My mom called today to tell me there were two stray pit bulls at her house. I immediately went over there to find the absolute most well behaved, sweetest babies. My initial plan was obviously to try to find their owners, but now after being with them for a while I definitely don't feel like that's the best idea.
The younger of the two, who we're calling Ollie, seems to only be around one year old. He has some gnarly sores on his ankles, and bloody toenails, but his dew claws are really long. He also looks like he probably has mange, or some kind of skin condition because he has patches with less fur, and red skin. His ears are absolutely filthy. The other, we're calling Boss, can't be much older than the Ollie, but is much less puppy-like. His ears are also disgusting, and he too has long dew claws. Both have oozie eyes, and both have sores around their mouths which I assume to be allergies. Neither are neutered.
The worst part is that they are extremely skittish when it comes to raising our hands. Loud noises don't bother them, and they seem to be totally fine with dogs, (although they have not come into direct contact with any, just through glass doors), but if I even lift my hand to scratch my nose they cower down to the ground and squeeze their eyes shut. Any movements made by a person produce the same effect. So it seems to me like they have been really hit in their life time. They got in a little spat and Tanner said, yelled, "Hey heyyy" to break them up and then for the next hour or two they were terrified of him.
They have never been leashed. We put some cheapo loop leashes on them and they both just froze. Neither have apparently ever ridden in a car before, because that was a traumatic experience in itself...more so for Boss than Ollie. He shivered most of the way home. They don't really know how to go in and out of doors, and seem to be slightly afraid of doors as well. Affection, and playing with toys are also both totally foreign behaviors to them. Ollie still mouths like a puppy, but is definitely old enough to be past that habit.
Obviously they were outside dogs wherever they came from, and I honestly don't think they had all that much contact with humans. They are pretty fat, but everything else points to their previous home being a less-than-ideal one. I am going to get them checked for microchips but I'm pretty sure this is not a situation where they will go back to where they came from.
I borrowed two crates from my uncle and I knew if we could just get them to be calm in them, they would fall right to sleep. Boss has literally been falling over sleeping all day. So we stuffed some kongs with peanut butter and put them in the crates. They were resistant at first but quit complaining after a pretty short amount of time.
I know that's not proper crate training but since I already have my two, I really had no other choice. Tanner is with them now while I am in the other room with our two.
So they are on lock down now. Neither pair are out with the other. We are planning on staying that way for a while, so that the novelty of the whole situation wears off. We were thinking after about three days we could introduce all dogs while in their crates in the same room...and proceed from there.
I called my vet to see if they could cut me a deal but they declined...so I left a message at our local SPOT clinic, and hopefully we will be able to get them in for their vaccinations, neuter, and full vetting soon.
It's sad and I keep having this inner dialogue where I'm like, "well, they obviously lived somewhere so maybe they should go back there..." but then I think, "no one deserves these animals if the most they do for them is feed them"...
Anyway, sorry for the length. I'll get some pictures posted soon. And let me know if you guys think I'm doing the wrong thing... it's just that everything tells me to save them from their old life.
~Brittany, Degan and Harlow's mom
"It is true that Pit Bulls grab and hold on. But what they most often grab and refuse to let go of is your heart, not your arm."