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My mom and two sisters adopted a Shih Tzu from a rescue shelter. His given name in the shelter was “Sox”. He was given that name because the men at his “forever” home smashed some glass bottles and forced the dog to walk on them just for shits n’ giggles. His feet were terribly cut up and got worse over the time he spent there before they gave him to the shelter saying that he was a runaway.

Sox was understandably frightened. The vets and nurses fixed up his feet and placed protective socks on his feet with soft padding on the bottom. Hence, the name “Sox”. Sox despised men with a passion. Every time a man would show up to adopt, Sox wasn’t having any of it.

My mom and two sisters saw Sox at the shelter and fell in love with him. Not a man in the houshold … Sox was “going home” and he was very content.

A couple of years later, I sent my oldest son out to “Grandma’s House” for a few weeks during summer vacation. As soon as Jase walked in the door, Sox literally lunged at him, barking maniacally. My mom and two sisters never thought Sox would act that way after two years, but he was with women all that time. No men were at the house. Ultimately they tied Sox up to the heavy coffee table so Jase could at least sit in the living room chair in peace. I came to pick him up at the end of his vacation and he and I were going to fly back the next day. Jase told me about the “Devil Dog from Hell” and I just dismissed it as hysteria. “It’s all in the way you approach the dog. Don’t make eye contact. Get down to the dog’s level (like crouching down) and slowly offer your hand.” “You’re kidding. You mean offer my hand as a sacrifice!” “Watch me”, said my arrogant self. I crouched down, looked away, extended my hand. Sox snorted at it. No bites, no attacks.

So, when I stood up to tell Jase “See, it’s just that easy”, Sox jumped up and bit me right in the soft part below my knee. It almost brought me down. In anger, I reached out for him, and it was GAME ON with Sox. I was dead meat to him.

1994 — the Northridge (sometimes called the Sylmar) earthquake took place. My mom and sisters were close enough to ground zero when it happened. They ran out of the house, but Sox got trapped under the coffee table when part of the ceiling fell on top of the table. They called out for him but they got no response.

A man down the block whose house was obliterated was walking up and down the block to help people turn off their gas and such. He came to my mom, and she told him that their dog was trapped under the coffee table with half of the roof over it. The man started walking into the house. My mom shouted out that Sox was not good with men. He might try to attack or bite.

Ten long minutes later, the man had Sox in his arms and Sox was licking his face and wagging his tail. A man saved his life! After the house was fixed (6 months having lived at a Motel 6), I flew down to see if I could do anything … fully prepared with body foam in case the “Devil Dog from Hell” may remember me and finish the job he didn’t when I was there.

When Sox came out of one of my sister’s bedroom, he walked over to me. He cocked his head to the left and to the right. Then his tail wagged. I pet him on his head and from then on, Sox and I were like “peas and carrots”. He was a totally changed dog as far as men were concerned. He did forgive what happened and he was a normal dog … all the way down the line … and surprisingly enough, he was a real lovey-dovey dog. After that.



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