A family in China, whose hectic lifestyle matched my own, went on a much-needed vacation. While walking down the street one day, they came upon a group of puppies that had been put up for adoption. The two excited children begged their mom to get one,
A family in China, whose hectic lifestyle matched my own, went on a much-needed vacation. While walking down the street one day, they came upon a group of puppies that had been put up for adoption. The two excited children begged their mom to get one, and despite years of saying no, Mom fell in love with one particular little, black-eyed bundle of fur. The gentleman selling the puppies warned them that the dog was a Tibetan Mastiff, a very large breed that can grow to 180 pounds. It was too late for Mom to change her mind as her children were already cuddling and loving the sweet thing. She thought having such a large dog might not be a bad thing as it could guard them and their house.
They named the pet “Little Black,” and brought him home to China. Feeding the dog became quite an ordeal because he had a voracious appetite. He did not like standard dog food, so Mom fed him noodles, buckets of noodles. He also seemed to like fruit, and would stand on his two hind legs to reach up onto the countertop to snatch an apple or an orange. Because the family had never before had a pet, Mom did not seem too concerned about his odd diet, and watched in amazement as the animal grew, and grew and grew! The seller HAD explained that the dog was a very large breed, and Little Black was anything but little!
The dog’s pension for fruit and food on the counter grew, and he began to stand on his hind legs regularly. Mom had seen dogs walk on their hind legs occasionally, but this was Little Black’s main mode of moving around, which was a little disconcerting to naïve Mom. By the time he was two years old, he weighed more than 250 pounds and, when standing with four paws on the ground, stood three feet tall. He also had gigantic, sharp teeth, which Mom, again, attributed to the fact that he was a very large breed of dog.
The children loved Little Black, and especially enjoyed taking him for a walk around the neighborhood where everyone stared in amazement at the huge dog. He was even more of a sight when he walked on his hind paws, drawing attention wherever he went. The children had great difficulty keeping him on a leash and soon had to get stronger, longer material to use.
The dog grew too large to keep inside the home, and walked around on his hind paws disturbing the counter tops and cabinets, which he had now figured out how to open. The family built an outdoor enclosure to more safely house Little Black.
Mom started to question other things about their large dog. His snout became more pronounced and she realized she had never heard him bark. He growled, which he did with increasing frequency as he grew. Although he was generally gentle with the children, he started to growl at them occasionally. For the first time, Mom was worried about her family’s safety around the dog.
Mom began to research Tibetan Mastiffs and was shocked at what she found. Yes, her large dog resembled this breed, but its incredible size, (over 6 feet tall when he stood), preference for noodles and fruit over meat and dog food, pronounced jaw, sharp teeth and method of standing on two feet when he walked convinced her he was not a dog at all, but a black bear! Mom also learned that it was illegal in China to house a black bear. Frightened of getting arrested, Mom frantically called the police, who came and arranged for an animal transport to take the bear to a safer, zoo home. Because of the circumstances, mom was not arrested or fined, but the whole family lamented the loss of their beloved family pet.
How could Mom not have seen it before? As Little Black grew and changed from what looked like a cute, little puppy into such a gigantic, black furry creature, he was just accepted and loved, because he was, after all, the family pet.