ZIMBABWE — Certain dogs are born into a life of service as their particular breed dictates what positions humans will use them for. For instance, if the dog is of a certain stature, like a German Shepherd, Rottweiller or Doberman, to name a few, they may be trained to become a guard dog despite how sweet their disposition may initially be. In the United States alone, there are a variety of guard dog positions that certain breeds fill, from livestock guardian dog and personal security to a commercial property guard dog and a police dog. The well-being of the dog is often taken into consideration in America, but in other countries dogs are not so lucky. Such was the case with Big Boy the brindle Bull Mastiff from Zimbabwe who served his life as Diamond mine guard dog, only to be discarded after retirement.
The 8-year-old dog guarded the controversial mines in the Chiadzwa Fields until he was no longer of use to them, leaving him to be abused by a family that couldn’t afford him. According to the local SPCA, it is common for the mines to frequently rotate guard dogs, leaving many of them homeless and mistreated. In Big Boy’s particular case, he was handed off to a family that couldn’t care for him and just left him tethered up to a scrap car with little access to food. When the SPCA finally got to Big Boy, he was malnourished and in dire need of veterinary care.
Staff at the the shelter immediately began Big Boy’s rehabilitation and fell in love with his soft, sweet demeanour. Despite the abuse, the dog was a gentle giant that even took a step back come feeding time to let the younger dogs eat first. The shelter knew they had to find Big Boy the best home they could. They reached out on their Facebook page and received an influx of interest, support and positive responses.
After a long hard journey, Big Boy was driven three and a half hours to his new forever home this past weekend. He is slowly gaining the weight back and he is as happy as can be in his new home, where he follows his family around and is constantly wagging his tail.
1. The News 24