Hello troops, my name is General.
I was walking the streets of Philadelphia for a few days before I ended up in this guy’s small apartment. Really nice guy. When he took me in and fed me—I literally drank my food, I was so hungry! But the man couldn’t keep me because he traveled, so he contacted a small rescue whose founder fell in love with me through my photo.
My exact breed was unknown, I looked liked a mix of Great Dane, Pit Bull and German Shepherd. I was guestimated to be around 8 years old when I was found in 2004. Word was out and people were trying hard to find me a permanent home while I stayed with the guy who got me off the streets. Weeks went by, no one showed interest, but stories regarding my life surfaced telling a sad, sad tale.
Word has it that I belonged to a lady who fled her abusive home in the middle of the night, leaving me and her belongings behind. When she left, there wasn’t a scratch on me but I was found with torn ears and quite a few scars. You see, the man she left me with used me in dog fights for over a year before he ended up in prison. I was staying with his relatives from whom I escaped, and I never looked back.
The founder of that rescue thought about me everyday and wanted me for herself, but she was hesitant to bring me into her pack. Time was running out! The man who was fostering me was leaving town and I was headed to a kill shelter. That’s when the rescue lady went against advice to forget about me and had the gentleman bring me to meet her crew.
I looked regal pulling into the woman’s driveway in a convertible. No sooner than I got out the car, the Cocker Spaniel who ran the place jumped up and screamed in my face about how he’s the boss, blah blah, blah… I was fine with that and just turned my head. I looked around, sniffed everyone out and really liked it there; big place, peaceful, with lots of trees & grass—nothing like the city. The woman was impressed that I respected her main dog, and despite my intimidating look, my Scooby-Dooesque personality won her over. She was certain I was not a monster and decided to keep me.
I settled in quite nicely with my new family. We had a doggy door that allowed us the freedom to come in and out of the house. One day when mom wasn’t home, I made my way out of the fence by cutting the wires with my teeth, and showed up uninvited at a children’s birthday party. The neighbors didn’t take kindly to that so mom kept us contained while the fence was fixed and extended it to enclose a two-acre area. Now, thanks to me, the dogs have their own park.
I’ll never forget the night mom & I gained new respect for each other. I’d been there over a year by that time and was already on the bed when mom climbed in. I was facing away from her when suddenly I turned and grabbed her arm. We were both startled and I immediately let go having applied no pressure whatsoever. We just stared at each other for a couple of seconds until mom realized she had her entire 5’6”, 150 lbs frame kneeling on my skinny ankle! She nearly broke my leg and felt terrible when she realized the pain she’d caused me. She was apologetic and I was relieved because (A) she got off my leg and (B) she completely understood my reaction. I could’ve sworn she loved me even more after that incident because she saw how quickly I realized my error and how gentle I actually was.
All went fairly smooth during my final years. Then in August 2008, mom came home one afternoon to find me gone; my body was laying under the big tree by the shed. I’m burried not far from her bedroom, next to my sisters Phoebe & Phoenix and my tiny brother Pakko.