Teddy & Balu


It was in spring 2000 when, after a gruesome biting incident with a Rottweiler in Hamburg and other mostly completely unnecessary biting incidents in some federal states, the state dog regulations (LHV) were introduced.

If the sanctions or parts of the conditions were already grotesque, the reactions of the population after the media hounding were shocking. Clearly, every incident that had occurred was clearly one too many. But we also experienced, for example, that people who had regularly cuddled our Ben now changed sides of the street when they saw us. From our house we could see our horse in the paddock of the neighbouring riding school. Ben was always a welcome guest there.

Until the day the LHV came into force. From then on, people were afraid of him at the riding stable and we were forbidden to take Ben with us on the premises. Logically, our gelding soon moved to another stable. But that was not the end of the world. A protest movement was formed (it was exciting to see what we were able to achieve without the Internet, Facebook and Whats App) and the first demo was called in front of the state parliament in Düsseldorf. Moni travelled to Düsseldorf together with other customers of our vet. In the tram she got into a conversation with a woman who carried a sign with the inscription "Welpenwaisenhaus" and was on her way to the demo. During the conversation she told us about 2 newly arrived Rottweiler puppies, 2 litter brothers (and thus set a virus).

Back home Monika told me about the meeting and the 6 weeks old puppies. I heard very well the alarm bells and protested and argued alternately. Monika fully employed as a nurse in permanent night watch. Me partly in alternating shift. 2 dogs, 3 cats, a horse and an extremely pubescent son, what else. So we were done with the subject, at least officially. While walking or in the evening, when Moni was on night duty, I thought more often about the two rascals. They had been 6 weeks old at the time of the demo. I wonder how they were doing. Whether they were already placed? The damn contact information was still in the kitchen. Neither of us wanted to get rid of it. You can't. At work, of course without any concrete reason, I clarified how many paid free shifts I had saved up. A colleague at work was worried. He was about to get a vacation and wanted to build a new, big dovecote.

The material was there, but there were delays by the building authorities. Sure, among good colleagues you help each other, we exchanged the holidays with which he started my appointment in October and I his in August. The damn note was in front of my nose again at 3.30 a.m. during my morning coffee. After the early shift at noon I went past the doorman, went inside the phone booth (those were the yellow, glassed-in booths with a pay phone inside) and called Hennef.

Yes, the two brothers were still there after I had to repeat my name. The somewhat amused undertone of the lady wrongly attributed the Rhenish cheerfulness. It should turn out, however, that Moni had also already asked. A little thoughtful I made my way home. Moni had the day off and soon the conversation ended up with the puppies ( coincidence???). We took our holiday plans, our duty rosters and other leisure options and started to make a plan according to which our dogs would be alone for a maximum of 3 hours per day. It could have been that way, but it was all just hypothetical, right? 2 hours later we called Hennef and made an appointment for the next day to get one of the rascals.

The next day we went home from the early shift, packed 2 senior dogs together with their mistress into our bus and off we went. Arrived in Hennef we saw two sugar sweet babies in moderate condition, both plagued by diarrhoea. Which one should it be now? Stan, the somewhat more tender or the better developed Olli. The brothers separate? Not with Moni. So both packed up and off. Our seniors had the sheer horror in their faces.

As a precaution Moni sat down in the dog compartment to be able to intervene if necessary, it was not necessary. The first way the next day was to our vet to have them both examined and generally checked for their diarrhoea. Very soon he asked with a worried face if a return is possible. Especially Teddy, as Stan was now called, was in a precarious state of health. His brother Balu, formerly Olli, was a little better off. It began anxious weeks in which Teddy wanted to come up to 3 times a week. Every day he had to go to the vet, in an extremely critical phase up to 3 times a day.

During this time the little worm lived through coxilia, intestinal inflammation, laryngitis, pneumonia and diarrhoea again and again, probably not least because of the hammer doses of antibiotics. Throughout his life, the consequences of this were a hypersensitive gastrointestinal tract and, compared to his brother, significantly reduced growth. And our seniors: there could not have been better foster parents. After a week, foster mum Rimo had milk and foster dad Ben, he put up with everything from "his" boys. When they did something wrong and we wanted to scold them, he would sit up straight in front of us and give us his paw as an apology. Not so easy to educate consistently.

It began a hard and very varied time, the two boys slowly stabilized, with the cleanliness education was very long no success. day and night every 2 hours out was natural. But when I went with them in the garden at night they cuddled up under a bush and slept. Back inside I had the heels not yet properly in bed and could already hear it splashing softly and shortly after that a pithy aroma poured through my nose. Yes, I had ample opportunity to love them both. During the early shift my alarm clock rang at 3 o'clock, when you give everything at night to get two such cute crooks clean and still have to clear mines and puddles, it damps the mood considerably. At some point this hurdle was also taken.

Now the emphasis was on socialization and education. We took the advice of a police dog handler from the neighbourhood when choosing the dog schools and did well. In the puppy playgroup everything went well. While the boys were playing with other dogs of the same species, Daddy Ben was lying on the edge of the square and watched everything. In the young dog group afterwards it became more difficult. The two had each other and did not see at all what they should take part in. It didn't help, they had to be separated, the one into the first lesson, the second into the second group.

And because it turned out that I wasn't very good at teaching, Moni went both hours, even after 10 hours of night work and then mucked out the 2 stables. After the dog place on Sunday morning around noon a coffee together and then to bed. I mention this so explicitly, because we regularly hear from people who work 5 days a week, maybe part-time or not working at all, that they could not possibly manage to go for a walk several times a day and maybe even to dog school. Oh yes, exactly on September 11th 2001, 17 months old Ronja joined us after we had to say goodbye to the most beautiful male in the world, our Ben. Also for Ronja the leash and muzzle liberation was only valid until the 24th month of life. After that a successfully completed companion dog examination was obligatory for the continuation. Great, Ronja, beautiful, highly intelligent, knew nothing at all except: "give me five" or: "do you want treats". Not to digress, Ronja took the exam with Teddy on the same day with bravura, Balu because of the regulations one week later.

Yes, it was a hard but still wonderful time and again yes, most of our knowledge about dog training was given to us by these two crooks. Many a time our hair stood on end. Many times we were also depressed and did not know how to proceed. Many an episode was delivered by the bear brothers and of course it cost material. So Balu thought the Persian carpet was stupid and eagerly started to nibble off the fringes, sometimes Teddy unrolled a good square meter of the living room wallpaper and thus proved that it was only textured wallpaper and not, as we believed, textured plaster.

Another time I came home from the feel shift and met the two of them in the living room watching TV. One of them must have fished the remote control from the table and started the TV with it. Unfortunately the remote control was of such a miserable material quality that it crumbled. I was also allowed to experience the accountant Balu, what had happened: I came home from work and it was unusually quiet in the living room. No one came to greet me. Teddy was lying on a dog blanket next to Rimo. They both looked at me as if to say, "That wasn't us." Papa Ben sat down in front of me and held out his paw. Well, and my beloved Baloo was lying in the middle of the living room with a crumbled pencil, a badly damaged pad and our desk calculator in front of him.

Every now and then he tapped the keyboard with his paw and then looked at the display with great interest. It looked so cute, but it was a little trick to scold him now, so that Teddy, probably due to his illness in the first weeks, was 100% oriented to Moni.

I had no say in his affairs. Before I could start with him to the gassigang Moni had to take cover or give him clear instructions to go with me. No matter whether in the dog school or outside, in matters of obedience he was the model boy. Balu was bigger and stood also in obedience, but he was still carved out of different wood. When we gave the command "sit" on the way, Teddy sat down immediately and looked around him, why he had to sit. From Balu a look came to him as if he wanted to call his brother "nerd". Balu first looked around him if there could be action somewhere or why he should sit down and sat down afterwards.

Although from one litter, they were completely different characters. I already mentioned, the youth time of the two was a challenge for us. Because we wanted to do a good job, we asked our dog trainer for advice again and again and so it came about that she gave us the book "What to do with this dog recommendation" by Aldington. Sometimes it does not fit to buy a book for 35 DM and therefore I borrowed it from another friend. It was Balu's trademark, whenever something happened that is described differently in books about dog training my Balu was not far away. He was never evil, but seemed to be very determined against growing up and always had some mischief in store. So it is not surprising that Baloo tried to educate himself, because knowledge gives a head start. Unfortunately, he just fished and "read" this book. So there I was. I couldn't return it like that, a new copy had to be brought in. In the bookshop the next shock: the book was out of print, no longer on sale. I phoned the publisher. After I had described my misery, they were ready to give me 2 copies of the "iron reserve". My goodness, I was glad.

With almost 7 years Balu suddenly became very sensible and easy to care for. We fell into the delusion that he was finally growing up. Two months later, he was dead. He had a huge spleen tumour that had spread to his liver. We had Teddy examined for it and also with him changes at the spleen were determined. We observed them closely and treated them with our THP. Teddy was thus able to reach the age of almost 11 years. The experiences with the two of them could fill a booklet.

I have not described in such detail the part which we, but primarily Monika, have brought to the education first of the two and later of all three rascals in order to complain or to reap praise or regret. With this I want to show what you can achieve if you want it seriously. You have to move your butt already. Precisely because we have gone through it in an intensified form, those whose dog is to leave immediately as soon as the first problem appears, find no sympathy. My father lived according to the motto: "I must do it, I want to do it, therefore I can do it" I have already mastered many a crisis according to this motto.