4 1/2 years ago, Hubby and I were about to get married. We had one furry child named Jeter. Jeter was lonely, we just bought a new house and thought it would be nice to have a sibling for the little (big) guy. So we went to the local shelter. I wanted to get a small toy dog, female. I fell for one little lab mix and brought our first born to meet the new sibling first. Well needless to say, she didn't like sharing space with a male dog. And so it went with every female dog we liked. Finally Michael says to me. "Did you see the black dog at the end", I thought hard and didn't remember seeing a small black dog so I said no. "you know the one barking, all the way at the end"...My eyes grew wide... "you mean the really BIG dog, snarling and barking like really LOUD?" ..Michael gets the biggest smile on his face and says "Yea THAT one". I tried convincing Michael he was crazy. But he convinced me to let the two boys play together and see how it went. Well, needless to say, they got along great. It was like they had grown up together.
Come to find out, "Dakota" was a neglected pup. This was his second time at the shelter. First time he was a puppy, the second time the owner admitted he didn't have time for Dakota. Dakota was kenneled for 13 hours during the day. Could you imagine spending 13 hours of your day in a metal cage? He had some issues, especially separation anxiety when we left the house. He would tear everything up we had out. I can't tell you the amount of money we lost replacing things this one destroyed. But as the months went by, he realized we were going to come home, we were going to play with him and love him. Dakota became a family member.
My kids can pull on him, smack him, yank his ears, ride him like a horse and he will come back for more wagging his tail the entire time. When I think back about what a great friend he has been to us, it seems worth the expense. Worth cleaning up the trash every morning from the trash can. With Dakota I know the dishes will always be clean(wink wink) and I know that my home is safe. There is nothing more scary for a stranger coming to our home than his scary bark and snarling teeth. Funny thing is, his snarl is really his smile. The Vet said that she noticed he WAS smiling when I told her that.
You can't imagine the amount of relief to us and what a gift it was to our family, to hear our furry Dakota bark for the first time in over two weeks. What a relief it was to see him wagging his tail in excitement, what a relief it was to actually have the dog jump on the counter and beg for food at the dinner table, even after we had fed him.
Our Dakota is recovering with the cocktail the doctor has put him on. We still don't know what for sure, is ailing him, and he will be on meds for 3 months, but he is responding. Keep our Dakota in your prayers, we really need his medications to work.
This experience has been an eye opener for us, our pets are our family too, we will never forget that again.