By far, the most popular picture, other than the fire, has been the one of our canine crew! Since they are one of my favorite subjects, I thought I might share their stories with you!
All of these dogs were rescues of a sort. We became enamored of the pitbull breed about 15 years ago, when we adopted what was supposed to be a boxer mix from a rescue group on LI. We have learned sooo much since then, about dogs and rescues!!! That particular dog, came with a suitcase full of issues, none of which were revealed to us at the time of adoption! The well meaning woman just wanted this dog to find a forever home – which she did with us, despite her problems. As it turned out, Bryn did not have any boxer in her at all, which we kind of figured when we saw her, and had things we had to deal with over the years. Despite her problems, she was one of the best dogs ever, and we loved her dearly, til she lost her bout with cancer at the age of 12. There began our love affair with the bully breeds!
Allie was our next pit, a red nose pit mix from Middleburg Humane. My daughter fell in love with her. She was one of a large litter, whose mother had been rescued from behind a trailer, where she was tied to a giant tire. The neighbor’s dog was a unneutered red nose pit, allowed to run free, and you can figure out the rest of the story!!
Allie has taught us alot about the breed. After years of reading, Allie’s professional training, and experience, Allie is not a dog I would have chosen, but she has turned out to be a great dog. Not the dog for everyone – she can be pushy, and hard headed, and is definitely the queen of the roost.
You have to be careful, with a pit mix, what the other part of that mix is. The pitbull is a wonderful dog, not a dog for everyone, definitely maligned in the public eye, because of bad breeding and bad owners- but one of the best types of dogs out there. Very family oriented, loyal, and sweet, and a dog that needs, as Cesar Millan says, rules, boundaries and limitations. And definitely, exercise, discipline and affection!!
Allie has recently lost 14 lbs! Our move to the country affords her a more active lifestyle! My son “taught” her to swim in the river, and the water and the ball are the focus of her life!!! With the loss of that weight, she is now able to leap up on the round bales, something her buddy, Sunny has always been able to do effortlessly!!
Our next dog was also rescued by my daughter- let’s face it- they were all brought home by her!!!! She called me at 11 at night, when she was coming home from a friend’s – to tell me she was bringing “something” home!
With Allie as the only dog, we were done! She was enough to handle!
But, Katie saw a man dump this 5 month old dog in the parking lot. From what she could find out, he was apparently raising “mastiffs”, probably for fighting, and could not sell this one. With another litter on the way, this dog was excess baggage, and was a dog fighting flunkout. There were some guys in the parking lot, who were eager to take this dog and make a tough guy out of him, so Katie scooped him up and brought him home.
We took him to the Middleburg races (Middleburg being a horse and dog loving town) the next day, and were taking names, to try to find him a good home. He was the perfect gentleman all day long, a natural heeler, loved every child he met, and loved to ride in the car. Needless to say, he won me over in that 24 hours, and has been “my” dog ever since!!!
Thru research and what little backround info we had on him, the “mastiffs” this disreputable backyard breeder had were Argentine Dogos. Sunny was probably the runt, his tail was docked (another fighting strategy)- they never got around to chopping his ears off, thank goodness! He is not a fighter, but is not really fond of other dogs, other than “his” Allie. He will ignore them, rather than show aggression. He is one of the fastest dogs I have ever seen, a definite hunter, and the biggest couch potato and people lover ever!!! He does not share Allie’s love of water, however, and will tiptoe thru the water, just to get to the other side. He only barks, a deep menacing bark, when absolutely necessary, but has an endearing yodel when he wants to eat, or is trying to entice you to play! He attracts quite a bit of positive attention, but at the same time can give a look that will make you cross the street rather than pass by him! We let Sunny be the goodwill ambassador for the bully breeds whenever we go out!
The daughter recently moved back home, and with her, came her two pits!! I definitely do not recommend a 4 dog household!!! We are still trying to integrate the 2 “packs”!! There are days when we could definitely use Cesar Millan – unfortunately, he rarely makes east coast house calls!!!
Her first adoption was Dax – who is now about 13 mos old. He came in to get neutered at the spay neuter clinic where the daughter worked, and found his forever home with her! He is not without issues, she is not sure of his backround, other than he is a pit mix. He is the sad man of the group, definitely 4th man on the totem pole in the dog pack, but no less loved by his humans!
Dax is still learning the fine art of playing well with others, and catching a ball, returning it, and NOT eating it! He and Luna are very well behaved around the horses, and respect their size, unlike Sunny and Allie, who see anything that moves (regardless of size) as an object to chase!
Luna was another rescue, one the daughter paid for from a breeder in southern Va. I lectured her on giving money to these people, but she just could not bear to leave her there! Luna Moon was the runt of an Am Staff litter, skinny and full of worms, with a lower jaw that juts out, and a personality you can’t resist. Everyone is a potential new friend- whether 2 legged or 4 legged!!! She is a very submissive dog when meeting new dogs, and is always trying to make friends with Allie, who will have none of it!! Submissive dogs tend to piddle – which she does every time she approaches Allie. The husband says, ad nauseum, “I am SO glad I never put carpet down in this house!!” Luna is now 10 mos old, a great little watch dog, and a bundle of energy!
That about sums up the life stories of our formidable bunch! I could go on forever, every day there is a new “tale” to tell! There is never a dull moment around here!
I shall end here, because the husband just took the 4 out to the horse paddock to run, and could probably use a second set of hands – altho he will never admit it!!!!
As usual, all is well at Mountain Meadows on this hot Sunday morning!