Friday Firesmith – The Dog I Wanted and the Dog I Got

Wrex Wyatt, pictured below on the right, was the dog I wanted. I was Wrex’s foster four years ago and he quickly was adopted by a very nice military couple. I was heartbroken. I really wanted to keep Wrex but he seemed a perfect fit for the new family. I sat in my truck and cried after losing him. Four years later they surrendered him back to the Humane Society for reasons that remain unclear to most. I stepped in and got my dog back. I held onto him for a month to see if he would get along with the rest of the pack, and he did. Wrex was before, and he is now, a dog with manners, and a sense of place inside a pack. Wrex was, and he is, loving and gentle. He’s polite to Lilith Anne, the Queen of the Pack, and he gets along with Tyger Linn, my slightly crazy brindle pit. Wrex Wyatt was the dog I wanted and I adopted him back in February of 2018.

Budlore Amadeus was The Dog Left Hanging. Someone tied him to the awning of the Humane Society building and abandoned him. The rope was too short so Bud had just enough space to have all four feet on the ground without choking. From the surveillance video, the people who left Bud were homeless. They thought they were doing the right thing.

Bud was loud, ill-mannered, greedy for food, and quick to fight. But mostly, Bud was heartbroken because the people he loved were gone, and he was terrified at the place he had been taken to, and he was unsure of me and my home, and my pack. He had the same Street Dog traits Tyger had come into the pack with and I quickly consulted with a professional dog trainer. Give him structure and love, she told me, and you cannot fail. And we humans, as a species, had failed Bud already.

Sometimes, a dog comes by and something in that animal speaks to you. No matter how large of a hot mess he might be, or how much damage he’s taken, or how poorly equipped you are to handle another dog, you have to take this dog in. Labeled aggressive and violent, Bud was not put up for adoption at the shelter, and he was literally on Death Row when I took him. The Humane Society allowed me to foster Bud through their system, and I started a fundraiser to get him fixed and vetted.

Bud and I have seen a professional trainer twice, and she agrees with me; there is nothing wrong with this dog. He’s still a little wild but he no longer is reactive. He no longer is a wild beast when I feed him. Bud has learned to lie down and wait until I tell him he can eat before he goes for his food. He’s learned not to try to steal treats from the other dogs, and he’s learning to explore the property without being right at my side all the time.

Wrex was the dog I wanted, well mannered and loving, sweet and low maintenance, and after four years, Wrex returned to me. Bud was not the dog I wanted, and was everything I did not want in a dog, and was the dog I was least prepared for. I have to embark upon the journey of learning to train Bud, and to heal the wounds inside that humans have inflicted upon him.

Bud was the dog I got. I adopted him legally one month after I took him in. Ever it may bring, Bud’s journey through the adoption and foster system, trying to find a home, ends at the foot of my bed. With the support of a professional dog trainer and encouragement of the people of the Humane Society who happily cheer us on, Bud is here to stay.

I’m going to change Bud’s life. I’m going to train him to be a part of this family. I will never give up on him. Bud is now, the dog I want.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.