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Rottweiler Mix Slated for Death

April 27, 2010

Black and Tan Shaggy Rottweiler mix looks worried

Shelter Website Advertises Rottweiler for Adoption

The picture was sooo cute.  A 6-month-old Rottweiler girl was found running the streets, taken to the shelter, and posted on the adoption website.  Doc Truli’s client, Tom, fell in love with Heidi right away.  He didn’t even call first.  He shot off an email to reserve her, hopped in his car and boogied over the shelter to pick her up.

“We’re sorry sir, that puppy is deemed unadoptable and must be destroyed.”

Tom couldn’t believe his ears.

“But I just saw her picture on the adoption website on the internet and I came over to pick her up,” he said.

Rottweiler Slated for Destruction

“Well, we can’t help you,”said the unconcerned volunteer at the shelter. “She tried to bite a volunteer here and she has been through her behavior intake evaluation and she’s too big to adopt out with a biting problem.  If she hurt someone, you could sue us, so we do not make ANY exceptions to this rule anymore!”

Tom would not take “no” for an answer.

“I’ve rescued Rottweilers before, I know how they think,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter, she has to be put down,” said the volunteer.

“I’ll sign a waiver,” he said.

“That’s what the last guy did, and then he sued us,” she said.

“When is it scheduled to be done,” Tom asked.  (He was thinking of a way around the “rules.”)

“Tomorrow,” she said.

How Heidi’s Savior Got Around the Rules

As a lawyer, Tom knew influential people.  Before 5 pm, he had phone calls and letters of support from 2 U.S. Federal judges, several lawyers, and a board member of the shelter, too.

Tom took Heidi out of the shelter the following morning and drove directly to Doc Truli’s office for a check-up.

How does Doc Truli know this whole story?  Tom recited it during the hour it took Heidi to learn to trust the Doc.

How Doc Truli Gained Heidi’s Trust

Lean in, Slow and Steady, Do Not Grab or Irritate with Your Touch

First, yours Truli sat on the floor about 1 foot away from the frightened, thin Rottweiler.  Tom began to tell her story.  Doc Truli sat next to Heidi, without touching her, and without looking at her.  Heidi panted and her eyes rolled from left to right to see where the Doc was sitting.  The petrified dog did not dare move her whole head in the Doc’s direction.

After ten minutes, Doc rested the back of her hand against Heidi’s side just behind the left unilateral shoulder-blade.  The Rottweiler did not flinch or move.  Doc rolled her hand, without ever lifting the hand off of the dog, until the palm was firmly and gently resting on Heidi’s black fur.  Slowly, Doc moved her hand up to the front of the shoulder blades where the prescapular lymph nodes live.  Then up to the submandibular lymph nodes under the left angle of the jaw.  Then around the top of the neck to the right angle of the jaw, and back down to the right prescapular lymph nodes.

Ease into a Physical Examination Seamlessly

Next, Doc’s left hand put the head of the cardiac stethoscope in her right hand and she pressed the stethoscope behind the left elbow in the position of the heart.  Normal heartbeat.  Then around the top to the right side of the chest.  All the while, Doc moved calm, steady, very slowly, and kept the identical pressure on all body parts.

All assistants were ordered to stay clear of the room, the doors, or even near the doorways!  Heidi’s new dad kept up a steady drone of storytelling, almost hypnotically reciting their short history together.

Next, Doc felt the left side of the abdomen and the abdominal organs, and then under the belly to the left side.  Hands slowly travelled back up to Heidi’s head and her ears.  Without shifting her weight, Doc Truli checked under the left and then right ear flaps.  Heidi’s frantic panting slowed to a nice relaxed pant.

From the left side, Doc checked the left eye, and lifted the left lip to check Heidi’s teeth.  The right was too much of a shift in position, and would have to wait for the next visit.

Do Not Announce Anything, Just Get the Job Done

By this time, forty minutes elapsed.  Heidi was leaning into the Doc’s side and shivering for attention.  Tom stopped his story long enough to ask, “When’s the physical going to start?”

“All done,” said the Doc.

“What?  Wow!  That was a trick!” said dad.

Heidi’s physical revealed a healthy, strong, skinny, starving, nervous dog.

“Tom, you have tons of work to do to make this dog happy.  But see how she is leaning into me?  She’s not mean; she’s lonely.  She’s so starved for attention, she’s even accepting a physical exam just to be touched by another living being,” said the Doc.

Heidi followed her new dad out of the office.

A year later…

Heidi and Zena came in for yearly check-ups.  Who’s Zena?  A frightened, nervous, “biter,” Siberian Husky slated for destruction, adopted by Tom in spite of the rules.

Know what?

Doc Truli could not tell either of these dogs had ever growled at anyone, let alone been labelled vicious.  Two happy, tail-wagging dogs, a smallish Rottweiler and a largish Siberian Husky stood shoulder to shoulder and begged for their shots, hopped on the examination table, and tilted their heads for chin scratches.  Perfect sisters.  Perfectly happy.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. bill permalink
    August 1, 2013 4:40 pm

    she is indentical to my girl who jjust passed of 14 years and had he same problem i was amazed to see her pic

  2. Rheannon permalink
    October 30, 2012 1:23 pm

    I thought for a second this was a picture of my dog! Was on google trying to find what kind if mix she is……

  3. November 14, 2011 1:41 pm

    Im pretty sure thats part australian shepherd and part rotweiler because i have and 11 year rottie and ausie mix and this dog looks EXACTLY like my dog

    • November 14, 2011 9:58 pm

      Dear Maggie,
      I’ll bet you’re right. But then there is convergent evolution. That’s when two species look alike, but they developed from completely separate family lines. Like a marsupial cat in Australia and a carnivorous cat in Europe. The phenotypes (how they look) start to converge, or come together, into one similar-looking thing. But still, I’ll bet you’re right!

  4. Kristen permalink
    December 18, 2010 2:56 am

    That is an amazing story. We have rescued a rottweiler mix as well, in fact she looks strikingly similar to Heidi. Bella is also on the smaller side and has the very same coloring in her face with the two symmetrical brown “eyebrow” patches over her eyes! I was wondering if you know what breed Heidi is mixed with? We have always wondered with Bella.

    • December 19, 2010 5:52 pm

      We don’t know what Heidi’s mix is. I would guess Australian Shepherd, or German Shepherd, or maybe Chow (except her fur is so silky-soft, unlike a Chow.)

      • Lisa permalink
        January 14, 2011 8:22 pm

        Very good guess on Aussie Shepherd for this dog. They have similar markings and can be nervous, sometimes bite. My red Aussie female is a biter who was beaten as a puppy by some moron. She doesn’t ever sink her teeth in though, not sure how she does it. She would never survive a shelter and will never see one.

    • October 7, 2012 1:06 am

      We have an aussie/rottie mix rescue that looks as close to identical to Heidi as can be! SUCH a love and so, so soft 😀


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