|When my husband and I got Todd from his foster home he was one, maybe two years old. We were told that he had been dropped off outside an animal shelter, half starved and covered with fleas and ticks. American Brittany Rescue got him, cleaned him up, took him to the vet for checkup, vaccinations, and neutering and turned him over to his foster home. We saw his picture and write up on the American Brittany Rescue website but we actually went to get a little black and white French Brittany. Once we got there, Todd just seemed to be a much better match for us.
When we got him home, we found out he had probably never been in a house before as he went over the furniture not around it. He was afraid of loud noises like thunder, gunshots, firecrackers, etc., so it is assumed he was dropped off by a disgruntled hunter who had no use for a gun shy bird dog. Todd had everything to learn, and in most things, he was a quick learner. I went with him for two six week sessions of obedience school and he got “Most Improved.” He had to improve, he couldn’t have gotten much worse. He learned all the basics rather quickly and he always comes when I call with one exception. If he is chasing a squirrel, rabbit, or other critter, forget it. He’s focused on one thing, and that is whatever he’s chasing. We have a large fenced in back yard and that is his domain during the day, in the house at night. I walk him through the neighborhood every day and he is known by all the kids and gets to meet a lot of the other neighborhood dogs. The kids run up and hug him and he never jumps on them or gets excited, he just stands there and tolerates the hugs and then walks on.
About six years ago he was bitten on the nose and jaw by a Copperhead in our backyard and his poor head was swollen something terrible. The vet gave him a shot and antibiotics and the next day he was as good as new but with a new respect for snakes. He got where he would go around the yard and hunt for them through the day. Copperheads have great camouflage in dry leaves and pine straw and at times are almost impossible to spot, but Todd didn’t need to see them, he would sniff them out. When he found one he would bark and jump back over and over. We got where we could tell his “snake” bark. One summer we killed 14 Copperheads and all, except for a couple, were found by Todd. We were averaging 12 Copperheads killed a year for several years. He hasn’t found as many this summer and we don’t know if he has thinned them out or if they run in cycles, but snakes are not safe in the back yard with Todd. One was escaping down a hole and Todd got him by the tail, pulled him out, and immediately slung him across the yard where my husband chopped off his head with our “snake” shovel. We have neighbors who say “we don’t have snakes”. They have snakes, they just don’t know it. We don’t have snakes because we have Todd.