Mary Beth and Brindle
“She’s has really become Jim’s dog. She just loves him”; Mary Beth Catanzaro talking about her dog Brindle. She rescued Brindle from Jimmy Stewart and DART. Mary Beth was one of many dog volunteer dog walkers when Brindle was waiting for the right and perfect home. Mary Beth admittedly was a failed foster parent. She fell in love one weekend when she brought Brindle home for potty training. Brindle has lived with them ever since.
Brindle was maybe three months old when she was rescued by DART. We knew nothing of her past except her and her sister showed up at the Highlands one day; and Brindle had recently been shot. What was left of her ear was bloody but had already started to heal. They were two wild and crazy sisters who are also part Pit Bull. Brindle’s sibling, the calmer of the two, passed as a boxer and quickly found a home up north. Brindle could not pass; her appearance and behavior was all Pit Bull. She was active and she was smart. The day I evaluated her for DART, I knew right away that we could find her a home here.
It wasn’t an easy decision to adopt Brindle. Brindle had issues. According to Jimmy, she was wild. Her and her sister must have survived on their own for some time before they were rescued by DART. At three months, it appeared she had never been indoors or cared for by anyone. Over the next few months she slowly grew to trust the people who were taking care of, especially Mary Beth. The weekend she took her home for potty training Brindle didn’t like Jim very much and she didn’t like their son Trey at all. At the time, Trey was a tall teenager who was constantly active. He made Brindle nervous. Jim was… Jim, calm, cool and patient.
Mary Beth and I had a few training sessions to build Brindle’s trust and confidence. We moderated the zealous and often noisy play between their other dog Lucky and Brindle. We tried to teach Brindle to retrieve until I discovered why she would not bring back the stick, she didn’t have to. Mary Beth and Jim would throw a stick to each other and Lucky and Brindle would run back and forth between them. It was as much fun and exercise as retrieving so I gave it my full support!
Today, and every day, Mary Beth takes Lucky and Brindle on a hike. We recently had a training session on the trail. After many repetitions of Mary Beth calling Brindle to her side when they encounter a hiker, now Brindle automatically comes to her. Mary Beth is still alert but too concerned with Brindle around people, dogs are another case. “Some days, some dogs, for some reason, Brindle does not react well to dogs she doesn’t know.” I told her it’s impossible to know why some dogs don’t like each other, it’s probably no different than why some people don’t like each other. What we do know is she has a great recall now and each time Brindle meets a dog she doesn’t know, Mary Beth calls her to her side and waits for the dog to pass. In time, this behavior will also become automatic.
Brindle is doing great. She has come to love the whole Catanzaro family, but Jim may be her favorite. He is the one you see Brindle snuggled up against on Facebook.
Mary Beth Catanzaro teaches 5th grade a Fairyland Elementary