September 22nd 2004 7:28 pm
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My life was a short one, a sad one. I started out being part of an irresponsibly bred litter by an uncaring, money hungry back yard breeder. One of my brothers and I were purchased together. We had a chance at a normal, happy life. However my owners found out how hard it was to keep two puppies and two adult dogs at the same time. I was the puppy they decided to get rid of. I was sold to my dad's friend's brother.
Again, I had a chance at a happy life. I had kids to play with. But I was soon put in a pen outside. I don't know the size of the pen, but it couldn't have been very big. As I grew, I started to loose my hair. My owners did take me to the vet where I was diagnosed with demodectic mange. It is common in young dogs, especially those from horrible breeders like me. It is due to an underdeveloped or compromised immune system. Stress just makes it worse. My life was a stressful one. There I was, an un-neutered male coming into adolecence. There were smells I hadn't noticed before, and I began to become more aggressive and assertive. My owners biggest mistakes especially considering MY breed were:
1) undersocialization and lack of training
Head strong breeds like me need constant socialization. Take us places,
introduce us to new people and animals on a regular basis. Enroll in
PROFESSIONAL training classes. This give us both the training and
socialization we need.
2)Seclusion from family
My breed is one that is super people friendly. We are normally a happy-go-
lucky breed. We love our families and want to be with them. I was a 24/7
outside dog. What is even worse than that is I was in a pen most of that
time. That is no way for ANY dog to live
I was not neutered by my family. Neutering is so beneficial to dogs. I was
not show nor breeding quality, so there was no reason I should have
remained intact. Not only does leaving a dog intact increase the chance of
gender-related cancers (prostrate, testicular, breast, cervical, ovarian) but
it teamed with lack of socialization and training, can add to aggression. Not
to mention overpopulations issues and wandering, marking, and just plain
acting goofy when we are "horny"
Ok, back to my story. My owners got me the medicine I needed and the dips I needed for my demodex. But that wasn't enough. They did nothing to change my stressful living conditions, they did not change my unhealthy diet (pedigree, yucky food!) nor did they have me altered. I got better and I got worse. The last time I got worse, they decided they could no longer deal with my problem and at 10 months old, they surrendered me to the vet clinic.
My foster mom works at the clinic and had been wanting me ever since she learned of my demodex. She knew me when I was a baby and I was her favorite one. My foster mom changed me to a better diet, had me neutered and made sure I got the baths and dips I needed. Unfortunately, she wasn't in a place at the time where she could bring me home yet. I stayed kenneled at the vet clinic for a while. I got to get out and play on a regular basis, but my past caught up with me. I eventually became very dog aggressive. I even attacked another dog named Buddy. I really feel bad about that, but I wasn't taught any better by my first family who had me during my most critical time. I turned from a happy-go-lucky guy to an unhappy dog-aggressive dog who really could not be trusted. My foster mom made the decision to lay me to rest. I wagged my tail and kissed her face until I was gone, I wasn't even a year old.
Please if you are considering an Am-Staff or other bully breed (any breed really!) please do your research and treat them like a part of the family. I don't want what happened to me to happen to other innocent dogs because of their bad owners.
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