Our journey with our Rottweilers has been filled with ups and downs.This beautiful breed won over our hearts starting in 2008 and it’s hard for me to imagine having any other kind of dog.
These big boys have caused us to belly laugh so hard it brought us to tears.And we’ve shed tears for sad reasons with our sweet boys too.
I wanted to dedicate a blog to our dogs because they are part of my family and have brought so much to our lives.
So without further ado, meet Brosky and Wilbert.
But first, the story of Duke
I hope this next statement doesn’t change your opinion of me. But here it comes….I DID NOT want a dog.
It was 2008, and Doug and the kids had been after me for months about getting a dog. Understand, I didn’t grow up with animals, so I didn’t really have a data point for what owning a dog meant.
But all I could think about was the following: who is going to walk, clean, feed, pick up the poop, take care of, train, vacuum the dog hair and manage a dog?
I was working full time, had crazy hours, had enough on my plate and really didn’t want to take on ONE MORE THING.
“I’ll do it,” said Kylie, then 8. “I’ll help!” said Trevor, then 3. “Pleeeeeeezzzzzzeeee Mom!” the kids would beg. “How big of a deal could it be?” my husband would ask.
The idea was met with even more resistance when my husband, who was DILIGENT in his research of the best breed for our family, hit me with his ultimate find…we should get a ROTTWEILER!
Can you imagine?
I’m already freaking out about how we’re going to manage a dog and he wants some humungous breed like a Rottie? O.M.G.
And in addition to that revelation, he tells me, there’s a Rottweiler named the COUNT at a local rescue not far from our home.
Of course there is.
So, we head over to the rescue, only to find out that “the Count” had found his forever home earlier in the day.
Yep, I was relieved.
But I agreed to look at some of the other dogs and puppies to see if it was possible that I felt like there was ONE I could agree too.
As we were playing with some puppies, one of the rescue volunteers came over and asked if we were the family who was asking about the Rottweiler. When we confirmed, he told us that the family who had adopted him was returning him because apparently the Count didn’t do well with cats…and that family had a feline.
So, we hung out (and I’m thinking, how can I say no to this dog now?) and awaited our meeting with the Count.
Within 2 minutes of our meeting in a grassy field, my daughter, Kylie, looked up to Doug and said, “Dad, he’s the one.” Trevor, who at age 3, only came up to the dog’s nose, seemed at ease around this big dog.
He was gentle, friendly, and I will admit, a handsome creature.
We found out he was a purebred, found abandoned in Maryland, and had clearly been trained. The records showed that it was estimated he was about 1 1/2 years old.
We showed up with no leash, we didn’t have dog food, dog bowls, or anything in anticipation of bringing him home.
But, in a moment of weakness, I looked at Doug and said, “you better get him in the car before I change my mind.” As we drove away with DUKE (Kylie renamed him instantly), a tear rolled down my cheek, as I was still wondering to myself, what have we done?
Well, as you might expect, what we did was make the best decision I could have ever imagined for our family.
Duke was pure joy. He loved the kids and our family. And boy did we love him.
He was the best dog anyone could have ever asked for…especially for a “first” dog, for someone like me.
As you probably guessed, Duke quickly became MY dog. I loved that sweet boy so much.
He LOVED the water, especially our pool, and would gracefully glide across the length of the pool like Esther Williams!
Seriously, he was the first one in the pool and the last one out.
Duke also loved going to the beach and would splash around in the waves for hours!
He loved being around people and I can tell you that everyone who met Duke fell in love with him.
There’s so much more about Duke’s story…I’ll have to write a whole blog about his journey another time.
He passed away in 2014.
He was my magic sparkle dog. I believe with every ounce of my being that it was no accident that he was returned to the animal rescue that day so that we could bring him home.
He was meant for our family. The universe made sure of that.
Duke helped my heart grow. He was truly my friend. And I miss him everyday.
And now for Brosky!
Before Duke passed away, we welcomed another Rottie to our family.
Brosky was just a puppy when we brought him home.
I think Brosky liked Duke more than Duke liked Brosky, but Duke was really slowing down and I think it was hard for him to keep up with Brosky’s puppy energy.
Rottweilers are known to be an intelligent breed. And let me tell you, Brosky is smart.
I really believe he understands things we ask him and is able to tell us or show us the answer.
He’s also the most protective out of the three dogs. Especially of me.
If there’s someone new in the house, he stays between me and that person until HE feels its okay.
Brosky loves to be outside. Like Duke, he loves the beach, the pool, the deck, the warm sun.
He loves to go for walks and loves to go for car rides. He’s also a bit of a clown.
When he wants to play (he loves to play chase or hide and seek with Doug!) look out! You’re signing up for at least 30 minutes of fun.
Brosky is well trained, so he’s great around people and other dogs.
He does develop “crushes” on girls! There are several of my friends who come over and when Brosky recognizes their scent, he’s relentless in his pursuit to get their attention.
Maybe we should have named him Casanova?
Brosky is 8 years old now and is starting to gray around the muzzle.
I often cuddle with him and whisper, “you were my first puppy.”
Brosky and I attended dog obedience classes and puppy kindergarten together (remember when I was worried about who was going to take care of the dog! I love it!).
He is loyal, loving, and funny. And although he is starting to slow down a little, he has a little buddy to keep him on his toes.
After a few years as an only child, we decided we’d bring Brosky a playmate.
Enter Wilbert, named after Philadelphia Eagles great, Wilbert Montgomery.
This little guy has filled our house with such fun and laughter. He’s quite the character!
Aren’t Rottweiler puppies the cutest?
And to quote the daughter of a friend, “Wilbert is the cutest puppy of all the puppies that were ever puppies!”
His fur is a little fluffier than Brosky’s, so he always feels so soft.
He is also a total love bug.
He thinks he’s a chihuahua in size, and therefore sees nothing wrong with climbing up, with all 125lbs of his body in tow, and plopping right down in your lap.
I’ve grown to love those cuddles!
While Brosky is clearly the alpha, he tolerates a lot from Wilbert, who at age 4, is still as playful as when he was 1!
They are best buddies, never far from each other and love chasing each other around the yard, playing tug of war with toys, or just snoozing on the deck.
Wilbert is a little quirky.
He licks. A lot.
Especially the fabric on a pillow or your leg. Or arm.
He likes to eat paper. And he loves cucumbers.
He’s also the absolute happiest dog on the planet. I’ve never met a dog like him.
He’s just. so. sweet.
Sometimes he’s a little needy, but if you give him 10 seconds of loving, he’ll move on.
I’ve come to learn that he just wants you to know he’s there and that he loves you. And wants to be loved back.
And really, can you resist that sweet face?
I’m happy to share with you my story of how I came to be a pet owner, and fur baby lover.
I’ve found a lot of comfort with them as we are all spending more time at home.
As you can see, they’re never far from my side!
I never imagined that we would be losing Wilbert before Brosky.
In fact, Doug and I have often discussed that Wilbert would be such comfort for us when it was Brosky’s time to cross over the Rainbow Bridge.
We started to notice that Wilbert was having some tummy troubles a few months ago and at the time, we had been changing his food and thought it was that.
Then more severe tummy upset and episodes had us taking him to the emergency animal hospital. They did blood work and found nothing and gave us a bland diet and some medication that seemed to calm things down.
And then, the doggie who ate anything and everything stopped wanting to eat.
And we knew. This is more than just an upset stomach.
The first ultrasounds showed a little something in his stomach and we thought, ok, he ate something weird and he’s going to have to have it removed.
And then they did a second ultrasound and saw more. And it wasn’t good.
A biospy showed it to be an intestinal cancer tied to his pancreas. Pancreatic cancer. I can’t seem to get away from it. (I lost my Dad to the disease in 2010).
We were told by the loving staff that this cancer is aggressive and that there wasn’t much we could do. He couldn’t be cured, just made comfortable.
When Doug asked over the phone how much time they thought we had left, I could hear the doctor take a pause and say, “maybe a few weeks.”
I have to tell you, I collapsed on the floor and couldn’t catch my breath. A few weeks? How? Oh….I was overcome with sadness. My sweet, sweet, Wilby. How I will miss you.
Keeping Wilbert Happy And Comfortable
So here we are.
Loving on our Wilbert every moment of every day.
Snuggling with him, talking to him, thanking him for the love and the joy he has brought to our lives.
I worry about the kids. Especially Trevor.
You see,Wilbert, has always been “his” dog. And Trevor is a 15 year old boy trying to deal with all kinds of adolescent stuff and now he has to learn to deal with this. But it’s a lesson we all have to learn, isn’t it?
Love. You have to feel it and share it and cherish it. And as I read once, grief is love with nowhere to go. That’s the part that hurts.
Expressing emotions is hard for a lot of people. I keep hoping he’s not holding in too much.
My daughter, Kylie, has always been an animal lover and is taking this one hard too. She’s staying home from college for a few extra weeks since classes are virtual at her University, to be with Wilbert in his final days.
The ability for her to be able to attend classes and be here a bit longer is a blessing in this virtual world. She can be here and not feel cheated that she didn’t have time to say goodbye. I’m so grateful for that for her and for Wilbert.
Brosky Is Losing Someone Special Too
These two, Brosky and Wilbert, have been like peas and carrots from the very beginning.
I can tell Brosky senses there’s something wrong. He detects our sadness and I’m sure, in a way humans may never understand, knows Wilbert is sick.
Brosky was just a puppy when Duke died. He acted out a little bit (by basically ripping open a big feather pillow and running around the house spreading feather “snow” everywhere when we weren’t home! It looked like we had a snow storm in the house with all of the feathers floating around!).
I’m not sure what to expect once Wilbert is gone and Brosky is an only child again. I think Wilbert has kept Brosky young and active.
I’ll Always Call Him My Love Bug
Our days with Wilbert are numbered. Our hearts are broken. And we are all focusing on being present everyday because we know the days left are few.
Thank you all so much for your comments, messages, prayers and shared stories of loss. They have given my family and me wonderful comfort.
It’s amazing how these furry little beings wriggle their way into your heart. I don’t know that I ever thought I could love an animal so much. Truly and deeply love. But I do.
I’m so thankful to have experienced this affection with sweet Wilbert. What a great teacher of joy and happiness and unconditional love he has been.
Thank you, my Willie B love bug. You have made life so much fun.
From our furry home to yours,
Jill, Brosky and Wilbert