MIGHTY MOOSE
Canine Zone|February March 2020
The joy this Pit Bull has brought to us and our other dogs is indescribable
John Penrose

Pit Bull Terrier – Just the words immediately conjure up all sorts of ideas and prejudices. These misconceptions mean that the so-called “power breeds” more often than not get a bad start to life, are mistreated and used for unspeakable abuses before being abandoned or euthanised, often well before they’ve had any love whatsoever. There’s so much education still to be carried out on animal welfare all over the country, but there’s a special battle going on with the Bully family, including Staffies, Pitties and Bull Terriers.

That being said, this is the story of a little boy named Moose, a 16-month-old Pit Bull Terrier that was rescued by TAG (The Animal Guardians in Benoni) – a magnificent group of people led by Annalise, who predominately rescues Pit Bulls and then endeavours to rehome these magnificent dogs. Their shelter is near to large, open stands, townships and betting rings, which means that they unfortunately come across many of these dogs needing help. The problem they face, though, is how to find them a forever home once they’ve been rescued.

COMING TO THE RESCUE

In November 2019, I was contacted by the co-ordinater of Paws 4 You (a therapy dog training and outreach group), Eileen Calvert. They’re based on the East Rand, and I was told of a loving and friendly male Pit Bull that had been in the shelter since he was only a few weeks old. I already had two Pit Bulls (Tequila and Molly), one of which was a 10-year-old qualified therapy dog. I’d also recently lost one of my other dogs, so Moose could be a good fit. I was sent a photo of a “Christmas Moose”, and we immediately fell in love with him.

The challenge now was how to integrate an adult Pit Bull into a household with two other fully grown females of the same breed, with my second dog being a fouryear-old dominant female whom I’d rescued from the SPCA. We all hear so many stories about the “rules”, such as no females together, no siblings, integration being so difficult, they’re vicious, not good with kids, and so on, but with all this in mind we went ahead and began the process of trying to get Moose integrated into our family.

Thinking about how to approach this, including “what ifs”, is so important before even beginning to try and bring another adult dog into the family. Where will he sleep? How will I keep them separated but over time allowing more contact? How much time will I have to spend on the integration, and what are my current dogs protective of? How do I show the new addition lots of love without causing jealously? There were many other questions too, and it’s almost like a small war plan, but it certainly makes life easier.

STEP ONE

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