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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Elsa, a Rottweiler Feared in the 'Hood, Shows Her Soft Spot by Adopting an Abandoned Kitten

Cats and dogs are generally considered to be mortal enemies and rottweilers in particular have a reputation of sometimes being nasty customers. Neither of these stereotypes hold true all the time as the case of Elsa demonstrates. She is a nineteen-month old rottweiler from Luton, a small town fifty kilometers north of London, and she recently adopted an abandoned kitten.

The kitten was discovered by Elsa's caretaker, Marianne Allsop, at a horse stable in nearby Offley. Thinking that the tiny newborn was dead, Allsop was about to dispose of it when it suddenly moved. She then contacted Feline Rescue who generously volunteered to pick up the medical bill if Allsop would take the kitten to the vet, which she readily agreed to do.

The kitten soon recovered and Allsop brought it home. Expecting to have to do all the nurturing herself, she was pleasantly surprised when Elsa's maternal instinct took over. Readily assuming the role of a surrogate mother, she not only keeps the tiny kitten warm (See photo), but she has also taught it the de rigueur of grooming itself and proper toilet etiquette.

Although Allsop had no way of knowing that Elsa would take such a shine to the kitten, she never had any fear that the big dog would harm it because she gets on so well with the family's hamster. While admitting that some people find rottweilers to be intimidating, Allsop told The Luton News, "People walk across the street from us when they see her coming but she's actually the biggest softy in the world."

Originally bred from either German shepherds or mastiffs, rottweilers get their name from their hometown of Rottweil, an ancient city of about 25,000 inhabitants in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg in southwest Deutschland. They are known there as Rottweiler Metzgerhund , or butcher's dog. Although they are best known for herding livestock, these powerful black-colored dogs with tan markings are also good trackers and as such are used in search and rescue. During World War I they served as police and guard dogs. They have a life-span of only eight to nine years and are prone to leg, hip, and eye disorders.

Although Elsa is still a bit too young to have a family of her own, Allsop is convinced that when the time comes she will make sans doute an excellent mom. As far as the still unnamed kitten is concerned, Allsop is noncommittal. "I'm waiting to see what my husband says but I can't see us giving it away after all of this."

Photo: Lutononline.co.uk