I’ve had so much love come our way over Diesel that it seemed like it was time to give him is own post and introduction. This handsome guy here is my Mastiff-cross Diesel. I adopted him from a rescue center a few hours south of me around four years ago. Before I get too deep into his story though I need to mention that Diesel is actually my sixth dog. We had two Shar Peis when I was a little tyke (yes those are the dogs with all the wrinkles) after we lost them my father decided he needed some hunting dogs (to end up never using them for bird hunting of course but that’s a story for another day.) So, we went out and bought a 1 year old German short haired pointer (sweetheart of a dog named Baron) and two puppies whom we named Bucky and Renny.
They were pureblooded German Wirehaired Griffons and they would always be “the pups” to me. Renny was much more delicate then his brother Bucky being only about 70 pounds. Bucky was my big doggie soul mate at 100 pounds, he was literally my best friend and he had no time for anyone else but me. We lost Baron first and then Bucky died 🙁 Leaving me and his little brother Renny utterly heart broken and totally lost. Renny had never been alone in his entire life and at 13 years old he did not handle it at all. Where Bucky had been my dog honestly Renny had been Bucky’s dog. Renny was a dog’s dog and for him nothing else mattered as long as he was with his big brother Bucky. Every day when I left for work Renny would go outside and howl and cry and scream. It was horrible and my heart broke for him every day.
I knew I couldn’t keep doing this to poor Renny but I also knew I had some pretty serious criteria if I was going to put myself through another dog in my life. Any dog after Bucky would have some serious shoes to fill (I still miss my Bucky every day, we never get over them do we?) I’ve never had much time for the big crazy goofy drewly dogs and I also never wanted to own a dog again where I was constantly scared they may bite someone. I wanted an animal that would be laid back, easy going, someone Renny and I both could really hang with and talk to. I literally went through thousands of pictures online, I scoured the internet for two months until it happened, I saw this picture:
Diesel was the only dog I ever even went to look at. When we arrived he was tied to a tree outside with a prong collar, an anti-bark collar and a choke collar on. He was also sick from some of the dog food and sat just like that in the picture but with his head down. I approached slowly, I was very cautious, he was a BIG Mastiff! I sat down on the grass and he carefully came over to me and put his chin on my shoulder. He looked me dead in the eye and silently barked at me, just an opening and closing of his mouth, a breath on my face because he knew he couldn’t bark for real. I was done. He came home with me and I remain astounded at my good fortune. Diesel lit up our lives. He was good with our old dog Renny and Renny stopped crying every day. (Though Renny never seemed very fond of Diesel I know his last months were better with him there.) And Diesel understood immediately that Renny was not a play thing and he respected him with incredible grace and kindness.
When we brought Diesel home and let him in the house he proceeded to jump on every bed, check out every room and then lay down on the floor by my foot and slept like he had never slept before. I had some moments of nervousness like we all do with a new dog, of course. I sat down on the couch the next day and he came right up beside me, put his face right up by my face and then curled up on my lap. Even when he was that skinny he still weighed nearly 100 pounds and when you have a dog that big that close to you there is a moment of, “Oh gosh please be nice!” Actually Diesel is the kindest dog I have ever known in my entire life and I absolutely love dogs so I’ve met a lot of them! I have never heard him growl and the only time he ever barks (to this day) is only ever because he wants me or Joe, never because someone is at the door or a squirrel is in a tree or anything that a “normal” dog (or even a normal Mastiff) barks about. I do understand now though why the adoption place had an anti-bark collar on him, I once tied Diesel up outside and only left for a second and the poor guy had a heart attack and made a crazy amount of noise. Clearly someone once left my big guy tied somewhere and never came back.
We don’t deserve dogs.
When he is cold Diesel wakes one of us up so we can pick the covers up and he can get in bed, under the covers, to sleep. Its hilarious and absolutely crazy trying to fit the three of us on one bed. Diesel loves it when Joe has to leave early in the morning for work and Diesel can take his place in bed beside me. I often wake up back to back with Diesel. We get up together and then he waits patiently for me to get dressed before we head down for his breakfast and my coffee. Joe told me the other day that he came home and forgot to stop in before going to cut up a tree in the back yard. Pretty soon he heard a dog barking at him. He looked around (Diesel barks so rarely that Joe suspected we had another dog on the property) and there was Diesel, our big mastiff, standing by the fence just yelling at him. (Diesel has a doggie door and a huge part of our yard is fenced just for him.) Joe apologized right away and went and spent some time with him promising to never forget to stop in and say hello again before going to cut firewood.
Diesel is not scared or bothered by things that most dogs are (I’ve literally vacuumed his back before with the shop vac) he doesn’t like getting wet (or, god forbid, if he gets something on his foot it is the end of the world) he does get embarrassed though and feels so awful when he does something “bad” that I’ve never needed to scold him. The embarrassed part I’ve always found really peculiar, he had a little bit of something on his backside one day (seriously he’s a dog, it happens) and I had to clean him up and you would have thought that it was the worst day of his life, he was literally embarrassed and I felt just awful for him. I don’t know if other Mastiff’s are like this but is sure is funny!
To me Diesel has always been Winston Churchill reincarnate. He looks at me after work with a, “Darling, why must you insist on living a life of such drudgery? Be a dear now and fetch my supper won’t you?” After supper, with a happy full belly he sits and looks at me when it gets to be bed time, “Really, isn’t it the hour for brandy and time yet for us to retire to the boudoir?” He takes cuddles with such dignity it is absolutely hilarious and almost hard to believe without seeing it. How can an animal still look like a respectable English Gentleman while on his back getting a belly rub? Diesel can. After his breakfast he sits by our big glass door and carries on with his morning meditation of the earth and of his place in it. He has never met an animal he did not want to be friends and hug buddies with. (I don’t think he will ever get over the rejection he received from my horses.) I keep expecting for him to start bringing in little creatures as pets of his own but the poor big guy looks like such a scary beast other animals just don’t give him the time of day.
Anyway, my big mastiff Diesel is one of my joys and I am so fortunate to have him 🙂 I thought you guys should be introduced properly!