So, I decided back then I wanted to give Andy a chance to survive. With Andy as our dog, we could help him as we nurtured, trained and gave him the best of care and love.
But, as it has happened, I could never correct his bad behavior nor his biting, he bit my hands, and drew blood, several times, even though I spent many hours with him over the next four years.
I think Andy adopted me as “his man” and we were almost constant companions. I took him everywhere with me: to the Post Office, food shopping, to the beach, sailing in my boat – everywhere I went, Andy went with me.
As part of his “schooling” or training, I used to put a backpack on him and take him for long walks around our neighborhood.
Funny thing is, that backpack seemed change Andy’s attitude in many ways. I think it made him feel very special and that when he was wearing it, he knew he had work to do. In short, Andy just loved to wear that backpack!
While he was wearing it I taught him (1) to”heel” and (2) to walk quietly beside me, with (3) no pulling. I taught him (4) to stop at my command and (5) sit at every cross street we came to. After awhile, I was surprised when he would automatically sit at all cross streets all by himself with no commands from me! Good dog I told him!
But, recently, he became quite sick with skin allergies and ear problems that made him shake his head constantly. We tried to put ear medicine in his ears, but even with his muzzle on, he fought us all the way. I put ointments on the skin on his back to treat the allergies, but when I tried to put the ointment on his front and back legs he always tried to bite me. I’m certain he was in pain. Later, the vet at the hospital said Andy probably had some additional internal pain that could be what caused him to bite and that was his way to fight back when we touched his very sensitive, and I guess, pain-filled feet and legs.
Finally, I had to put him down (euthanize) him. It was an extremely difficult decision for me to make, I loved Andy so much. All of the staff at the veterinary hospital did their best to help me understand that to put him “down” was the best way to help Andy and stop his pain and suffering as soon as possible.