The Way of the Rottweiler

This is a post I’ve been playing with for a while, it's probably vain, it could be semi-autobiographical, it could be completely made up, anyway…

You see him from a distance; his size and bulk make sure of that. The low rumble of his growl commands attention both welcome and unintended.  Depending on where you see him; the eyes either twinkle with amusement, gently encouraging open conversations and shared adventures or pierce through your skin, examine you critically and seem to decide that you don’t make the grade.  

Those, who know him best, know the control, the precision he tries to bring to all that he does. Others, who think they know him, question who let him off the leash, and whether the strap should be applied.

To some he’s an overgrown puppy; all clumsy big feet, bustling around, inquisitive nose always seeking out the new, the next toy, wandering while he wonders what’s over the next hill.  To others, he’s a creature born out of the pits of hell, prodding and poking where he’s not wanted, asking the questions they’d prefer him not to, challenging the status quo just by existing.

No one doubts his intelligence, well not more than once. For some it’s a thing of light, his ability to roam the knowledge of the worlds, a modern day Renaissance man; as equally at home in the National Gallery, the great religious houses or, his first love the Natural History Museum.  For others, this is the sign of a lightweight, a butterfly of a mind unable to settle, a show-off who can talk well, but never scratches the surface of anything.

His staying power is legendary, he is a persistence hunter par excellence, with apparently boundless energy he tracks, follows and takes down those he perceives as threats to those he cares for, or about.  When wounded, or defending those who are hurt, he does not slink away but turns to the fight… even when the best thing would be to retreat, regroup, and fight another day.  Stubborn and argumentative say some, passionate and committed say others.  

But what of this conundrum? He calls himself the Rottweiler; both revelling in and hating the associations the word brings.  He knows that it provides him with the cover he needs to make the points he needs to make bluntly, in the interests of time, but knows that others don’t see the need and just imagine the snarl that never existed.

He, himself, can look inward with a wry smile… He knows some of the truth about himself, he knows the training in the pits of hell was real, but that his pits are shallower than many others.  He knows the smile and the twinkling eyes can beguile and charm, and that the snarl and bark can shatter people’s confidence.  He loves knowing, questioning, seeking and when time and interest dictates can dive deeper into a topic than almost anyone else, but will always love those conversations that never seem to end, never lighting of the same topic more than once, rolling on for years and decades. 

He knows his weakness and his power come from the same place; his loyalty to a cause, an idea and most especially to people.  He knows on a moment-by-moment basis his power and weakness can be swapped around, working for him and against him at the same time.

So how does this hound of hell, this heart of the pack, find balance, find a way forward in this maelstrom?

He explores himself, constantly challenging himself more than he ever would challenge someone, anyone, else.  He checks his loyalty, whether it is given in the right places, to the right people, he surrounds himself with people who challenge him; push him not just to be good, but to be better. 

And sometimes he just lifts his head, sniffs the sky and knows the only thing to do is run, pad into the distance and leave the world behind until he and his skill set are needed again.

That is the Way of the Rottweiler…  




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