I give up. I surrender. I am not the woman I used to be! I cannot handle this dog. He overwhelms me. He is stronger than me and when he stands on his back legs, he is as tall as me. He refuses to obey any command I give him and howls and cries pitifully when he who is a man leaves his line of vision.
I could tell from day one that he was definitely a dog raised by one of the male persuasion. All the animals we have ever lived with have been primarily mine. Their loyalty was to me. Wall-E would be the exception, as he loves Papa more than he loves Gramma. That is okay, he still loves me second and more importantly, he obeys me. But, Zeke, is a force all unto himself. He will need a constant strong hand to redirect the bad habits he has. He is not a bad dog, just a stubborn and willful one. Not mean, he is affectionate and I will admit that I am quite smitten with his good looks. Being dog lovers, our furniture is quite distressed. We have no carpet and the couch and love seat are leather to accommodate easy cleaning. We enjoy snuggling close to our warm buddies, especially in cold weather. We have had very big dogs before, so his size is by no means daunting to us. We are used to drool. One of our favorite breeds is the Saint Bernard and we have had many. I am sure that I have a hairball somewhere in my digestive tract by now, but I digress.
Yesterday was my first day alone with Zeke. His master went to work and told me to just leave Zeke outside until he came home. I tried, but, I looked out the window and saw that Zeke was not in his doghouse. He looked forlorn to me and I let him in as dusk fell. I thought if he got too rambunctious I would put him in his kennel. He was happy enough to come in and very affectionate. He leaned against me as I stood in the kitchen and prepared his evening snack. He has been refusing his food. My friend, Yvonne, did point out to me that she had never seen an anorexic dog and that he would eat when he got hungry. I know she is right, but I feel bad for him, losing his original home and all that. So, I am patting myself on the back as I think things are going well and he who loves dogs will be so impressed with his wife when he gets home............
I was in my bedroom with our three little dogs behind a closed door while Zeke had the run of the house. Not good. We were sitting on the couch, Zeke and I, having a lovely chat about rules and expectations on my part. I was giving him a nice rub under the neck, which he seemed to enjoy immensely (if the face wash I got from his tongue was any indication). Oscar was on the floor enjoying the treat that Zeke refused and Wall-E and Emmy were cowering on the other side of me. Zeke sat up and I thought he was making it easier to get a good belly scratch. I was wrong. He had decided that it was time to torment Wall-E, the wonder dog, and he lunged for him. He pinned me to the back of the couch with his body and his one leg that was on my thigh. My free arm was holding the snarling Wall-E back. Zeke started growling and snapping and Oscar decided to intercede and a riot ensued. I was alone, unable to move, adrenaline pumping. I was scared that he would hurt one of the little dogs and I finally freed my other arm and pushed him away with all my might. He bit my hand, my old arthritic hand, right on my swollen thumb joint. He did not break the skin and I am sure he was simply warning me. I took his warning to heart and grabbed up Wall-E and Emmy and fled to my bedroom to the sounds of Oscar really going after this dog that was easily 5 times bigger than him. I did not wait for the adrenaline rush to subside before I ventured out to break up the fight and get Oscar to safety. Then I checked on my throbbing hand and took inventory of my situation. Remember the movie "Cujo"?
It occurred to me that I was being held hostage by a dog. I did not venture out until I heard my husband asking Zeke what he had done. Zeke seemed oblivious to the havoc caused by him. He scampered over for a head rub from me. We tried everything to get him into his kennel. His previous master had told us that he would go in with a simple command. Liar. We tried luring him in with food, with toys, with sweet words, with threats. We tried forcing him in and he responded with growls and bared teeth. I had tossed a sandwich in (roast beef on white with mayo). While our backs were turned he went in to investigate the sandwich and Drew pushed him in and locked the gate.
Heaving a huge sigh of relief I brought out my little dogs and we sat down. I did not say a word. He who loves big dogs said it. He sounded resigned, but he said, "Zeke has to go." I was so relieved. We have always had our dogs from puppies. They are so much easier to train when you start out with a tiny sweet puppy who is dependent on you and wants to please you.
I helped load all of Zeke's food and toys and his kennel while he sat watching from the front seat of the truck, then looked at him through the window and told him goodbye. He is on his way to a rescue kennel until he finds his forever home. His handsome face will help with that. I confess that I did shed a tear as I watched him leave. I know it is for the best, but ..............