It Ripped My Heart Out

by Tom Antion

So Sunday was a repeat of Saturday . . . almost. Rubix was getting very comfortable around me and not letting me out of his sight whether the leash was on or not. We played fetch. We went for walks. I made him his breakfast and dinner (which will be the subject of a later confession). Little Lana one of my employee’s five year old daughter came over to meet Rubix.

You see, everyone around me was worried about my decision to get a dog like this. They all asked me, “What if he bites Lana, or Luke (6 years old) or Evan (3 years old)?” All the protection dog companies claim the dogs all love kids and that the dogs are totally family friendly, but is that true? I certainly didn’t know for sure.

Lana is really a bigger handful than Rubix. She came over, walked right up to Rubix (while her dad and I had industrial chains around Rubix’s neck and we were both holding on for dear life. ) . . . And then what happened was totally unexpected and in some ways horrifying. Here’s what happened:


Lana was all over Rubix. She had her little angel face right next to his “supposedly” death dealing, saliva spitting mouth. . . . Nothing. . . . He just took his pets and hugs like a man and showed no aggression or even that much interest at all. Within 5 minutes, little Lana had him obeying commands for treats.

You might wonder, “What’s the horrifying part?” The horrifying part is that I’m thinking again how I got ripped off by the guard dog company. If you read my last confession “What a Big Baby” you know that I was feeling like this was a woosie dog who would never protect me and now he didn’t even hardly notice this little kid banging on his head. I was certain this dog was overvalued by at least $30,000.00.

We got through the day and now the “almost” of ‘Sunday was almost a repeat of Saturday’ comes in. It’s bedtime and I take Rubix over to the futon. I laid down and started to pet him. . . .  Wait a minute! Is this the same dog who was whimpering in his crate last night? Rubix was playfully nipping at me (I know this now, but I didn’t know it then.)

Nothing really scares me in life, but I was starting to get pictures in my head about newspaper and Internet headlines, “Internet Marketing Expert Eaten by Imported Personal Protection Dog”. I got right up off the futon and put him in the crate. Much to my surprise he went right to sleep and I avoided the newspaper headlines.

On Monday when I was returning Rubix to the guard dog company I was telling the trainers what happened. They said he was testing me to see if I was the dominant one or if he was going to have to take over as the pack leader. They told me not to get down on the floor with him for several months so he clearly knows who the big boss is.

Another lesson learned.

So, how did I get my heart ripped out? It was time to leave and return Rubix to the kennel. I could hear the barks from a distance but I really wasn’t prepared for what I was about to experience. The trainers told me to yell really loud when I entered the kennel. I forget what I was supposed to say. It was something like “DOG ON LEASH”. This is so two dominant dogs don’t run into each other and start a dog fight.

After yelling, I turned the corner and saw a line up of kennels that went on forever. There were tons of bomb sniffing dogs  back from Iraq, police dogs, narcotic sniffing dogs, protection dogs…..there was just a heck of a lot of dogs….more dogs than I’ve ever seen at one time in my life…..even when you count my many shelter visits.

I walked Rubix down a really long double row of kennels. I think Rubix was strutting in front of his pals. “Hey, suckers. I got me a home. ” Maybe he thought we were just stopping by his little cubicle to collect his belongings. The kennel master opened the door to the kennel and Rubix resisted me putting him in. The kennel master forced him in and quickly slammed the door and locked it.

Rubix went nuts. He started leaping higher than I could even believe. He was crying and pleading . . . “Don’t leave me here.” Till the day I die I will never forget the look on his face. He was looking me right in the eye and saying, “How could you do this to me? I was a good boy all weekend. I didn’t pee in the house. I didn’t chew anything up. Please I’m begging you don’t leave me here!!!”

I literally got tears in my eyes. I swore I would not do that to him again. When I come back to get him next time it would be permanent. Rubix and I against the world.

He’s a Working Dog Part I



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