Raffael – from hell back to life

  • male, brown
  • born 2013
  • Pitbull-Pointer or Pitbull Harehound Mix
  • vaccinated and internationally valid passport
  • Chip number: 9450 0000 2394 648
  • sterilized
  • Leishmaniasis positive
  • 26 kilos
  • former combat dog, with deep physical and emotional scars, loves to learn, very loyal, still playful

This is no ordinary “dog looking for a home” post. This is a very “special dog” – and, yes, I know that’s what everyone says. So one thing up front, Raphael is a difficult dog. He is a fighting dog mix and the emphasis is on fighting dog. He is neutered and about 8 years old.

So anyone who doesn’t feel up to it after reading this: This is not a dog for you. Thanks anyway for the interest. From the bottom of my heart.
But: Everyone reading this should get a opportunity to meet this dog!

Where do I start? I’ve known him for about six months. A stray from a mountain village. When we met him, my mother and I, he had a family: a mama dog and 5 puppies. He was always the stray, not always where the others were, but came by regularly enough to see him every now and then. He was always super friendly and accommodating to his family, never a “bad word”. Still, it was clear he’d been through some fights, he’s covered in scars. ( This as a second warning: he is not a “classic cuddle dog”).

When he came into the care of the local animal welfare organisation, he was so sick that he would have died soon if we hadn’t taken care of him. He was emaciated, had no fur and was very weak, diagnosed with Leishmaniasis (anyone who doesn’t know this disease is welcome to send me an inbox.) Long story short, he got the appropriate treatment, came to his first foster home and recovered visibly. He had to leave this foster home after 6 weeks because the woman had to leave again and he joined me.

Raffael, der sanfte Riese, ist ganz verspielt mit Welpen

So, here we go.
A few words about me: I live in the south of Greece, I am a vet and I already have a dog. In my care (since the beginning of July). Raffael was neutered, the treatment for Leishmaniasis was of course continued and he recovered fully, under the circumstances. And here begins his second problematic journey. Raffael, fit and strong again, showed aggression towards other dogs. Not just in the sense of barking and nipping, but biting, and with malicious intent. In fact, he once grabbed a dog so badly that I was afraid for the other dog. Since then it has not happened again. However, he ONLY walks with a leash or muzzle. He has had two fights with my dog, both without injury, and it has been wonderful here ever since. Both dogs live with me, free on a large property. Meanwhile they play almost every day – without any problems. We train daily and he improves every day. He is getting more relaxed with other dogs, has a few friends, all encounters are under control, and he really wants to learn. Raffael is wonderful with people and children- he really loves them. With other animals, things are improving slowly but surely. My cats are accepted, my chicken are no problem and he even makes friends with our horses.

Now a few words about his past, or rather his supposed past…. I suspect now that he was used as a “bait dog” in illegal dog fights, hence his (understandable) aggressiveness and some of his scars. If he gets to know dogs under controlled circumstances, he may well be able to behave. Despite all this, he is not, and will never be, a dog that “just comes along for the ride”. He will always be special and have special needs. Everyone who has read this far probably feels, how much I have grown fond of this dog. And, of course, everyone is asking: “Why don’t you just keep him and stop bugging us?” I understand that. And, yes, if nothing “better” comes along, he’s welcome to stay. Still, I have the hope that there is someone out there willing to give Raphael a chance, simply because my life would be “easier” only with my other dog. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a reason to get rid of a dog, I don’t want that either. I just don’t want to take away the chance of giving him a better life, in a place where he can develop and grow to be lovely dog he really is.

As I said, if you are seriously interested, there is of course a lot more information. Anyone who is interested has to meet him in person and spend some time with them – I cannot give him to “just anyone”. (Accommodation can be provided…)

So, if there is anyone in this world who is experienced and brave enough to give this dog a chance, I can promise they will get a dog who is wonderful, unique, loves like no other, loves to cuddle, looks after his family and is a great companion. Raffael is a dog who always wants to learn, will always learn and is a great softie at heart.