The Saga of Chewie
Jim and I got a call one day from our local shelter. They had a young male Rottweiler that was being returned to them after almost a year. Chewie had come to the shelter as a result of a seizure of animals. Him and mother had been beaten and abused and abandoned. Chewie was a cute puppy and he got adopted right away. But the people that adopted him never put any care or training into him. When they returned Chewie he was a handful and to top it all off, he needed to have a front leg amputated. The shelter wanted to know if we would foster Chewie until he had recovered from the amputation and could be declared adoptable.
They wanted the dog to be comfortable in his foster home before the surgery. Jim and I brought this ball of energy home and if the shelter had been open late at night I would have returned him. He literally bounced off walls and furniture. He had no training and was full of energy from being in the shelter so long. For 2 days I thought we had made a huge mistake. He barked and nipped, jumped and humped, dug and ran everywhere. But after a couple of days he did settle down.
A week after coming to us Chewie had his front left leg amputated. He was groggy for a day or so, but he was up and walking and eating and being himself. Chewie taught us that dogs often don’t really notice stuff like this. They just shake it off and move forward. The hardest part for us was keeping him from running up and down the stairs while he still had stitches.
Before long Chewie was back to being himself. But Jim and I made the mistake of feeling sorry for him. Who would want a 3 legged Rottweiler? If we sent him back to the shelter would he find a home or would he be there for months. We really thought that owning a 3 legged dog would be easier. And so we adopted Chewie into our home and our hearts.
But here are the facts. It doesn’t matter if they have 3 legs or 4. Young active dogs need lots of work, Chewie never let the loss of that leg impair him at all. He ran and dug and play and swam. And he showed us what owning a Rottweiler really entailed. We went thru obedience class after obedience class. Exercise, exercise, exercise. It was a ton of work. Chewie taught us so much about the Rottweiler Breed. He taught us that they are loyal and protective. They are fun loving and clowns. They are a breed that demands respect and offers undying love. And he taught us that shelter dogs are not broken dogs and that those large breed dogs sitting in shelters deserve that second chance. It is because of Chewie and the Rottweilers that followed him that we were inspired to open West Coast Rottweiler Rescue.