This is Zach’s third holiday season with us and we couldn’t be happier to have given him a home. He moved in on December 12, 2015 and managed to put up with a small yard, us, a big move, and currently our MBA schedule. We worked through his many reactions and health/behavior issues as newbie dog owners and managed to earn the respect of his team of experts because we were relentless when it came to giving Z the best possible care. A medication adjustment and a few diet changes later he is a bouncing pup of almost 4 years (if not 4 already) that thinks he is a lap dog. 🤣
As part of our family he has taught me to trust my instincts, be confident and resilient. At 65 lbs, he could become a threat to anyone’s safety if we didn’t take steps to prevent an unfortunate event. Like most dogs he is territorial and fearful of strangers. When he gets into his “The Bride” mode no command in the world will make him stand down from defending his humans and home. It is not his fault that traumatic experiences shaped him to distrust first, which requires that he be slowly introduced to new people. His previous human rescuers and fosters did all they could to train him and make sure he was not beyond saving, and we are glad they did.
Any dog can be a handful; any dog can bite or become overwhelmed with anxiety and fear. Learning and educating people about proper dog etiquette has become a necessity to make others understand how to approach animals, especially those owned by strangers. Their personalities remind me of our own species’ shortcomings: nurture vs nature seems to be the common theme in both psyches. My husband worries that as Z gets older he may be harder to manage. I hold out hope, and continue to train and manage his passive training (routine, diet, meet and greets) to ensure our collective success.
We cannot imagine a life without our only dog with special requirements rescue mutt. Nothing in life is risk free, and although it is hard to train and trust sitters and guests, we continue to recruit people into Z’s circle of friends. I’d do anything to keep him safe and happy; to give him the best life he possibly can under the circumstances. I hope he knows he is home, because to me he is a part of me, of my family.
We love you Zachy poo! Merry Pitmas!