Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Soldier and Samson & The Vet Visit

Thank you so much for your concern about Soldier (and the vet). They are both OK. I have no idea what happened in Soldier's earlier life that made him hate men so much. Whatever it was, he has most definitely not forgotten.

Soldier, now.

A brief recap of Soldier's story and what happened between him and Samson: In 2007, my husband adopted, or I would call it rescued Soldier, from a woman who was going to turn him in to the pound the following day because she was moving to Florida. 

Soldier had spent the first seven years of his life tied to a doghouse and hated men with a vengeance, but when my husband approached and knelt by him, Soldier put his front paws on my husband's shoulders and fell in love.

In 2008, Soldier came to live with me and the other dogs up here in the canyon. Hubby still had his business and lived/worked in Los Angeles. In 2009, my husband adopted Samson, a Samoyed puppy, from a relative. He came to live with me sometime in 2010. He was an adorable puppy. Soldier proved to be very patient and caring with young Samson and they got along very well. 

As Samson began to mature, my husband, much to my dismay, upset, and anger refused to have him neutered. Then nature took its course. Samson began to have fits of rage around Soldier. 

Sorry, mommy.

At this time, Samson also liked to dig holes all around the dog yard. And it was into such a hole Samson flipped Soldier one day. Soldier was on his back in the hole and couldn't get up. His back and hips were severely injured. 

It was so bad we considered euthanasia, but with the help of our vet, medications, a harness sent by blogger friends Terry and David at Moondance Ranch, he began to recover. After six weeks of restricted activities, many medications, and most of all, Soldier's strong will to live, he was going for his beloved walks once again.

The harness we used to get him up.

That, his last vet visit, took place on November 4, 2011. My mom died on November 4, 1986, and I don't think I could have taken it if the vet had told us there was no hope. Not on that date.

Who me?

A few months later, when Samson got so ill with pancreatitis, it was also determined that he had an enlarged prostate and needed to be neutered. Hubby couldn't say a thing and I was much relieved. 

Now to Monday's vet visit: After walking with his beloved daddy for several days with the muzzle on, Soldier has no problems with the muzzle. Since Soldier loves women about as much as he hates men, I tell the staff that they have to send a woman vet tech out to bring him in. This they do. She takes him in and weighs him. No problems -- 68 pounds, a good weight for him.  

Then we go in the room. The nice vet comes in, kneels down, and begins to pet Soldier, talking to him nicely. Soldier is taking this for about 30 seconds, then he lets out a tremendous growl and goes after the doctor. Twisting his body on the slippery floor. My husband pulls the leash back and Soldier attacks him too. We wait to let him (and us) calm down. Then the vet puts his stethoscope in his ears and leans in to listen to Soldier's heart and lungs. Soldier, who has by now turned into a chained-up, furious, junk yard dog attacks again; snarling, growling, and spitting through that cage muzzle. Foaming at the mouth, combined with the most ferocious sounds, would be a good description.

I'm sitting there praying the muzzle won't come off, my heart beating really fast. My husband holds Soldier tight, while he's fighting ~ all the time, trying to get to the vet. The doctor does something. Then he says, "Phew, you know if that muzzle had come off, he would have torn my arm apart. So I think it's best if I send the girl in to give the shot and do the nail trim." By now we all know there will be no nail trim, and I'm pretty sure Soldier has forgotten he really, really likes girls. 

Since my nerves are now sort of on the outside of my skin, my husband thinks it would be best if I were to leave the room. I don't object, but I ask the vet what he was able to do. He tells us Soldier's heart and lungs are good, but he was unable to feel his stomach. Of course he was, there was no way.

After some difficulty, the woman vet tech is able to give Soldier his shots. As we leave, my husband turns to me and says, "boy, am I glad I put that muzzle on so tight." Yes, my feelings exactly. 

Soldier was shook up, stressed out, with some pain in his hind legs, but basically OK. We rested yesterday and he seems fine now. 

We still don't trust Samson, so we keep them apart, but they visit when they go for walks together and through a baby gate we set up. Samson is crazy about Soldier; first thing every morning he goes to the gate and kisses him. Soldier is less enamored. And we are not taking any chances. 

Finally, in response to Manzanita's question: I'm sure Soldier is a German shepherd cross. He's still, at the advanced age of 13, a good guard dog, much better than Samson will ever be, and he was terrific at it when young. He and my German shepherd dog, Angel, were such a great team, I was never once afraid when I lived here alone with them. While he looks like his mix could be Labrador, it's not. Soldier hates water and has no idea what to do with a ball.


  1. Oh my gosh, what a scary experience at the vet's. So glad both Soldier and the vet are okay.

    It makes me so angry to think of Soldier spending so many years tied up like that. I don't understand why people get dogs if that's how they plan to keep them. So glad he has found such a wonderful home and life with you and your husband.

    Love the pic of Soldier and Samson walking together. <3

  2. not sure i would survive if Jake did that with the vet. we have to muzzle him, but he just stands there looking pitiful while the vet works on him. he did go after the vet once, that is why the muzzle, but when we put it on he is calm and i am still sick to my stomach. poor Samson chained up just makes me sick...
    some dogs just don't do well with others or with other dogs. we had a few terrible fights with Cooper and Jake, when we rescued jake from the street he was about 4 months old, he got along so well with baby and cooper, and we did get him neutered. but when he got to a little over a year old, he and Cooper both wanted to be the alpha male and it was a battle so many times with both bloody. so there is a chance even if you had S neutered young it would still happen.
    i am glad you are once again past that yearly vet visit. we have a female vet and a male, both in the same office. is there a female vet somewhere to try

  3. Sandra: yes, there is a female vet right here in the canyon. I went to her first, but it didn't work out. Our vet is so much more willing to work with us on various issues and he doesn't stand on policies, etc. This is how he saved Samson's eyesight when he got this weird disease he has. The female vet would have insisted on Samson seeing an animal opthamologist (sp?) and by then it would have been too late. I will never change back to her, so we have to do the best we can. If would be good if they got a woman vet at the hospital where we take him. But they don't have one now.

  4. i am so glad you all survived. i'd have been shaken up, myself. bless that patient, understanding vet!

  5. i understand about the female vet. that is why we drive past half a dozen vets and go 10 miles to ours, they are really understanding and work with us

  6. Oh man!! our daughters dog is much the same...great with everyone she knew in her first year...but we really have to watch her with anyone knew...She had a few 'men' treat her mean in her second not sure if that is it...but she seems not to like anyone male, hard when you love your animal...and know they have a good heart!

  7. What a crazy, mixed-up canine adventure you are having.

    Grace to all of you.
    love & love,

  8. Oh gosh - what a terrible experience all round. how lovely to have a good vet.

  9. oh I love your dogs very beautiful love for the animals !

    bisous de FRANCE? Marylin

  10. WOW! Inger you both and of course Soldier, must have been exhausted after that incident! You are correct in wondering just what might have happened to him before you got him. Something left an indelible mark on his psyche.
    Funny how dogs are all different....Sophie can't wait for the vet, any vet, to start handling/examining her. You just never know with dogs most of the time.

  11. Jim: You are so right, Samson can't wait to lick the vet's face while he puts these green awful looking drops into his eyes. He just loves this vet.

  12. My heart was beating fast just reading about Soldiers vet visit. How traumatic that was for everyone and what a great vet you have -- so many would tell you not to bring him back after an incident like that. I had to laugh at your comment about Soldier not liking water and not knowing what to do with a ball. Sedona is part Kuvasz and part something else. People think Lab but she also hates water and balls are beneath her dignity. We think Shephard.

  13. My heart goes out to Soldier for the awful experiences in the first part of his life. I'm happy he now has a loving home so he knows not all humans are bad. We have to muzzle one of our dogs. He just doesn't like people he doesn't like. Sadly, most people fall into that category. And he's never been mistreated a day in his life. For the few of us he loves, he is the gentlest angel ever.

  14. I am SO glad that's over for another year!!

  15. Oj vilken händelse. Hoppas det nu är allt i sin ordning. Så fint att ni tog hand om dem.
    Många hundar får inga nya ägare och blir säkert avlivade vilket är så synd.
    Heder åt er!!
    Nu har vi 2 v kvar av semester o det är runt18-20 grader med både sol o regn.
    Men det är skönt att bara vara ledig.

  16. Wow! What a trip that was to the Vet! I can't he but feel badly for Soldier because of his past...someone hurt him and hurt him badly!!! Thank God he has you and hubby and Sampson!...:)JP

  17. Holy cow!!! What an experience. Your vet is really amazing. Some would just refuse to examine Soldier. Wonder if a pre-visit mild tranquilizer would help. Probably not.
    I had a family member who short tied their English Bulldog constantly. He became completely vicious. So glad Soldier has you in his life.

  18. I know it stinks for you at times...but - you are such a responsible pet owner - you use the muzzle when you have to, you separate because well, you have to, and you work on finding solutions, no matter how long it might take, or how weird it might be, because you have to...

    im gonna let you in on a secret about dexterdog - yes, he is the most friendly dog ever to all animals, probably because he was neutered at such a young age (4 months) but i use a muzzle on dexterdog for just one thing. yep. him.

    I use a muzzle on him when i trim his toenails - because if i didnt, he'd take my arm off...but then would give me most likely the most apologetic longest licks afterwards...but he HATES having his toenails clipped...its like im clipping his soul or something, i dont know...

    so there is a time and a place for training, and then a time and place for muzzling - and you and I are doing fine, Inger!

  19. Wow, I was on the edge of my seat reading about Soldier! We sure hope that things calm down and Soldier is less scared. Poop dogs, if only they could talk and tell us what the problem is!!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  20. My dog Coco, only wants a woman vet.

  21. Hi Inger - all I can say .. is being a vet is one challenge .. especially dealing with feisty dogs, such as Soldier.

    So pleased all is well - relax and enjoy your weekend walks ... cheers Hilary

  22. Oh my goodness you are having doggie troubles too. Disco is a lot like Soldier. I tell you we love them to death yet we don't understand them at times. Sandie

  23. We've had 4 German Shepherds now and our first one (all from breeders)...HATED ALL MEN. PERIOD. He especially hated vets, but he would pee on the vet office floor when we took him. Our second one was even worse. He loved our son and our son's friends, but HATED every vet, except one, that we took him to. And, yes, I had to muzzle him. Our 3rd shepherd was very calm and laid back. Unfortunately, he got canine lupus and died at age 8. Now we have rehomed a 6 year old female shepherd (our first female) and she is so lovely I named her "Lady". She's an absolute angel!


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


Related Posts with Thumbnails