K. B. (Kitty) Morgan is a friend of a friend. Love this story and thought you would enjoy it, too.
How We Came to Love Rottweilers
Most people dream of traveling when they retire. Having done so much of that during our careers, my partner and I dreamed instead of having dogs in our lives again.
Our original retirement destination was 4 acres of beautiful, off-the-grid wilderness on the NE corner of the Dominican Republic. We’d never built a house before but, in preparation for our big move, we asked around and were told by just about every expat living there that what the locals feared and respected most were large dogs with black faces and pointed ears. I wanted a short flat coat for wash and wear grooming and to see ticks quickly. We turned every page of the big 700 Dog Breeds book and discovered there is but a single breed that meets all four requirements: Dobermans. We were mentally sold and started collecting books specifically on that breed.
Time marched on and while visiting the D.R. one summer, we met an expat who bought a small café in town and an enormous 14-acre finca near our property. We were enjoying cocktails with him one evening and discussing dogs when Gerry made the odd comment, "Nah, nah, nah. You don't want Dobermans because a Doberman won't let anyone in...but a Rottweiler won't let anyone out." This didn't make much sense to us until we visited the fina a few days later. A large red and white sign on the gate translated: “Caution, Bad Dogs.” (Years later, our Mexican neighbors had a similar sign on their front wall that read “Caution, Killer Dogs” which turned out to be nine female Chihuahuas and their father, Romeo.)
Gerry wasn't at home when we arrived but his caretaker Pindo let us onto the property. There was a small house near the front gate and a long garden shed on the other side of the driveway, open on one side, where five enormous Rottweilers were snoozing but quite alert. They were totally disinterested in us two trespassers for the hour or so that we strolled the property until we returned to the house to leave. Very slowly they rose; very slowly they approached me, surrounded me, leaned into me and did that huffy drooling thing that excited Rotties do. They expressed more and more interest as I tried inching my way to the gate. I was terrified and froze in the driveway – so close and yet so far from escape.
“Please,” I asked my partner, “go find Pindo, tell him we’d like to leave but we’re afraid of Thor, Zeus and the three girls.”
Eventually, Pindo returned and put the dogs inside the shed as if they were Yorkies. The minute I was on the other side of the gate, my legs gave out and I crumpled to the pavement. I was shaking so hard I couldn't stand. My partner and I looked at each other and decided then and there that Rottweilers were probably too much dog for us. We were back to Dobermans, such elegant quick creatures, unlike the lumbering, slobbering Rottie.
Several weeks later, we spent a very pleasant afternoon at the finca picnicking on the grass with Gerry, Thor and Zeus. When we asked Gerry where the three girls were, he told us he had to re-home them because they were constantly raiding his neighbors’ properties, bringing home entire pigs and cows for dinner for which his neighbors were demanding payment.
Fast forward and we ended up in Mexico’s Yucatan. We spent our first two years finding a house and making it habitable before we were finally ready to bring home our dogs!!! We had seen two very large Dobermans in the local nursery while buying plants and asked the nurseryman where he got those beauties.
“Oh, those were untrainable,” he told us. “I sold them because they were too high strung, had too much energy and were into everything.” (In my opinion, they were obviously bored with so little to do except watch the plants grow).
We were mightily disappointed until he added, “But I have Rottweilers now and my bitch just delivered her first litter. Come see the puppies, all thirteen of them!” We saw this as an omen.
We fought the urge as long as we could, but eventually succumbed and brought Bruno home, the best ambassador the breed could ever have. He was the sweetest, most mellow, loving creature yet, even a playful slap from a friend in my direction would have him up, his huge maw very gently around the offending wrist. Don't mess with my mommy!
I only had one dog as a child, a sweet mutt who lived to the ripe old age of 24 so I wasn't accustomed to having dogs until Bruno taught me what I needed with infinite patience. He was my best friend for 7 short years. He crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2008 and I miss him terribly to this day.
Bruno made us Rottie fans and, in retrospect, they actually turned out to be the best breed for us because we're older now and they're not quite as energetic as Dobies. I know this from personal experience as our Willie is a “Doberweiler“ (or “Rottenman,” if you prefer). He turned ten last November and still has plenty of energy. Daily playtime with him wears us out but, I confess, he's my favorite of our five adult dogs because of his huge personality and goof ball antics.
After Bruno came Ivan, pure joy in a fuzzy, black-and-tan package, followed by Chester (a/k/a Grumpy as he was a soloist and never a pack member) and silly Willie, our Rottie-Dobie mix. They’re all in Dog Heaven now except Willie who’s on borrowed time. Knowing this, last month we brought home the next generation: ten-week old brothers Ozzy and Gus. They will likely be our last dogs and we hope they don’t outlive us as the market for re-homing adult Rotties is slim to none. (Although we have provided doggie godparents for them in our wills).
It has been a wild and wonderful Rottie ride and I have never regretted choosing the breed; they’re smart, playful, loyal and extremely protective of their homes and their people.
The Rottweiler is a large size breed of domestic dog. The dogs were known as "Rottweil butchers' dogs" because they were used to herd livestock and pull carts laden with butchered meat and other products to market.