Heidi, Gettysburg, PA

Hello! I’m Heidi. I was owned by a backyard breeder my whole life…that is until my owner decided my “breeding career” was over. I’ve had many litters — too many to count — and I guess after I was of no use to her, she wanted me gone.

So she posted an ad in the newspaper: A free, adult, female Rottweiler. A woman saw the ad and called her daughter. Her daughter Rebecca had lost her 10-year-old Saint mix a year before and had decided that their 9-year-old German Shepherd, Hans, would benefit from the company of a new canine companion. She was not particularly looking for any specific breed, just something similar in size to Hans and she knew she wanted an older dog, close to his age.

She called the number to find out some more info. The lady who answered proceeded to tell me her she was a Rottie breeder and that once her dogs were done with their “breeding careers,” she liked to re-home them.

First off, most dog breeders (especially small backyard types) make Rebecca’s skin crawl. Breeders are almost always in it for money and the dogs are always the ones who suffer. Secondly, with pet over-population at an all time high, who in their right mind would even think of breeding dogs!

My owner told Rebecca that I lived indoors most of my life and only spent time in the kennel when I had puppies. Then she said that I had been bred 2 months prior and all the puppies had died in-utero so I had to have an emergency spay. Rebecca asked how old I was and my owner said I was around 8! Rebecca gasped and thought, “What kind of breeder breeds a dog of that age??”

So Rebecca asked if she can come meet me. My owner’s response was no shock: She wanted to bring me to Rebecca. (It was obvious she did not want Rebecca to see the conditions where I was living.) So Rebecca agreed and the next afternoon, my owner showed up at Rebecca’s. When she opened the door to her SUV, out jumped what Rebecca thought was the fattest, most obese dog she’d ever seen! Not to mention my poor boobies hung down like udders on a cow!! 🙁

I had no current vaccine records, no paperwork of any kind…only a county license hanging on a rusty choke chain. Rebecca knew I was staying! There was no way she was going to let me go back to that “puppy farm!”

My owner stayed all of 15 minutes. When Rebecca asked her if she wanted to come in and see her home, she declined, saying that she thought the other dog (Hans) looked fine and she trusted that Rebecca would give me a good home. Then my owner jumped back in her vehicle and drove away.

After having me for 9 years, not a goodbye, not a tear. I thought, “How you could just leave me?” But then I looked at Rebecca and I had a feeling she would be a very good mom to me. And that my life would turn for the better.

My new mom has no history on me, did not know how I was with children or cats (she assumed I liked other dogs because I greeted Hans in a friendly manner), no idea if I was housebroken, no medical history. So we started out slow.

First she changed my name — she doesn’t remember what it was but it was not very lady-like, so Heidi sounded very pretty for a big ol’ girl like me. She immediately put me on a diet.

I really enjoy people, especially kids. (I was indifferent to cats.) And my mom soon realized that I had indeed spent a great deal of time in a kennel considering that for the first month, I would only relieve myself on the concrete sidewalk! She also noticed that I did not respond to noise at all. I did not come running when the other dog barked, nor did I meet them at the door when they got home. It soon became apparent that I was either deaf or very close to it.

We went to the vet for vaccines and I weighed in at 139lbs! The vet confirmed my mom’s suspicions about my hearing but said he could not tell why or how long I had been deaf. He also said that he believed I had had multiple litter of puppies and overall, had a rough life. But my mom didn’t care. She only wanted me to be able to enjoy my “retirement years” from here on out.

My mom says I turned out to be one of the sweetest dogs she’s ever owned. I embody everything positive she’s ever read about the breed. I’m also a great watch dog — even for a dog who can’t hear! — and I love children. I love every dog I meet and I’m living the good life now.

My family have since added 2 more furbabies to our pack: An 8-yr old female and 2-yr old male Dachshunds, both rescues. I just adore my siblings. My mom often find one or both of them sleeping curled up next to me.

I go everywhere with my family. We go fishing, camping, hiking and to family gatherings. Everyone is so impressed with how well behaved I am and that I’m such a big sweetie pie! So many people are afraid of me at first because of the Rottie reputation, but I always win them over in the end!

I’m down to 118 lbs now and looking great! My mom says I have been such a pleasure to have and I’ve cemented her belief that there is no such thing as a “bad breed.” She is proud to be the owner of a so called “dangerous dog” and I love her for saving me!


Parent: Rebecca