CHAPTER FOUR: MR. BELVEDERE
Mr. Belvedere is my other American Bulldog. He is mixed with Bull Mastiff, weighs about 104 pounds and is 4 years old. I was helping another rescue organization in Los Angeles and one night I received a telephone call asking if I could foster a dog. I had the room in my place and an extra room I designated as the “overnight (or sometimes longer) house guest” room. Besides, my own dogs were very dog friendly and welcomed any dog or cat into the house without getting territorial. I supposed they looked at it being a new playmate to tease.
I agreed to foster “Barrot”. This was his name when I first knew of him. Barrot had been rescued from an abusive household where he was chained outside of a garage and was hit repeatedly with a baseball bat whenever he would bark. I know, is that not what dogs do…bark? This apparently had been going on for nearly a year before he was removed from this situation. I was to pick him up at a shelter where he had been for about a week or so. When I arrived to pick him up, he was very scared and confused, but came with me willingly.
Back at home, he immediately got a bath and grooming (even brushed his teeth) and I had set up his room with food, water and a very comfy cozy dog bed and, of course, a small basket filled with toys and chew bones. He had been neutered earlier that morning, so he was a bit drowsy still. The night was good….not a sound from him unless I count the snoring and boy did he snore.
I received another telephone call from the organization this time asking me if I could bring him to the pet adoption, which was being held in West Los Angeles the next day. I agreed and the next day I prepared him for his big debut. I just dropped him off and was to pick him back up in 3 hours if he had not been adopted. My fingers were crossed and he watched me leave. I returned to find him secluded from the rest of the group of dogs also up for adoption and the lady running the adoption told me he was not adoptable, because he fiercely barked at anyone who approached him and obviously would scare them away. She and I had a couple of words back and forth ending with me being told he was going to be “put down” for reason being he was too aggressive. I disagreed with her decision and she said I could take him and do what I wanted to, but I would have to sign a legal document with the local police department relieving her of any legal responsibilities. In other words, she did not want to be responsible if he bit someone. I signed all of the paperwork and brought him back to my house.
For 3 weeks, I had a professional dog trainer come to my house and she, I and Barrot worked on his aggressive issues. It took no time at all for him to turn into the cream puff he is today. He stopped barking and growling at people and learned quickly to be well behaved. I changed his name shortly after to Mr. Belvedere, because Barrot was his old name…old life.
He and Daisie Lou immediately had this bonding connection between them and to this day they still are “connected at the hip”. He sleeps right next to me at night taking half of my pillow and every now and then he snores right into my ear, so I have to move around a little bit.
He experiences mild seizures occasionally. This is caused by being hit in the head so often. One of his eyes are a little off for the same reason. But, all in all, he is in excellent health and I do not know what I would do without my Mr. Belvedere.
Also, I had no idea how handy and helpful Mr. Belvedere’s presence would be in the near future as I will explain in an upcoming blog in this series.
E.L. / June 2011