Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast
My niece walking my 110 pound Rottweiler, Mickey, many years ago. Mickey would normally drag anyone walking her, but she just knew to be gentle with my niece.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019





1.     physics

a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.

"the second law of thermodynamics says that entropy always increases with time" ·

2.     lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.

In June 2019 I had the honor and privilege of being allowed to attend, as a guest, a K9 handler conference through the American Society of Canine Trainers International (ASCT).  This wasn’t a public event, as it was for doing the annual certifications for both law enforcement and civilian K9 teams. Having been a decoy for the local K9 teams for over two years I was already keenly interested in the event, but when the instructor, Chris Aycock, the president of the ASCT, opened up the classroom portion of the first day with the laws of thermodynamics he had my full attention.  Those laws are familiar to me given I majored in Mechanical Engineering, so to hear it brought up in a K9 school was unexpected, but I knew exactly where he was going with it. Though the laws were simplified for the course, it went as follows.  Everything in the universe is made up of energy. If energy isn’t put into something it falls into disarray, or in thermodynamic terms, entropy increases. Everything includes relationships; relationships with other people and relationships with animals.  It is in line with what I’ve always believed and have taught since starting Big Sky Rottweiler Rescue back in 1997. When it comes to dogs, you get out of them what you put into them.  i.e. If you don’t put energy into the dog, then it and the human canine relationship will fall into disarray. 

Now before you break out the crystals and go all new age on me, let me clarify what energy is in this context.  Energy is time, effort, thought, and emotion.  That’s it.  Anyone who has worked with difficult dogs or trained dogs to high levels of capabilities know this to be true for the simple fact that you can’t achieve such things without that investment of energy.

A great example of this is a Rottweiler named Jack that I talked about in my blog, The Terrible Twos. Jack’s owner called me thinking they would have to put him down due to aggression issues.  After a little advice she invested energy into Jack every day, never slacking.  Jack is now one of the most amazing dogs I know of, an obedient guardian and faithful friend of all of the family.

My two most recent rescued Rottweilers are other good examples. Those of you who have followed this blog know about Carly and that when I got her in 2013 she had major issues. In fact, it took me weeks before I could touch her without being bitten.  These issues were the result of abuse the first part of her life and then years in a kennel, waiting to be adopted. In February of 2019, I had to say goodbye to Carly.  Even on that day she wanted nothing more than to be by my side, even though her leg was quivering with severe pain.  In the years I had her I was the only person she trusted completely. There were a few others she trusted most of the time and those I could count on one hand.  She was just one of those dogs. Though she had fear issues, I was able to take her to public places and visit friends with little concern.  I knew what her issues were and made sure she didn’t have to deal with them unless I closely controlled the situation.  She looked to me for that comfort and trust.  All of this was only achieved through the investment of time, effort, thought, and emotion. Lots of it. And you know what? It was worth every bit.  Just like all the difficult dogs I’ve worked with, if you put that energy into them, into earning their trust, working through their issues, and training them to not be a slave to whatever hell of a past they came from, then you get amazing dogs.

With Carly’s passing I was without a Rottweiler in my life for the first time in 24 years.  To say there was a hole in my world was an understatement. It took four months before I got serious about looking for a dog, and it wasn’t until July that I adopted my 9th Rottweiler and 7th rescue.  Daisy came to me with issues, like all of the ones I take, but this time was different. Daisy is great with people, no fear at all.  Her issue is predatory drive. High predatory drive.  She was the first Rottie I had with the level of this drive that she has, and I purposely wanted her.  You see, for the last three years I’ve been working with K9 units.  Over that time several joked that I should get a dog so I could train with them.  Though such comments were often not that serious, it planted a seed.  That seed has now grown, and I’ve been given the opportunity to train Daisy for a very special purpose, as the team dog for the Gallatin County Tactical Dive Team.  We are not sure to what end her training will take her, but for now I’m striving to get her certified as a level 1 Search & Rescue dog through the ASCT.  What is interesting about this new journey is the energy required from both Daisy and I.  You see, a K9 team is different from a normal human pet bond.  It is deeper, more complicated, and requires much more energy to make it work.  That is where I’m at.  Investing time, effort, thought, and emotion.  All to train with and learn about Daisy and the world of K9 teams. So far that investment is paying off.  If things start to fall apart there will be one reason. Me. The investment of energy is all on me.  If I don’t invest, then the bond, and the hope of our success, will fall into disarray.  That is the nature of the universe.

So, I pose this to you.  Are you investing energy into your relationships? If you want to see them grow, to not fall into disorder or disarray, then invest that energy.  It’s worth it.

Troy Kechely is the author of two novels that portray the transformative power of animal-human connections.  To learn more about the author, and to order Stranger’s Dance and Lost Horse Park, visit