Alina & Hugo


It was the beginning of October 2013 when we were asked for help by our partner association. An about 7-year-old Rottweiler male would need a new home urgently. The local animal protection agency rejected him although the neighbours who took care of him called him a nice guy. 

We were asked to take the boy into our care as soon as possible. At first we were only a foster home, the boy was provided with surgery insurance by the association and we had the privilege to adopt him. So I started the following Sunday morning to the area of Riesa in Saxony. When I arrived at my destination, the neighbour who had looked after Hugo, that was the name of the male dog, was waiting for me all the time. Hugo's former owner was permanently in a protective institution after he had suffered a total crash after years of alcohol excesses and was now under legal care of a lawyer. The transfer papers were also signed by this law firm. So that was Hugo. In front of me stood a real Rottweiler bear with a chin beard like a giant schnauzer, unusual for his breed. Hugo remained absolutely calm as I approached and looked at me sceptically interested.

Suddenly he turned male, put his front paws on my shoulders and looked me face to face. Here there was only one option, stay calm. I spoke to him, but said he was a very special one and asked him friendly to get back on all fours like him, which he did immediately. The entrance test I would have done well, the neighbour said dryly, later we should learn that Hugo tested mainly men in this way.

In conversation with the nice people I learned that Hugo and Alina had been the "production machines" of the puppy factory. With the puppy sale the booze was financed. Alina had come there as a puppy and had never in her life received puppy food or a vaccination. The first time she was in heat, she was taken by Hugo's predecessor and after that she was taken by Hugo every time she was in heat to throw puppies like a machine.

In whole Saxony there is probably no scrap yard which was not guarded by a Rottweiler from this "production". At her last litter, Alina was at that time nearly 4 years old, she almost died during birth. Neighbours asked the local veterinarian for help, who confronted the owner in the beverage market. His reaction was to lock Alina up in a remote, dark chicken coop without food and water. She should "die". Alina is such a dear, sweet mouse, I would like to ask myself if there would not be a chance to take Alina with me. In the twinkling of an eye the telephone number of the animal shelter was provided, unfortunately it was closed on Sundays.
About Hugo I learned that he had grown up with a pensioner in the Berlin area. When this man found out that he had cancer, he advertised in the newspaper for a good, new home for Hugo. When selecting the applicants, the decisive factor for him was the statement that he had decades of experience with dogs and a big house with a huge garden, as well as the offer to come halfway to Berlin. So Hugo, the Berliner, moved to the Saxon province. Hugo experienced much violence by his new owner. If Alina didn't bring enough puppies in one litter, she got both punches and kicks. It must have gone on like this for years until Hugo burst his collar one day and he fought back in such a way that his owner disappeared in hospital for 3 weeks (unfortunately not longer).

When he came back he took Hugo to hospital and mistreated him so badly that you could hear Hugo's screams almost all over the village. We were said goodbye unbelievably heartily. With a lot of impressions in my luggage I started with Hugo the 4 hour journey home. Long before I had covered half of the distance it was clear that Alina should be caught up. On the next day a telephone marathon for days began. Alina was only allowed to mediate with the animal protection organization, but the chairwoman had her day off. On the next day my blood pressure shot up when the chairwoman told me that I must not have Alina in any case because I already had Hugo and it was clear that I wanted to breed.

After I had taken the wind out of her sails with my reasoning that we as Rottweiler-Gnadenhof would surely have other goals than the puppy production, I also faxed her our §11 permission. During the conversation I also found out that Alina had been bitten together by the Labbi-male of the interested parties during an attempt to find an intermediary. I should pay 350€ for Alina, because the injury caused veterinary costs. I countered that these costs would have to be paid by the Labbi owners or their insurance. The answer was brilliant. The people in this region had no money and could not afford insurance. Since I could keep several Rottweiler and apparently come from the old federal states it would be no problem for me to pay the amount. It was enough for me, I ended the conversation.

On the handover papers for Hugo I found the contact details of the law firm which had the guardianship for Hugo and Alina's previous owner. I called them to ask for mediation. By chance, the lawyer's wife was on the phone. She thanked me for saving Hugo and was totally enthusiastic about the idea to catch up with Alina. She promised to take care of the matter. About an hour later, the very contrite director of the shelter called me and told me that I could pick up Alina because I seem to have very good contacts. The nominal charge should be 100€ now. I said to pick up Alina the following Saturday until 12 o'clock. I was annoyed about the fee because of the fact that Alina had to be taken care of by a vet because of the biting and that it was not possible to vaccinate Alina in 6 weeks, but I was simply disgusted by the haggling about this poor creature and so I agreed. The treasure, which was handed over to me at the agreed date, was rattly thin. Never before and never after have I seen such a skinny Rottweiler. Stramme 26 KG showed the scales of the shelter. Alina was sweet, beautiful, but a single heap of misery. Our romantic idea was to reunite her and Hugo, to let them live together in Hugo's 16m² kennel with 2 huts.

We postponed this for the time being after the first look at the little treasure and then tried it several weeks later. Alina was simply a little treasure. She loved comfort like cuddly pillows in her hut and soft blankets at her berth. Hugo in turn played the hard man and tore up everything in his apartment that even came close to comfort. That should be his decision. But it was a pity that when Alina moved in with him, he also shredded all her beloved comfort articles and Alina remained crouched in her hut, distraught, and thus protected her beloved pillow by lying on it. Well, we had learned a lesson with our "human thinking". Going for a walk together, enjoying free exercise together, cuddling together with us, no problem at all. But, shared bedroom? Nooooooo!!!!! So Alina was soon allowed to return to the neighbouring kennel. So, wall to wall and with visual contact the world was perfect. Already after few weeks Hugo noticed that on his excrement heaps always, also increasingly, drops of blood were deposited. A visit to the veterinarian brought the, as we should learn later, wrong diagnosis he had prostate problems and had to be castrated urgently. Stupid only that the problems increased after the castration.

He had a hairline crack in his intestine, which was probably caused by hard excrement with a swollen prostate. In the end, after further visits to the doctor it was a malignant tumour in the rectum. Since it was already quite advanced (the misdiagnosis had cost valuable time in which the tumour could grow) the surgeon could not remove it 100%, because otherwise an artificial bowel outlet would have been necessary. The misdiagnosis and the completely unnecessary chestnut had cost Hugo a lot of valuable time. From now on he was treated with homeopathic cancer medication and, like Alina, developed into a treasure of gold. The two quickly became the favourites of our guests. Big was the shock when Hugo became blind quasi over night.

In the run-up he had changed, often retired and did not like to go back to his kennel. An MRI of his head brought the horror to light. There was a tumour the size of a fist in his head and the rest of his brain was riddled with metastases. Not letting him wake up was the last favour we could do for this gentle giant. The head neurologist was shocked. Hugo must have been in unimaginable pain and it would have been absolutely understandable if he had bitten like mad. She herself had taken Hugo's leash out of my hand and marched with him across the clinic to the MRI. Alina, or Ali, as I usually called her, continued to take the hearts by storm.

She was diagnosed with a tumour on her spleen which we observed closely with ultrasound examinations. Arthrosis added to her gait, which is why she got a gold acupuncture, which did her a lot of good. Shortly afterwards she was allowed to move into a room on the upper floor of our house. After some time she began to be severely lame again and the examination again brought a shock. Ali had a bone sarcoma in the right shoulder joint, i.e. highly aggressive bone cancer in its final stage. We only had a few weeks left to care for her around the clock and spoil her. Then we also had to let this angel go.

With Alina and Hugo we were allowed to accommodate two gifts from heaven on 4 paws. They are not only missed by us but also by countless fans.