Welcome, the Riddle Master

One of many of his growing collection of nicknames.

That’s right. We added to our clan. I don’t think either of us was truly ready (it is 6 months today since we lost Ozzy) but when I learned of this little boy, I just couldn’t stop thinking about him. I did not think Mr. C&M would come around and say yes, so color me surprised when this dog came up for adoption far sooner than I expected and Mr. C&M said, “Let’s do it.”

Formerly known as Wrigley, he came to the shelter we adopted Ozzy from in early July. He was clearly a bait dog. If you’re not familiar with that term, it’s dogs used as practice for fighting dogs. To avoid damage to their “champions”, his teeth were ground down to the gums, most likely without pain killers so that he couldn’t fight back. He is covered, literally, from the tip of his nose to his missing tail tip in scars. His ears are jagged from pieces being torn off. He has advanced osteoarthritis in one elbow from some unknown injury.

These are pictures from when he arrived at the shelter. Found in someone’s yard, either dumped off or escaped from Hell. He was completely shut down. He cowered in his kennel and air snapped when anyone tried to get a leash on him. He had only known terror.

I wanted to foster him however we do not live in the county, which is a requirement. Luckily, another kind lady stepped up. She lured him out of his kennel with Timbits and livers wurst and took him home. She spent 4 weeks socializing him and teaching him that humans could be kind. He came to the shelter weighing only 30 pounds. She packed 10 more on him by the time he came to us.

He has issues with strangers touching his head and neck area. Until he knows that you mean him no harm, he will bite. He doesn’t have teeth though, so no damage is done. Despite being bit and Mr. C&M getting head butted, our meet and greet went well and his foster mom felt that we would be patient enough to give him a good home. Samus didn’t object although she wasn’t in love either.

That was a little over a week ago that he came home. Day one was a little rough. He had been neutered 45 minutes before being dropped off to two people he had met once and then went on a 2-hour car ride to a new house. I was bit a few times getting him out of the vehicle. Again, no damage. I felt bad that I was causing him so much stress, but he couldn’t live in the car. Mr. C&M couldn’t do it because he’s more afraid of men.

Two days later we could both kiss his head and squeeze his cheeks. He is an utter lovebug. He gets spooked a little easy, but everything is new to him. Every day an adventure. As I write this, he is snuggled up next to my leg after exploring what the heck a laptop was.

Please welcome, Ridley.

Mr. C&M came up with his name. An easy change from Wrigley and comes from the same games that Samus’ name comes from. Of course, Samus and Ridley are not friends in the game, I was worried it might be a bad omen. However, Samus is coming around and learning that the new kid might be fun after all.

31 thoughts on “Welcome, the Riddle Master

  1. Oh goodness, what an absolute sweetheart!
    I’m so glad to see the new pictures and Ridley look so much happier and healthier.
    I wish you many happy years together.

  2. Aw the poor guy. I do know that you’ll provide the best care for him from now on. He is lucky to have found you. Please keep us updated with pictures.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    1. He can actually eat dry dog food. However, he’s been starved so he could just be powering through whatever pain he feels to eat. (We don’t know about any exposed nerves as he won’t let the vet look. He’ll have to be sedated to get dental x-rays done.) I wet his dry food to soften it and then he gets a half can of wet food too. He has most of his back molars but nothing but stumps in the front. D:

  3. This makes me cry, what a horrible start this poor dog had. But I’m so glad he found you guys! Thank you for taking him on. Wishing your little family the best😁

    1. He’s doing okay with the cat. If she wasn’t such a drama queen, he would probably have no interest in her. But, as she makes a racket every time he sniffs her, he finds chasing her fun. =/ It’s something we’re going to have to work on in training.

      1. I saw an episode of My Cat From Hell in which the girlfriend had a mean little yappy dog and the boyfriend had a cat. By the end of the episode, the girlfriend had trained them both to sit next to each other and wait to hear a clicker to get a treat. It was wild to see!

      2. He will do anything for treats. So, that’s been very helpful. Zelda is going on 15 and if I haven’t trained her to do anything, can I still? Can you teach old cats new tricks??

  4. Aw! I’m so glad he found a good home with you guys. I have a string of not nice words for the people who tortured him. Some humans are worth less than trash 😑

    1. Yeah, my husband keeps saying he would like 5 minutes with the people that did this to him. Unfortunately, they won’t be caught for what they did to him. But hopefully, karma comes full circle for them soon. D:<

  5. So happy you guys found your way into each other’s lives. ❀ He's in store for one heck of a life now that he's with you guys. We're so excited to meet him soon! ^_^

  6. If I say what I want to say about the people who did this, I’m going to make my FBI agent really stressed and probably get kicked off the internet. It’s weird that they actually recommend you adopt again even if you don’t feel ready, which is what we pretty much did with Garnet after Kin-mei (two months). Giving another needing and deserving creature a home is so worth it, and you exist in this sort of limbo state where of course you miss your late baby, but the new one isn’t a replacement; they’re more like an addition to your heart.

    That poor baby went through so much and I’m so happy he’ll have a good life now.

    1. It gives you a sense of purpose that you kind of lose when your furbaby passes. I never understood it until I went through it. I used to be confused by people who could just go out and get another pet but now I know. If it wasn’t for having Samus, we might have done it sooner. I don’t think I could have stood my house with zero dogs in it. I’ve always had them except for a short amount of time in my first apartment.
      I’m hoping in the future Ridley can be a breed ambassador. He’s so laid back, especially considering what he’s gone through, that I think he could teach people about dog fighting in the future. Even if people know what dog fighting is, they don’t usually know what a bait dog is. Of course, once they learn, they’re even more horrified. If I can tell people what he’s been through and then he gives them his paw to shake, more people will learn that humans are the monsters not pit bulls.

      1. It really does. The emergency vet who took care of Kin-mei sent us some literature about the grieving process and there was even a support group you could join. I was really, really close to doing so. I think the only reason I didn’t was maybe feeling guilty? Like I already felt guilty about him dying because I felt like I didn’t do enough. I KNOW there’s no way I could’ve known, but my brain just works like that. I felt guilty because of dumb societal shit where people have to compare traumas you know? Like I felt “there are people who have lost kids,” but apparently losing a pet is very similar to losing a child! I know there are people who’d be REALLY mad to hear that and I get it, but in terms of a being that you take care of daily, have complete responsibility for, and there’s mutual unconditional love, yeah I can see it. Of course it won’t be the same thing as losing a child, but you shouldn’t dismiss anyone’s grief even if you can’t understand it. Getting another one fairly soon makes you be responsible for this other new life that doesn’t and can’t ever know about your connection to the past one. It’s oddly refreshing in a way because they don’t have your baggage. They’re just them and it’s great. Like Garnet might not like me as much but I don’t care lol. I like that she’s spicy.

        Ugh, I hate that I know about it because I watch Animal Cops and I live near Philly which has a HUGE dog fighting problem. It’s awful, and I hate that they get a bad rap people of ass hole people. There’s even breed specific legislation in places or even countries. Like pitbulls are illegal in the UK! I think they’re going by the “gun” pov as in “they’re weapons and if you can’t have access to the weapon, you can’t commit violence with it,” but um, there’s a difference between a tool that’s only purpose is to kill and a living pet. Irritates me.

      2. Yeah, there are plenty of places that still have breed specific legislation. Luckily, not our area. I looked into it before adopting him because if you come for my dog, you better be ready to pry him from my cold, dead hands. It really does suck that they have such a bad rap because they are great dogs. Ozzy was 70% pit bull and literally the greatest dog I’ve ever met. They’re really just clowns that will do ANYTHING to please their owners and that’s where they get taken advantage of by humans.
        Some days the new kid is overwhelming but you’re completely correct about everything you said. He’s much spicier than Ozzy lol. But once he calms down, complete love bug. I considered a pet grief support group too, but I was so depressed I couldn’t be bothered to make the effort. =/

      3. That’s exactly what it is. They just want to please their humans, and sometimes those humans are trash, but the dogs don’t know that and are taken advantage of.

        Oh my god the same thing happened to me. I just kind of rode it out on my own. I think at the time it was some place I’d have to go? And I just didn’t have the energy to do that. Now I’m sure there would be a virtual thing, but even then you have to dredge up those horrible feelings again, and yeah…

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