6 years ago I brought a dog home with me. He wasn't just one dog, he was mine, he was THE dog. The one you seek for a lifetime, the one that makes you whole. I found him in our shelter. He came as a very angry boy jumping against the fence growling, snarling, showing everything he has and he meant serious business. The first time I saw him he was an outrage of fury and I was glad that there was a fence between him and me. His name was Tobi and he is a Rottweiler. 8 years ago (he spent 2 years in our shelter) I was very impressed and anxious to handle a dog like him as I didn't have enough experience. You must know he liked to use his teeth. When his owner-who had kept him in the garage only, training him to bite-brought him to the shelter he said: "that dog… either you put him down or you find a man who stais firm to handle him. He needs a dominant and harsh hand. He is unpredictable and he will tear you apart if you don't dominate him". The dog had bitten off the man's finger and didn't let him near him anymore. So he had put a muzzle on him to prevent the dog from biting him.
As I said, I was too anxious to handle a dog like that so my friends in the shelter tried to work and resocialise him. Of course all of them were men as-well a big, strong dog like that needs a man to handle him. The first man he tore apart, indeed he did. 24 stitches were needed to sow him up again, his arm and leg were one bloody mess. Not only that Tobi the dog bit, no, he also shook which is really bad as a dog who bites and shakes tries to do severe damage-willingly. The second man couldn't even open the door to Tobi's room as he was so furious. The third man managed to take him out for a walk-only to ring 10 minutes later asking for somebody of the staff to come and take that dog away, he was standing in front of him growling away and poor man number 3 wasn't allowed to move. We were starting to wonder if we should put him to sleep. Well, thank god we didn't! The only thing the boy needed was LOVE. Talking gentle to him. It made all the difference! By the time I got to work with him he was not allowed to go out for walks anymore. I had to sign a paper to confirm that I am aware of all the risks. I felt sorry for the boy who wasn't allowed to have human contact anymore so I signed. When I opened his door my legs were shaking, I was really nervous, prepared for the worst case scenario. Nothing happened. I put the leash on his collar-nothing happened. I walked 10 meters-nothing happened. I walked for 2 hours-nothing happened. He was very distant, not seeking close contact but also not unfriendly. After 20 minutes I sat down to be on an even level with him and being the person I am I kissed his nose. The expression on his face was priceless, the large and growly dog was flabbergasted! I took him out for walks again. And again. AND AGAIN. Almost every day for 1 year. Then I took him home with me. He was my dog and I was his human, we both knew that. I renamed him into Pancho, new name, new life. I didn't have one single problem with the boy, not one! He bit me once last year but he was in real pain and he was friendly enough to warn me-I just ignored it. Shit happens. I never lost my trust in him as I knew and still know he would never EVER hurt me willingly. He was the best thing that had happened to me, I adore him. I learnt so much from him and he is the best friend I ever had. He went trough hell with me without hesitating. He knows my ups and my downs, he comforted me so many times when I broke down due to the bipolar disease I have. 5 weeks ago he was diagnosed bone cancer. My heart broke a little. Get rid of the pain with meds, that is and was all I wanted. Yes, yes I could have let the vets amputate his leg and shoulder but a boy with 11 years? No, there is absolutely no way I am ever going to do that. Until the day before yesterday he was fine. Now he can't stand up anymore. My sis and I went to our trusted vet earlier today, she will come tomorrow to send him over the rainbow bridge. My heart is scattered to pieces, I have no idea how I am going to live without him. I carried him into the garden so he can have a little pee without feeling guilty like he would if he did in my flat-I don't mind at all but he does. I'm curled up to him in the garden right now together with the rest of my gang. I won't leave his side for a second as atm he can only sleep when I hold him. Tomorrow he will close his eyes in my arms where he feels save.
Loving means letting go, this will be my last act of my endless love for you. My sweet baby boy, I love you so much.