When I was given this little guy I was, to say the least, I was not a happy camper. But I still treated him like I would any other dog.
The first thing I did with him was give him a bath. Not only did he need one but it’s a good way to get to know and bond with your dog.
Usually it’s the first thing I do with my dogs. Its kinda my way to have like a fresh start with the dog. Wash off all the scents and dirt of before, and start new.
Also, if the dog gets scared, which most do. I believe it a way to show the dog that your not going to hurt it. To build some trust. And normally when its over they are so happy to be done they just want to get out and run and play. So that’s what I do.
During that bath he was a gentleman. He just stood there and waited till I was done. It was so smooth and quick. Almost to easy. When I was done he jumped out of the basin took two steps, shook off and just looked and me, as like he was saying, “Your done right? Well let’s go then.”
So I went out side and took him for a walk around the unit yard. He was all over the place. I damn near had stepped on several times. He was happy to be outside and just wanted to see everything. He had no idea what the leash was or how to walk with a human. He was left, then right, then left again, then ran around behind me. All while diving between my legs. I could barely keep up with him and the leash not getting tangled around my legs.
From him never being on a leash before and myself never having a dog this small was new to both of us. He had to watch out for my feet and I had to learn to watch where I stepped.
When we were out in the front yard the Sgt came up the walk way to the unit watching me and Fred. As she got closer she asked how I was doing and how the dog was doing.
At first I wanted to give a snide comment to her about taking off the other day and leaving me with Fred. But thought other wise and just said, “Sir Fredrick is doing just fine.”
The Sgt stopped in her tracks did a double take at me with a surprised confused look on her face and said “What’s did you call him? ”
I was expecting another comment about his name. Or something like, “that’s not his name, its” . . . But got nothing. She just continued to walk inside the unit shaking her head back and forth.
Looking back at it now, I think she didn’t say anything about his name because, by me giving the dog a name like that was my first step in a bond with Fred. It was a her breakthrough with me changing my mind about little dogs.
I think she might have been right.
Within the next few days I started training with him. He didn’t know anything. This was going to be a lot of work. But I’m always up for a challenge.
About a month goes by and the little bugger has been growing on me. When I sit in the dayroom and play cards he is either laying on the ground just under my stool so he won’t accedently get stepped on by anyone. Or in my lap with his head looking over the top of the table at the cards.
People in the unit really like Fred. After the story of him comming from the puppy mill and hearing he was the stud there. Inmates liked him more I think, because they liked the story about where he came from. Inmates talked like he was Pimpin out there got caught and went to prison. Its like they were trying to identify somehow with him.
What’s funny is he also was a tough little bad ass too. He walked around like he was 10ft tall and 300lbs. He loved people but some dogs were a fight waiting to happen.
There was a dog that came in named Ottis. He was a Catahoula Leopard dog and was around 85lbs. He was a cool looking dog and super nice too. Loved everyone. But Fred didn’t like him at all for some reason.
I think someone told Fred if he ever went to prison, find the biggest toughest dog and beat him up. Then you will get respect in the joint.
Everytime he saw Ottis, it was a bark, a snarl and or pick a fight with him on site.
Most of the time he would run to the end of his leash as soon as Ottis came into his sight. It didn’t matter if Fred had to hang himself at the end of the leash. He would try and pull, tear and claw his way to Ottis. The funny part about all this is Ottis didn’t give two shits about Fred. Even 6 feet away with Fred throwing a fit, Ottis would just ignor him, he would be totally relaxed about himself and walk by or lay down and take a nap.
I would have to calm Fred down some how, tell him “leave-it” or “no”. If that didn’t work I would have to leave and take Fred out of the area.
Inmates ate that all up. They though Fred was the coolest thing on for legs doing all that at Ottis.
One of the things for me, and I am sure others share this same feeling about having a dog in prison, is keeping that tough guy exterior.
People in here want a tough looking dog so they can act tough with it. Most guys won’t ask or say, ” Get me a Corgi, a Bichon Frise, a Pomeranian, a Dachshund or a freakin Mini Poodle.
However my view about little dogs has changed a little.
I got into this computer class in the education building. I signed up for it months earlier. Anyways, I liked to take Fred with me sometimes. Get him out and about and experience different stuff.
The teacher said it would be OK it he didn’t bother anyone or distract people in class.
When I took him up to class I would take my coat off, lay it under the table like a doggy bed and tell him “MAT”. Thats where he would stay the whole class period. At times I would forget he’s even there. Sometimes I would look down to see if be walked off, and there he would be sound asleep.
He was so tiny. Sometimes I would set him on the Keyboard stand and let him sleep on the table while I rested my hands on his back and typed over the top of him. It was kinda funny how he fit right there in the keyboard slot. I was really falling in love with this guy, and I think he was falling in love with me.
I even made a little 10 minute video here to send home to my family at the time I had Fred. I played some songs in the video when I first got my electric guitar. I had Fred there too. He was curled up in my guitar case kicked back while I did the video.
Fred and I had some good times. I miss that ugly little dude.