Fighting dogs have a pretty bad reputation. Breeds like pit bulls, for example, deal with a lot of prejudice from people. However, this story of one dog in particular proves that a dog's character isn't 100% determined by its breed.
Greg Heynen was one of those people with strong prejudices towards pit bulls. He didn't feel comfortable around his wife's Labrador-pit bull mix, Zack. When they moved in together, Greg felt certain that the so-called Labrabull hated him. The dog was often aggressive and seemed uneasy around him. Greg was particularly concerned when the couple had their first daughter. Here's Greg's story:
“My wife and I had two dogs that we'd owned before we met and brought with us into the marriage. Her dog was a pit bull/Labrador cross named Zack and he hated me. When our daughter was born, I said to my wife, ‘If he so much as nips at the baby, he’s gone.’
We brought our daughter home from the hospital in a car seat and both dogs sniffed and licked her, tails wagging. I had to eventually pull Zack away from her because he wouldn’t stop licking. Zack immediately became my daughter’s protector and the two were inseparable. If she was lying on a blanket on the floor, he would undoubtedly have at least one paw on the blanket.
Zack loved my daughter immensely; when she became a little older, he would walk her to bed and then slept next to her every night. He somehow knew when it was time to go upstairs and would wait at the bottom of the stairs until it was time to follow her to bed.
Sadly, Zack was poisoned by some dirt-bag neighbor kids; it was one of the worst days of our lives. My wife and I were both sobbing as we watched my daughter say goodbye to him and he lay still on the kitchen floor."
At 8:00 pm that night, my daughter walked to the foot of the stairs to go to bed. At that moment, all three of us realized what was about to happen. After five years with a constant companion, she didn’t have Zack to accompany her upstairs. She looked at us with a look of horror and panic on her face.
At that very moment my dog, who loved my daughter dearly, but wasn't even close to Zack’s league, stood up, walked over to her, and nudged her with his head. He put one paw on the stairs and looked up at her. Then they walked together up to bed; my daughter held on tightly to his neck.
For the next six years, until the day he died, my dog Sam waited for her by the stairs each night; it's almost as if the spirit of Zack remained with us.
What a touching story. Dogs really do become integral parts of a family. It sounds like these two really won over everyone with their love and loyalty.