|Rescued Briards From the Past - Pg. 2
|In an effort to gather critical information on all rescue dogs,
each of the 76 rescued Briards spent an undetermined amount of
time at the home of a rescue volunteer or Briard owner. Many of
these volunteers and owners put their own lives and dogs at
risk, in order to help.
This was a mandatory requirement to aid in the placement of
these rescued Briards. And in the end, this action paid off. Not
one rescue was returned to us, all placements were final, with a
perfect match between dog and family.
|I would like to take this opportunity to again thank all of the
volunteers and Briard owners that helped in the rescue and
placement of these Briards in need of a new home.
|DRUG RAID "NETS" MORE THAN DRUGS
|Federal D.E.A. agents, in cooperation with Michigan State Police and the Detroit Police Department, conducted a drug raid
on a house in Northwest Detroit on Friday June 9th. In addition to an undisclosed amount of cash and drugs, one innocent
victim became prey to the authorities. With new drug laws in effect in Michigan and other states, arrest and confiscation
of all personal property has become the new "status quo". Personal property items which may be seized include cash,
guns, jewelry, furniture, autos, boats, and houses. Anything of monetary value. However. One item of personal property
belonging to the individuals arrested in drug raids, which may also be confiscated are their animals. Pets! And this does
not pertain to monetary value whatsoever.
During the above mentioned drug raid, the Detroit Police Department notified the Michigan Humane Society with orders
to pick up a dog in the backyard of the house which was raided. After Michigan Humane Society agents retrieved the
canine, their first obligation was to have the owners sign the dog over to them, the MHS. The dog is then considered as
confiscated personal property, forfeited by the arrested drug dealers.
Four days after this drug raid, on Tuesday June 13th, I received a phone call from the Michigan Humane Society stating
that a male Briard had been arrested in a drug raid. My first response to this, "Was he an innocent victim, or was he
buying or selling ? ?" (In keeping with the momentary humor, and from all of the communications between the MHS and
myself, we were on a very friendly basis).The male Briard was the family pet / look-out dog. The condition of his coat
clearly shows that the backyard was his ONLY domain for some time. Although he had been recently shaved down, his 3
to 4 inch long coat was severely matted in certain areas.
The MHS agent stated, "He is very smart, very sweet, playful, and has received alot of training and attention at some
point". I then made arrangements to pick up this male Briard the following day. His bail was set at $40.00 so I paid it and
took him home. While at the MHS Detroit shelter, I was told that this 4 to 5 year old male Briard had tested Heartworm
positive on June 9th, the day he was confiscated from the drug raid house. MHS uses the filter test, not the culture type,
so I was hoping that this test was not 100 percent accurate.
Once the bail was paid and I had the dog in my van, the first stop was at my vet's office. If he tests positive again he will
be taken back to the vet for Heartworm treatment. He also tested positive for hook worm, tape worm, round worm, and
kennel cough. And then he tested positive again for Heartworm, so he started his Heartworm treatment on Monday June
19th. The new Heartworm treatment (at that time) consisted of two days of injections, 4 injections each day, followed by 4
to 6 weeks of TOTAL rest. No exercising whatsoever ! The vet's instructions were; to walk the dog outside on lead for
toilet duties, feed him, and immediately return him to his crate. No running or playing. Then, after the 4 to 6 week period
of total rest, he will be given an oral serum. Needless to say, our prayers will be with him.
The MHS charged me the $40.00 bail as a neuter deposit, which will be refunded after he is neutered. This small amount
of bail money is standard procedure for the MHS when dealing with certain rescue groups. Also. Not one shelter in the
United States will convey information as to who gave the dog up or who adopted a dog. And I have operated under the
same rule since getting involved with the rescue of Briards. Although some shelters have made exceptions to this rule in
an effort to help me locate the breeder or the bloodline from which a particular dog may have been produced. This
information is important and may contain clues as to medical problems.
And this rule was being used the day I picked up the male Briard. Because of the circumstances surrounding his
confiscation, the MHS would not tell me who the owners were. However. My wandering eyes did pick up on a file lying on
the counter. The front of this file had a sticker with the owners name and the address of the house where the drug raid
After taking this male for his first set of injections, I went for a ride to northwest Detroit. And after seeing this house, a
typical "Crack House", I can honestly say that no one has lived in this house for some time. Three to four foot high weeds
and grass, boarded windows, garbage all over, a mess. I will be going back for pictures of this one. And so far, no contact
with the ex-owner and no clue as to where she is.
Meanwhile, back at home. My wife Jan and I decided that this very large, 4 to 5 year old male tawny Briard needed a
name. With almost every rescue dog, a name has been given, so that we do not have to call or yell, "hey dog". And we
were hoping this dog would respond when hearing his name. So we started the "name game". We tried hundreds and
hundreds of names. With each try we would wait a second or two to see if he would respond, then on to the next. After
going through the alphabet 3 or 4 times, we were ready to give up. At that time, my sister had arrived. She would not
enter our backyard because of the strange dog inside. As she walked up to the fence, folded her arms and placed them on
the top rail of the fence, this male got up and went over to, then, leaped up on the fence and licked my sister, a total
stranger. But this dog would never bark. I thought that this is not natural, for a Briard not to bark. This dog would not
bark at anything ! And he had a little limp in his walk. He did not bark at all when my sister approached the fence, a
stranger. He just went over and licked her ! !
We were all amazed to see this. He truly was a very sweet dog, even with strangers. At this point, I was standing 8 to 10
feet behind the dog as he still had his front paws on the fence by my sister. Without even thinking, or having my brain in
"active" mode, I smiled and said, "Bradley seems to like you sis !". Immediately, the dog turned, looked at me, got down
off of the fence and ran over to me wagging his tail. WOW ! This must be his name, Bradley. So now we have it, he now
has a name. And this is not just any given name, it must be his real name. Bradley.
So. While I investigate the background on Bradley, while he is going through this life threatening treatment, everyone
please wish him good luck and a speedy recovery. And he WILL be available for adoption as soon as he receives his last
Heartworm treatment. Call if interested. ( I wonder if he will have a police record ?...........naw ! )
After two weeks, I decided to go back to the "crack house" to take photos. Upon my arrival, I approached the house from
the driveway. I noticed that the front doorway and one front window had sheets covering them, no more boards. At that
point, a man appeared in the doorway. He was entirely visible except for his right arm. He asked what I was doing there
with a camera. I told him that I had Bradley at my house and that he was doing okay, but very sick, and was going
through Heartworm treatments. At this point, a woman pushed her way passed the man, revealing his right arm. In his
right hand, he held a gun, looked like a .45 automatic. She yelled at the man to STOP as she ran over to me standing in
the driveway. She wanted to hear about the dog. Turns out that his name is not Bradley after all. But since he likes that
name so much, his name will be Bradley from now on. So, in reality, he named himself.
I told the woman the entire "Bradley" story. I also told her that she could have him back if she wanted. The man in the
doorway, being disgusted, said, "Bullshit ! I ain't putting up with that dog again." Then the woman, Susan, decided to
take me for a walk down the street. At this point, after seeing the gun, I knew that business was back to normal at this
drug raided house. While walking, Susan told me the story of Bradley's life. How her boyfriend would beat the dog and
throw him down the stairs when he was just 12 months old, for barking. If he continued to bark, the beatings continued.
For at least two years, every time he would bark her boyfriend beat him and throw him down the stairs. Now I know why
this dog does not bark any more, and why he has a limp in his stride.
As we walked back to the drug house, Susan stated that maybe I should find a better home for Bradley. Can you imagine
how relieved I was to hear this ? Especially after I had told her that she could have him back, before I heard his life
story. We both agreed to finding a new home for Bradley. At this point we arrived back at the driveway. The man, again in
the doorway, asked if we were done. Susan told him, yes. The man then showed the gun and told me to, "Get the f - - k
out and never come back." Well. Not having to have been told twice, I walked back across the street to my van and got
the f - - k out of there. ( But isn't it amazing, a drug raid, getting arrested, paying your bail, then in just two weeks, back
in business .)
On July 9th, I received a phone call from a person that was willing to adopt Bradley. I told her Bradley's entire story, the
raid, the illnesses he had, and the beatings. I also conveyed that he could go home to his new home after the last
Heartworm treatment. The lady agreed. As a matter of fact, she was so thrilled by Bradley and his story, she wanted to
come and see him, right then, that day. So I told her how to get to our house from her's in Ontario, Canada.
Upon her arrival, we had her fill out a Briard Rescue adoption form. She told us about her prior dog experiences while
petting and walking Bradley in our yard. She was truly amazed how a dog his size could be so sweet and gentle. She did
however notice that he did not bark and that he did have a limp. Which was a good thing. An adoptive family has to know
the circumstances behind the adoptee whenever possible. This is to ensure a positive match between the dog and his new
This lady from Ontario, Canada told us about her life in Ontario. That she owned her own business, lived on Lake
Ontario, had a boat, had several people working on her estate and had a very large home. ( From the photos that we have
seen, it's a castle ! ) We then told her that Bradley's adoption fee would be higher than normal because of all of the
Heartworm treatments as well as the treatments for hook worm, round worm, tape worm and kennel cough. She did not
care at that point, she wanted only to take Bradley home with her. To her, he was the most sweetest and loving dog that
she had ever met. And he was. Oh ! Did I forget to mention, that when she arrived at our home, she gave us a large box of
The lady returned home to Ontario to await Bradley's last treatment, Bradley continued his treatments, and all was well.
During this waiting period, the lady had told all of her employees, all of her relatives, and the entire town of Oakville, that
she would be bringing home the most loving dog in the world. She conveyed to us that the entire town of Oakville, Ontario
was waiting to see and to meet Bradley. She then told us that she had plans to change his name to "Bentley", named
after her boat.
After receiving his last Heartworm treatment, Bradley went to his new home on July 22nd. Relatives of his adoptive
family were anxiously awaiting his arrival. It did not take very long for the entire village to meet Bradley. Everyone
immediately fell in love with this large hairy dog.
Bradley lives with a female standard poodle, that, after a
short introduction period, became one of his best friends.
Bradley also plays with the Doberman that lives next door. And,
after taking several walks through the village, going to the
office with his owner, and going on boat rides, Bradley met
another Briard that lives 5 blocks away.
Almost everyone in that village loves Bradley. Even the
young men that do odd jobs around his new home show up
more than necessary just to walk and play with him. And now
his owners, having a boat that they often use on Lake
Ontario, have made Bradley their First Mate. Truly the king
of his domain, the talk of the town, and befriended by
everyone, Bradley NOW had the best of everything. A rescue
dog could not have received a better home and adoptive family
than that provided by this adoptive couple. Bradley has truly
become a very spoiled Briard. He is a very sweet and loving
dog that is constantly willing to please. He has also learned how
to play, he now knows what treats are, and he is no longer
afraid to bark.
Then, one day, a dark shadow began to fall upon Bradley and his new owners. Bradley attacked his owner, he was not
provoked, nor was there any indication. This first episode was not a bad one. These episodes did however continue. Upon
reaching the point of personal injury, the owner decided to take Bradley to a specialist to see what the problem may be.
Several appointments and several tests were scheduled but nothing was found.
Then. On Wednesday August 16th, 1995, at approximately 4:30 p.m., Bradley died. According to his post, he died from
brain damage. Consultation of 4 Veterinary Specialists and a Psychiatric Veterinary doctor, this brain damage was the
result of the several beatings that Bradley had received previously in his life. Or, it may have been from drugs. Some
times people that take drugs, give these drugs to their dogs, just to watch the dog's reaction. And coming from a drug
house, all of the veterinarians concur that Bradley may have been given drugs. The vets have also stated that a dog's
brain is similar to the human brain when reacting to drugs. Dogs may even have flashbacks as in humans. However both,
the beatings and drugs, will produce similar brain damage. ( After hearing Bradley's story from Susan, his first owner, I
think that the beatings and the many trips down the stairs were the cause. But according to these specialists, we will never
really know the cause, just the outcome.)
Bradley's short 4 to 5 years of life, drastically shortened by the mistreatment of previous owners, did however have a
purpose. He brought love, smiles and laughter to those that met him during his last months of life. I personally know this,
having had Bradley for the 6 weeks of Heartworm treatments prior to going to this new home. Jan and I became very,
very attached to Bradley.
During the past 3 weeks several individuals have asked about Bradley and how his is doing. Many Briarders came up to
me last week at the 1995 BCA National in Carlisle to ask about Bradley. He affectionately touched many lives during his
last months of life. And I am sure that his adoptive family would thank each of you for the thoughts.
The only good that I can see from this story is, that Bradley had the BEST three and a half weeks of his life just before he
died. His new owners, my wife Jan and I, will truly miss this big hunk of fur.
Companions, pals and friends for life,
But now it's time to part.
So hold on to the memories,
And keep them in your heart.
Excerpts of this story appeared in
in the July and October/November
1995 issues of the Briard Monthly