Something Amazing Happened Today

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First off…my sincere apologies for my silence during the past couple of months.  Ray’s death hit me extremely hard.  When he passed, it was as if he took my voice with him.  It has taken time, counseling and the love of a new dog to bring me back into the light.

Six weeks after Ray’s passing, I adopted a new dog from Coloradogs in Ft Collins, Colorado.  I had reached out to them looking for a young male dog who was good with other dogs.  They suggested Bubba.  I was very lucky in the fact that Vicktory Dog Oscar’s mom Rachel was volunteering at the rescue, and was able to interact with Bubs and give me her thoughts about him, his temperament, and his dog skills.  So, in due course, Bubba came home to live with us.

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Bubs is a BIG boy.  At 80 pounds we are not sure if he is even done growing.  His pearly white teeth are a good indicator that he is really not very old.  Bubs is strong.  Crazy strong. Tow my car strong.  And he is exuberant and a definite wild child of a dog.  All those things together mean that we have been glacier slow introducing him to his sister McCaela the Turtle.

Our Turtely Girl
Our Turtely Girl

Turtle is one of the rescued Fearing Six fighting dogs.  She is a confirmed fighting dog.  Her scars, torn ears, and broken bones are a testament to the abuse she suffered, being made to fight for her survival.  Surprisingly she is not overly dog aggressive.  But she is selective.  She prefers big, calm dogs and has an absolute distaste (hatred) for small yapping dogs.  She is also Babesia positive.  Babesia is a blood born parasite that can be passed between fighting dogs via deep puncture wounds.  In ways it is similar to malaria.  And like malaria, it can be treated, but never cured.   All of these characteristics mean we want to make sure she has no further bad experiences with other dogs.

We scheduled a series of introduction opportunities with John Garcia. Anyone who has ever watched NatGeo’s DogTown is familiar with John. He is able to instantly track the slightest change in demeanor or body language. He speaks dog fluently.  John guided us through brief intros between the two. Sometimes it went well…sometimes it didn’t. He gave us pointers and ideas for bringing the two dogs together over time.

Kevin and I started introducing our two kids extremely slowly.  Every night we take a parallel walk together.  This allows the dogs to become familiar with each other’s sight, smell and mannerisms.  We move together and apart in a natural manner, allowing first one dog, then the other to lead the way.  Over time the two have naturally fallen into step, side by side, shoulder to shoulder.

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It has take almost two full months, but today, something amazing happened.  Bubba and Turtle played together in our yard.  They mouthed and bounced and knocked each other over.  They body slammed.  They took turns being the “aggressor”.  They had a rollicking good time.  At the end they were both laying on the pavement, tongues hanging, panting with exertion.  It was an amazing thing to see.

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We still have a ways to go before we will allow our kids unlimited access to each other.  Our house will remain a “gated community” awhile longer.  Until they come to a complete understanding, we would rather be safe than sorry.

It might seem like a small thing….but today two dogs who were horribly abused by dog fighting and humans…..did what dogs are meant to do….play with joy and verve.  And it was a miracle.

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19 thoughts on “Something Amazing Happened Today

  1. We have just taken on (adopted after a short foster) a new pitty, and getting her acclimated to our other 2 dogs was rough at first. Day one we had a fight at feeding time (my fault, I wasn’t used to a dog that had food guarding issues and stupidly just tried to feed them together) with another incident where play turned into a brawl a few days later. We have now, after a few weeks, had her spayed and been more careful. With more careful supervision the dogs now all play and even sleep together in a pile. Pretty good for a little more than 3 weeks together. Part of it is that the 2 dogs we had were very well socialized the other part is just being vigilant when they play so we can tell when playing is becoming what may be a fight and stopping play until they settle down. We hope the spay will help to settle her more so our cats might someday come out of hiding. In the meantime, gates all over the house. Cats seem to be our greatest hurdle now. Any pointers?? I’d take any advise I can get at this point as one of my cats is currently yowling for attention right now. Gotta go pet the kitty. Great job on your success. Bruce

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  2. How wonderful! Every dog has the right to live a life of no fear, hatred, or abuse. Know it doesn’t happen for all but when someone gives them the chance and love hopefully they re-wire it rewires their brains. Budda is such a beautiful boy. This may sound strange but I do believe animals communicate and Turtle will let him know its safe to feel love again. Thank you so much Jacqueline for giving him a chance.

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  3. I am glad to hear you are slowly healing and showing Turtle & Bubba the life they deserve! I agree with you about the small steps and being safe! I cannot wait to hear more about their journey and life together! They are lucky dogs! God Bless you and continued healing!

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  4. This makes me so happy to hear! And you are doing everything right for both dogs. Ray would definitely be very proud with their progress.
    Sending you all lots of love and cheers to many more successes to come!

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  5. What a wonderful post. I was just thinking of Bubba and wondering how he was doing. What a testament of love that you have given them both the time to adjust. Congratulations! May the future be filled with rollicking good and fun days!

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  6. I can’t help believing that it was Ray’s guiding paw helping you through this overwhelmingly emotional journey. He will never truly leave you. That’s my belief anyway. When someone is so close to your heart, they will always be there. I’m so happy for you and your wonderful family. I’ll keep praying that Bubba and Turtle will eventually get to be the brother and sister they were destined to be. If I know you, you will neve give up!

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  7. A lot of feels wlth this one. For your loss, for your healing, for Bubba’s rescue and the beautiful relationship developing between him and Turtle thanks to you taking such great care in nurturing it and them. I’m so happy for you and all you must be celebrating and appreciating today.

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  8. Congratulations! Huge accomplishment! So happy for you and Turtle & Bubba G….they are both so lucky to be part of your family. Thanks for being such awesome parents to 2 lucky dogs.

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