Tuesday, July 15, 2014

George, six months later.

We have had our George for six months now, and what a crazy six months it's been. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to add a second dog to our family. Especially a dog like him. There was, at the very least, a lot of neglect in his former life, and possibly some abuse. He was surrendered to the shelter where he lived for two months, a rural shelter in the next county that is seriously underfunded and staffed entirely by volunteers. He had to share a kennel with several other dogs, which had to be seriously stressful for him. He had also arrived at the shelter with some sort of nasty wound on his right side that was just starting to scar over. No one was ever clear on what, exactly, had happened to him. George weighed 41 pounds when we adopted him. The shelter staff said he was a "terrier mix" and around a year old. I took their word on the terrier thing and also figured he had mostly stopped growing (being a year old).

Turns out he was definitely younger than a year, and yes, he's a terrier mix....a Pit Bull Terrier mix! (That's one breed I never expected to own.) We think there's some Lab mixed in, too. And done growing? Hardly.

George had to go the vet last month, exactly six months after we had adopted him. He now weighs 65 pounds and isn't quite done yet. Just look at the difference:

October, 2013. Newly arrived at the shelter, skinny,
scared, and with a mysterious wound on his right side. We
adopted him two months later, right before Christmas.

6 months, 24 pounds,
and plenty of love later...
 So life with George has been an adventure, to say the least. A young pit  bull terrier/lab mix would be a challenge to raise under most circumstances, but George has been a whole other story. He came with a bunch of issues, some more worrisome than others. Add to that his natural extra high energy level, his bulldog stubbornness, his physical strength, and his over-the-top playful/destructive personality, and you have a recipe for trouble. It's been a challenge to say the least. I won't even mention all of our stuff he's destroyed while we're trying to teach him to be civilized. If I listed it all I'd have to go have a little cry and a lie-down. Trust me, it's a lot of stuff.

So in the end, was it worth it.....?

 Just look at those eyes.
Yes, it's been worth it. Despite all his problems, and amid the wreckage that used to be our carport, laundry room, and backyard, George is beginning to display a very loving temperament. He has a big heart, and loves to be loved. Ginger tolerates him fairly well (they established her dominant position early on) and even seems to like him sometimes. All in all, I think that eventually, when the puppy wears off for good, he's going to be a great dog. I'm hoping so, anyway!


  1. I must say that the first picture I saw of him made me think 'Pit Bull mix'. I would be reluctant, myself, to take on such a dog, simply because we have a lot of small children around, but there's no reason why he shouldn't become a wonderful pet. Dogs respond to their treatment, and given lots of love and attention he'll thrive. Good for you!

    1. I was utterly clueless about pit bulls, and the shelter staff aren't quick to point it out when a dog has pit mixed in, for obvious reasons. I really had no idea how difficult it was going to be. Our other dog is incredibly well behaved and has never caused us a minute's trouble. Compared to George, Ginger is an absolute ANGEL.

  2. What an incredible transformation he's made under your loving eye and care. Thank goodness, really and truly, that you guys were able to give darling George the fur-ever home he so deserves.

    Annie, our half lab/half American bulldog (aka, a bullador) wrecked so many things and did so much damage in our house when she was younger that it sort of blows my mind when I look back on it and how much stress it caused us at the time, though of course we loved her dearly then as now and did try to curb her wrecking ball ways as best we could at the time (I should note, she was our first puppy and we were give a lot of flat out awful advise on how to bring her up, deal with her chewing, etc; things, I promise you, will be mighty different when it comes to raising any future dogs we get).

    Some of the biggies though were destroying a stunning mahogany wood dinning room table and eight chairs, three piece living room set (couch, love seat, and arm chair), coffee table, two wooden side tables, two wooden chairs, a $500 AC unit, the carpet on a portion of our stairs, multiple blankets and pillows, three pairs of shoes, two belts and Tony's best winter coat, two dog harnesses and a few leashes, countless toys (the only ones, even to this day, she won't destroy in seconds are the absolute most sturdy rubber ones on the market), and chewing some of our walls to near shreds.

    All this to say, you were not alone in the slightest with your ultra high energy (Annie is the same on that front, too) lab-pit's desire to ensure your home looked like a hurricane had swept through it and that with every fiber of my being, I fully understand.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Oh my gosh! You DO understand! Sorry about the loss of so many of your possessions, it's a difficult thing to contend with. A few times I've been so frustrated with George that I ended up in tears and nearly despairing of things ever getting better. But then he acts like a sweet overgrown puppy, and I can't help but love him. I wish you lived nearby so that Annie and George could play. Poor Ginger gets fed up easily with his crazy antics and will ignore him. :)

  3. Thank you Jennifer for follwing my blog. (I worn you that my english is not so good...)Our mixed Pitt bull likes so much children and all kind of people:) She dose not like other dogs but now she is 10 years old and more calm,She also used to chew every thing when she was young.

  4. so much love. what a remarkable transformation :)