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DogoMama

Puppy: Courage

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Member Since: December 12, 2009

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Courage

Courage

Okay, this is is frustrating but I should be used to it. His breed isn't even listed here as a choice. I'm not surprised, his Vet didn't even know what he was. He's rare, I get it. This is Courage, my 7 year old Dogo Argentino. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the breed, they are the national dog of Argentina. They were bred to hunt wild boar & cougar. They are utilized by the police as well for search & rescue, bomb/narcotics detection, as well as schutzhund/personal protection. They are recognized by the UKC as a new breed but haven't been acknowledged by the AKC. He is largely based on the now extinct Spanish Cordoba Fighting Dog, but is also blended with the Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Boxer, Bull Terrier, Bulldog, Pointer, Great Pyrenees, Dogue de Bordeaux & Mastiff. After doing my research, I decided that this was the breed for me. I'm a firm supporter in adopting animals so when I found him on Petfinder.com, I just knew I had to save him. A rescue organization found him in a high-kill shelter in Virginia. He was being fostered by a lovely woman on a horse farm. After several telephone conversations, interviews and emails, she consented to our out-of-state adoption. I was so excited, it had been years since I had a dog! I scrambled to make arrangements but I was having a heck of a time finding an airline that would fly such a large dog. There were so many weird restrictions. I knew he had already been through a lot and I didn't want to further traumatize him... so I drove 500 miles down to Maryland from Massachusetts to pick him up. When I first saw him, I was taken back & shocked by the size of his head and how tall he was. Although he had not had any formal training and was rather unruly on a leash, he passed his good citizenship test. The foster mom had told me that several families had been by to check him out but quickly backed out of the adoption once they saw how big he was. I was warned that he was not good around kitties and had some male dog aggression. I wondered if I had bitten off more than I could chew? I had never owned a large breed before. He looked at me with his tongue hanging out and sat down as if to ask, "hey lady, when are we gettin' outa here?" I took another look at him and decided that he deserved another chance at happiness. Something brought me this far, maybe we were meant to be friends? He jumped in the car and really seemed to be enjoying the ride. His foster mom told me that he loved to ride around the farm with her in the pick-up truck. I just hoped he wouldn't get sick. I kept my fingers crossed. We made it to the hotel without a hitch. Of course, I had to pay an extra pet security deposit. Since then, I've discovered a little tip: Motel 6 does not require a pet deposit & that animals of all sizes and weights are allowed, no questions asked. Our first night went great, but he was filthy & still smelled like a horse farm. I wasn't gonna tolerate that smell for the 500 mile drive home. The next morning, I grabbed a phone book and found the nearest "self-serve" doggy wash. Bingo. Oh boy did he hate it, ha! He was such a big baby. Time for the nail trim... I didn't know if I could trust him or how he'd react. His mouth was so big, he could've literally swallow my head. No fear aggression what so ever. Wow, I was surprised. Time to dry off with the blow dryer. Whoa! It was like he was running away from the vacuum cleaner! Again, what a big baby. I was starting to see his character shine through. I couldn't help but giggle at him. Okay buddy, towel dry it is. Sparkling white and smelling fresh, we went to the counter to pay the nice lady. I explained that I had just adopted him. She said, "first service is free with any adoption!" Were the wheels of fate turning? We've been inseparable ever since. I bring him everywhere with me. He's my Bubba. Everywhere we go, we hear, "WOW, what a beautiful dog!" When I first brought him home, he weighed around 95 pounds... you could see his ribs and all of his vertebrae. Now he's a healthy 120 and fit as a fiddle. Courage has an incredible prey drive. He likes to take off after the deer in my backyard lives for chipmunk huntin'. He has a ball when we hike the mountain trails and loves to run on the beach like a madman. I'm so glad I adopted him, I really couldn't have asked for a better dog. My snuggle bug ;)

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