The theme of the 35th annual Connecticut State Latin Day (CSLD) on April 29 was, “Serit arbores quae saeclo prosint alteri,” or, “He who plants trees benefits the next generation.” More than 1,600 Latin students from 50 Connecticut middle and high schools celebrated the language and culture of the ancient Romans at Holiday Hill in Cheshire.
The festivities included the presentation, “The Rottweiler Dog and His Work for the Romans,” which highlighted the early history of the breed and its contributions to Roman civilization. The presentation was sponsored by Stratford (CT) High School Latin teacher Amy Harkenreader and Linda Chehy, a teacher for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
Trap Falls Kennel Club (TFKC), based in Shelton, CT, conducted the presentation, and represented Stratford High School in CT State Latin Day MMXVI (2016). Chehy, also a TFKC member, said, “Their role was to talk about the Rottweiler in Roman history”. TFKC President Laura Wells of Shelton explained the history of this noble breed, which historians believe dates back to ancient Rome. Wells, who also owns the canine rehabilitation center Pawz for Wellness in Shelton and is a Rottweiler breeder and owner of many champions, was assisted by TFKC Board member, Cindy Richardson of Stratford and Diane Andrade of Orange, CT.
“It is thought that the Rottweiler developed from the Mastiff type dog from Western Asia, which guarded Roman cattle herds by day and Roman homes by night,” Wells said. “Roman soldiers needed a strong and sturdy dog to ‘cart’ or bring supplies to different sites.” This early history of the Rottweiler as a carting dog can be documented in Roman art and literature.
Wells also showed techniques for teaching carting to a dog by doing live demonstrations with three of her Rottweilers, Bubba, Dakota, and Rebel. “Both students and teachers were excited to help with the demonstrations,” Wells said, “and the response to the program was extremely positive…with the CT State Latin Day Committee, giving us a huge thumbs up, in hopes that we return with the dogs next year.”
Pictured: Laura Wells, ‘Bubba’ the Rottweiler pulling cart; Diane Andrade of Orange, behind Cindy Sherman.