March 6th marked one year ago that I saw the most pitiful little schnauzer’s picture posted on Southern Pines Animal Shelter’s page. I reshared it and encouraged someone to go get that scared doggie. I sent the picture to my husband who immediately responded, “we don’t need another dog.” I completely agreed. We had two (one being a 14 yr old schnauzer that I rescued when she was 3). There was just something about his face that I couldn’t get out of my head.
Well, unbeknownst to me, Bobby was already talking to the workers at the shelter and making arrangements to come see the little guy when he left work. When Bobby walked in our house that evening he said, “There’s someone I’d like for you to meet.” I will admit, I did not squeal with delight and excitement. My mouth fell open and my eyes got big and I said something more like “Oh my gosh. You got him.” My only thought was how much work it was going to be to have another dog. Since I work from home, the heft of that responsibility would fall on me.
However, this dog broke (and eventually stole) our hearts. He was terrified. Labeled as severely abused, he would not allow us to touch him or come near him. He made our couch his “home base” and stayed there eyeing us with suspicion. He was destructive (crate training solved that), not housebroken (lots of trips outside, treats, and steam cleaning fixed that), terrified of people and un-socialized (a puppy training class and lots of love and patience fixed that). After a few days we changed his shelter name (Swayze) to a big boy brave man name, Major. It wasn’t long before Major completely stole our hearts.
We knew right away he was super smart. He wanted to please. He graduated from puppy class with flying colors. He learned to sit, stay, come, shake, and high five. He slept in a doggie bed on the floor beside our oldest schnauzer, Jewel. Often, during the night, we’d awake to the sounds of toys squeaking and flying across the room. It was as if he was afraid the toys would disappear and he so he couldn’t sleep all night without getting up to check on the toys and playing with each one of them.
Then, in April, one Sunday morning after my husband arose early and left the bedroom to go sip coffee, Major did something I never expected him to do. I felt the tiniest little nibble on my ring finger. In my slumber, I couldn’t imagine what I was feeling. I opened one eye and there curled up beside me, nibbling away at my wedding ring and finger was Major. He had managed to quietly sneak into bed with me and curl up beside me. It was the ultimate show of trust.
Today, Major is much more confident (still gets nervous when he meets new people). He is the smartest and most affectionate dog we’ve ever owned, and he just completes our family.
We celebrated his birthday and his freedom ride from the shelter on March 6. I took his official birthday portraits over the weekend. As you can see, he is still camera shy! Enjoy these photos of my sweet Major Man, and PLEASE consider visiting your local animal shelter or rescue group to find your best FURiend. I promise you, he or she is there waiting for you!