Sunday, June 7, 2009

Eight hours and fifteen minutes to go..

Teal'c and Me (Photo by Lucy)
As I depress the first key on my keyboard to write this entry, it will be eight hours and fifteen minutes before I am in dog heaven. Yes, Teal'c, the Rottweiler, is coming to stay with me for four nights. I make no secret of my love for Teal'c. She's the 'rottie' that I didn't allow myself to have. Whenever I see her, I honestly to try to hold off from stroking her for at least a minute (it seems only polite) but nature just pulls me forward and my plan goes out of the window.

The truth is that Rotties are, by far, my favourite breed and I nearly opted for one before getting Ellie. However, I had to weigh several factors in, and it's really about me, not the breed. You see, I carry more than my fair share of those indelible scars of misspent youth, tattoos. I have what those who have been unfortunate enough to have to see me personally might call quite a serious face, I train with weights, and I have short spiky hair. Now, never mind that I'm really quite well-spoken, am competent in more than one computer language, and, even if I say so myself, much prefer humour to conflict (age prevents me from running away too fast these days) I do have to accept that, at first glance, I look like what some wrongly consider to be the stereotypical Rottie owner. I had to ask myself if I really wanted to perpetuate that myth.

You might reasonably argue that had I have taken on a Rottie then I could have shown that it's not always the case. I agree with you. But let's say that my lovely Rottie did just happen to bite another dog, even if it was to defend itself, or just issue a cautionary nip even. People would look at that situation completely differently to how they would look at my scrawny Border Collie defending itself and fighting in the same situation. They wouldn't just see the contextual fight, they would see the tattoos, the dog, the fight and on the myth goes... It's wrong, but it's a sad fact. So that is why I didn't get a Rottie. Maybe when I'm a little older and look a little more ravaged by time. (Anyone who tells me that is not possible is going to be immediately scrubbed from my Christmas card list!)

But maybe even that won't happen as, of course, we now don't dock the tails do we? Charge up your hate mail generators, but I just happen to think that the Rotties look better with docked tails. I do. I've only seen one with a tail so far and I have to say that I didn't think it looked as good as those with docked tails. For people much younger than me, of course, it will soon make no difference as that is what they will be used to seeing. I have spent the past forty years seeing them only with docked tails. It is that complete package of line and form that I fell in love with. Yes, yes, I appreciate it's only superficial and it doesn't change the breed, but when you fell so deeply in love with something so specific, it's very hard to adapt to it again when it changes, even when that change is so relatively small.

But anyway, now you see why I love Teal'c so much. I get to play Rottie owner without feeling guilty about perpetuating the unreasonable myths. She has so much character and is so so gentle. And can you believe, they pay me too!? So if I'm not around for the next four days, you know why, I've died and gone to heaven!

P.S. It's now seven hours and forty-nine minutes... :)


Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the tail on a rottie debate. The wiggly bum just wouldn't be the same with a tail!

Owner of Storm and Jackal said...

Lol, yeah and the tails hurt when they hit you. That's why I love my husky, its curled neatly over her back and out of the way. No coffee table clearing for me LOL.

I love hearing you talk about Rotties. Its like the way I feel about Friesian horses. I just go gaga. Enjoy your time with the lovely Teal'C.

Double S said...

Question for you: I know that tail-docking has now been banned in the UK (and all of Europe!)... if you have a dog that was bred in America, for instance, and this dog was a "docked" breed like a Rottweiler or a cocker spaniel, and you then imported it to the UK, would you be able to compete said dog in performance events? Just asking b/c this could be a reality for me in a few years... I've done some research on the internet but the answer has never been clear. Hoping you might be "in the know"...

The Dog Man said...


I wasn't sure about the answer to your question, and so I asked someone who was qualified to know.

Yes, you would be able to compete such a dog in performance events. However, it is possible that you might be asked to show paperwork to support the case that the dog was docked in a country where it was legal to do so.

I hope that helps.

- Maz