I am a wife to one great husband, mother to two precious tweens, and now a new mama to one very special pitbull mix, Gunner. I live in a small city outside of Houston, TX, and work in the medical field. I wanted to join a forum with not only great information on pitbulls, but also full of nice, respectful people. Looks like I found it! I actually was looking to get a poodle mix or bichon frise after researching for a service-type dog for my daughter with autism. I even volunteered at a local poodle rescue with my son to get used to being around dogs. My husband, who was not on my side at first about getting a dog, finally opened up to the idea. He then started looking for mastiffs, pitbulls, cane corsos... the opposite of the small furry pet I was searching for. He then told me of a family member who wanted to get rid of their dog, a pitbull mix, and after much researching and consideration, I agreed to meet the dog they wanted to give away.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw Gunner. Thin, frail looking, but super friendly. He slept outside in the backyard of his previous owners, but they let the dog run wild all over the neighborhood. He would come home when he was hungry and sleepy, eating scraps they would throw at him and a couple of towels on the cold cement. He warmed up quickly to me and my son, and playfully tried to nibble at my daughter's toes. My daughter is non-verbal, but her noises at Gunner to stop were quickly obeyed. He was sweet to his former owner's young children, allowing rough playing and constant petting. I thought long and hard about bringing him home, and two weeks later he was mine.
He has been with us for 4 days now, and I know now what other pitbull owners mean when they say, "once you own a pitbull, you wondered how you lived without one." It has quickly become the case with me. Gunner is so eager to please, walks on a leash like a pro (he never wore one before), and already responds to his name (I already had the name Gunner picked out for whatever male I was going to adopt). He has been eating like a horse since the first day with me, but I didn't know if his lethargy was homesickness, stress, or illness. Yesterday, I found my answer. My new dog is sick.
Hookworms, heartworms, ear infections in both ears, and an intestinal infection were his diagnoses, aside from having a sore left rear leg from an injury that happened two days prior to me taking him home, a fever, and being underweight (39 lbs at 8 months old). He never even stepped foot in a vet's office before, and was getting poked and prodding in all directions, but he took it like a champ. Heartworm treatments begins after he is fever and diarrhea free, already on antibiotics for the infections and deworming for the hookworms. I had told my husband that there is no such thing as a free dog, and boy am I right! This poor baby was forced to live his young life practically on the streets, defending and feeding himself. But that is the past. This is now, and he is quickly learning that his life is better now.
Four days of being with this dog has opened up my mind and heart in a way that I never thought possible. I've had dogs growing up (mostly poodle mixes), but this one is definitely different. Seeing his beautiful brown eyes when he is waiting for me to pet him is priceless. He is practically housetrained, amazing for being an outside dog his whole life, and has to know where I am at all times. I hate to think that this awesome dog was completely disregarded in the past, but I somehow feel that I was meant to save him. I can't wait to let everyone know how Gunner is progressing (in behavior, size, and health), and get to know fellow members on this forum. (PS: My new boy's pic is my profile pic, not ready to sign up to a photo site yet.)
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this extensive story of my new dog and me