black fur coats soak up so much sun you could almost fry eggs on their backs.

I don't know where the expression 'Dog days of summer' came from but it isn't very comfortable being out in it. Now that's just my humble opinion and Ruff and Bess do not seem to share it. I have to drag them back inside 'cause I'm afraid for their health and Bess just stares at me while holding her ball in her mouth. All she wants to do is to play catch with me.
The temperatures have been in the low 90's which by itself isn't too bad but the humidity has been in the mid 70's which pushes the heat index well over 100 degrees.

So what do they do all day? They hang out with me in the den taking naps.
Sorry I woke you up, sleeping beauty.
For the last few days I've been wanting to run up to the supermarket to restock the pantry but I didn't want to be outside carrying the groceries in on such a hot day. A lady on Facebook mention she likes to give her Rottweilers ice cream cones to cool them off so I took the suggestion as a second reason to make the trip to the food store. I couldn't find any ice cream cones so I picked up a couple of boxes of Klondike ice cream sandwiches. I peeled off the chocolate cookie and ate it and gave Ruff and Bess the ice cream center. Bess acted like she had never tasted ice cream before, at least with the first piece.
So this is how we survive the hottest days of the year. I don't think these two have much to complain about. The air conditioning works fine, the house is nice and cool and the ice cream is a bonus.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Took Bess and Ruff for a walk in the park.

The weather here has been wet. We've had at least three days of rain every week and it means staying indoors most of the time. Last week the rain tapered off and a few warm days without rain and the soggy ground becomes dry enough to walk on.
I have been wanting to try out my new camera outside and my two best friends were showing signs of cabin fever so I decided to take care of everything at the same time. In the Spring and Summer the backyard does look like a park. I have dozens of large trees, most over 50 years old but I still managed to fill in some spots with a dozen more trees that I planted 10 years ago and they have matured very nicely. By the way, the uncropped full images were exceptionally sharp and the color was vibrant.

The only detraction from the gorgeous scenery is the rather tall grass. I haven't been able to cut it for a few weeks after my lawn tractor suffered an unfortunate accident and had to go to the repair shop. The tractor is being fixed now and should be back by the end of the week, just in time to make the next outdoor photos look better.


Friday, July 14, 2017

'Cow Killers' with powerful sting appearing in the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana Tri-State

According to WXIX Channel 19 in Cincinnati, there is a new bug in town. Its called a 'Cow Killer'. It is a type of wasp with the erroneous name Red Velvet Ant or Eastern Velvet Ant. The species ranges from Connecticut to Missouri in the north and Florida to Texas in the south. While they primarily attack on Cicadas they are aggressive and will attack dogs, too, if threatened.

A few weeks ago I brushed a bug off the back of my neck and it stung me on my finger and the pain was so intense I went to the Emergency Room. I never saw the insect but the level of pain is similar to what they say in this story. Someone also posted a comment to this saying: They have a hard exterior and make a loud noise when you are trying to kill them.

The only loud noise I heard was my cry of pain when I got stung. It was so intense I grabbed a razor knife and cut open my finger to squeeze out the venom to make the pain stop. I may have broken the wasp because part of the rear end plus the stinger was in my finger after I hit it with my hand and I read that wasp stingers don't come out like bee's do after they sting you.

Final night of Star Wars saga brings the moochers back.

Last night I watch Episode VI the last film from the original Star Wars saga. I also have the two new films, Rogue I and Episode VII that came out earlier this year. I have watched all of them multiple times and thought it was time to go back to the original series for another look.

Of course, on almost every night I had my two trusty moochers keeping me company. As I mentioned in my last post, it may have been coincidental that I brought along a package of crackers and some peanut butter.

Bess and Ruff were sitting in front of me trying so hard to mooch a cracker that I had a hard time taking pictures because they were so close. I did get one nice shot, though.
Someone pointed out on my Facebook page how pretty Bessie's expression was. So I went back to look over the rest of the photos I took that had other glitches in them that I didn't think were good enough to post. I cropped out a bunch of different head shots of Bess to show her different looks while she was trying to get my attention.
It reminded me of the kind of head shots used in a screen test to show different emotions. And young Bess was already showing quite a talent for them.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Another movie night - before and after the end.

I watched Episode III of the Star Wars saga tonight (I watched the first two episodes earlier this past week) and as usual, had my two best friends for company. Also had a package of crackers and a jar of peanut butter but that had nothing to do with it. Here are some pictures taken during and after the movie. I paused the Blu-Ray player to take the photos which is why Yoda hasn't moved in the first two shots.