Hello to all RCC Members and all the Rottweiler enthusiasts!

Heike with owner Trish CookPerhaps I should first introduce myself. I’m Patricia Cook and I have been blessed to be the owner of the dog on the front cover of the Winter 2002 issue of Rottweilers in Canada (Heike). I decided that I wanted to put her on the cover for two reasons.

Number one because I am so proud of what a beautiful dog she is (sorry, proud mother syndrome) and second to demonstrate what a novice Rottweiler owner has accomplished with some excellent guidance from fellow RCC members. I got my first Rottweiler 9 years ago. His name was Garth and he showed me what the breed was all about. From puppy hood to “I’m a big tough teenager” to his older years, until cancer took him at 8 years old. He was the one that made me “fall in love” with this wonderful breed. My second dog was a wonderful little female named Karenatas Lyana vom Waldesrand who only has eyes for my husband. She enjoyed herding horses and cattle in her younger years and now that she’s older will sit beside him when he goes from farm to farm shoeing horses. She has had two litters, Heike’s and my fourth Rottweiler Azar vom Wanderlust’s. I thought Azar would be a replica of my Garth but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Sometimes when I squint my eyes and Azar is sleeping in Garth’s old bed, there’s some resemblance (ha ha). He’s a great housedog but a working dog he is not. I have learned that each one has their own characteristics and personalities. Azar’s love is a 17-year-old cat and a pink stuffed pig named Pinky who he thinks is his baby. Heike is more than a little embarrassed over her baby half brother. If we go anywhere and he comes with us, she always looks at me like “Oh my God, please don’t let him come too and if he has to come, don’t let him bring that stupid pig!”

heikeAnyway, now that I have told you about all of my dogs, I should start to tell you about our newfound passion, which is the sport of Schutzhund. We saw the obedience portion of the sport at the Niagara Sieger Show in 2000. I got to meet Wolfgang Gaa from Gruntenblick Kennels and I got to know Stephen Belowos and Thomas Schaaf. After watching them working their dogs, it made me want to learn the sport. Well what did I get myself into? Two years later and many hours of training and then guess what? Training some more, we received our BH and believe me, this has been the most fun and rewarding time in all my 38 years. In the fall of 2002, we attempted our ZTP but unfortunately it wasn’t in the cards that day. We will try again soon for the ZTP and then after that we will work on our SchH I.

We would not have gotten where we are today without the support and knowledge from many people we have met through the various shows over the years. For a novice person like myself, this has been the lifeline of our accomplishments. As a puppy, Heike and I went to as many CKC shows we could get to as well as the three Sieger shows in the Ontario region every year. The shows provide an excellent socializing and learning experience. It is so important to support the shows and the Clubs since entries and memberships are the only things that will keep them going. Hopefully by seeing what a novice and severely directionally challenged person (like myself) can do with guidance from people who are knowledgeable and have accomplished many things with their dogs, we will see more Rottweilers in all dog sports. These dogs have so much to offer and I encourage everyone to please get them out there doing something!

I personally thank the volunteers at all the Sieger Shows, I look forward to them every year. To my friend Mike Jackman, thank you for your friendship, your guidance and support over the years. To Ann Felske-Jackman, thank you for being my little book of knowledge. To Matt Dierstein, I thank you for all your help because we never would have gotten as far as we did without you! To the Saugeen Schutzhund Club and all the members, we thank you for the support and your enthusiasm and for making us feel so welcome at your club. And last but not least to Steffi Fairhurst of the Queensville Schutzhund Club, you have taught me more than I ever thought I would know about Schutzhund training. For sharing your knowledge, for your endless hours of instruction and especially your friendship, I thank you.

Submitted by: Trish Cook, RCC Member

Printed in Winter, 2002, Rottweilers in Canada