Terry started surfing PetFinder a couple of months ago, looking to adopt a female Rottweiler close to Apollo‘s age (he’s six). While Apollo seemed to be less depressed about Roxy’s passing, he still wasn’t eating enough or getting enough exercise. We visited nearly every shelter in the Kansas City metro area, and some in outlying cities (like Atchison, Kansas), but could not find many Rottweilers (regardless of gender). We’d almost given up on adopting, and had started looking at buying a puppy (gasp!) or a retiring female from a breeder.
Midway through the middle week of July, Terry saw a post appear on Petfinder for an abandoned female Rottweiler in Parsons, Kansas. The listing claimed she was six years old (a likely perfect fit for Apollo). Terry contacted the shelter, Proud Animal Lovers Shelter, and expressed our interest in adopting her (almost sight unseen). Alexis (the name given to her by the shelter) would be spayed that day and would need to recover a few days before she could be released to us. Terry arranged to pick her up on Monday, July 23rd.
I requested vacation (or PTO as it’s referred to now) for that Monday and made arrangements for my backup driver to drive the van. Parsons was about three hours south of us, between Pittsburg and Independence, Kansas, nearly a straight shot down US 59. Early Monday morning, Terry met me at my backup driver’s location so I could trade the van to her and become a rider in my own car as Terry drove us south to Parsons. Because the shelter didn’t open until noon, we took our time, and even a detour through Iola.
Upon arriving in Parsons, we drove around for quite some time trying to find the shelter. The street sign for Meade was very far back from Main Street, but after passing it for the fifth time, we spied it and found the shelter. We returned after a quick lunch at the local Brahms just after noon to fill out the adoption papers, pay the adoption fee (and make a donation in addition) and finally met Alexis. She had just had a bath that morning and was shedding a truly terrifying amount of fur.
While Terry finished the paperwork, I took Alexis outside wiht a borrowed brush and attempted to help her shed more of her fur. I was only partially successful. We said our goodbyes and thank yous and walked Alexis to the car. Unlike every other dog we’ve ever had, she did not jump into our car the moment the door opened. We had to coax her, with treats, and in the end Terry had to lift her into the backseat. We could only surmise her last trip, when she was abandoned in a drought scorched field in 100 degree heat, must have scared her and left very bad memories.
I drove the return trip home as quickly as I could, with only a brief stop in Garnett, Kansas by a small fishing lake to allow Lexy to stretch her legs. Except for the construction and delay of crossing through Lawrence on US-59, we made record time, returning to Lansing before four o’clock.
We introduced Apollo to Lexy (both of them on leashes) in the front side yard. Since Lexy only weight 75-78 pounds, Apollo outweighed her by fifteen to twenty pounds. They both seemed to get along (at least they didn’t immediately growl and attack each other). Terry took Apollo back into the house and I followed with Lexy through the garage.
The next obstacle we discovered for Lexy was how to climb stairs. Apparently, she had only been a kennel dog as she didn’t know what to do with stairs. We got her up the stairs into the main floor. Her first attempt at descending the stairs amounted to a flying leap from the top step, bypassing six or seven intervening steps, and splaying out on the tile floor at the bottom. I am happy to report that almost two weeks later, she now sails up and down the stairs, nearly as well as Apollo does.
Lexy had an eventful first week. Terry took her to our vet and his examination revealed a much younger dog. He estimated her age between two and three, not the six suggested by the vet in Parsons, Kansas. His reasoning: her teeth were damaged from chewing on either chain link fence or a chain (or both). Also, her paws were permanently splayed out, most likely from wire mesh on the floor of a kennel. We can confirm Lexy is much younger than Apollo because once she became more relaxed in our home, she began playing energetically with toys, shoes, food dishes, water bowls, laptop lap desks, … just about anything that wasn’t nailed down.
Six days after adopting Lexy, Apollo and her had their first major altercation. It happened last Sunday evening and it upset Terry and I so much neither of us could sleep and Terry took Apollo to the vet first thing Monday morning. Lexy had latched onto Apollo’s neck and would not let go, even with Terry and I both attempting to separate them. Apollo received a puncture wound and an abrasion. Lexy received no wounds, mostly because Apollo is a gentleman and knows when to let go. The vet examined Apollo and said he would be fine, giving Terry a prescription of antibiotics just to be on the safe side. He is doing well a week after the incident. Lexy has behaved better in the following week.
We put the baby gates back in the doorways between the great room and the kitchen, so that visitors would not need to worry about a Rottweiler frontal assault. We’ve started training Lexy, teaching her how to sit and lay down. I haven’t walked her yet, but come to think of it, I’ve only walked Apollo once in the least two weeks due to the near constant heat advisory we’ve been under for most of July.
We are so glad we found her and hope Lexy spends many more years with us.
Welcome to your forever home, Lexy!