Polo spent his approximately first 18 months as a kennel dog. When the family that turned him in was looking for a puppy they went to the kennel to look at the puppies available and didn't find one that they wanted. The woman said that when they had a puppy that looked like "that dog" (Polo) to call her and she would buy it. The breeders response was Why don't you just buy him. Thus, without any thought about the fact that he was probably never in a house before, was an intact adolescent dog, they purchased him, for a kids dog.

the following is the text of a handwritten note given to the family that surrendered him..clearly there was no neuter contract in place:


Thought you might want a copy of "Polo's" father's pedigree--note all the champions in the line--good stock! What a "Bonanza" you have---hope all goes well.

Regards, XXXXX

Fortunately, they did have the good sense to immediately neuter him as they didn't want to breed. Polo, however, didn't really care too much for the kids and spent about the next 3 or so years living under a chair. The family got another dog at some point for the kids and pretty much just left Polo alone. He didn't like to interact with them, they said (the picture below of him laying on the couch with the leash on was taken about 45 minutes after we brought him home when he jumped up on the couch with me when I laid down to take a nap).

Polo was surrendered because the family was moving and they felt that the move would be too traumatic on him. Apparently, giving him to complete strangers was just fine though.

Polo came to us with a totally rotted mouth. He was 5 years old when we got him and we were able to have 5 teeth saved. We have a wonderful vet and she worked really hard to save the ones she did. He had a rather long recovery period from his extensive dental.

Polo was painfully shy (who wouldn't be after living under a chair for years), but like most paps he really longed to interact with people. He was scared to take food from your hand, he was scared of any flooring other than carpet, he growled to protect, well, virtually everything...air, food, blankets, us. He did not like other dogs at all. Didn't like kids. Didn't like men. Would shrink/cringe if you reached down to pet him. He was terrified of being picked up. He was scared of loud noises or anything "different". A crinkling bag would send him running for cover.

We have had Polo 3 years now and he is now the first one in line for treats, barking and dancing, when you even dare mention the word. He jumps up on the couch and flops over to have his belly rubbed. He's decided that tile floor won't swallow him up if he sets foot on it, though he still prefers carpet he is not longer paralyzed if he wants to go across another flooring. I can't remember the last time I had to fish him out of the closet. He's still not thrilled with "strange" dogs and I doubt he ever will be, but that's ok.

Polo absolutely loves to be outside and enjoys "stalking" things in the yard. Last year he thought he was a great hunter when he discovered 7 orphaned baby possums. We trapped them and took them to a wildlife rehabilator who raised them until they were old enough to take care of themselves and then she released them back into the wild.

Polo will never be 100% "normal" and he still has a lot of things we are working on. He's still scared to take food from your hand about 80% of the time, he still shrinks if you reach for him too fast, he still isn't too fond of being picked up and though it's gotten better, he still feels the need to guard a lot of things

I'd also like to say that several of the breeders involved in the first several generations in Polo's pedigree were contacted and one of them did offer to take him back, but that would have been an inappropriate home for him under the circumstances and they agreed that it was in his best interest to remain with me for the remainder of his life.

Polo's Pedigree






The following pictures were taken after we had Polo on a raw (ground) diet for about a week before we could get him in for his dental. When he came to us there was literally NO white showing on any of his teeth. His back teeth were a completely flat smooth line of tarter/plaque.

While I was already using a raw diet with my other dog, seeing the change in Polo's teeth (tarter wearing off to see the white of the teeth beneath) in even a short time, made me an even firmer believer in the benefits of feeding a raw diet. Had we not been worried about systemic problems due to the infection in his mouth, I would have liked to try him on the raw diet a while longer to see if we could have saved more teeth. Unfortunately, this was not possible as the risk to his health was too great.

polo polo

polo polo


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