Our Rottweiler Love

This is our beautiful Hannah, who was a victim of hip dysplasia her entire life. On August 22nd of this year, we had the most difficult decision to make – to end her life. No longer able to walk,  no longer able to get to her water or food, we carried her into our vet’s office, laid her down on the floor and held her, until she drew her last trusting breath.

A proud, fierce (only in how much she loved), and loyal animal, she was part of our family and part of our hearts. She will be forever loved, forever remembered and forever missed.

This photo is for The Weekend in Black and White.

Our Honeysuckle Spring

“The honeysuckle was everywhere the day the letter arrived, like heat. Wild roses bloomed in hedges of tendrils and perfume. There were fat bees, dirigible bees, plump and miniature. It was a sweet, tangled morning, and the sun rose, leisurely, in a spectacular blush.”

— Cathleen Schine (The Love Letter)

I snapped these gorgeous honeysuckles on a day like the quote describes last spring, y’all. The vines grow wild in the pine trees, by the path we walk on everyday with our Rottweiler, Hannah. For a few precious weeks every year, we are treated to the heavenly perfume of these small flowers, and we pause along the way to gulp in the scent.

It has been a rough winter here in Southeastern North Carolina.

Quit snorting, Ohio and Upstate New York! It’s been really rough on us southerners, too, OK? No, We haven’t had blizzard conditions and sub-zero temperatures. But it’s been rough few months of  not being able to sit out back in shorts and enjoy a cold beer after work.

Anyway, in the last four days the thermometer has climbed up into the low 70’s. Thursday we were able to spend a few hours at the beach. Even though we had to wear sweatpants and hoodies because of the cool ocean breeze, it was still nice to get some sun on our faces and listen to the waves.

I’m starting to be excited about spring being just around the corner. How about y’all?

Speaking of spring, Simply Life Photographs is hosting a photo challenge called Flowers on Saturday this week. It is open for participants until Wednesday.  Click on the button to view more photos of flowers and enter one of your own.

I “Do Not Qualify” to Adopt a Rottweiler

spincyclesmallThis week’s Spin Cycle topic is “your favorite post”. It was hard to select a favorite (I like everything I write, I’m vain like that!) but this one definitely stands head and shoulders above the rest. It has the honor of being the one post with the most views of all time!

My blog will be one year old on August 24th, and I have had a total of 9,877 views and 352 of them were of this post. My busiest day, to date, was December 31, 2008, the day after this post was published.

It’s a real mystery to me why this particular post received so much attention, and if anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears!


smaller-hannahYeah, it’s pretty shameful.
Y’all know I own a Rottweiler, Hannah, that is just like my own child. My mother-in-law had this portrait done of her. It was a  Christmas present this year for my husband. We have it hanging over our mantel.  To say we adore this animal is an understatement. She is five years old, now, and when she eventually goes into the great doggie heaven in the sky, we are both gonna be blubbering idiots.
Well, recently, we got this hair brained idea, y’all. We decided that maybe it was time to get ourselves another puppy. We’d really like to give Hannah the opportunity to teach another little Rottie gal all she knows about bein’ the Most Spectacular Dog in the Entire Universe.
I hate to admit this, but we might’ve  made a few mistakes when we got Hannah. We found her online, from one of those backyard breeders. We didn’t realize, at the time, that gettin’ a puppy from a less than conscientious breeder was allowin’ them to continue to stay in business, thereby producing less that desirable specimens of the breed. Much to our dismay, our beautiful girl has hip dysplasia, and it ain’t pretty, ya’ll.  One day we will have to have her put down. And, of course, it goes without sayin’, we can’t breed her.
So this time around, I thought we’d do the noble thing, and rescue a puppy. One that wouldn’t otherwise have a chance at havin’ such committed and adoring parents, like us two fools. I found this Rottweiler Rescue outfit online and what’d ya know, they had the cutest lil ol litter of Rottie pups! Five little girls and five little boys! They even had a video camera set up to film their antics and you could watch them everyday on You Tube.
Well, naturally I fell in love with these pups. I wanted one so bad. I mean, what’s not to love about a Rottie pup? This is Hannie when she was little.
l_7ee118439270b81a3ad3ecd3ec167b36See what I mean, y’all?
One thing I noticed, and this is important to keep in mind, is that all of these puppies had had their tails docked. Which was fine by me, I think Rotties look better with their cute little nubs.
So right away, I filled out their “Application to Adopt”. It took me almost two hours! I couldn’t believe all the stuff they were wantin’ to know! They asked about everything, and I do mean everything. What was the square footage of our house, and how many people live in it? What ages are they? How many hours do we work per week, how much do we make, who’s our vet, what’s his address and phone number and if we’ve had this vet for less than a year, what’s the name, address and phone number of out previous vet, and why did we change vets? They asked if we would ever consider a Rottweiler with a tail, and I answered No. Because I really just wanted one of the ten cute, lil puppies that had already had their tails docked.
I’m now convinced that adopting a child from China would be alot easier.
A couple weeks went by and then I got this email:
Dear Ginger,
Thank you for your application unfortunately in order to qualify, you must know your animal control laws. You state that you don’t know of any, you can familiarize yourself with animal control laws by going to their website or just calling up and asking for a copy of them.  It is very important when you own a dog that you know these laws, especially with owning a Rottweiler.
Also, you state you would never adopt a Rottweiler with it’s natural tail.  Unfortunately, this is rescue and unless their tails have been docked at under 3 days old, you have a Rottweiler with a tail.  In rescue we are about saving lives and not their looks.
Thank you and best of luck in finding a puppy.
ARRF Coordinator
Well now, excuse me all to hell, y’all, but that was just rude! Was she accusin’ me of not wantin’ to save Rottweiler lives? And the comment about their looks. That’s kinda snooty, considerin’ that they’ve already ruined the “looks” of the puppies they’re advertising all over You Tube.
So I wrote her back, and then she wrote me back, with more of her rude comments highlighted:
Dear Suzi,
I just wanted to take a minute to respond. Obviously, I can find all of my county rules and ordinances concerning animals and Rottweilers in particular. I was trying to be truthful, when answering your questionnaire. I do not have every rule memorized. But I understand that dogs require a leash, animals cannot run free except in designated parks, they must be registered, they must be up to date on their vaccinations. I would do all of these things, anyway. I already own a Rottweiler, and have had her for 5 years. I love her DEARLY and it is insulting to me, to have it implied that I would break a law, or not care properly for my dog.

***Nobody “implied” you would break a law, and if you can so easily find your ordinances, then a) why didn’t you, and b) why would you state you do not think you have any ?

As far as the tail business goes, I understand that you are not in the business of docking dogs tails. I realize that you are “saving lives”. I think it should be obvious to you that I am also interested in saving a life, by applying to adopt a dog from a shelter. I have nothing against dogs with tails, it is just my preference in Rottweilers. I also prefer to adopt a puppy. In looking at your website pictures, I see that you have a variety of dogs, some with tails, some without, some older dog and some puppies. I was trying to express my preference, and if that makes me a horrible person and not fit to own a dog, so be it.
***The question was would you adopt a dog with a natural tail and you stated “no”  If it is only your preference, then you would have stated yes, but a no implies no. We have to discount the applications where people state no because a lot of our Rottweilers have their natural tail, when you  state no to the natural tail, there is always the chance that people will get the tail amputated and mutilate our dogs, so it is a standard denial as we must always protect the health and well being of our dogs.


I am amazed that you would pronounce someone as unqualified to adopt one of your animals with no other evidence to go on. Have you really got that many folks offering to take them, and pay the adoption fees you are asking for? And are all these folks that much more qualified than my husband and I? This was my first attempt to get an animal from a shelter. I thought it was the right thing to do. What an experience, to get slapped down and rejected for not answering your questions correctly! Now I am wondering if I should just give up and not try.
*****We did not deny you with no evidence to go on, you filled out the application and in your own words, you were being truthful, that is our evidence, your truthful answers on the application.  And yes, we actually do have that many people that want to adopt our dogs and puppies and pay our adoption fee.  We actually have more applications than dogs.

By turning us down, you are shutting the door on a loving family and a great home for one of your dogs. And by doing so, you are letting down one of your dogs.
**** I am not letting down any of my dogs, as you have to fit our guidlines and qualify, so I would be letting down one of my dogs by allowing someone who does not qualify adopt.

I am attaching a picture of my rottweiler, Hannah. I want you to see that I have managed to take pretty good care of her and she is healthy, happy and loved. Thank you for what you are doing to help the breed that I love so much. I am sorry that my heart and my home do not meet your high standards.
***** These are not high standards, you should see what other rescues require for their adoptions.  These are regular standard questions to determine if your qualify for one of our dogs.  Obviously you take care of your own dog, we never said you were not qualified to love and care for your own dog, however, we do not approve applications that don’t meet our requirements.
Again, thank you and best of luck in your search for your puppy.

Well. Suzi, your whole “tone” tells me something. You migh be livin’ in North Carolina, but you’re obviously not from around here, darlin’. The part about us possibly MUTALATING one of your dogs almost made my head explode. (Is she SERIOUS, y’all? )
I guess we won’t be gettin’ another puppy anytime soon. The whole dern experience has left a sour taste in my mouth. I feel bad for poor Hannah, what with her havin’ such an unqualified, potential tail mutilatin’, requirement failin’ mother, like me. I guess loving the breed to the point of distraction, trying to be completly honest, and wanting to give a decent life to another dog counts as nothing.
So if any of y’all are thinkin’ about adopting from a rescue organization, be forewarned. Study up on all of your county ordinances, make sure you tell them that you’re willin’ to take any kind of dog they have, in any condition, and be prepared to be turned down anyways. There are homeless people livin’ under bridges down here, but a homeless dog must have the run of your house, and it better be big enough, nice enough and with enough square footage, y’all!
Oh, and also, you’ll need four real good, reliable references, who have known you for years and can vouch for your character…and a hefty $250 adoption fee.