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Today is Al's birthday. He's my high anxiety/reactive boy.


Well-Known Member
And this is long because I think poor Al was shafted from the beginning, but he's finally making it.

Al was a bit of a mess from the time I brought him home. He came from a very responsible breeder - had all his health testing done and came from lines that were at Westminster. Unfortunately, she was not very responsible in other ways, IMO. Al was a singleton. His dam had a lot of health issues and he was away from her for the second and third week of life. After a few weeks it became clear to me that the breeder didn't seem very interested in Al. I had to beg for weekly updates and she was never very forthcoming with info. She had another bitch that had a large litter a week after Al was born. I think, looking back, that Al represented a huge loss of money for her. His dam had to be spayed and she was rehomed a few days after I took Al. Considering there was another litter on the ground, I still can't figure out why Al wasn't with those pups. At the time I wasn't thinking clearly. I'd lost my heart dog, Ed, and wanted a health tested puppy to ease my pain. When the breeder asked that I take him at 7wks because she "couldn't keep him anymore", I went and picked him up. (Incidentally, she is no longer breeding or showing.)

When we walked to the door, he was being held by the husband who handed him to me. The woman got the contract out and we took care of business. Not once did she look at the pup or touch him. Not even when we left. It was odd, and it bothered me. When the car started moving Al screamed like a pteradactyl and clawed at me and the window. He did this the entire way home. Here I was, thinking that thirteen years of no puppies had made me forget that they do these things. Silly me. By 9pm that night Al was swollen like a little sausage and it was off to the ER vet for an antihistamine shot. I was in tears. Selfishly, I know, but it wasn't supposed to be like that. Things were supposed to be happy. I was not supposed to be making a trip to the ER vet with a swollen pteradactyl dog.

One thing I am is honest. Both with and about myself. I didn't love Al. I had gone from the perfect 10yo gentleman to the spawn of Satan. Everything about him was difficult. He screamed like a pteradactyl far more than he was quiet. He was afraid of everything. No matter that I took him with me everywhere and to see everything. He was so HARD. Everything was hard. He was everything opposite of what my Ed had been. To be fair to myself, he was more work than any puppy I've ever seen or heard of because his problems weren't just puppy problems. They didn't get better. And I guess I was disappointed. No, I know I was. So shame on me and I vowed to work even harder to help him become the dog I hoped he could be. It wasn't his fault that he was hard-wired wrong. Lucky me, when I stopped expecting him to be a dog he could never be I began to love him for the dog he was.

So here we are four years later. I accept that he's never going to be an easy dog or able to do some things that other dogs can do. Heck, most things that other dogs can do. It's okay. He's one of the sweetest dogs I've ever known. He loves me so much and he trusts me to keep him safe. He'll do things for me, or try to do them, just because I ask. What more could I want? I love him and I hope that I'm worthy of the trust he places in me. We've had some positive breakthroughs in training, thanks to new supplementation and some creative use of sound interrupters. I'm very proud of my boy and I'm so happy I'm lucky enough to have him in my life. Happy Birthday Albus Percival Wolfric Brian Dumbledog.

The day he was born:

7wks old

That gawky stage when he was known as Little Big Face:

And today:
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
DESTINY! We don't have to understand it. Many times we don't have to like it, until later. That my friend is a beautiful journey.

Happy Birthday Al!


Well-Known Member
DESTINY! We don't have to understand it. Many times we don't have to like it, until later. That my friend is a beautiful journey.

Happy Birthday Al!

Destiny. Yes. My Ed died from Addisonian crisis. The vet diagnosed too late because Addison's doesn't typically present in old age. It happened so suddenly. He went from being fine to being dead in less than two hours. In the last few years I've started to believe that perhaps he had to go so that Al could come to me. I don't generally believe in things like that, but yeah - I think Al was supposed to be mine and I would never have been looking if I hadn't lost Ed. Kismet. lol

2nd Chance

Well-Known Member
Happy Birthday Al.
He's a stunning looking boxer!

Thankyou for sharing. I too have found myself in past with a 'hard wired wrong' dog. and the love did not flow either. Which made me feel guilt. He was a difficult pup, who turned out to be the best dog i have ever had a relationship with RIP Kevin. But it was a hellish journey at times. And touch n go on me PTS it was that bad:(

Kismet indeed.


Well-Known Member
He is a beautiful Boxer. :) Happy Birthday to him...

Also, they (whoever "they" is) say that "You may not get the dog you want; you get the dog you need." Meant to be so... :)


Well-Known Member
Happy birthday Al. You just...keep on keepin' on. You're who you are for a reason, buddy. And somebody loves you very much.


Well-Known Member
Oh my. This is the first time I read this post and it literally brought tears to my eyes. I would say poor Al with his rough beginning and anxiety but then I know how very lucky is to have found his way to you. <3

Also he is just so gorgeous. Just like my Kahlua. Now I am missing her and with an hour left here in the office before I can go and see my pups again.