|Axle and Remi on a play date.|
|Axle and Fry napping.|
In the meantime, the woman's husband came up and asked if I needed any help. Axle quickly positioned himself between us and issued a low warning growl. I apologized, but the man seemed very understanding. He said that he had no problem with a dog being protective of his owner. We talked a bit more, then I walked the dogs home.
I was really embarrassed, to say the least. Axle had made quite a butt of himself in front of strangers, and he's a pit bull. He's supposed to be a breed ambassador, right? He's supposed to disprove stereotypes. And there he was, an anti-social growling mess.
The more I thought about it, though, the less bad and the less embarrassed I felt. This is because I thought about what all Axle has been through during his two short years - A LOT!! It's all documented throughout the blog, but here it is in a nutshell:
Axle lived with Otto for a year. Axle was only 4 or 5 months old when the fights started. We thought it was because they weren't neutered yet, but neutering didn't change things. We tried training, crate-and-rotate, you name it. We found out the hard way that Otto was the problem - he was unstable and human/dog aggressive to such a degree that we couldn't leave the house without a muzzle on him and a very strong, very secure leash. Axle learned from Otto that it didn't matter what he did, he would be attacked. We thought things would get better with Bobob (shelter dog), and they did...until Axle woke me up one morning because Bobob was having seizures. Bobob never woke up. :(
|Axle and Spudet|
After Bobob, we adopted Spudet. Things seemed to finally be working in our favor. Axle and Spuds got along beautifully...until the day she tried to kill him. He still has pink, hairless scars on his legs where she tore his flesh. Everywhere else (neck, ears, face, chest, thighs) has grown white hair over the scars.
|Axle and Remi|
All of those things are enough to make any normally play-doh-like dog at least a little bit dog reactive, but that's not all Axle has been through!
|From L to R: Leela, Remi, Fry, and Axle|
|Me and my lover boy!|
There's really no reason Axle should have to be so perfectly behaved. Look at everything he's been through! I do the responsible thing - I let other dog owners know that Axle is a Dog In Need Of Space, and we avoid dog parks.
Am I wrong for thinking this? Thoughts?
PS New neighbors, if you ever read this, you seem like really nice folks and your dog is cute and all, but I don't see any play dates in our future!