In 2001, we were stationed at Fort Carson, CO and we wanted a dog.  At the time it was my husband, me and we had two daughters under the age of 4.

My husband began looking online at dog pounds, shelters, Humane Societies, etc for the dog he thought might fit in with our family.  As he searched, he found a female dog at a local Humane Society that he thought looked nice.  After reading about her, he decided we would go see her in person.  (Now it was a long time ago and I do not remember the name of the Humane Society we actually went to.. just that it was in Colorado Springs, CO.)

Before going my husband had looked up her breed and she was listed as being an Akita.  According to the internet, Akita dogs were known as Japanese Attack Dogs and not good with people they were not raised with.  I told him he was crazy and we were NOT getting that dog.   we had two small kids and they were not going to be attacked by some dog.

So we get there and as we walked around we looked at all of the dogs.  I have always been a lover of Rottweiler dogs, but my husband could only point out the bad things about their breed.  (Yes I know… rumors!)  then we finally got to Trish (as she was being called at the time).  I was not impressed.  Okay so I was a bit mad because I really wanted the male Rott I had already seen.  He was about 3 years old and perfect (to me).  Anyway… back to Trish.  She was estimated to be about 5 years old and already fixed from her previous owner though they had no information about her previous owner or her story.

My husband asked if he could go in a meeting room with Trish and see how she did.  I told him we would not be going in until after he was attacked (or not).  So we went in.  I sat on the bench with the girls and he went across the room to greet her.  She did fine.  No aggression or anything.  I approached her but stayed back as I would with any strange dog.  She was fine and the girls even petted her while we were there.  Had me so nervous… We left and they put her back in her cage.  We walked around a bit more and still argued over getting the Rott.  In the end we went ahead and began the paperwork process to adopt Trish.

We brought her home on Christmas Eve of 2000 and she became Chyna!  (Yes I know… Trish is my MILs name and we didn’t think it was appropriate for the dog so we changed it…we were so into wrestling back then and the dog was big and tough like Chyna the wrestler so there was born her new name.)  Chyna immediately answered to her new name.  So I can only assume she liked it.

Chyna became part of the family.  I guess I became pack leader since she always deferred to me and did as I said more so than anyone else.  She followed me around constantly and always laid at my feet.  Whoever her previous owners were did an awesome job training her.  She knew basic commands.  Could walk on a leash without pulling.  Would only poop on walks away from her yard.  Never (well one accident) went in the house.  You could put your hands in her food bowl with no issues.  She had a soft mouth too so you never had to worry about your fingers being bitten off when you hand fed her.  She became almost immediately my dog instead of my husbands…. funny since I was so against getting her.

She moved with us every time we moved… from Colorado to Texas to California to Texas then another 2 times in Texas.  She was a great dog!  She sat right there in the seat while traveling… never tried to walk all over the place or anything while driving down the road.  She did perfet the front seat, but when the whole family was in the car together she had to sit in the back seat between the girls car seats.

As she aged she began to show it… Her back legs got weak.  Her bladder control went out the window…  She even got to the point that in order to go take care of “business” she sometimes needed help walking into the yard to do it.  We took her to a couple different vets and all they could do was offer surgery and some pills that were (if I remember correctly) like pain killers and enabled her to get around a bit.  By this time she was already at least 10 years old as we had had her for over 5 years so surgery was not an option.  She was tired and in pain.  You could see it in her eyes.  We held on to her longer than we should have…  but we didn’t want to let her go.

In 2007, my husband and I both graduated from college and it was time to move again.  In her condition it would not be fair to her to make sure a long move.  We weren’t even sure she would even make the trip.  We finally decided that we could not hold on to her any longer.  We took her out one last time to Sonic to get a bite to eat (she was so spoiled I know, but it was her special treat) and then took a trip to see our local vet.  Chyna knew why we were there… she almost seemed excited.  The vet gave her a shot and her eyes seemed to say thank you.  We had such a hard time…  We took Chyna home and my husband buried her.  I couldn’t even help because I could stand to see her no longer with us.  He laid her curled up like she was just sleeping.  An eternal sleep…  There has never been another dog like Chyna.


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