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Salem's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-22

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Hey Forum!  RJ and i are new here so i thoghut i'd post a little something about us :)

 

My name is Sam and for as long as i can remember, i have loved the Dobermann (Sorry Americans - i am British! lol).  When i was growin up, the closet thing i got to one was a stuffed toy.  Then to cut a long story short, for my 18th birthday present, my family decided i should finally own one.  I think they were fed up with me going on and on about wanting one for over a decade so they did lots of research, checked out breeders, negotiated a sale, reserved a puppy

and then on October 17th 2003, i brought home my Dobermann puppy.

I'd already decided what to name her - Ryley Jorja.  I liked both names and couldnt pick just one, so i gave her both and she is affectionately known as RJ.  Now i'd always had male dogs before and was so unprepared for a bitch, let me tell you!  Especially one as highly energetic, intelligent and challenging as a Dobermann! lol 

Coming into a house with no central heating, in winter, we immediately noticed that RJ got cold very quickly.  She would sit and shiver, or snuggle up to our cats for warmth.  Then one day we hit upon the idea of baby clothes - and voila!  It's not the highest of fashion by any means but it got her through the cold :)

Having not had a puppy for many years, i was unprepared for a Dobermann.  Everything you research and look up BEFORE getting one goes straight out the window. lol.  Luckily, RJ was never a chewer so my furniture stayed pretty much in tact.  That i didn't have to worry about.  It was her high energy and tormenting behaviours that we needed to address first.  She would torment our other dogs constantly, and we hoped they would teach her manners, but that didn't work out to plan lol


The first year was a breeze, and she grew into her gangly puppy phase, and had become my heart-dog, my best friend and my fiercest companion.

Then, just after one year of ownership, at Christmas time, tragedy struck my poor baby.  The tiniest scratch to her paw pad resulted in a secondary infection that quickly spread up her leg.  My vet diagnosed a necrotizing fasciitis and was going to treat it with aggressive antibiotics over the next 24 hours.  As i stood in his room, crying my eyes out and clutching my dog for all i had, he told me if it didn't show signs of improvement tomorrow, RJ would lose her leg. :(  The next day, there was some improvment and with my blessing, he wanted to try and save the leg - which we did, to the tune for £2500 and nearly two years of intensive treatment (including 7 months of daily iodine scrubs of the wound) >.<

Today you would never know albeit for a few scars. 

However, my perfectly trained and obedient Dobermann suddenly became withdrawn and aggressive.  She would constantly be on alert, never relaxing or letting her guard down.  Other dogs became an instant threat and she would rather lunge and attack than wait to see how they would react to her.  It didn't stop there.  Buses, cars, motorbikes, children playing, old people, young people - EVERYTHING became something to attack.  I have studied animal behaviour for many years so i knew straight away all her aggression was fear based - but many training establishments asked us to leave.  One even asked us never to call them again.  All i wanted was for someone to help my dog be herself again, to get over her trauma, but no one did.  I did it all alone, and have done for most of her post-traumatic experience life.  It's been a slow road, but she is so much more relaxed on walks now and rather than feeling dread at walkies time, i am enjoying my dog again :)


Birthdays (Aug 25th btw :p) have come and gone, and RJ still remains.  Most people i know would have given up on her behavioural problems, but then what?  No one helps her and she gets pushed around for the rest of her life? no thanks.  I adopted this dog for her entire life, for better or for worse, and she is how she is.  And i love her for it every single day.  I have tattoos to commemorate her - one of her silohuette on my wrist and one based on my favourite ever Dobermann Photograph on my calf.  Even after RJ is gone, i will still have my memories forever on my skin.


We are the best of friends.  I can't even describe the feeling of losing her.  It would crush me.  There will never be another like RJ, that's for sure.  People always say to me, "Why a Dobermann?  They all look the same" but those people don't know Dobermann's like we do.  They have thie little quirks and habits.  RJ likes her neck scratched and she likes to sit in the front footwell of the car. She likes to play with empty plastic bottles by chasing them around the patio like a big ol' 7 year old puppy.  She loves to watch my chinchillas and ferrets through their cages.  She'll lay down in front of my cat when he is washing himself and poke her head under his chin so he washes her face too.  She has a teddy bear that she sucks until she falls asleep and likes to sleep on her back with everything hanging out lol

I may have spoilt her a little over the years to the magical tune of over 40 different collars and bandanas, a fleece jumper and even suade dog beds, but she is my best friend and she gives me so much more in return.  I can have the worst day in the world and i come home to this makes it all better :)

 

Sam & RJ

Dee Bowen's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-22

She's beautiful.  I have a male doberman, black & rust, 130 lbs. 30" tall and he's my constant companion. they make the best pets and he isn't my 1st one. I have always had males I just love them.  Best of Luck with RJ, sounds to me you know what you are doing with her.

Q Tip's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-22

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KiaOra Sam from NZ

Thank you for sharing, i'm working on night duty at the moment so thought i would have a quick browse on my favourite site. Feeling incredibly humble right now. I totally understand the love you have and ive been about 18months with mine. (who also loves playing with those empty milk bottles)

...Riley looks just gorgeous and i hope that she brings you many more years enjoyment.

Take care for now

Love Ria and Q

xxxxx

What a wonderful story! So nice to hear of a dedicated owner such as yourself and the love you share with your dog. Loved the pics.

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

What a wonderful story. We do become very close to our velcro dogs because they are so close to us. Yes, RJ will be a part of you in your memory forever. I still fondly remember my first Dobie, also a black and rust female, Windy, who is my Avatar, even though I lost her to cancer shortly after New Years day in 1989. I was fortunate to have her for almost 7 years. I was more fortunate to have my second Dobie for almost 12 years. I got Hans two years after I got Windy and they had two litters together. Fortunately when I lost Windy, I had Hans to comfort me.

My current population is a 7 year old red male, brilliantly named Red, and a 20 month old red female named Princess. They are both very affectionate and I was devastated almost two years ago when I thought a malignant tumor that had been removed from Red's tail was coming back. Fortunately, I was wrong.

Unfortunately, our Dobies are short lived and we all have to face that day. You fully understand that and it comes across in your posting. The only cure I have found is the comfort of a replacement, either a new puppy or a rescue. There are several members here with rescues, and they offer a different level of attachment and love, for they fully understand what you do for them. As a result of their posts, I am very stronly leaning toward bringing a rescue home when that time comes and I have a very large hole in my heart. When that time comes, that hole will join others that while smaller after the passage of years, are still there.

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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Dear sweet Sam..

Thank you so much for the incredible heart felt story of your love affair with the marvelous R.J.

Every now and then we are blessed with an angel who comes into our lives.. (I would encourage you to check her withers to see if wings are starting to sprout..)

You have answered so many questions as to why we all so love this breed.

Whether they are agility champions, beautiful show girls with their lovely long legs who strut their lovely selves, pad potatoes, fund raisers, or even adored doberdivas.. they are our pride and joy

Please stay in touch and keep telling us of your journey with R.J. We already love her and are so proud of you for taking a chance on an angel.

Kate and Sofia

SoldierRN's picture
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Joined: 2009-09-07

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Sam, thank you for sharing the growth, trials, and tribulations (all worth it, too) of RJ. It is a joy to know that our special breed, RJ the Dobe, has such a special owner. Have you ever considered writing a book about RJ? If not, start considering   

Salem's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-22

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Thanks guys! 

 

I have actually considered writing a book many times but each time i do, there seems to be another in the media.  Marley and Me, although a very good book, seems to be the one everyone goes for.

I think i will write a book, maybe soon, maybe in the future.  I'd love to prove to the world that Dobermanns are not the big scary breed they have been labelled as.

 

As for filling the void she will leave in my heart - i don't know.  I have never been one to lose a pet and then get another, but i will most definitely have Dobes now and forever, and will most definitely get a rescue.  Docking is now illegal in the UK, and we have some crazy tail carriages going on at the mo, lol, so i'd get me a docked rescue.  Maybe a male next time too :)

KevinK's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-15

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nice pics, and nice story!  thanks for sharing!

dobieluvr's picture
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Joined: 2010-04-12

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What a wonderful story, I love hearing stories about how our doberkids make such a difference in our lives...it's true we all spoil them with love, care, treats, toys, and whatever else we find "necessary" but the amount of money we spend is nothing compared to how much they give back to us.  They are a constant source of inspiration, faithful compainions, fierce when we need them to be, and our protectors...if only we humans could live by their code...

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

 

Salem - I would start that book now, not with the idea of sending it around right now, but to get the stories down. Actually this forum will help as you read others stories, you will remember little tid bits that will help add character and depth to her story. Even if you never publish it will be a comfort to you to relive the love you have for her later.

I did that with Hans. He was my red shadow for almost 12 years. When I had a place out in the country, he was the only dog who would go up the steep stairs to my bedroom on the upper floor. As I sit her now remembering it, there is this pressure on my bare feet. Her name is Princess as she is laying across my feet. She has displaced Red who now yields to her and is laying a few feet away. I refer to them as pad potatoes, but the pad is across the room. They want to be close to Daddy and that is a comfort.

I have had many dogs over the years and different breeds, but never have I seen another breed that is as loving and devoted.

BTW - I love the photo of RJ's 2nd birthday party. Classic!

guitar guy's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-27

sweet congrats and good luck !!

gingersmommy's picture
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Joined: 2010-05-04

Hi Salem,  I loved your stories and can relate so much.  The other night, I was just thinking about how awful it will be when I lose Ginger, but then I force myself to stay in the "now" and enjoy every prescious day we have. She is my soulmate and loveliest girl. I, too, loved the picture of RJ at his party - and the one where he was terrorizing his German Shepard buddy! It's so nice to share with other people who completely understand the depth of feeling we all have for our dogs.