Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
I worked for a vet for 2.5 years when I was in high school. I did mostly boarding, but also helped out around the clinic as needed (and this included helping restrain dogs). I worked with every common breed and mix (and some uncommon ones) imaginable, even some wolf hybrids. The only dog I was EVER bitten by in that 2.5 years was a 3lbs pomeranian named Pookie whose owners were the kind that are unfit to even own a stuffed toy dog. All I did was reach down to slip the lead off Pookie after I put him in the outside run to go to the bathroom while I cleaned his cage. He whipped around with no warning (and I came from the front of him, so he saw me coming) and nailed me so hard he ripped my finger open.
On the other extreme, we had a German shepherd come in that had been severely abused. Her owner had her as a breeding dog, but all she ever produced were pet-quality puppies (not her fault...she had great conformation, but the males she was bred to were horrible examples of the breed). Whenever her puppies weren't show quality, the owner would beat her. This is all by her own admission! Anastasia was so TERRIFIED of everyone that she would lunge at the kennel gate, snarling and snapping. I decided that, since she was with us for almost two weeks, I was going to get her to at least let me take her out of her run to go to the bathroom. I spent a whole day sitting in front of her cage with treats, tossing them to her and luring her closer, until finally, right before I had to leave, she actually ate one out of my hand. I stayed a little longer and was able to get her to let me come into her run and sit. She crawled into my lap within minutes of me sitting down and stayed there until I left. By the end of the two weeks she was with us, she would walk at heel without a lead, had perfect recall and was excited to see me. I didn't train her, mind you, she was already obedience trained...she just needed someone to trust and someone to love her so she would want to obey them (the lady who owned her could barely control her...and beat her for that, too). I cried when the lady came to pick up Anastasia and offered to buy her (hang what my parents said about no second dog...they would have understood had they known where Anastasia came from), but the lady was all snobby and said I couldn't afford a dog like Anastasia.
Most of the wolf hybrids we had come in were really sweet dogs (once you got them to trust you). We had akitas, rotties, pits, shepherds of all sizes, American bulldogs--all the "notoriously bad" breeds--come in and they were all the sweetest things on four legs. The bad ones were the JRTs (we had four that were rescues that belonged to the same people and I HATED those dogs!), chihuahuas, pomeranians--all the "cute little dogs." Heck, the dog that hated me the absolute most was a golden retriever named Sam. Anyone else could handle him with no problems, but if I so much as walked past his run, he tried to attack me (unless I told him it was time to go home and then he loved me lol). I never did anything to Sam, so I don't know why I earned his hate.
I had a pit/dane mix in college who was a wonderful dog. Got him as a six-week-old puppy from the pound. He was stolen off my front porch as a five-month-old, but I ended up finding him at the pound again six months later (he had gone from being a black puppy that looked like a pit to being a tall, lanky thing with a dane body and a pit head lol). Not sure what happened to him while he was gone, but when I got him he was extremely food aggressive toward other dogs. I took him to get his rabies shot and the vet and techs refused to restrain him, based solely on his looks. So, I told him to sit and put a hand on his collar, then told the vet to go ahead. He never moved a muscle. The vet was so impressed by his temperament (after she realized that he was actually very sweet). He looked like a big, mean dog...because he looked like a tall, lanky dane with a big block of a pit head stuck on its neck, and he was mostly black.
Do not tell me I can't...because I will show
you that I can.