Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WOOF!! Puppy Love at First Sight: Meet Otto & Lulu

We took the plunge last weekend and drove to Bargersville, Indiana, to check out German Rottweilers from Guardian Rottweilers!  I didn't buy any puppy gates, food dishes, leashes or crates ahead of time, because Bernie was expressing ambivalence a few days before we left and saying things like "Why do you always have to run down the hill?!"  I promised him we were "just looking" at the dogs and puppies, and that if he had any reservations whatsoever, we would drive home empty-handed.

As if!  We got within an hour of our destination around 11 PM on Friday night and stopped at a hotel near Indianapolis.  Before turning in, I asked Bernie if I should set an alarm on my phone.  "It's Saturday -- I'm sleeping in!" was his grouchy response.  But at about 6 AM the following morning, Bernie woke me up with a big "WOOF!  I want to go see the puppies!" 

Breeder Alice Velasquez of Guardian Rottweiler was just wonderful.  Guardian Rottweilers is located on about 10 beautiful acres of land in rural Indiana.  There were maybe a dozen or so adult Rotties there, and they were all majestic, calm, and friendly.  Any concerns we had about the breed were dispelled within minutes, but of course Alice is breeding specifically for show dogs with calm, stable, family-friendly temperaments and all of her dogs and puppies are socialized with small children, cats, and people coming and going.  There are plenty of other breeders who are not as careful, which is why we drove 10 hours each way to get our puppies instead of just going to the closest breeder we could find. 

Long story short, my husband went from cautious indecision to enthusiastic "Let's get the dogs and get going because it's a long drive!" pretty quickly.  Alice spent a lot of time with us, and helped us select the best pups for our family based on their individual temperaments and interaction with one another.  As first-time Rottweiler owners, we wanted puppies who were more laid-back and less dominant, more mellow than alpha, and Alice helped us select a male and a female from a litter born on January 5th. 

Otto & Lulu, 9 1/2 weeks old
Our puppies' names are Otto and Lulu.  Aren't they adorable?!  They did pretty well on the car ride home, although I had to sit in the back seat with them the entire way. 

Bernie with Lulu
As you can see, my husband melts into mush when there are puppies around.  Forget running down the hill -- Bernie has fallen head over heels down the mountain in love with these puppies!

Lulu is the mouthy one of the pair -- she has to chomp on everything, which is fine because we stocked up on a collection of doggy chews and toys, and we just pop a puppy nylabone or rope bone in her mouth to redirect her.  But when she pounced on one of the daffodils in our yard and bit into one of the blooms, suddenly "poisonous" popped into my head.  I whipped out my iPhone and did an internet search for "daffodils poisonous dogs" and sure enough, all parts of daffodils are actually lethal to dogs, even in small doses, and the bulb is the most toxic part of all.  So it's a good thing Bernie loves the dogs, because he was pretty bummed about digging up the daffodils just as they were starting to bloom.  We'll have to relocate them to the front yard, to make the fenced-in back yard safe for the furbabies.

Goodbye, Daffodils! 
To my dismay, Holly, Azaleas, Tulips, Hydrangeas, Lily of the Valley, and several other plants in my yard are also deadly if ingested by dogs.  I haven't told Bernie that the azaleas need to be moved out of the yard yet, but the dogs have been attacking one little azalea in particular and I don't want to take any chances.

To those of you who expressed concern that dogs might destroy my home, take a look at Exhibit A:

The hand-tied silk tassel fringe on these pillows were chewed by my children, not by my dogs!  These pillows live in the comfiest reading chairs in my living room, and I have given up trying to save them from the mouths of little boys who are so engrossed in what they are reading that they don't even realize they are chewing a pillow.  I wonder if that bitter apple stuff works on kids?  Anyway, the puppies are either playing in the back yard (supervised), playing in the screen porch, (supervised), playing in the gated kitchen (supervised), or sleeping in a puppy pile together in their crate.  They haven't destroyed a single thing, and because they get taken outside frequently and consistently, there have only been a couple of potty training accidents.

Lars the Pillow Eater Snuggles with Innocent Pups

Left to Right: Otto, Anders, & Lulu
Lars, Otto, Anders, & Lulu
By the way, we are so glad that we brought home two puppies instead of just one.  When they are not eating or sleeping (about 18 hours a day at this age!), the puppies work off an incredible amount of steam chasing one another in circles and wrestling.  Not only is this terrific entertainment for us humans, but when I think about all that pent-up energy and frustration that a single puppy would have if he didn't have a canine play mate, it makes complete sense that so many puppies get into mischief.  I think it's healthier for the pups to be able to just be dogs with one another, and after they've raced around together for a little while they just conk out and collapse and it's very easy to move them to their crate for nap time.

However, puppies or no puppies, life must go on, and I've got plenty of work to get done while Otto and Lulu are napping this morning.  I've got February sales tax to file and some customer orders to check on, my drapery work room is patiently awaiting some work orders from me for new jobs that I dropped off, and I need to check in an order of drapery hardware that just arrived.  After lunch the puppies are going to the vet for their first checkup, and after that I'm headed out to a client's home to inspect a large wallpaper installation that is finishing up today.  Lars and Anders have choir rehearsal after school today, and I'll need to get everything ready for Lars's field trip to Raleigh while I'm supervising homework this evening.  The funny thing is that, as busy as we are, adding puppies to our lives hasn't really added stress.  Quite the opposite, actually -- they just melt stress and friction away with their puppy breath and wiggly tails.  Even Lars and Anders, who usually alternate between fighting ferociously and being the best of friends, have been more even-keeled and mellow since the puppies joined our family. 

Welcome, Otto and Lulu!


Janice the Manice said...

I love to see those gigantic smiles on my nephews faces. Doggies can do wonders, especially the big and so-called "scary" ones and I personally can't wait to give them a big ol' bear hug when they are bigger than me.

Guardian Rottweilers said...

The pleasure was all mine!! I am so glad that my little babies have adjusted well and are behaving! They are missed very much here, especially my little Ham, AKA Otto. If you need anything at all, do not hesitate to ask. Give them loads of hugs and kisses for me!! Alice

Anonymous said...

how adorable! Reminds me of when I got my two puppies!