Maggie (also lovingly nicknamed Wombat Smush, Mags, Magsters, Magdog, and a variety of other silly names) is our 10.5 month old pocket pitbull mix. We adopted her on September 20, 2012.
|This is Maggie at the shelter (then Lola). She looked so sad and we could tell that she just wanted a home.|
|This is Maggie after a few days with us. She was much cleaner and already feeling at home in our apartment.|
|She is just so cute. We can't take enough pictures!|
|A great picture of her two different colored eyes.|
|So many wrinkles!!!!|
Getting to know Maggie
After reading a lot of Cesar Millan materials and one of his books, we came to believe that the walk would be our best way to bond with Mags. The only problem was that she got extremely excited whenever she saw dogs across the street or in front of us. We chugged on and kept trying to teach her to walk very nice and ladylike next to us or behind us. We tried using a backpack and different kinds of leash/collar combos (even a front clip harness) but nothing helped all the time to get Maggie to listen to us or not pull on walks.
Even though she was incredibly cuddly when she was tired, she was also extremely hyper during other times of the day. She would run like a crazy maniac between the bedroom and the living room and jump over furniture. She's incredibly fast so we couldn't catch her and sometimes, we felt like we were totally out of control. Physical restraint didn't work at all with her. We could yell but all that did was rile her up even more.
When Maggie showed excitement, we assumed it was because she wanted to play or go outside to walk. We would throw a tennis ball for her or take her for a walk (which was mostly become a frustrating process).
We hadn't seen Maggie interact with other dogs for 7 weeks because she had kennel cough when we first adopted her so she was contagious and shouldn't have been around other dogs. Then, she was recovering from her spay surgery so she shouldn't have been around dogs because of possible rough housing. We tried obedience class one night and Maggie went nuts! She was whining, crying, barking at the other dogs. She was acting very cujo-like. She wasn't allowed to stay in the class.
After many weeks of frustration at not knowing where to test her for aggressive issues and just about how she was around other dogs, we got the name Brandon Fouche from some nice people at a pitbull rescue foundation (LA's Downtown Dog Rescue). They use Brandon to evaluate their pitties that they rehabilitate, foster and adopt out. The two women I talked to could NOT recommend Brandon enough. They said that if we had any doubt about Maggie's ability to be with other dogs, Brandon was the guy to go to.
We finally brought Maggie to Brandon's facility for an evaluation. Check out the next few posts to see what happened!