Written by Kristen Johnstone
In 2013, my mother and I noticed this great big brown dog wandering the streets near our home. Initially, we thought he belonged to someone and that he just kept getting out, but he wasn’t in good condition and, when we tried to approach him, he would run away.
Over the next four months, we discovered that he didn’t belong to anyone – he’d actually been living wild in the veldt at the bottom of our street for some time. Several folk had noticed him and began putting food and water out for him, but he was still terrified of people, completely unapproachable and painfully thin. My biggest concern was that he’d started recognising the cars of the people who were feeding him and would chase after them. Knowing that it would just be a matter of time before he got struck by a vehicle, we had to get him off the street as soon as possible. Time was running out.
One of the ladies who’d been feeding him planned to adopt him; she arranged sedatives and roped in a professional dog trainer to help catch him. After a few weeks – and a number of failed rescue attempts –they caught the large dog and got him to the vet to be neutered. While at the vet, obviously very stressed and terrified, he bit the lady who had helped to catch him. Naturally, she was very nervous of him after that and, after being advised by the vet: “He definitely has Pit Bull in him; he’s far too aggressive to be rehomed and can’t be trusted around other dogs – he should be put down”, she no longer wanted to adopt him.
My mother was devastated. She wanted to bring Buddy home there and then but, with us already having a very feisty pack of Jack Russells, I was worried that it would be a complete disaster. Yet my mom would hear none of my concerns. So, a few thousand Rands later for a fence to split the yard, Buddy was sedated and brought home. We’ve never looked back. Within days he’d completely settled in with the other dogs (rendering the specially installed fence obsolete). While he’s still nervous of strangers and can put up quite a fierce performance for passers-by, he’s really come out of his shell and fits right into the family.
He’s the cuddliest, most affectionate, placid and goofy dog I have ever met. Although he can be unruly at times and still has plenty of training to do, he has definitely found his forever home and is coming along in leaps and bounds. Who knows what start Buddy had in life and why he was so afraid of people; it’s impossible to go back and give him a brand new start, but we have given his story a brand new ending.
Buddy’s MuttMix results:
Level 2 Border Terrier
Level 3 German Shepherd Dog
Level 4 Whippet
Level 4 Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Level 4 Miniature Pinscher
We were astounded at his results. I nearly died laughing when I read that he had Miniature Pinscher in him; the only way I could ever imagine him having that breed in him would be if he ate one – and in any case, he is such a placid boy that’s not even a possibility. It was the way the vet labelled him a Pit Bull, almost ruined his chances of finding a home, and was so quick to want to put him down that prompted us to have the DNA test to prove him wrong – and, boy, have we proved him wrong. You just can’t keep a good dog down!
Dominique from MuttMix says…
The term ‘Pit Bull’ has come to describe several types of dogs, often of mixed breed, that share similar physical characteristics, and is not actually an American Kennel Club (AKC) recognised breed. There are several AKC breeds with characteristics shared by dogs referred to as ‘Pit Bull’ that are in our database, including American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Boxer, Bulldog, Bull Terrier, and Mastiff, so these breeds could be identified.
In Buddy’s case, there was a small amount of Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which contributes to his physical appearance slightly. It is very sad that people label dogs as ‘Pit Bull’ purely based on size and features, as this limits their chances of adoption. A dog’s temperament is, somewhat, affected by breed, but ultimately it’s determined by its owner – training and interaction determines how a dog will react to humans or other dogs. The information MuttMix provides about the breeds found is there to assist you with training and understanding your very unique mutt.