Because of what I had read about their reputation, perhaps due to erroneous and biased accounts, I had a fear of Rottweilers. All that changed when Fluke came into our lives. I still remember the day, May 14, 2005 when I went to adopt Fluke after a recommendation from a friend. He was 4 months old at the time, and there were three of them, all puppies and littermates, running around the yard. His momma asked which one I liked and I pointed to one puppy, and then I brought him home. His name at his former family was Thor (Thunder), and we renamed him as Fluke. This was to be my first experience with a Rottweiler, and for some reasons, I was so excited! First, I went against what I knew of Rottweilers. Second, Fluke was clearly a large breed dog---his paws, even when just a puppy, were as big as the adult dogs I had known! Third, and most amazing of all, Fluke was so courageous and had a very stable temperament. Fourth, Fluke was the cleanest and most obedient dog I had ever known! These four traits would describe Fluke's total personality---courageous, confident, clean & obedient, and loyal.
One day, when Fluke was already about a year old, my wife was coming home from work. Fluke was lying on the garage, me beside him. The car came into the garage, and Fluke was almost in the path where the car had to pass in order to park. Fluke knew the sound of the car horn, and certainly the scent of the car and the people inside, so Fluke did not bark nor become agitated. Fluke continued in his prone position, his head resting on the ground, and the car wheels came within 2 inches of his nose, but he never budged! The only indication that Fluke was aware of what was going on were his eyes, which followed the car until it came to a full stop.
Confident (and responsible)
Fluke, courageous and responsible as he was, took it upon himself to be the Alpha dog and guardian of the entire household (we had 15 dogs at the time). Everytime a commotion and barking ensued outside, Fluke would go around and look at each of the dogs in our compound to see that everyone was okay and none of them were involved in the commotion. When he came to Padme, the German Shepherd, and Ash, the Belgian Malinois, these dogs would growl and bark and stick their paws out to scratch Fluke. Fluke would simply stare at them without backing off, unmoving and silent, and never intimidated by his likewise large breed companions.
Clean & obedient
Fluke was clearly potty-trained and he lived it! He remembered never to poo and pee in his cage, and I had to let him out at regular intervals to do his business! Even years after Fluke departed for Rainbow Bridge, his cage is still in good condition---the metals were not rusted as the water hose was sparingly sprayed on it because it was always clean!
In 2008 we took in another Rottweiler, a female named Baby, whom we acquired from an American who was leaving for the States. Fluke and Baby mated, and on Jan. 22, 2009, two days after Fluke's 4th birthday, Baby gave birth to 10 healthy puppies! Eight of those puppies went to various homes of friends, two remained with us---Junior and Djimon, who are still with us until now. A family who adopted one of Fluke's puppies informed us that on March 26, 2017 their 8-year old Rottweiler, Bronco, one of Fluke's puppies, won an Award as "Most Obedient" in a canine obedience competition.
Strong and massive, but a gentle giant
Of the 15 dogs we had when Fluke was still around, his favorite and best friend was River, our sweet and tiny female Beagle. Fluke and River would play roughhouse, nipping each other, River would clamber all over Fluke's back and nip his ears, and Fluke would respond by nipping River's tiny front paws. They were very close and forgiving of each other that when one bit the other hard enough, the other would just yelp and withdraw without growling and barking angrily at the other. Fluke and River were an entertaining sight when they were at play!
The best & loyal guard dog we ever had
Better than a security guard. A human guard may still betray his boss, but a dog---never! When Fluke was still with us, we had a total of 15 dogs---Padme the German Shepherd, Ash the Belgian Malinois, Hutch the Labrador, Buster another Rott, Baby a female Rott, Duchess a Bullmastiff, and 8 small and medium breeds. One could just imagine the cacophony of barks everytime a stranger or a visitor came to the house; but there was no Fluke barking in any of those, for as long as the stranger or visitor remained outside the compound. But when the gate started to creak while being opened, that was the time Fluke let loose his thundering bark! In any evening when our dogs started barking, I always listened if Fluke was one of those barking; if he wasn't, I just go back to sleep. But when it's Fluke barking, it means an intruder, or someone was let in whom Fluke didn't recognize; therefore, time for me to get outside and investigate. Rottweilers are not known to be barkers, so with Fluke, we didn't have problems with our neighbors.
Each afternoon I would take Fluke outside to our other lot across the street, and I would take off the lease and let him run around. People passing by would stop to watch him; Fluke was such a massive dog that people would watch with awe at his size, some of the passersby getting close to watch and leaning their arms on the chain-link fence. Fluke would advance close to the fence in a guarding position. Every so often he would look back at me, see where I was, and if I had moved left or right, Fluke would also move in the same direction, as if making himself right in between me and the people, so as to be able to maximize his protective cover.
Fluke bids goodbye
One early morning on a quiet Thursday November 15, 2012 my wife and I were awakened by the pounding knocks by our house helpers. They had been trying for 30 minutes to get Fluke to get up to feed him his breakfast, but he remained splayed, unmoving, with eyes closed on the porch floor beside his cage. The kennel boy claimed it was an unusual position as he'd never seen Fluke in that position before, and concluded that Fluke was too weak to get up nor to assume a regular lying position. My wife and I hurried down the stairs and outside. We found Fluke in that splayed position, eyes closed and not moving but he was breathing. We started caressing the top of his head, massaging his shoulders and neck, while softly calling out his name. After some seconds, Fluke opened his eyes, he tried to move his head trying to get his nose near our hands and unable to get as near as he wanted, while sticking out his tongue as if trying to lick our hands. So we put our fingers near his lips as he licked them, his eyes rolling upward to look at us as if to let us know that he knew it was us. But after some seconds Fluke's head slowly sank back to the floor, closing his eyes, and he was gone. He had willed himself not to go before seeing us first.
Fluke totally erased my negative perception and beliefs about Rottweilers. Fluke was a massive dog, firm and courageous but a gentle giant. Fluke was the best Rottweiler we ever knew.
March 23, 2017:
Just want you to know that your best friend, River, is now with you at Rainbow Bridge. She left us 2 days ago on March 21. Find her, and you two keep each other company. We miss you, and tell River we miss her too.
Today I posted several of your pictures on your memorial page. It was only today that I learned a picture album was possible.
Sorry I missed to greet you on your birthday last Jan. 20. You would have been 12 years old. River was also 12 years old when she left us.
Bye, and find River!
March 27, 2017:
I'm happy to let you know that one of your puppies, Bronco, who is now an 8 year-old adult, won a prize yesterday (March 26, 2017) in Mati, during the Obedience competition. There were other contestants; I saw a German Shepherd, Labrador, and small breeds, but Bronco, your boy, bested them all!
Your other boys--Junior and Jemon, are still with me. I haven't heard of the 8 others except Bronco.
Talk to you next time, Boy. Mama and I miss you.
Please also visit River.