Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Posted October 12, 2014
When I first found Joey, he was running loose near where I worked in the Fall of the year. At that time, I had no intention of getting a dog, I was a "cat person" after all. I just wanted to get him off the street before winter. It took 2 months to catch him. He had broken free from somewhere and still had part of a tether attached to his collar. I also believe he had been abused since every time you tried to reach toward him, he would cringe and run off. I finally caught him on Veteran's Day, 2005. I had cooked cube steak to try to coax him into the back of my car - No dice, he wasn't going for it. So finally in frustration, I sat down on the steps of the building. And, I just happened to have on a pair of red fleece gloves. Amazingly, he walked right up to me and started tugging at my gloves. I sat down on the lawn and started playing with him. So I decided if nothing else, I was going to get that collar off him as it was getting too tight around his neck. It was off! I was carrying a lease with me...would he let me clip that lease to the collar and put it back on? He did!
But the story doesn't end there. That day I went out to my Mom's house to rake leaves, I put him in the backyard. She does not have pets and the chain link fence in the backyard was not secure all the way around. He escaped again! He ran around her neighborhood all weekend before I could catch him again on Monday.
Now, I wouldn't trade him for the world. He is mostly a good dog and here is what I have found about him. I don't know how much his circumstance as opposed to breeding has contributed to this, but take it for what it is worth.
He is definitely a one person dog - perfect for me, I am single. He does not like kids, I have to be extra vigilant anytime children are in the vicinity, not to let them approach him. I do not have children so that is not a problem at home. I never thought he would adjust to another dog, but he has. I found another dog about 1 1/2 ago. After a adjustment period, I won't say they are buddy-buddy, but they get along. Could be the age difference too as the new dog is only 2 as opposed to his 9 years. And, he is stubborn "as all get out" - but in a lovable way.
He is a great protector. I often walk at 5:00 am in the morning when it is still dark out. If anyone crosses our path, esp. males he becomes super vigilant and watches to make sure the person passes on. Because of his muscular stature and weighing in at 112 lbs., he is intimidating. He hardly ever barks. If he is barking, I know that I should check to see what is going on - it might be important. He is about equal parts independence and attention-seeking. He is mostly good with my cat. Occasionally, I have to call him down for chasing her. However, "bets-off" with all other cats - so I have to watch that. I do not feel that I could ever bring another cat into the house. My cat was there first and I suspect that may be why she is tolerated. He chases squirrels and rabbits and if he catches them, he will kill them. So I try to watch out for them too.
But he works for me.
I could literally write a book about him and his antics - which is beyond the scope of this review. I am very attached to this dog and will mourn deeply when he passes.