Two years ago Kevin and I were reeling from the unexpectedly loss of our little brown dog RayRay. Our house and hearts seemed empty and joyless. We needed to find a new dog. So I put out some tentative feelers…..just to see if the right dog was out there somewhere.
I had some pretty specific requirements: the dog had to be male (Turtle is the queen of the house and has no intention of sharing her throne), the dog had to be a pit bull terrier type dog, he had to have decent dog skills, he had to be smart and willing to learn. And most of all, he had to be completely human oriented. I took Ray to work with me every day, and I wanted a dog who would be happy hanging around my office while I worked.
People emailed from all over, asking us to take this dog or that dog. Frankly, it was a little overwhelming. So many wonderful dogs who need homes. It is heart-breaking. But none of the dogs seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.
Eventually I reached out to Coloradogs because Vicktory mom Rachel was volunteering there. I emailed my list of requirements to Nancy, and she responded almost immediately:
We actually have a great boy here named Bubba G we are searching for the perfect home for. He was found in Denver terribly wounded and with his ears completely removed. He spent 2 months at the Denver shelter getting fixed up and we pulled him a week ago.
He is so so sweet, loves being out around town, has done great with large dogs but can be a bit drivey around small ones. He is most likely a no cat boy but is super soft in temperament and so responds really week to correction. he has shown zero tendency to be destructive at all or to go to the bathroom inside the Rad Pad. Rachel hung out with him yesterday so she can give you a great run down.
Let me know if you’re interested.
She sent along a photo, and that was all it took. I had found my dog. Kevin was a little less sure. He had been following Bubba’s story on Facebook, and was worried about any on-going medical issues. But he could tell I had already set my mind, and was willing to give this boy a shot.
Volunteer Deanne Sullivan drove Bubba from Denver to a gas station on the Utah/Colorado border. I was waiting when they drove up and my first thought was “Holy Cow that’s a big dog”. We were definitely going to need more dog food!
Rachel, Nancy and Deanne had all mentioned that Bubba was “a little mouthy”. Ray could be a little over exuberant with his mouth, so I wasn’t overly concerned. That is, until I was back on the interstate with Bubba, and he tried to climb into my lap at 80 miles per hour. I used my forearm to block him, and he engulfed the entire thing into that massive mouth. That certainly got my attention! He didn’t bite down, it wasn’t aggressive, he was just bored after 5 hours in the car and wanted to play. I pulled into the next town and walked him around for several minutes. That seemed to do the trick, and within minutes he was snoozing in the back seat.
Bubba is an amazing dog. He is happy and goofy and loving. But he was also undisciplined, unruly and full of the devil. Every time he wanted my attention he would bite me, just like he’d do to another dog he wanted to play with. That wasn’t ok. But we worked with an amazing trainer (thanks Keith!) to help him learn more appropriate ways of interacting with humans.
It took 2 days to break Bubba of the habit of biting my butt when I was working and he was bored. He’s put his mouth on me, and I’d get up and leave the room without saying a word. I looked like a jack-in-the-box for those two days, but he has never put his mouth on me since.
After more than 18 months of intense training, Bubba is pretty much a model citizen. He meets hundreds of people a year with courtesy and care. He helps teach kids how to safely meet a dog. He flies with me wherever I go. He is am amazing ambassador for the breed. I can’t imagine my life without him.
Happy Gotcha day to my beloved boy. You have enriched my life in uncountable ways.