I met McKenzie on a walk back from the grocery store. He caught my eye, clearly wanting me to stop and pay him some attention. The dog was a total sweetheart and I ended up standing for quite a while talking to his human.
The man had acquired McKenzie from his vet. He'd been pulled off the streets of a particularly rough New Jersey town, covered in bite marks and wounds. As best the vet could figure, someone must have bought him as a pup, mistaking him for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. After all both breeds in their juvenile state look quite similar and it wasn't clear until McKenzie started growing, slim and spindly legged, that he was no pit bull. Whoever had purchased him was both mean and extremely stupid, for instead of selling the purebred pooch, he decided to use the poor creature as bait for his actual pit bulls, who were being trained as spectator fight dogs. Thankfully McKenzie was no fool and had run away.
At the time, the gentlemen who agreed to take in McKenzie already had a Weimaraner. In fact, the vet had asked him and his wife to take in the dog, because they were his only clients who had a Weim as opposed to the common sweet rescue pit bull. The vet figured they would be better prepared for the personality of the breed.
As you'd expect, McKenzie had a lot of undesirable behaviors that he'd picked up from his rough life, being resource aggressive, slow to trust and quick to judge. However thankfully the older Weimeraner took to him right away and through example taught McKenzie what it was like to live with good humans.
Today McKenzie has exceeded all his humans' expectations. He not only is affectionate with them, but loves other dogs and, as I got to experience first hand, stranger. Their only complaint is that he's not as good with kids as the other weim, being prone to excitedly jumping all around them and bowling them over with overenthusiastic kisses. But, hey, no one is perfect, right?
Photographer: Marjorie Skiba
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