Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Have you ever tried love?"

I had an absolutely magnificent white german shepherd named Max. I got him as a full grown animal and I fell in love with him at first sight. When I met the man who gave him to me, Max was wearing a shock collar AND a training collar. The man was obsessed with controlling Max and spent about 1/2 an hour telling me what I needed to do to handle Max. Every method he mentioned (including the 2 collars) was nothing but cruel.

I had to ask him, "have you ever tried love?" He just looked at me quizzically with no comprehension. He started not to let me have Max because he didn't think I could control him. But in the end he let me have him.

Max was a stunning animal to look at. He was snow white and he came up to my waist. He weighed at least 150 lbs. He was absolutely crazy when I got him. I would have been crazy too if I had been wearing a shock collar over a training collar which was made of metal to boot so the shock would have been intensified. Not to mention the 2 inch long steel spikes all around the training collar which had dug into his neck so deep that it took me 2 months to heal his neck so I could put a regular collar on him.

I didn't have Max home 5 minutes when he tried to bite me on the ankle. I turned around and socked him right in the nose! I hated to do it but I also knew that I needed to let him know who was boss right off the bat. After that punch, it was never necessary for me to do anything like that with him again. I showed him nothing but love and kindness and fun.

He lived for me. Only I could handle him for a long time.

Then I got him a friend. Another white german shepherd named Skye. I tried to keep Disney (a crazy lab mix I had) in the pen with them but they attacked her and I had to keep her separate from them. One time I bought all three of them doggie footballs, thinking that they could each play with one. That was not the case. Max hogged all three of them. No matter what combination of directions I would throw the balls in he would not let Skye and Disney play with the balls. He was greedy.

Eventually he got so he could be trusted around other people. When I got sick I had to use Skye as leverage to find him a home as well. She had papers and she was pregnant with puppies so everybody wanted her. I could have sold her but I didn't. I used her to get Max (and her) a home in the country because I couldn't take care of them anymore and I knew for sure that I couldn't care for a litter of puppies even thought the pups were worth a couple hundred dollars apiece (without papers because the man who gave me Max never gave them to me, but one look at Max and it was obvious that he was full blooded)

Anyway, all it took to turn around a couple of years of evil training methods was another couple of years of love.

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