Kolby, Gales Ferry, CT
Hi! My name is Kolby (or as my mommy calls me, Cold Pizza!). 🙂
I was found by my new mom when I was 3 weeks old, wandering around at an ice cream shop. She brought me home since no one knew who I belonged to or claimed me and she didn’t bring me to the animal control in town as they have a 3-day period for my breed to be claimed before they euthanize.
I was only with my mom for 1 day when I started to have seizures, I wasn’t able to walk and had trouble breathing. We went to the emergency vets, where they took me and did all kinds of test and blood work. They were not able to explain my rapid heart rate, but they told my mom I was so malnourished they weren’t sure I would make it.
Two days later, the vets let me go home, but they said I was still very sick, so my mom had a strict diet to follow and daily visits back to the vets.
A few months later, I was feeling pretty good and things were looking up. But I was scared of every person I saw except for Mom, and I was in no rush to get over my fear. She tried to take me to the local training center, but I wasn’t big into treats and the people scared me. All I wanted to do was sit in Mom’s lap.
Every week we went to class, I had the shakes, and they got worse and worse. After having a few mental breakdowns with me (she never had a pibble before), Mom tried to talk to the trainers and told them I was a very scared little girl. The trainers locally (a very well known facility) said that I needed to get used to all the noises and people and other dogs. They all stood by the mentality of “She’s a pit bull, she will turn. It happens to all of them.” Imagine that?
Mom really thought she was going to have to give up and find someone who knew the breed to take me! But she reverted to her experience with horses.
She grew up riding horses and when she was 16, she went out to get the best jumper she could ride. She did this by researching to find out what bloodlines made the best jumper. She always loved the German-bred Holsteiners. However, you could never find one anyone could ride in the US because they were always problem horses. She went to Germany where they are bred and found out the real story behind the breed. The Holsteiners are bred for their character, charisma and class, and they do not belong in the hands of an average trainer. You need to know how to handle them, you can’t beat them down! Sounds familiar?
It was the horses that pulled her together, having worked with a breed of horse that is of the same mentality as the pit bull breed. She was able to give herself the confidence she needed to know that she wasn’t failing me!
So she spent her spare time buying books and researching my breed. She knew the local trainers were great but my fears were very deep and I needed someone who could understand me. That’s when she found Matt.
Matt came to Mom through a friend who had sent her Great Danes to him. We went and saw Matt, and we learned that he had worked specifically with my breed for years. He explained to us that I may be in trouble (no fault of my own) as he felt my fears were from lack of socialization as a puppy. He didn’t want the fears to turn into a learned behavior, so Mom had to leave me with him. She cried, she didn’t want to leave me, and I didn’t want to stay there! I thought to myself, “Where are you going, Mommy??”
But Matt turned out to be my angel. He took me in and he taught me that there was nothing to be afraid of. He would give the biggest hugs when I did silly things like “sit” and “stay”! There were other dogs at the training center, but he always brought me home at night. Two months later, Matt took me to the kennel as always in the morning, and there she was…MOMMY!!
Mom cried, she couldn’t believe I was walking around saying hello to everyone, and was so impressed with my sits and stays! Matt asked me to jump up and give him a hug. I gave him the biggest hug ever and went home with Mom.
Its been almost a year since I started working with Matt, and boy, I feel good! There are times when I am still so scared. We tried to join the local trainers agility classes for fun, but there was another pibble in the class who used to go after me every class. 🙁 So Mommy and Matt decided the class was not good for my fears and I had to stop. I have found that playing frisbie at home with my nephew and my new little sister is much more relaxing.
I know in time, I will be just fine. I am so happy my mommy found me, and most of all, she never gave up on me. She admits it’s been quite the learning experience for her!
My mommy has become very involved with my breed, and she tells everyone my story. I am not a monster, I never was, and never will be.