DiCanio - Schultz - Spring City, PA

Schultz 10/1/2008 – 3/1/2012

Schultz came into our lives on his 1st birthday, October 1, 2009. He came from Heart of Michigan Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue in Michigan. Schultz had a bad beginning in life. He was not fully socialized, had very little training, broke his front paw at the growth plate and was not treated for his broken paw. He was suffering from “growing pains”, had mild hip dysplasia and resource guarding.

We were able to work with him on his resource guarding and, although not perfect, he was able to give up his takings and get a treat in exchange. He started stealing things, I think, to get a treat.

However, he also had a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde personality. It did not show for at least 6 months and when it did he would growl, show teeth, and then it escalated to lunging at you. After a minute or two, he would calm down. Obviously, we consulted a behaviorist, took Schultz to the vet for a complete exam and complete blood panel. We had his thyroid checked by Dr. Jean Dodds in California, all was normal. The only thing the vet could confirm was that Schultz was definitely in pain. We started Schultz on Meloxicam, Glucosamine, Prozac for the outbursts, and started behavior modification. At first, we noticed a big change to the better in him. He had come a long way since that time, but still had his moments. And then, approximately in January, 2012, his aggression began to escalate once again.

We again headed to the vets for another complete blood panel. At that vet visit, he went off in the car and he almost bit me, Ron, the vet and the technician. It took 30 minutes to calm him and get him into the office where he became lovable, was able to have his blood drawn and the vet actually got to see him in action. His thyroid was once again sent to Dr. Dodds for evaluation. Again, all was normal. We started him on Melatonin in addition to his other drugs hoping to sedate him just a little.

A week later, unprovoked and unpredicted, he jumped up and charged at me biting me in the butt and the arm. A week after that he went after my ex-husband and Ron in the kitchen again unprovoked and unpredicted. He chased Larry, a friend, onto the deck and when the door was slammed shut, he almost went through the glass sliding door. Then he turned on Ron. Larry got bit but not too bad. At that point, we realized he had become dangerous. There was nothing medically wrong, we had him medicated and still the problems. It was decided Schultz was a “dangerous” dog, both to himself and others.

Schultz was a troubled soul. Most people probably would have given up and euthanized him a lot sooner. Because of his young age and his lovableness 90% of the time, we really tried to modify his behavior, medicate him and learn as much as we could about his problems so we could help him. We were hoping that Schultz would be able to be retrained to live successfully in our home environment. We tried to help him, but he either could not or would not heal. We believe he probably was abused in his previous home, but we don’t know to what extent. He may have been born with a mis-wired brain. We loved him and he was our son. We also know he loved us and was happy here. This was evident when he would come over for a belly rub, cuddle on the couch, and when playing in the yard, he would throw himself on his back and slide down the hill. His favorite was making angels in the snow. When Schultz was good, he was a great dog, but when he was having a bad moment, he was out of control and he was increasingly getting dangerous and unpredictable. We had to do the right thing and let him go so he could run free over the Bridge.

Bruce and Linda Whiteside did a wonderful thing for Schultz in taking him into rescue. My husband and I are grateful that we had the chance to be Schultz’s mommy and daddy. We are truly sorry we were not able to do enough for him but we tried. We will truly miss Schultz and his antics. Schultz was handsome and so full of life, but he had his problems. I hope he understands, is pain free both mentally and physically, and I only wish he would come to our dreams and let us know he is okay. May Schultz run free over the Bridge and meet up with his brothers and sisters who went before him and be at peace. Schultz went to the Bridge on March 1, 2012 at the age of 3 ½ years old.

Gladys & Ron DiCanio
Spring City, PA
Berner Garde No.: 84129