In February 2011 Diego joined us as the preferred partner of our Enya from the shelter. What did we know about Diego?

He was a handsome male of 6 years who should have his building sites and therefore it was not possible to teach him in one year what is necessary for the character test. He had landed in the TH, because his previous owner had to walk behind bars for a long time "on assembly" and did not manage to place the boy before. He had already failed the character test once, five of the aisle-goers had surrendered and the staff was afraid of him. Well, the character test is no criterion for Mc-Pom. Also our Hugo was declared dangerous by the staff of the shelter and it was advised to shoot him. Only those who were allowed to meet him here can measure the incomprehensibility. So, also no conclusive argument against Diego. We said yes, sorted out the formalities and only the red carpet to our car was missing. Driving was probably not Diego's world and didn't become one until the end.

He was always walking restlessly back and forth in the dog compartment during the ride. To take it in advance. Diego was honest and direct like an old hanseatic merchant. Arrived at home, after a short round over our farm property we went into the house to get to know his new living area. So, now a coffee to come down for us. Wrong, coffee yes, come down no. Honest and direct like Diego was he immediately started to unpack his suitcase. Every five minutes Monika and I were mounted by him in turn. It's a bit strange to ward off such a bear that you don't know yet, but which has a certain reputation. Anyway, we pulled through. The next morning first walk. To be on the safe side we went in twos and for testing only over our paddocks. Barely 20 meters from the gate Diego suddenly turned around, bit into his line and shook it so violently that I had trouble keeping control.

He slowly worked his way up the line and got more and more into a rage. It was quite uncomfortable. Only with great effort was I able to manoeuvre Diego to the next tree and the line to tie the trunk. Meanwhile Moni ran to the house and got a muzzle. The muzzle could be put on quite problem-free. Exhausted, shaken and disappointed we walked a little bit more, but soon we returned to the house. Back at the house Moni tried to get telephone advice from the TH. From "Diego we do not know" to "the colleague is not reachable" she got everything that does not help. But it was also Saturday and therefore probably only emergency occupation. "That could be fun". What we did not suspect, it became cheerful. Diego finally got the title "Küchenopi" from our guests and nobody wanted to believe how stony the way to get there was. In the afternoon Monika Diego took herself and dressed him completely with k-9 harness, leash and muzzle and off we went to our big run-out meadow.

After dog place manners she has exercised with Diego intensified obedience/subordination properly. Joyful looks different, but he was not stupid. He seemed to have understood Moni's ultimatum which was very clear: Either he shows until Sunday evening that he is changing or he goes back to the shelter on Monday (hahaha, but not with Moni). On Monday Moni had an appointment at the university hospital in Lübeck, which I didn't want her to go to alone. To leave Diego with Enya alone at home was too queasy for us after the previous experiences. To leave both of them sitting in the car for hours was not an option either. So Teddy and Nena left the exit to the inner courtyard open (it was February), Enya left the exit of the veranda open and Ronja positioned in another sector of the property in the caravan with open door. So Diego travelled with them to Lübeck. On the motorway we fell on the Diego began to sink down. The first distances to Hamburg appeared, Diego became smaller. The next board showed that Hamburg was getting closer and Diego seemed to think: Shit, they are serious. Arriving in Lübeck, the guy looked pretty shocked.

Moni disappeared in the clinic and I drove with Diego to a buddy who lives in a settlement opposite the clinic. There we stood super calmly under the carport on call. It lasted several hours and it didn't help, Diego needed some exercise. So muzzle on it, harness with leash and off to the nearby park. We met many people without any problems, I avoided dogs as a precaution and it went much better than feared. One can hardly imagine how happy Diego was when he was allowed to get out on our property again. In the following days Moni continued to work with him and we found out that when he was bitten by the leash again, the quickest way to get him out of the situation was to take the handle of the K-9 harness and let the leash fall.

He kept this quirk until the end. If he had a free run, he always tiggled around the meadow along the fence like a watchdog and he reacted when strangers came in sight. Slowly the puzzle formed a picture. Apparently Diego had been a guard dog with family connection. He was house-trained from the first moment (apart from the "registration" which is usual with males). Apparently he lived somewhere in the industrial area. Passing cars, even 40 ton trucks in 2m distance, left him cold. OK, but we had to get the strange people under control. What if we had visitors after all? At that time we lived much more secluded than today. Visitors were an exception, so it was difficult to train. Our farrier was a wonderful training guest. He easily measured two meters in height and one meter in width. Hands as big as toilet seats. In the cold weather he was only too happy to accept the invitation to have coffee in the kitchen. Diego was muzzled and the blacksmith got some information. In the end, the two were something like friends.

The years went by and Diego turned grey and later even white around his muzzle. More serious was his Cushing's syndrome and especially the fact that he went deaf. Again later, after his Enya had died, he lived completely stress-free because he became demented. So it turned out that I slept on a folding bed in the kitchen for about 3 1/2 years because of Enya and afterwards because of Diego, to be there when Diego wanted to go out again, but it was never clear if he had to get loose or if he had to go out again because of his dementia. So I had a varied time, in which it could be up to 5 or 6 times in the night that he wanted to get out. As already said, it was by no means certain that he had to get loose. Because of his dementia he often just stood there motionless and stared at himself which meant that when it rained I was allowed to rub him dry afterwards which was impossible without getting his wet beetroot between his legs where he rubbed it dry himself.

To be honest, I did not appreciate the feeling of a bed-wetter at all. Due to his deafness it was also necessary to go outside with him all the time as he could not be called up anymore. When we noticed that his hearing was decreasing, we rehearsed a few hand signals as commands with him. So that he could see these signs, you had to be close to him because his eyes were getting duller. How grotesque the scenery must have seemed to the hunters sitting all around him when I was rowing with my arms like a pantomime at night in my pyjamas under headlights, possibly in a storm or/and rain, to give Diego hand signals. It is probably better if I never find out what they thought of me.

The proud Hanseat did not miss the opportunity to welcome "his" guests. Even on his last day, when his strength finally left him and he collapsed in the snow outside, he buzzed when we carried him into the house. When a few hours later the vet arrived to release him he struggled to welcome her at the front door like all his guests. A man of the world some people could take an example from. At the age of 14 ½ he has reached a truly proud age for a Rottweiler. Here on the Rottweiler- Gnadenhof he holds the age record until now.