Well I’m sitting here thinking back over the last 2.5 years with my beloved Elvis, a PugxBoston Terrier (a breed referred to as a Bugg) Words like beloved do not really describe how the family came to feel about him! Don’t get me wrong – in the beginning he was so adorable you would have forgiven him for anything. But things soon changed. Here is a bit on how life unfolded with our two dogs – Elvis and Coco.
When Elvis came home on December 22, 2005 there was a lot of “how cute” and “oh so “sweet – can I hold him?” This was mainly because he was so small you could hold him in the palm of your hand and yes, adorable was his middle name.
In a few short months the REAL Elvis was revealed to the household. There was no one who was safe from the little monster. His favourite thing was biting our toes. He started to get some very undesirable names; in fact the names are so bad I can’t share them with any of you…
We had the little so and so for about 8 months. I thought that fixing him might settle him down a bit. I was still unsure as to whether or not I would breed him. Therefore, I had to wait a bit more for that magical cure. So I got him a dog walker instead of fixing him. Elvis was alone most days so I had hoped a daily outing would help settle him down and socialize him a bit more. Len the dog walker and Elvis loved each other right away. It didn’t take Len long to let me know that Elvis was difficult to handle and was not getting along with the other dogs. This could be a potential problem as he was too small to back up his “big bark in a little dog” attitude. My 22lb baby had gone from a tiny monster to a big monster.
At this point you ’d think we would know that we had our hands full and be smart enough to stick with one dog. But shortly after Elvis turned 8 months, I got a call from a young man who told me he was desperate to find his 9 month old female Boston a new home. It turns out she was an impulsive purchase for him and surprise surprise – it was not working out. When I saw her I have to say I was hooked. She is very sweet, timid and loving. She seemed to be the opposite of Elvis. I brought her home and it was love at first sight for both of them. BUT it all became very unmanageable very quickly. We came to realize that Coco was a BRAT. She loved to pick on Elvis. She upset him and had him even more spun into the ground than before.
At this point I thought – forget breeding them, just get them fixed. I hoped this would settle them both down. I was wrong on that front as the bad behaviour just continued on as before. Things like running around the house, accidents, growling and toe biting just increased only now we had it twofold. I didn’t take them out except do their business and then I had to lock them up when company came over.
At this point I was thinking that maybe Coco should be placed in another home. This was heart breaking as we take our dog parenting seriously. Just giving away a dog had never been done in our family. I didn’t say it had not crossed our minds as we have had some strange characters over the years. Did I mention we took them both to dog training classes? We also did all the training that had worked on all our other large breed dogs in the past and nothing was working.
So there I am sitting in traffic and what do I see beside me but Jeff’s van. Jeff’s van has that larger than life boxer on the side of it so it is not the kind of van that you would miss in traffic. I can not tell you why I called other than I had a feeling and now I am so glad I made that call!
Jeff came out to our house and he amazed us. We couldn’t sign up for the training program fast enough. Jeff came back to get us all set up and one of the first things he did was take down my three baby gates. This was even before he started working with Elvis and Coco. I was a little nervous, but my other half was totally on board right away. His toes had gotten the most attention out of all of us. We started the training and right away they settled down and were listening to us. Elvis stopped biting, jumping and barking at Coco as well as any thing that moved. Coco started coming when called and she stopped attacking Elvis. All I can say is a miracle has happened. In a few days we had peace and harmony in the house. Elvis is adorable again and Coco is a well behaved girl. We can take them anywhere and we do. They have done a lot of socializing this past summer and are all the better for it. No aggression from Elvis or fear from Coco. All I can say is do not be a prisoner of your little dog. Call Jeff and restore the peace and quiet to your home as well.
We can’t thank you enough Jeff – nor can the mini hounds!