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My eleven year old Black Lab-Chow mix spent the entire first year ofher life locked up in metal dog crate. The girl, who had her mother and father, got homes for all of the puppies except for one. This girl was a dog collector of sorts, who obviously thought she was doing a good deed every time she took in a stray. Unfortunately, she didn't have the time,adequate space, or the know how needed to be responsible for dogs. The first time I ever saw my Lab-Chow mix was in a Petsmart Store. I had gone there to buy dog food and a local rescue organization was conducting a pet Adoption there in the store. I've always had two dogs at the same time. My seventeen year old Lhasa Apso, who was like my own child, had died eight months before and Morna, my Shepard mix, and I felt it was time to think about getting another dog to be a companion to us both. I agreed to take the Lab-Chow mix as a Foster Dog, but when I was made aware of the conditions she had lived in for the entirety of her life, I decided to adopt her. She was exactly a year old when she came to live with us. Her owner brought her to my home, along with her metal crate. The girl had named her Spunky which, in my opinion, didn't fit this frightend and totally untrained dog at all.She had no idea what a bowl was or how to eat from one and obviously, no attempt had ever been made to house train this dog. For her entire life, up until that time, she had to eat dry dog food, thrown onto the floor of her crate, and she went to bathroom on the same crate floor from which she ate. I learned very quickly she didn't like being in that crate, but because she had always been locked up, she was afraid of open spaces. Going into our privacy fenced in wooded back yard was scary for her and she wanted me near her. The metal crate went back to the girl who had her from birth, and Spunky gota new name, which is Freedom. It didn't take but a few days to teach her to eat from her bowl. To completely house break Freedom took me almost a year. When she first came to us, the fur around the back of her legs was bare from sitting in that crate in her own urine. She's had many baths and been brushed much since then and her coat is healthy and beautiful now. Freedom is the most loyal and protective dog I've ever had. She is not usually aggressive but she doesn't like ill behaved little children who jump and run in her house. Fortunately, her patience with a misbehaving child,in our own home, has been put to the test only once. Freedom didn't break his skin, but she nipped the child and taught him that he should be quiet and settle down and leave her alone. Several years ago, I had emergency surgery and friends of mine came to take the dogs out and to feed them. When one friend, who was caring for them attempted to enter my bedroom, Freedom prevented her from entering the room. Freedom sleeps in the hallway, just outside of my bedroom door. She use to sleep in bed with me, but the bed I have now is too high for her to jump onto. When my daughter visits overnight, Freedom alerts me if she gets up in the night. During theday, her favorite place to hang out is the futon in our den, which is known as Freedom's Futon. Freedom's favorite things are squeaky toys, raw hide bones, and tummy rubs. She enjoys a walk around the block, but is always anxious to return home. When she goes out into the backyard after dark, even though I turn on the floodlights, Freedom still wants me with her, at least I need to stand on the porch, where she can see me. Two and a half years ago,her sister Morna got very sick and died. Freedom saw her, so she knew Morna had died. Freedom grieved for Morna and she was very depressed. I have since adopted Maggie, a Lhasa Apso-Terrier mix, and she and Freedom love each other and have become the best of friends. Freedom is eleven years old now, and except for a slowing thyroid, for which she's being treated, she seems healthy. I feed her Nutro Ultro Holistic Senior Dry Dog Food, sprinkled with uncooked Old Fashioned Oat Meal and on that I pour in just a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil. She loves me and I'm convinced she would protect me with her life. I love Freedom too. With those beautiful brown staring eyes, she looks you right into the eye and she shows you her love. I would recommend a Lab-Chow for an adult household, especially a settled older single adult, who is home most of the time and who does not travel, a person who has experience and patience with a variety of dogs and who is able to be as loyal to this dogas she will be to you.
Posted: 8/15/2011 11:17:03 AM by Anonymous

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