Thursday, June 14, 2012
We got Puck when he was 4 years old. We learned about him from a friend of a friend; and were told what a nice and friendly dog he was. (I don't know what dog they saw; but it wasn't Puck!) We had lost Murphy (our Golden) the year before; and the house was empty. We love Puck to death; and he is my husband's constant companion. But if we had known all his issues; we would have passed. Puck HATES people. Especially men. He loves me, my husband, our daughter. He tolerates our 6-year-old grandson. He dislikes and distrusts our son-in-law.
When we got Puck (2 years ago), he had a serious ear infection which he had had for several years apparently. We finally got that cleared up after many vet visits, ear flushes, and medication. However, there were many more issues.
He loved Harv when he was with him. But if Harv was out of his sight for an hour or more, it was like Puck forgot who he was. There was growling and barking; and I would have to restrain him. Every day when Harv came home from work, we would go through this all over again. (Doggy dementia?) It took about 2 weeks before Puck 'remembered' Harv.
This dog is very aggressive and protective of me. He is a Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd mix. (His mom was Belgian Malinois; and the vet figured the German Shepherd part.) So if he hears, sees,
or just thinks something/someone is near his territory, he goes ballistic. God forbid someone comes to
the door! I always hated it if I went to someone's house, and their dogs were barking their furry butts
off on the other side of the door. Now, I have that dog. We have tried everything to break him of this, without success. If I have a friend come to the house, he feels he has to be between me and the new person. He was going to go after the UPS guy the other day when he advanced toward me. I thought
we had finally got him over this because on Halloween after about 3 groups of kids came to the door, he calmed down and enjoyed seeing them. However, on reflection I realized Harv was opening the
door to these strangers. I wasn't. He is so protective of me, that I can't go to his Agility classes. If I'm there, Puck keeps his eyes constantly on me instead of what he's supposed to be doing. At one point, he jumped over a short fence to get to me. I guess he figured there were too many other dogs and strangers about; and he felt compelled to be at my side. Just in case. There is a puppy next door that
Puck likes. But if I'm within 10 feet of the fence and puppy, Puck attacks the fence to keep the puppy
away from me.
Puck was immediately started in obedience classes after we got him. He had a few commands; but we wanted him to be more than a dog who could just sit on command. He has progressed through many
classes and trainers, and has now been doing Agility for months. We have had at least 4 dog trainers tell us unsolicited that he was abused before we got him. That would explain a lot.
So, he had commands when we got him; but no vocabulary. We had to teach him "outside", "treat", car, upstairs, etc. Now, if he is asked "Do you want to go to class?"; he runs to the car. Once Harv
is home from work, Puck thinks Harv is on his watch. If Harv is going to leave the house, Puck thinks
it's just not right unless he gets to go too.
During the day, Puck can be found close to me. Apparently he feels I need supervision and protection.
In November Puck developed a growth on his leg; and after surgery, it was discovered that it was cancer. The vet told us that it will probably grow back, more aggressive this time. Since the tumor was surrounding tendons etc.; the vet was unable to get it all. So right now we're just hoping that Puck
has many more years with us.