READER REPORT:

Diary of a dangerous dog owner

SHILO FLAVELL
Last updated 12:00 29/01/2013
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ONE OF THE FAMILY: Jedi as a puppy, and now.

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Diary of a dangerous dog owner Pets who rule: My dog gets more mail than me Pets who rule the roost: Blacky the wheelchair cat Pets who rule: He loves his chair - to pieces Pets who rule ... Injury no setback for Richie McCaw, the dog Pets who rule: I can't bear to put him down Pets who rule the roost ... My dog hates the internet You can't keep a good dog down Pets who rule: Misty's first Christmas havoc Pets who rule: The neighbourhood king

Jedi, what have you done? I never wanted a dog. I was the kind of person that would cross the road if I saw a dog being walked in my direction. If I was at a friend's house and their dog licked me, I would push it off in disgust and gag at the smell. I often laughed at dog lovers and thought they were crazy, or perhaps just a little unstable.

Naturally, when I found out about you, I did my best to talk my Mum out of it. I presented her with facts and numerous articles regarding dogs and the dangers of your breed. Rottweilers in the media are generalised as vicious and aggressive because they are responsible for a huge proportion of dog attacks. Being an ignorant and uneducated dog critic, I discriminated against you as an individual based on the reputation of your breed. For this, I am truly sorry.

The day I met you, I literally fell to the ground in disbelief as your fragile little legs darted towards me. Your eyes looked up to me with such innocence and you fell in to my arms with ease. You were a delicate soul, searching for love and reassurance just like the rest of us. In that singular moment, you changed my mind about dogs. Over the course I have known you, you have changed my entire life.

You have taught me qualities that have inspired me to be a better person. I am now loyal, patient and compassionate towards others. I always try to give, and never to expect. These are all attributes that make up your "dangerous" personality.

I sit outside and talk to you for hours on end, and you will listen intensely, but never judge.

When I am sad or going through a hard time you always know. You resonate warmth and give me cuddles, lick my face with kisses and assure me with your touch that it will get better.

With you around, I am always safe.

Knowing you and the joy you have brought to my life has made me passionate and vocal about animal rights. Because dogs have no voice, I will do everything in my power to speak for you, to stand up for breeds who are stigmatised, and to help stop animal abuse.

You changed my whole family dynamic because you brought friendship, happiness, companionship but most of all, love. Before you arrived, something was missing. Now it feels complete.

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Dad, who was dead set against the idea of having a dog, is now your biggest fan. He built your dog house from scratch, takes you for walks every night even if it is pouring down and he slaves away in the kitchen cooking you special dog dinners.

Mum will brag to anyone that listens about her youngest son Jedi. The funny part is when she shows photos and they realise you are a dog.

And just like a normal family, we argue. You have chewed an endless amount of my shoes and clothes. Your barking gets annoying and I yell at you from time to time. Even though I get grumpy, I still love you.

I would do anything for you. My family would do anything for you.

I used to laugh at crazy dog owners, but guess what? I am one of them now too.

I love you Jedi.


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