Please welcome the new addition to the BlinkLove family. We have started calling this sweet boy Mango. He has had it rough and we are happy to foster him through his recovery period or as long as it takes to find the right home. Mango was picked up by a student who saw him pushed out in the front yard of a known dog fighting house. The student was shocked by the condition of the pit bull and asked, “Hey, is this your dog?” The men looked at him, turned around, and went inside. The student picked up the poor dog and took him home.
You animal people know how your name gets out there! So luckily, I got called last Thursday. The student had contacted a nice woman named Michelle who eventually was given my number. She had started visiting the house where Mango was currently staying in the backyard. She wanted to take him to a vet so we all met there. My heart sank when I saw him. Skin and bones with missing fur. He had open wounds with gnats swarming around them. He was interested in the dried chicken I brought, but other than that, seemed like a zombie. I spoke with the vet and she said they had started treating him for mange. He got his vaccines and will be neutered as soon as his skin starts clearing up. He is no longer contagious, but it will take a couple of months for the rest of his fur to grow back. The student said he wouldn’t be able to keep him, so I offered to start fostering him on Monday.
Well Monday would just not come soon enough! I literally dreamed about him =) He is such a sweet dog. It is amazing how some animals and people don’t seem to care what they’ve been through and live with such excitement. Mango is a prime example. They think he was a bait dog and here he is, trusting us, licking us, and following us around with that contagious pit smile .
So now I write to you with “Mango” at my side. He is still itchy and we are trying different remedies to relieve his discomfort. I have not been pleased with any so far. We are giving him oatmeal baths each day. We have tried rubbing coconut oil on his skin. Yesterday I called the vet and she said we could give him Benedryl. I do not think it has helped, but maybe this is just a stage he has to go through during his treatment. He is putting on weight really well though and his stomach seems to be feeling alright. Even though he is going through some tough physical stuff, Mango’s attitude is awesome. He is interested in everything going on and is eager to learn. He greets visitors with his wagging bare tail and kisses. We gave him a toy which we believe to be his first. He lovvvves it. He also does not seem to mind a little music.
He is extremely food motivated, just like us! Stephen challenged him with a dog game (the hardest one out of the three I use) and he figured it out immediately! I have had dogs work on this for three sessions and still give up. He is very intelligent and eager to please. I personally think he would be a great candidate for the New Leash on Life Program =) . I went to the store to get him some good food and by the time I got back Stephen had taught him to sit, lay down, and stay! Michelle said the only negative behavior she noticed in him was when she tried to take his food away. She thinks he had to fight for food where he was living before. To address this, and just because it is fun, we have been doing focus training with him when we feed him which has him eating out of our hands. Michelle said she had him around her dog and kids, and he was great.
Side note, did you know that they used to call Pit Bulls “nanny dogs?” In the early 20th century, they were the most popular dog to have as a family pet. People have trouble believing it these days because of the unfair reputation they have been given over the last twenty years. But they were once as popular as labs and goldens are now. Remember Petey from the Little Rascals? And a pit bull lived in the White House with Teddy Roosevelt. Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Thomas Edison, Woodrow Wilson, John Steinbeck, Helen Keller, and Fred Astaire have all been proud pit bull owners.
We are already attached to this guy, but let us know if you are interested in adopting Mango, know someone who might be, or have any questions about him!
Thanks for all you do,
Heather + Stephen