Bridget came into my life when my boyfriend (now husband) Jarrod and I moved from a high-rise apartment and into a basement apartment with a large fenced-in yard. We were both dog lovers from childhood. We had to meet every dog we walked past; we would go to dog parks to watch other people’s dogs play, which only now, writing it out, seems creepy.
The day after we moved, we knew the only thing left to do was open our home to a dog. Bridget was about five or six years old, a chow mix, and had leash aggression. She also had been returned to the rescue group twice by other adopters. She had everything going against her: she was a 60-pound adult dog, a breed with a bad reputation, and behavior problems. And we fell in love with her the minute we met.
As we filled out the paperwork, Bridget sat under the table tearing apart a toy. She was snorting with joy. Whether her joy was over the stuffing that now lay in bits all around her or that she was getting a new home, we didn’t know. All we knew was she already had us wrapped around her little paw. We took her home, signed up for lessons with a dog trainer, filled the house with stuffed toys she could tear apart.
She also had her issues. We couldn’t get within eyesight of another dog without her pulling, growling, spinning at the end of her leash. Even with all the training, she no longer heard her commands when faced with a four-legged adversary. We learned quickly the best course of action was always keeping a lookout for other dogs and crossing the street when one was coming.
To us, she was an angel; to others, she was a bully. Guests would come over and as soon as they got to our glass door she’d be there barking and nearly throwing herself at it. At 60 pounds, all black, and very wolf-like, she was very intimidating. Many a pizza delivery man would walk through the gate, see her at the door, throw the pizza and run. We learned to have delivery people call us and we’d go out to their car. Guests who sat on the couch could look forward to Bridget sitting right next to them, barking at face level. She once took a hamburger right out of a guests hand at a cookout. Somehow, we still have friends.
Still, we were in love with her, and if people could see how she was with just us, they would understand why.
RIP, our angel with an attitude.
~ Written by Bridget’s owner, Lori Chletsos
Tags: dog with attitude, in memory, personal story