King Shaka rules the roost

De­spite her orig­i­nal mis­giv­ings about rot­tweil­ers, big softie King Shaka has taught Sam Lom­bard you can’t judge a book by its cover

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Luke Bow­den Any­one in­ter­ested in shar­ing their best friends’ sto­ries can email luke. bow­den@ news. com. au

SOUTH African- born Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia ed­u­ca­tion stu­dent Sam Lom­bard was ini­tially a bit hes­i­tant about get­ting her rot­tweiler King Shaka but af­ter hav­ing him for four months she’s head over heels for him. King Shaka is a pretty unique name for a dog, how did you come up with it? Well, Char­lie [ Sam’s part­ner] and I re­ally wanted a strong African name for our dog. So when we got him from a breeder in Kingston we ac­tu­ally didn’t call him any­thing for the fi rst three days be­cause we couldn’t set­tle on a name. Even­tu­ally, my par­ents sug­gested nam­ing him King Shaka af­ter the fa­mous 19th cen­tury Zulu war­rior, we liked it and it just stuck. And ini­tially you weren’t com­pletely sold on get­ting a rot­tweiler? ( Laugh­ing) To be hon­est, I was hop­ing to get some­thing a lit­tle more fem­i­nine. But when Char­lie was a kid he used to go down to a farm and watch his sis­ters ride horses and there was a rot­tweiler at the farm that he used to play with, so from a young age he was set on get­ting one and I didn’t want to crush his dream. I was ner­vous be­cause rot­tweil­ers have a cer­tain stereo­type [ as ag­gres­sive] but now that I own one, I know that this is mis­lead­ing. So how has Shaka been for you as a puppy? Usu­ally very calm there’s prob­a­bly half an hour ev­ery day where he be­comes an ab­so­lute hand­ful but oth­er­wise he loves sleep­ing. He loves the beach, loves the wa­ter. He loves wa­ter so much he runs to the bath tub ev­ery morn­ing and cries un­til we fi ll it with wa­ter, so ev­ery four days or so we fi ll the bath with bub­bles and he’ll just sit in there and eat all the bub­bles. Suf­fice to say, we have a very clean rot­tweiler. He’s al­ready 20kg and he’s only four months old, so ob­vi­ously he loves food, which makes it very easy to train him.

What do you love about hav­ing King Shaka? He’s just a lovely, lovely dog. He’s the com­plete op­po­site to what I thought the stereo­typ­i­cal rot­tweiler would be like. It’s just nice ei­ther wak­ing up or com­ing home and see­ing him so ex­cited to see you.

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