Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Great End to a Perfect Week...

My week has been one of immense pleasure. If you recall from my previous entry, I was home-boarding Teal'c, the Rottweiler, from Sunday through to Friday. Would it be melodramatic or unfair to say that I have felt more 'at home' and at ease this past week, than I have in a long time? There is just something about the Rottweiler breed that makes me feel at home in their company.

In some ways, you perhaps have to know Teal'c to fully appreciate the situation. She is not a well dog all-tolled. She has a heart condition, and has had a torn crucial ligament in her rear leg resulting in her having an almost permanent limp, and I think it fair to say, she has gained a few pounds as a result of these things. Her medication routine is certainly not for the faint-hearted, and I am damn sure the monthly vet bills would be enough to reduce many of us to a catatonic state! Oh, and she 'growls' profusely when you stroke her. (It's just her 'talking' and she does it when she gets excited as far as I could tell.) But you know, someone forgot to tell Teal'c all of this. She has the spirit of an adolescent dog that just will not acknowledge that she should be taking things easy, and I love her dearly for it.

As I walked her one morning, it must have seemed like a demonstration of the evolution of man as we trekked across the farm fields. There was Ellie, who at only two years of age, was rushing out in front, oblivious to the ravages of age and constantly looking back to see what was taking us 'old timers' so long. Then there was me. I keep fit as much as I can, but I have to accept that I'm forty now, and so running is not something I do on such rough terrain, and then behind me, there was Teal'c limping along. I found myself talking to the dogs more than usual. "It's alright for you bumface, running off ahead. You wait until you are her age. Won't be so funny then will it? We won't see those amber eyes glowing quite so brightly then, will we?". Ellie, of course, just looked at me with her famous amber-eyed gaze and ran on ahead. Not a care in the world, that girl.

Teal'c II
For Teal'c, I found myself uttering words of reassurance as we walked. "Don't worry, gal, nearly there", I would say as she limped along. Though something tells me that 'woe is me' limp effect might all be a cunningly crafted ruse. A little later, as I walked along a street to return home, two squirrels crossed the road in front of us. Limp? What limp?! It was like trying to hang on to a wild stallion, I tell you!

I also learnt some things about people too. There was a woman who, since having Ellie for two years now almost, I have routinely spoken to on many occasions. She has a small spaniel and we have frequently been on the same playing field together. She has even complimented me on my training and how well I handle dogs, before today. So, I was a little put-out when, upon seeing that I had a Rottweiler with me on the field, she quite literally turned on her heels with her dog and went home, even though both dogs were clearly focused on me and in no way a threat in the least. Good grief, she could probably have outrun Teal'c if she'd stopped to learn a little more about her instead of pandering to preconceptions.

Suddenly, teenagers want to talk to you when you have a 'Rottie', and you hear conversations behind your back about how someone once knew a dog who bit a neighbour, and it wouldn't let go. It looked like that one. These things sadden me deeply. If only they could see what I, and clearly Sue and many others, can see in the breed. It really is a crying shame, particularly with a dog like Teal'c. I believe, such is Teal'c nature, for example, that she is one of the adult dogs on the puppy socialisation walk today.

Now, in other news... The book is here! The book is here! Finally, it is in my hands. I am very very pleased with it. There is only one photo that I am not happy with the quality of and that is the one of me, so I shall change that before people are able to buy it, but that can be done in a minute. So, expect to see those permission forms at training class soon! I'll be passing my copy of the book to Lorraine and Christina so that people can view it at class as soon as possible. Until then, here are some photos...

My New Book
My New Book
My New Book
My New Book
My New Book


Anonymous said...

Your diary entry made me laugh and cry in equal measures. The walk, the squirrels, the teenagers and the other owners scoping and runnung all some up my life with the lovable Yeal'c Contributions to vet bills welcome!

Double S said...

Looking forward to reading your blog more frequently! Found you thru the Silvia Trkman link (I adore her creativity, kindness, and amazing ability to push the limits of what we think is possible with dog training), then discovered that you had pics of a Rottweiler on your site! I am a dyed-in-the-wool fan, best breed EVER as far as I am concerned. I could so relate to your experience of an acquaintance suddenly deciding you were bad news due to Rottweiler attachment! Even though I have been known to resent the burden of the "breedism" that goes along with them, I admire their mental and physical qualities too much to ever cow to the social pressures. Enjoy your houseguest! I'll be back...

The Dog Man said...

@ Double S,

Many thanks for the comment and I'm glad you liked what you found in my blog. Alas, the house-guest has now returned home, but it was an amazing week; one of the best in a long time.

I shall certainly look forwards to your return! Thanks again, it's always rewarding when I hear a beep to let me knowm that I'm not just typing into a desolate ether. :)