This is our sweet boy Zack, who arrived on our doorstep on November 21, 2007.
Now, after that introduction I am sure you are having visions of a stork dropping off a 75lb puppy in a basket - a very large basket - at our front door, but it didn't quite happen that way.
About eight months ago I saw an adorable dog (that would be Zack) on Petfinder.com and after deciding that another dog would be great addition to our home, we decided to contact the Seattle Humane Society and make arrangements to meet him. We were all ready to meet him, only to be informed at the last minute that the foster person taking care of him had decided to adopt him. I know that this sounds crazy as I hadn't even had a chance to meet the big boy, but I cannot tell you how devastated I was about losing him.
Well, life goes on and in the end we decided to put our search for a second dog on hold for awhile and concentrate on Zoe's training. So in the last eight months we have taken part in two six week obedience classes and a six week agility class, that I must say Zoe excelled in. We then decided that we were ready to start looking for another dog, again. So the search began...
I contacted a couple of our local rescue groups; the Pit Bull Project and BullsEye Dog Rescue to get the word out that we were looking for a wonderful bully to rescue. I also checked Petfinder almost obsessively searching for various breeds, but mostly American Pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American bulldogs. I also contemplated getting a mastiff, Doberman or even a German shepherd (although Joel felt shepherds were too large a breed for us). Of course, we really wanted some kind of bully breed as we have found them to be an awesome dog, in spite of all the negative attention they get in the media. And, I just can't get enough of those pittie smiles.
We did manage to meet three gorgeous pit bulls, but Zoe acted disinterested or she was a true bitch and felt the need to bully them...hmmm, I really don't know where she learned to act like that. The first boy we met was a sweet blue pitbull named Bill and he was a real gem. I could've taken him home then and there, but Zoe felt differently.
Next we met Elmo, another gorgeous blue pitbull and a total love bug, but he had quite the dominant personality and I just knew it wouldn't work out having two dominant pitties in the one household, so we had to bid him farewell. I was really sorry to say goodbye to him as he had been saved from a domestic violence household where he had been beaten - as was the woman in the home - and then he was forced to spend 8 months in the shelter to await trial as he was technically evidence. Many lesser dogs would not have survived being kept in a shelter for such a long period of time, but Elmo was just as sweet as ever. I felt with my previous encounters with DV, as well as my volunteer work with DV victims, I really would have loved to save him from what could end up being a horrible, if not fatal end. He also loved women so I felt that I would finally have my own dog, as Zoe loves Joel more than me. Go figure. Even now I check Petfinder to see if he is still available, and every time I search for him I hope that he has been adopted.
Last, but certainly not least was Jake. He was a lovely tan and white pitbull who was super active and so very sweet. He was a smart boy and super food motivated so he would have been a dream to train. In the end, I felt that I couldn't have handled two dogs in the household who had a similar activity level. He had a little more prey drive than Zoe, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but dealing with two dogs on a walk who love squirrels and cats could be all encompassing for me, the walker.
I also contacted Doberman Northwest Rescue about a sweet doberman named Harley, who had basically been chained in a backyard for the last 2 yrs, until a neighbor reported the owner. I was actually pretty keen on adopting this boy, but he was quite a distance away and we found Zack before we had made arrangements to meet him. it seems that in the end everything worked out for the best.
We actually had a 'meet and greet' lined up with a sweetie named James Bond, but I think I was beginning to lose hope that we would find a compatible male, and one that Zoe would accept, so I canceled the meeting.
Just as I was about to give up on the whole idea of adopting another dog, I received an email from the Seattle Humane Society informing me that Zack had been returned to the shelter. it appears that the foster person who adopted him was forced to move into an apartment due to financial struggles and could not keep Zack. This was a terrible situation for Zack, but worked out perfect for us.
We set up an appointment to meet the big boy and after the introducing him to Joel and Zoe, we decided to bring him home. I was a little concerned about Zoe as she has been the only dog in our home for 2.5 yrs and I didn't know how territorial she would be once Zack came home. I did a lot of research on dog introductions and we did everything by the book and took it very slow, and it actually went much smoother than I had anticipated. Yes, Zoe was a little bit of a bully and Zack was wonderful in that he put up with her pushiness, and when he could take no more he growled at her and then life continued as usual.
Zack, who appears to be an American Staffordshire terrier x American bulldog, has now been with us for nearly 4 weeks, and although it was quite the adjustment with the increased workouts in exercising two active breed dogs, it has been wonderful. Actually, I feel like a proud parent who has just arrived home with the new baby, well, without all the pain associated with child bearing...you know what I mean.