On May 5th, 2006 an eight month old Boxer/Rottweiler mix named “Biggie” was dropped off to board at my place of employment. His owners were moving to Florida and were due to come back for him a month later, after they finished moving. For the first few weeks, they came every few days and took him out for walks. Their visits became fewer and farther between before they stopped all together. June 5th came and went with no signs of Biggie’s owners. As stated by New York State law, abandonment paperwork was sent to the owners notifying them that if they did not pick up their dog, he would be surrendered to a local humane society. I had always had a thing for big dogs and quickly fell in love with the now ten month old 100lb lug. It was August before all of the paperwork was complete and he was officially considered abandoned. Biggie did not do well being kenneled constantly and had lost almost 20lbs since June. I renamed him Logan, took him home and slowly introduced him to my resident beagle mix who was selective of her dog friends. I was pleasantly surprised when she took to him almost immediately and they became instant partners in crime. Logan adjusted quickly and settled into life outside of a kennel. He gained weight and was now a 120lb full grown dog. I took him everywhere with me and everyone loved him. He even frequented a farm camp with me and was loved by all the children. He was perfect.
Towards the end of August/beginning of September, Logan began showing some dog aggression. I quickly enrolled him into obedience classes, to not only strengthen out bond, but work on his reaction towards other dogs. Logan was the star of his obedience class immediately. He listened and happily did everything I asked. He continued to react towards other dogs aggressively, but I wasn’t concerned because he was relatively easy to distract and manage. A few weeks later, he began to resource guard things he would steal from around the house. I wasn’t too concerned because that is also easy to manage – keep my stuff picked up and out of reach! Within a few days he also began guarding his food and toys. He would become aggressive and lunge if I entered a room where he was eating or playing. I was slightly concerned because that is a little harder to manage. I picked up all of his toys and began feeding him in his crate. I also brought him to the vet for a complete checkup which included blood work and radiographs. All of the tests came back normal so I filled out an application to meet with a veterinary behaviorist. It was now early December and Logan’s aggressive behaviors continued to escalate. I could no longer walk him because he would lunge at people and other dogs in the street. He had to be crated when people came over because he would lunge, and try to bite anyone that came to the house. He became harder to manage, but I had made a commitment to him and was determined to give him the best life possible. I read multiple books on dog behavior and contacted many trainers while I waited to be seen by the veterinary behaviorist. Logan’s aggression continued to escalate and I am embarrassed to say that I was afraid of him. We would be sitting on the couch relaxing and he would get a glazed over look in his eyes, begin to growl and lunge. I brought him back to the vet and the recommended and MRI to rule out a brain tumor. His aggression was so severe and so unpredictable, that a brain tumor was a top differential. A MRI ran about $1200 and even if it gave me an answer, it would not change the outcome. Logan could not go for walks, could not play with toys and could not interact with people or other dogs. He was destined to live in a basket muzzle for the rest of his life. I took him home to consider my options. Humane euthanasia had been brought up by both vets and trainers and it was beginning to seem like the only option. I held him and cried. I felt as though I had failed this beautiful, perfect dog. I loved him more than anything, but at the same time, I feared him. He had bit me on multiple occasions, each one more severe than the last. When he was having a good day, he was the goofy, loveable lug I had fallen in love with. You could see the confusion in his eyes after an aggressive episode. It was as though he wasn’t there. He stepped out of his body temporarily. On December 20th, 2006 I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I held Logan while he took his last breath. I was there until the end and never left his side. I try to find comfort in that. Logan is now in a better place where he has all of the toys and food he wants. He doesn’t have to be afraid any more.
I never received an official diagnosis to explain Logan’s behavior. It could have been a brain tumor, it could have been rage syndrome or it could have been all of those months he spent in a kennel. I will never know what haunted my boy, but I try to find comfort in the fact that whatever ailed him, no longer does. I wonder if I had adopted him now, with more experience in behavior and not merely a child at 18, if things would have been different. Wherever Logan is now, I hope he knows how much I love him and that I am still fighting for him. His short 16 months on Earth will not be in vein. He touched me in a way I will never forget. I do what I do because of him. I love you Logan. Rest in peace.
Founder of Logan’s Rescue