I was thinking about my dog. All of my dogs. And I've had those "aggressive breeds" since I was a 5 year old kid. Pit Bulls and Dobermans. In the late 90s and early 2000s, I had a Red Doberman AND a Pit Bull under the same roof. These dogs are supposedly so brutal but the truth is, these dogs are big mushes. They want to be hugged and loved. Humans screw it all up for these dogs through poor treatment and exaggerating everything.
People would see my dogs and run like Godzilla was on the rampage. I remember taking my doberman to the dog park and a lady saw me and she screamed to her husband, "GET THE BABY!!". I didn't Dobermans were baby killers but apparently this woman thought so. Another lady saw her when she was maybe 6 months old and asked me, "Are you going to train her to attack?" What the hell kind of stupid question is that? I wanted to tell her that she just used up all her stupid questions for the rest of the year.
In the late 90s when Pit Bulls had such a bad name thanks to the media, I remember how people viewed my Pit Bull, Arnold. My neighbor had a crew working on their stairs for new construction. Arnold roamed slowly from our backyard over to the workers.
One of the guys saw Arnold and must have thought Arnold was on the prowl to attack. This guy raised his arms while walking backwards slowly. He was saying, "Hey man, I'm cool, I'm cool!". Arnold slowly crawled to him and then laid down next to him and rolled over to his back right at this man's feet, hoping to get a belly rub. The guy was in shock and relief! Every day from there on, Arnold would leave our backyard and slowly walk over to visit the workers. Everyday the guys were asking me about Arnold. By the end of the week, one of the guys was telling me how he had to get a Pit Bull. They all fell in love with Arnold and this experience changed their outlook on the pit bull breed.
How did I get Arnold? Where did I find him? Well, let me tell you a great story. Arnold was a rescue. I found him roaming through an apartment complex in early December on a freezing cold Friday night. I was finishing up student teaching and about to graduate college. It was December of 97. I planned to keep him until someone claimed him and I was ready to bet the house that somebody lost their sweet heart of a pit bull. No way could this sweet heart have been dumped off the side of a highway.
My friend and I saw Arnold roaming the apartments. We opened the car door and called him over. He ran over and jumped in the car right away. His collar was extremely tight around his neck. I took it off as it was so tight, it had burned the hair off his neck and was cutting into him. He sat on my lap and cuddled right away in the car. This is a brutal pit bull that the media keeps telling me about?
I got to my friends house and we called the police department in town along with 4 or 5 surrounding towns. I even put an ad in the paper for an all white Pit Bull with one black ear. Somebody must be missing this sweetheart of a dog, I thought to myself. No luck. Nobody was looking for him. I figured he'd get picked up by the time the weekend was over.
Animal control called me a few days later and said they'll pick him up. I asked, "What happens if nobody comes to pick him up from you guys?" They replied, "If nobody gets him in 2 weeks, we have to put him down." My heart sunk and I said, "Never mind, I'll keep him!" I hung up the phone immediately.
Now, under the same roof, I had the doberman and the pit bull. Together, they became best friends. They were inseparable. They chased one another around the back yard and literally destroyed the grass. It looked like a race track back there LOL. They would sleep side by side and keep one another warm. The doberman, Nala, acted like a mother to Arnold. She would lick his ears and he would lay there like a puppy.
When Nala was on her last breath, she climbed up the stairs and laid next to my parents bed and passed away. She took her last breaths and strength to be next to her owners. You'll never see such loyalty from a human. Dogs just want to be loved. They want to make their owner proud. They give, give, give even when they have nothing left to give.
Humans will never do that. It sucks. It really does. Your best friend will steal your girlfriend when you're younger. When you're older, your best friend will steal your business. A dog will never steal anything from you. All they do is give, give, give.
Well, I will admit my Dobermans have jumped on tables and counter tops to eat anything within their reach ha ha. But afterwards they know they did wrong and they immediately crawl up to you to apologize. A human will see a bike unlocked and take it. A human will find your wallet that was dropped and take the money.
A dog will be on their last breath and they just want to love you and make you proud of them. Louie Simmons said "You can lock your wife in the trunk of your car and lock your dog in the trunk. Open the trunk and your wife will be pissed at you but your Dog will still be happy to see you."
It never gets easy when your dog passes on and goes to heaven. Your dog is there for you through thick and thin. My Doberman that was born in my house when I was 8 years old, Oz, he lived with me until I was 20. He was with me from my kid years to my young adult years. He was with me during my years of depression and he always made me feel 100 x better. He was a Warrior, a Protector and a Lover. He did it all.
Your dog can hear your car pull into the driveway and she'll be looking out the window, wagging her tail all excited, just waiting for you to get in the house and give her a hug. Oz would hear my Dad's car drive up the street and he would leave my room and go sit on his little area because my Dad didn't want the dog upstairs. He was so smart he knew what he could do depending on who was in the house. When my parents left for work at 6 am, OZ would walk upstairs and lay directly against my bedroom door, waiting for me and protecting me.
If they make a mistake, they hide in the corner and hope for forgiveness. I remember my Doberman pooped on the floor one day. She found a rag and covered her poop up. A human makes a mistake and more often than not they are blaming you or making excuses.
A dog with excuses? Never! What about when you've had a rough day. They don't care about themselves. They just want to make YOU happy. They have feelings and they know when you're sad. They'll cuddle up next to you and let you know you have a friend who loves you. They don't care about your fancy car, the latest iPhone or any material bull shyt. They just want YOU, as you are.
When I got my Doberman after Hurricane Sandy, I quickly realized that she is not the same as my past Dobermans. I have never had a Dobe with so much energy. She reminded me of the movie Secretariat. She just wanted to run loose. To be free. No slowing her down.
She would pull me on my bike for 5 miles every morning. She would bob her head pulling me as she held the leash in her mouth. People in town thought we were crazy but she didn't care. She wanted to feel the wind in her face and feel her heart pounding in her chest. She felt better to come home exhausted. It was her "fix" to go on a hard run. I bet we were going 20 MPH when she pulled me.
She'd pull me on my bike like a race horse down the bike path. I would laugh and say, "Go Red, Go!" and she would run even faster. I felt like she was a horse who came back to life in a Doberman's body. She was tired but never quit or slowed down. She loved the feeling of effort and exhaustion. Humans are different. Most humans want to quit as soon as the struggle begins. Not my Doberman. She would lean into it. She would go harder and faster.
We'd get home and she would gulp down a bowl of water and then fall asleep right next to me in my office. If I was on the couch she would bark at me to move her blanket next to me before she would get on the couch. When on the couch, she would get as close as possible to me and put her head on my lap and one paw on my lap.
My wife told me that she made our house a home. That she completed our family. My wife was right.
Dogs make everything better. That is the truth. Yes, they are a LOT of work, but so what. Are we aspiring to live lives of laziness? It is heartbreaking to see dog owners who don't take care of their dogs. When I got Nala, our red doberman, she was given to me. I received a phone call from the vet after Oz had passed away. They told me about a young, busy couple who can't handle Nala and needed a good home for her.
They brought Nala to my house to see if we were a good fit. I brought them in the backyard and they had Nala. They let her in the backyard and I was 19 or 20. I was showing them the backyard and they started walking away. They just started walking away and they left. Gone. And there I was, with a 1 year old Doberman that I never asked for.
Her hind legs and back were weak from being crated 12 hours a day as a puppy. I began jogging her daily in the morning and then a long walk at night. Every day I watched her legs and conditioning build up. Her body responded so fast to the exercise and that's because Doberman's are working dogs. They want to move.
If you've got a Doberman, they need a morning, afternoon and evening routine. They are not house dogs. They need to get that energy out or they will destroy the house.
No matter how tired you are, it doesn't matter. Get your doberman outside. I remember my doberman experiencing her first snow storm. She was pulling my kids up and down the street while they screamed and laughed in their snow sleighs. She loved it. She just loved making everyone else happy. That is what made her happy. Humans? Most humans think WIIFM = What's In It for ME!?
I know, I know, not all humans are bad, bla bla bla. Dogs are all heart. It's the humans that hurt the dogs. You wanna know what else? With all these smart phones, people are ignoring their dogs. I would go to a dog park and I'd see people sit on the bench and hunch over, staring at their phones for 20 minutes. Their dog would come to me to play because I was throwing the ball to my dog.
There would be groups of dog owners huddled in circles doing their gossip thing, ignoring their dogs who were sh-tting everywhere and never picking it up. It was heartbreaking to see that. Your dog will Never ignore you. NEVER.
I knew a guy who was coaching people in business. He always said, "What do they tell you on the airplane? Put your mask on first. So put your mask on and take care of you." Your dog will die for you. Your dog will do everything for you. Humans. They think, me, me, ME. I'd rather run my business like a dog.
Go hug your dog. Get off your phone and pay attention to your dog. They aren't here forever.
So true Zach. I’ve had dogs since I was a kid. Love them all.
Zach Even - Esh says
They will always be your best friend.