The evening of Friday Nov 3rd, 2006 is a night I will never forget! That’s when I met “Brandy,” a beautiful solid black lab. She had been rescued from doom from a guardian who no longer wanted her. I had heard that her brother was already euthanized! She was then adopted out to a single older woman. Apparently she also came with some baggage that required some obedience training. This was provided to her thanks to Gingers Pet Rescue. Unfortunately, Brandy wasn’t getting the patience it takes for her problems. Just because a trainer shows you how, you have to stay consistent! I say this because it is not the dog’s fault. Human ignorance is always the problem. And when you combine that ignorance and lack of patience along with outside influences who are more ignorant, this spells disaster and doom for the dog.Apparently friends and family insisted this lady get rid of the dog! And this is what happened with Brandy. I’m not calling certain people ignorant in a demeaning way… but it’s just the way it is in our society. People are ignorant when it comes to animal behaviors. If the dog is not perfect…throw it away and get a different one seems to be the mentality too many people have! And most people lack the knowledge and the patience.
Brandy was having some aggression issues with strangers and with men who wore baseball caps. She also was having some potty training issues as well as basic obedience problems. She is a dominant female. So instead of redirecting and correcting these issues, her new guardian mother decided to get rid of her. And if no one was available to take her right away, she was going to THE “*gulp*” SHELTER!
Now then, when a dog who has aggression issues goes to the shelter, they don’t go up for adoption, they instead are euthanized. So please think about this before you surrender your dog to the SHELTER! Trust me, it is NOT a safe place!!
I was asked if I would take Brandy in my home to evaluate her. I of course said yes, not knowing the problem I was about to have. Now I have been mommy to dogs all my life. I know dog behaviors and I am quite good at training. I have always had nothing but quick success in fixing behavior problems that are common in most dogs who were never taught the proper way to be a well behaved part of the family. But I have never been around an aggressive dog.
The evening of Friday Nov. 3rd, 2006, Brandy’s guardian mommy brought Brandy to my home. Lets just say, Brandy knew something was going on seeing that all her belongings came in my house too. Her blanket bed, her food, her treats, and her toys. Brandy would not allow me near her. She was getting extremely upset. She made it clear that if I tried to touch her, she would bite. I’m thinking to myself, Dear Lord, what have I just gotten myself into here. I was handed the leash which was connected to this very upset, openly vicious dog and her mommy just walked out the door.
I tried to make friends for the next 10 minutes or so but I quickly discovered that Brandy was not going to have it. Plus, she sensed my fear! I was for the first time in my life afraid of a dog!! And if I was afraid and not sure how to fix it, I sure wouldn’t be able to make proper introductions to my own 3 dogs, and 3 cats who now at this time were also in danger.
So, I put her outside in the back yard. And in a panic, contacted Ginger. Its freezing cold and raining outside. Brandy stood at the fence frothing at the mouth staring down the driveway, completely traumatized that her mommy dumped her! That is where she stayed all night. There was no consoling her and no getting near her now! She was a dangerous dog then! After discussing this with Ginger, I felt I had no choice but to call the police and the AC in hopes they would come get this dangerous dog here. But I found out that because I had taken possession of her, under Gingers Rescue, they would not come pick her up. She was now my own responsibility. I was either going to have to somehow get her to the shelter myself, knowing she would be killed immediately, or figure out how to save this beautiful girl!
I spent the whole night in and out of the house trying to make friends with her. I spent the whole day Saturday and Sunday trying to make friends by using treats. LOTS of treats!!! I had my family come over and try to help too.But that proved to be far to risky. More strangers to her made her more upset! Finally, I decided that I had had enough of this bad behavior and marched right up to her and grabbed her leash. I resigned myself to getting bit but by hell I was going to show her who the boss was. I was just plain tuckered out and she needed to shape up now or die! I just cannot see any reason to have a dog killed just because of human mistakes that made her this way. Well, it worked. She understood then that I was in control.And I meant business! I didn’t get bit. Sunday, Nov. 5th, I calmed Brandy down by simply establishing that I was the pack leader. I do NOT recommend what I did to anyone!! I was just at the end of my rope and I was angry that I had to make a choice of life or death for this dog that humans had screwed up!
I consulted with some local trainers and even one who specializes in aggressive dogs. I read up on dog training as well. Within a month, Brandy was making a lot of progress. We took it one step at a time working out all her different issues. Including her hate of men wearing baseball caps. After a few months she was even getting better with strangers.
The cat chasing however took several months to stop. She still has that drive and pretends to forget, but she knows better. And my cats no longer have a fear of her. But that’s my cats. Strange cats…well, that’s different in her eyes. Luckily strange cats don’t come in my yard. I don’t think that game of chase will ever go away for Brandy. She won’t hurt the cats, she just wants to play and smell them.
Brandy is now my shadow, my best girlfriend, and very obedient, loving, comical and beautiful!
I think she was meant to be here with me. She knows when I am ill and never leaves my side. She knows when I am feeling playful and loves to become a clown. She knows when I just want to relax and is content with snuggling me. She adapts to it all! She is also Charlie’s best playmate. Charlie is my 100lb Shepherd. Brandy, being the dominant female is very sweet, and gentle with Hope, my elderly female boxer. Brandy is not perfect and I consider her a work in progress. To adopt her out would only traumatize her more then before, and it would definitely traumatize me even worse.
As of now, July 2007, I cannot ever imagine my life without Brandy. She turned from CUJO to Lassie with love, patience, and simple corrections. Dogs are very intelligent and learn to be wonderful family members, if the human will take the time to teach them how! Brandy as with my other fur-kids, will spend the rest of there life with me. I take care of them and they take care of me. I just wish I could teach them how to sweep and vacuum! I can make more dogs with all the fur they leave. But hey, if its not covered in pet hair, then its probably not mine! So if you don’t like pet hair on your clothes, don’t bother to come visit here.
Please, make your dog a part of your family. Take the time to learn how to teach your dog correctly. And please, spay/neuter and microchip!! If you can’t do any of this, then you shouldn’t have a dog!