This is Cracker.
I adopted Cracker on Dec. 11, 2015. He was a neighborhood dog whose owner would let him run loose for months. He was returned once by one neighbor and the owner asked him if he wanted him. He was then taken in for a night by another neighbor and returned, then captured again by yet another neighbor who called animal control. They picked him up and posted his picture on their facebook page in an attempt to find the owner. We all knew who the owner was but no one said a word because we knew he didn’t want him…that’s when my ‘Sucker Light’ came on.
I contacted Animal Control and began the adoption process. It took a few weeks to process and in the meantime Cracker was attacked by another large male dog while at the shelter. He was okay, but he began showing signs of fear aggression when they took him to the vet to be neutered. Because I was supposed to pick him up from the vet that afternoon, they informed me of his reaction to seeing other dogs in the waiting room and said that they would understand if I wanted to change my mind about adopting him. I called the vet mid-day to see how he was doing and they said he had shown no aggression with any humans or dogs in the back. I then knew that is was fear-based and that me and my boys, whom he had already met, could help him get over it. So I picked him up that evening and brought him home.
(Gargoyle on guard!)
I am not going to lie…I was concerned because he is a pitbull. Not because I ever thought they are bad dogs, I know several pits and they are very sweet. But, they are pits, nonetheless. They are a very powerful breed that have the power and the strength to do damage. They need an alpha leader. I call myself The Alpha Chic, but even I can lose my mojo from time to time. I wondered if I had what it takes…
I already had a Meet & Greet procedure for new dogs in place so I started with that for him as well. I let all of my existing clients know that we would be repeating that process for Cracker when they brought their dogs by. Everyone agreed and it worked great. Cracker was a bit too excited at first but we just waited for everyone to completely calm down and he did fine!
…Oh, and by the way, he was terrified of my cats at first, HAHAHAHA!!!
There were 2 dogs, however, who were particularly cocky and who each showed their teeth to either Cracker or the other boys. He tolerated it at first but then he had had enough…my Alpha-Chickness was to be tested and I passed!!! I diffused the situation each time and added some tools and steps to my Meet & Greet process. Now Cracker knows that I am in control and don’t need him to step in. He has also learned that when his ‘greeting Leash’ goes on him, he is to stay calm.
Cracker has completely stolen my heart because he is such a goofy lovebug. His favorite hobbies are sunbathing and napping, which he can do at the same time… And oh, he snores when he is awake haha!! He had almost perfect indoor manners right from the start, making him one my easiest adoptions ever as far as training and learning my rules. He has been a wonderful addition to our band of Boogervillains!
(Just plain dashing!)