Winter has arrived. I hate winter. I’m nothing but a high-pitched whine until mid-March. This is not the post about the broken thermostat, however, as I realized it was a bit of a dick move to imply Rottweiler Prime was in pain but not delve into the whys.
Simply, he’s old, and there is a puppy, and the puppy worships him and wants to spend every waking moment with him. Cutter John has the Rottie’s usual high pain tolerance (which is damned scary sometimes; I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen the blood on the floor and jumped straight into “Find the Wound,” America’s favorite party game) so he was acting sluggish but not complaining. Late at night, he would stay awake licking various bits, so I took him to the vet’s to see if any of his many, many benign tumors were looking particularly nasty.
Our vet is a 6’7″ Scottish giant who just had back surgery, and he was under doctor’s order to not bend down and manhandle animals. After I described the symptoms and held up various parts of the dog for him to inspect, he said Cutter was in pain because of the puppy. He had gone from a pleasant old-dog lifestyle of long naps on comfy beds and stately walks to the duck pond to BWAAAAHPUPPY! The vet prescribed a combination of three different pain medications to help ease some of the physical pain, and Cutter is encouraged to take longer puppy-free naps. He is quite okay with these arrangements.
He does like the puppy, though. They’ve formed a pack. We have over an acre of fenced, wooded land and they’ll take off and roam their territory together. At first, the puppy was a nuisance and Cutter allowed him to get close for no other reason than to poop on him.
No, I’m serious.
More recently, Cutter has accepted this… thing… is not only part of pack but is in his care. He’ll watch out for him. Not in a protective way, mind, but if Zu happened to fall in the pool again, Cutter would let me know. Eventually. Cutter is a very practical dog: if Timmy is stupid enough to fall down the well, then Timmy got his own fool self into that mess and it’s probably time to find a more intelligent owner. Same with the puppy: if Zu does run into the road, Cutter will be right there to tell me that he gets Zu’s share of food.
It’s a good life.
6 thoughts on “Sad (and Happy) Dog in Snow”
My black-and-tan doggie licks herself when she’s feeling arthritic, too. She doesn’t bend well in the spine, though, so she can only really reach her forelegs. So when she starts licking her forelegs I have to begin the guessing process regarding what part of her is achey, or even painful, and therefore how to help her out.
I hope the meds and puppyless naps are good for your big ol’ guy.
Really enjoying your dog stories and especially as they are both amusing and poignant as a dog lover and present a better image of Rottweiler’s than is usually seen. I assume the mass-media portrayal of them is completely unaccurate and biased? Is there any differences in owning one(or more) then other breeds?
Yay for dog stories! I love the practicality. Definitely beats the Look!A!Leaf! or SQUIRRELSQUIRRELSQUIRREL! mentality. I hope Cutter is able to heal up some.
Joshua: This might just have been that particular dog, but the Rottie I grew up with was a lot calmer than most other dogs, and despite actually being a trained guard dog, he was perfectly harmless and didn’t do much of anything. Well, he’d guard the mail slot. That’s about it. I’m sure he would have slept through real burglars but if there was a uniformed delivery person of some sort, there would be barking.
He had four default settings really:
-sleeping on furniture (that he wasn’t supposed to be on)
-using his large mass to corner unsuspecting visitors until they gave him an ear or butt-scratch (he didn’t jump on anyone, just stood in front of them silently presenting a body part for scratching and would not move or let you pass until you gave in, and then he’d just ignore you)
-sitting under the table with his large head on someone’s lap waiting for table scraps (the sad pathetic “you don’t feed me enough, I’m wasting away here” look worked every time)
-OUTSIDE! YAY! WALKFASTERWALKFASTERWALKFASTER! (I was a kid, I swear he took advantage of weighing more than me with this one.)
Hey again Joshua! Regarding I assume the mass-media portrayal of them is completely unaccurate and biased? it’s sort of… not. The problem with “aggressive” dog breeds is that these are almost always the working breeds, specifically, members of the working breeds who were bred to be protectors of some kind (Rotties protected people and homes, and sometimes livestock).
Some members of the working breeds get the bad reputation because they want to work and they’re driven by this impulse to PROTECT. You’ve probably seen sheepdogs and retrievers who have never been used to herd or retrieve, but they still show they have the instinct? Exact same thing. If you have an owner who channels the impulse into appropriate activities, you get a good dog. If the owner doesn’t give the dog something to work at, you get a dog which is frustrated, bored, ENORMOUS, and is driven to protect SOMETHING. It’s a bad combination all around and it’s why many working breeds have bad habits like food aggression, possessive behaviors, and won’t let strangers near their families.
And it’s why so many of the working breeds are really good for dog fighting. They’re told it’s their job to fight, so they do. I heard some dog trainer say that fighting dogs might actually be happier than dogs in a tiny suburban family home since the fighters have a job – I hope that’s not true but I could see how it might be.
That makes absolute sense and we can never forget that they are animals and often bred for activities that as you say they will never get to fulfill.