Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Doggie Detour: Introducing Samwise the Brave (with a Brief iPhone 11 Pro Max Review)

Introducing the newest member of our family, Samwise the Brave!

Baby Rottweiler Samwise at 13 Weeks
We lost our 9-year-old Rottweiler Otto the week before Christmas, leaving a giant hole in our hearts.  Although Otto can never be replaced and we still have his littermate Lulu, we decided that our home needed a puppy.  Even Lulu was miserable as an only dog for the first time in her life -- all the play went out of her when she lost her brother.  So we went back to Alice of Guardian Rottweilers in Indiana and selected this plucky little fella.  

Bernie and Samwise
After extensive family debate, my 16-year-old son Anders won all of us over with the idea of naming our new puppy after the Hobbit character Samwise the Brave from Lord of the Rings.  He's Frodo's loyal sidekick who rescues him from Mordor and is never corrupted by the evil power of the Ring...  Perfect name for a Rottweiler!

My Son Anders with Puppy Samwise
My 19-year-old son Lars, on the other hand, is beside himself.  He has not yet met this puppy because he is away at college (Appalachian State in Boone, NC).  I've been texting him photos and videos, and Lars is like, "BRING HIM TO BOONE!  HE MUST COME TO BOONE!  WHEN ARE YOU BRINGING MY NEW DOG TO BOONE?!!!"  Poor baby.  Spring break will be here soon enough!

Me Bonding With Sam During the 9 Hour Ride Home
Bargersville, IN is a long way from Charlotte, NC.  I rode in the back seat and snuggled with Sam the whole way home, which secured my position as The Most Important Human in his universe.

Interesting aside -- all of the previous photos in this post were taken with my new iPhone 11 Pro Max, which I bought primarily in hopes of taking better photos.  The photo below, the one of me holding the puppy, was taken on my husband's iPhone 8 Plus.  

Unflattering Photo of Me with Mister Adorable, iPhone 8 Plus
I am much happier with the photos I've been taking on my new phone.  I had an iPhone 6 before, so not only are my photos looking a lot better with the new phone, but I also have significantly better battery life going from a 6 Plus to an 11 Pro Max, my Bluetooth range is a lot bigger (so my earphones don't cut out when I walk too far away from my phone), and I now have wireless charging capability so I can take advantage of those wireless charging armrests that some of the airports have at the gates now.

SIT! Samwise at 15 Weeks, Same Lighting as Above, iPhone 11 Pro Max
This is how little dude Sam looks up at me when he wants some attention.  No jumping up!  One of the advantages of picking up Sam at 13 1/2 weeks instead of the 8 or 9 weeks that is typical for puppy adoption is that our breeder and her family gave us a fantastic head start on training.  When Sam wants to say hello, he plops his butt on the floor just like this and locks his eyes on me, waiting for instructions.  When it's time to eat, he's been trained that the food dish won't be set on the floor until he's sitting.  Who can resist that sweet little face?  Definitely not ME!  Again, comparing the previous two photos -- they were both taken in my kitchen, the one on Bernie's iPhone 8 Plus and the other on my iPhone 11 Pro Max -- the one on my new phone is so much crisper and clearer.

DOWN!  Sam at 15 Weeks
He already has a really good sit and a good recall (when we call "PUPPY PUPPY PUPPY"), courtesy of our breeder.  In the week we've had him, we've been teaching him to differentiate between "sit" and "down" (he initially thought that both positions were a sit), as well as Touch (to touch with his nose).  Dude weighed 32.5 lbs at 13 weeks but he was afraid to go down the deck stairs, so we've been having to CARRY him out the back door, through the screen porch, down the stairs and out into the middle of the grass every time he needs to go potty (hourly).  My back is KILLING me!  So I was very excited that I got him to go down stairs by himself three times yesterday.  

Samwise Loves His Toys
Sam is sleeping a lot, but when he's awake he's FULL of energy -- with bursts of excitement like a Tasmanian devil!  Of course he's teething, too, so we have dog toys strewn all over the kitchen.  I have an assortment of textures so that, when he chomps into something I don't want chewed, I try to swap out something that will feel similar.  The fuzzy plush toys get swapped out for chomping on clothing or upholstered furniture, the horns and antlers are swapped out for chomping on the metal or wood furniture, and the rubbery puppy Nylabones with a little "give" are handy when he wants to nibble on the hands that are rubbing his belly!

Lulu is Slowly Acclimating to the Newcomer

The biggest challenge is managing our two furbabies with an attitude of "separate but equal attention" as our 9-year-old Rottie, Lulu, is very gradually warming up to the little guy.  Samwise desperately wants to play with Lulu and will whimper and plop down right up against the gate to be near her, but Lulu isn't there yet.  She growled at him a few times initially to make her discomfort clear, hence the baby gates blocking off the kitchen.  She's doing a little better with him each day, and they even had about a minute of playtime yesterday afternoon in the back yard -- that's how I got Sam to get over his fear of going down steps.  Lulu was lying on the path at the bottom of the steps and he wanted SO badly to go to her.  His longing to visit Lulu was bigger than his fear of the steps!  But I kept the play-chasing brief to ensure that it would end on a positive note.  Both dogs looked happy with wagging tails and appropriate sniffing of unmentionables.  Baby steps!

Samwise Napping in his Nursery: the Puppy Play Pen
One of the best investments I've made is the puppy play pen pictured above, available on Amazon here (affiliate link).  The Carlson Pet Yard and Convertible Super Wide Gate has six 24" panels that hinge together, and I purchase the expansion pack with two additional 24" panels as well to get a decent size for my super-size cutie.  This gate/play pen is only 28" tall, though, so I would never leave him in the play pen if I was leaving the house.  He can jump up and put his paws on the top edge easily already, but it's very sturdy and there's no danger of him toppling it.  Even with my kitchen and family room gated off, there is still too much for Sam to get into unless someone is watching him like a hawk.  The play pen/nursery is a place where we can put him while we leave the room to use the restroom, and we've been moving him into his nursery pen whenever he falls asleep, as well.  That way we can open those other gates and let Lulu come and go as she pleases -- which is HUGE, because before we got the nursery pen Lulu was isolated in the rest of the house while Bernie and I were on puppy patrol in the kitchen.

Anyway, this is why I've not been posting anything (or sewing anything either, for that matter!).



LA Paylor said...

OMG he is just adorable. Have to send your link to my friend with a puppy, and do you know Sandra at MMM quilts? She has a rottie who's about a year old. I still have those puppy teeth scars and torn clothes, and Milo will be 3 in another month! Time flies while you're watching what those babies have in their mouths. Here's to many more pics of Samwise for us, and acceptance by Lulu, who's had a lot of change recently. Poor your son, I get it, I want to come over and play with the puppy too! LeeAnna

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

congrats on you new puppy looks so cute and so big!

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Rebecca! OMG. Samwise the Brave could not possibly get any cuter. Unless he was pictured with Anders - his cuteness went up through the sky. Or if he was to be pictured with LARS, of course, then the cuteness would be out of this orbit. Poor LARS. Samwise MUST GO TO BOONE. I'm shocked LARS isn't finding a way to come home this weekend, no matter how far it is. It's the same state, for heaven's sake. How big can NC be??!! And you just drove to IN to get Sam . . . come on, oh Most Important Human in the universe. Your photos are noticeably better with the 11 Pro Max! It makes me want to rush out and get a new phone, almost. Have fun enjoying Samwise the Brave. Soon he'll be napping right on top of Lulu, and I can't wait to see the pictures. ~smile~ Roseanne

Mary in Boulder said...

Congratulations on your new puppy! What a handsome dude and apparently very clever, too. Poor Lars, indeed! He must be dying of jealousy. We got a new pup in September who is now seven months old, a teen in human time, I'm told, and we're having a great time with him. Animals do bring such joy into a household. Especially well-trained ones!

Jean Etheridge said...

We have a pug puppy, 6 months old now. We got him at 8 weeks. He is smart and plenty stubborn. We lost our nearly ten year old pug in August and couldn’t imagine being without a dog. We are slowly seeing signs of who he will be as a grown dog. Meanwhile, puppy life means, as you say, watching like a hawk, toys everywhere, and very regular trips outside. And yes, it interferes with sewin.

Mary in Boulder said...

And I was so taken with Samwise the Brave that I forgot to say thanks for the iPhone 11 Pro Max review. Your good comments and comparison photos led me to read other reviews as well. It's clearly an excellent phone for us camera enthusiasts!

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Heis absolutely 100% adorable. Oh my gosh, that look when he's sitting! I'm so glad that you found a new puppy to fill that gap in your heart. Hugs. said...

We are on a similar path! I have a new pup too, just 4 months, and an adult dog as well. Integration was easier because the adult is only 2. We have not let them run outside together yet not equal enough in size and weight to take too much rough and tumble. Pup is housebroken and requests to go out and sleeps through the night without a potty break. YaY! he is 40 pounds too!!! We start obedience in the garage... in a week or so, and will integrate refresher training for the adult as well at the same time! Pup already sits and waits, and is not allowed to eat until given permission, and only from his own bowl. No meal snatching or fight in our house!!! Good luck with the pup!

chrisknits said...

How adorable!!! My cousin has Rotties out in California. And, you were 1 hour away from me in Indiana!!! Hope you got to find a quilt shop on your journey?

Nikki said...

So adorable. Love dogs that are so relaxed they sleep on their backs!

Lakegaldonna said...

Samwise is such a great name for him. Yea Anders for thinking up the name. Sam is so stinking cute. What a wonderful addition to your home. Thanks for sharing it all with us.

SJSM said...

Bringing a new life into the home will improve everyone’s spirits including Lulu, once Lulu understands Sam is part of the family.

Thanks for the pictures and letting all know of the wonderful addition to your family.

KaHolly said...

Congratulations on the new member to your family. He is too precious!

Preeti said...

SO Precious. Loved all the pictures - Bernie & Samwise, Anders & Samwise, You & Samwise and yet not enough of Samwise!!!