Years ago, when I was a senior in high school, my family rescued a German Shepherd from the streets. It was about one year old, and clearly malnourished and mistreated. And so, my dad and my brother took the dog into our home in order to give it a new life. My brother named the dog "Rolex." I'm allergic to dogs.
Sadly, the trouble began with Rolex right away. Apparently a short life of abuse had rendered him psychotic. Every human (except, oddly, my dad and my brother) was an enemy. Everyone Rolex saw was greeted with loud, vicious barking and violent, spasmotic movements. Rolex had an insatiable bloodthirst. He wanted to exact revenge on all of humankind for whatever unspeakable and unknowable horrors he faced as a puppy. Once, Rolex bit me on my butt.
The family tried different things. Numerous dog trainers and obedience schools. One trainer assured my dad that Rolex was a lost cause, that he could never be truly tamed. My dad found another trainer. My dad even almost bought a choke chain. He held it in his hands at the pet store for a short while but couldn't bring himself do buy it. Rolex probably would have eaten through the choke chain and then killed someone.*
When I would come home from college, law school, or what-have-you, Rolex would be there, behind a fence or enclosed in some sort of large chainlink thing, barking at me, convulsing hither and yon, staring at me with his menacing eyes. He treated Meli the same way when she started coming around. Meli is convinced that Rolex wants to eat her.
I'm sure Rolex could lead a very happy life in some sort of government work, perhaps terrifying prisoners at Guantanamo. But he's just not cut out for life as a family dog. He likes to chase rabbits. Maybe he could live in the Outback of Australier.
Recently, my brother posted this photo to his MySpace. The caption he gave it was "family pic gone bad." I think this image accurately sums up what Rolex means to me and my family.
* I don't advocate choke chains or any other cruelty to animals. I'm glad my dad didn't get the choke chain. I also acknowledge that Rolex's behavior isn't his fault. But that doesn't decrease the extent to which I don't want to get mauled by him.