Rebecca Kapp tells her story:
Although I am not typically an analytical person I found myself extremely interested in learning about canine behavior and aggression and attended one of the last intense 3 day seminars given by Ian Dunbar of University of California at Berkeley. Little did I realize the influence this would have on my life. Soon afterwards, a family that had taken in a Weimaraner so he wouldn’t go to the pound contacted me about a dog that they were keeping in their garage. I was asked to come and evaluate “Will” a dog which had been accused as aggressive.
Anxious to put my newfound learning into practice I was delighted to have the opportunity to evaluate Will. I gave Will a thorough evaluation and found him to be anything but aggressive. He was just a Weimaraner!
ARIZONA WEIMARANER RESCUE
Will was well bred from noted championship lines of the breed. As a puppy Will had been sold to a man in Georgia. The pair became inseparable. Will was a member of the household, he lived as Weims do and became a family member probably sleeping in his master’s bed. When the woman of the house died, Will’s master found a new “younger“ replacement who did not like dogs, Will in particular, and soon threw Will outside. When the man’s son visited and saw how Will was being cared for he decided to bring him back to Arizona to live with his family. Shortly after his return he was summoned to serve in Desert Storm. His wife, left alone with their small children, had little time for Will, as she was not a dog person. She gave Will to a family with a small child.
Will, being a true Weim and loving children, often played with the child using his mouth as a hand. His new family misunderstood his actions and was afraid that Will might harm their child. What they saw as an act of aggression was really a normal sporting dog’s way of simply playing with the child. Will was accused of biting the child who had no broken skin or bruises. Will moved on one more time.
That is when I got the call. Will came to my house along with his papers from his breeder whom I contacted. I told the breeder of the situation. Her comment was that since Will had been accused of biting she would not pay for his return and asked that I take Will to the vet and hold his head while he was put to sleep. At that moment I looked up from the phone and saw Will in the doorway with his collar in his mouth as though he understood his fate and was just waiting for me to take him to be put to death. I told the breeder I had evaluated him and felt he was being wrongly accused of something he had not done and that I would take responsibility for the dog and that he would not be put to sleep.
Local people that had been involved with the breed and had had Weims for years had heard about Will and called and offered to foster him. When the man arrived to pick Will up it was love at first sight between man and beast. Will moved into their home never to change hands again. He had found his new home, he lived with other dogs, 2 small grand children who used him as a pony, dressed him up as guest of honor for their tea parties, used him as a pillow while they watched t.v. and hugged him at night as they fell asleep with him in their bed. Will lived a full life to the ripe old age of 13. A dog that would have been put to death…
I will never forget Will as he rode away to his last new home, he looked out the rear window of that big station wagon. The expression on his face seemed to say thank you so much Rebecca but please look out for the others, as they don’t deserve to die either. That’s how rescue began…
Since that time, hundreds of very fortunate families and Weims have been united. Rebecca has been “saving the lives” of these wonderful animals, and has touched many hearts and souls of the families and Weims by providing the dogs great homes and the adopting owners the incredibly rewarding joy and unconditional love in return.
When friends tell her to slow down, do not take any more dogs, let someone else do it; she’ll tell you “I pray for others to help me but I can’t say no. For I will never forget that look in Will’s eyes and how close he came to dying.” To say “Great job,” does not do justice to what Rebecca gives of herself. We don’t know how she even does it. She is just one of the rare few that passionately believe in this breed. A special thank-you to Rebecca from so many people and so many pets!