“Oh Emma!” What joy, love, inspiration, PATIENCE and understanding you brought into our lives!!
It all started when Emma came to visit us at our home when she was just 3 months old. She was a spunky, chunky little gal with a face like no other! She belonged to a friend, who at the time told us that his friend who owned her was not the best home for her. We questioned at that time if they would be willing to surrender her because we knew at such a young age she had so much potential. They would not agree to letting her go that day. So, we enjoyed our day with the sweet little girl. She swam in our pool, cuddled with our cat (Loki), cuddled with us, gave kisses and loved attention. Honestly, I had fallen in love with her, but knew we could not keep her so I asked if he could bring her over another time.
As time went bye, our friend had told us that Emma had been pushed outside, she was desocialized and the family no longer gave her attention. Except to feed her and if she jumped on them they would kick and push her away. Our hearts were broken, but without proof, there was nothing we could do.
About a week later, our friend was at our house watching movies with us when he got a call. From the other side of the room I could hear the profanity and screaming about the dog! The person that owned her was stating that she wanted this dog (Emma) out of her house and that if it didn’t happen she would be taking her to be euthanized in the morning. I asked our friend, was she talking about Emma? He confirmed that it was Emma. “What?”, I said, ” Emma is only 6 months old”. He told me that apparently after creating a desocialized Emma, they decided to bring another dog home (a Chihuahua) and proceeded to introduce them! Well, of course that did not go well. Now, Emma is the bad one and she gets to be euthanized?
We immediately jumped on the opportunity to have her surrendered to us. Although in the back of my mind I was very concerned. What were we getting in to? We have seen this breed before (Spuds McKenzie, the Target dog) and pretty much that is all I knew about this breed. We were determined that this was not her fault and she deserved another chance! They surrendered Emma to us the next day.
When Emma came through the door, needless to say, we probably did it all wrong. All we could do was cuddle and love on her. She was filthy and grey and had several sore marks on her. One was on the side of her cheek just below her eye, where we were told that was the area they hit her to get her to release the Chihuahua. Everything about this sickens me. So many thoughts go through my mind like, why didn’t these people do their research before getting this dog? What behavioral issues does she have now? Can we save her? All those questions went away and really didn’t seem to matter any more as soon as I saw that sweet face. Somehow, this time though, that face looked so different, obviously confused, scared, and somewhat excited.
Through the next few days, we quickly learned that Emma no longer got along with cats, or as far as we could see, any other animal. She wanted full control of the household and any belongings in it! Though there were many times of cuddling and being lovable, she was also trying to be destructible and unruly! After taking her to be spayed, micro-chipped and updated on shots, we knew that Emma was in far more need of professional help. Emma needed some serious training and she needed it quick!
We contacted a trainer and he quickly assessed that Emma indeed would take a lot of work. The trainer originally estimated she would need about 4 weeks of training, with visits back to our house in between to teach us how to work with her also. Each time Emma came back, she was so much better at her obedience, no longer trying to destroy the home! Walks with Emma were the best, she was so well behaved and almost seemed proud to show off what she had learned. Each time she came back to the house, unfortunately, we still had an issue with our two cats. The trainer was determined to help Emma, so he decided to take her another two weeks. In videos and in pictures he would send, we could see that it seemed as if Emma had finally gotten past her issue with cats. She could be in the same room with the cats!
We were happy to see this and knew that she was one step closer to being ready for adoption. The trainer brought her back to us. Everything was great! or so we thought. As soon as Emma saw our cat Loki, she went crazy trying to get at him, and not in a playful way!
We of course decided to keep trying and that maybe it would take time, since our cats and Emma did not have a good first go round in the beginning. Somehow our cats and Emma would have to learn to coexist in this household until we were able to find a forever home for Emma.
Now, here is the strange part! Every morning Emma and I would go for a walk in the neighborhood. We met several other dogs, she loved to sniff and play. She loved to get attention from anyone who walked by. We even met an older gentleman who would join us on our walks. One of the days Emma and I met an adorable pug and his owner who were sitting on a bench. That day, something very unusual happened. A huge black cat (same color as ours) proceeded to hop over the fence, right in front of us! I braced myself and was ready for what I thought would end up with me having to quickly rid myself and Emma of the area. Emma tilted her head, did her own lay down and let the cat come right up to her! I could not believe it! She and the cat sniffed one another and went about doing their own things. For the next several days, I thought that if Emma could love this cat then maybe she would understand that ours were there for her to love also. We visited that cat nearly everyday, no issues. The minute we walked through our door Emma was seeking out our cats and when she would see them she would get very aggressive. It was a true struggle, unfair to the cats and such a juggling situation in the household between pets and rooms.
We realized at this point, no matter how much we tried, it could be a potential for disaster. If Emma had gotten a hold of one of the cats, would we feel differently about her, we just could not get her past this issue. We knew we could no longer keep her in this home and put her and the cats under such stress. This was a last hope for Emma, I reached out to Saguaro Bull Terrier Rescue. We knew that if anyone would be able to find Emma a good home with people who know and understand her breed, this would be the place. They welcomed Emma with open arms! This is not to say that Emma still had some work to be done, but she was now in the hands of someone who knew her breed and would be able to take her through her next steps and become closer to finding her forever home!
We cried when we had to say goodbye, but knew this was best for her and the cats. Of course this did not make the good bye any easier. When Emma arrived at the ranch, she immediately went to play, without even looking back…
I am writing this story in hopes of reaching anyone who is planning on rescuing or buying a pet. Please, do research on the pet you are planning on sharing your home with. Be sure that this pet is the best fit for your home and your family. Make sure you have the time and money to commit to your pet. Remember, owning a pet is a huge responsibility and every pet deserves a chance to be the best they can be. This is possible if they are placed in a home that is the best fit for them. So all that are involved can enjoy each other.