Week by week, our early adventures with Joy.
6 Weeks October 23 2014 After much praying we think we had found the new member of our family. Bringing her home we found that Joy was sick when we got her, and in an ideal world she was also too young to be separated from her litter mates. We have learned that the social structure of the puppy litter and their mother teaches the puppies how to be in a pecking order which makes for a properly socialized dog and the last few weeks in the litter the puppy is able to transition from mama’s milk to hard food. When we got Joy, she didn’t know either, how to be social or how to eat out of a bowl. It took her days to get the hang of eating. We gave her milk and raw egg, she ate some of it. I tried cooked chicken breast with mushy white rice, she didn’t eat that. She went at least 4 days eating small amounts, also, she was slow to drink water, she acted like she wasn’t familiar with it. We gave her kefir, she actually liked that, at least enough to eat small amounts. It was rough going at first. She had horrible diarrhea. I was on the internet looking up all the different conditions. I read more about dog poop then I EVER cared to know. For instance, hers was yellow and that meant chances are there was a worm infection. We tried several ideas to help solve the problem at home. We used OTC worming medicines, they didn’t work. She was a poor little thing.
Additionally, as we were caring for her physical needs, we were told she looked liked she could be a pit bull. That worried me A LOT. I love having kids around and I was strongly concerned that she would be dangerous. During these first couple weeks I had spent HOURS researching different aspects of possible pit bull traits. I looked at probably hundreds of pictures and different web sites trying to get a handle on the possibility of her being a pit.Two things came of it.
1. Many people tried to reassure me that pits are only dangerous when they are raised that way. Not convinced, I was still afraid, I had heard too many stories of how a pit just went berserk and mauled children, it was too much of a risk.
2. Cesar Millan loves his pit bulls. Problem there is that I’m not anywhere near as cool as Cesar Millan so my dog would never have all the great training, hence, that apprehension was still there. One thing Cesar said that made an impact on me was for me to keep in order these perspectives .. first she is an animal, then she is a species, then a breed and then my pet. That was worth thinking about.
3. I was happy when I went to the pit bull breeder in the neighborhood and he said “Yeah, I guess she could have some pit bull in her” HA! I was glad! That meant pit was not her primary breed.
Back and forth I went. Worrying, reading, praying. Over the next few weeks she grew enough for us to see that she could be any number of dogs. We came to the conclusion that she is a MUTT. I was relieved and happy. I could relax.
There was one interesting thought the vet told me though, she said she rarely sees pit bulls with bad attitudes, that they are not biters, instead, she says small dogs are constantly biting. The difference is that when the small dog bites it doesn’t do much harm but when the pit bites it does a LOT of harm and that is why it is so publicized. I am so sad to hear the horror stories of people being hurt by dogs that suddenly SNAP! According to my research every single breed of dog has been known to snap and go crazy. That’s the animal part Cesar talks about. Dogs can be dangerous and need to be supervised, they are animals.
Be smarter than me, learn about puppy life BEFORE you bring one home. If you are going to get a rescue shelter puppy, likely they will have some pit bull in them somewhere, in fact, like our little pup, they will have a variety of many different breed traits. By adopting a rescue mutt, it’s a gamble, no one can tell you what kind of dog you have. They will have to grow up and then you will see. It’s kinda like getting a present, you don’t know what’s in the package until you open it.