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Thread: Bronx’s Short Story for A Big Dog

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Bronx’s Short Story for A Big Dog

    Bronx’s Short Story for A Big Dog

    We got our boy Bronx, a rich fawn bullmastiff when he was 8 weeks old, his father was and is an Australian champion or so the breeder’s website says.

    We did a lot of research looking for the right breeder as big dogs have big problems and the best way to avoid hip or elbow issues are to have them breed out. The breeder said to me “if you have hip or elbow problems that is more my problem then yours” that is the theory but in practice far from the truth.

    Bronx was instantly part of our family, he was a quick learner but could be stubborn when he choose too be, when he was 6 months old we took him back to the breeder just to see how we were going, the breeder wasn’t that interested in seeing us but we went anyway, plus they still owed us his papers, we never got the papers.

    We choose the wrong breeder, the kennel was great but we should have walked away when we said we wanted a pup and to keep a boy for us and to call as soon as he is ready. On not getting any calls we rang to see if everything was ok, the breeder said that he only had one boy left but two girls and if we want the boy then we had four hours to come and get him, which we did.

    The breeder was more interested in selling the pups and not the breed we got no questions about managing big dogs or what we intended to do, it was just pick one and will that be cash.

    We had no issue with Bronx for the first two years, he slept inside at night snoring and farting and doing a patrol around the house often finding that the lounge was more comfortable then his bed. He went on holidays with us, to the café and shopping, he had a gentle nature but also wouldn’t take a backward step, he didn’t start trouble but he would finish it, which didn’t happen often.

    Bronx grew to 60kg and was a tall dog, he was not over weight and had regular walks in our off leash park, we were careful that he didn’t grow too fast but at just over two years old he did the cruciate tendon in his knee, we took him to the Veterinary Specialist Centre who were fantastic and Bronx had major surgery on his knee, this went well and after 3 months he was back to normal, on investigation I was told that this was a hereditary condition and very unusual for it to show up the young age Bronx was.

    Things were good for the next few months and then one day after our walk, Bronx was dragging his front paw as if he couldn’t lift it completely off the ground, over night he got worse and we rushed him to our vet who then sent us to SASH again another great team of doctors and nurses.

    We eliminated the obvious issues such as poisons, diet changes to see if it was a reaction on his nervous system and eventually agreed that an x-ray was the only way left to do.

    On the x-rays we found he had a bone growth on his spine “Spondylolisthesis” or commonly called “Wobblers Disease”, we were faced with either operating or physio but after talking to some other people we found that operating is the only way to really fix it.

    We consented to the operation and he went under the knife after many hugs kisses and tears, we ticked the box to resuscitate we would have done almost anything to keep our boy.

    In surgery we got more bad news it turned out he had three growths but the operation went well.

    We were there the next day to see our poor boy that just looked up at us with those big intelligent, sad eyes. After a couple of days we saw no improvement in him being able to get up, the nurses all said he was an amazing patient and just watched them go about their work without a whimper even though he was in pain. There was a husky there having the same operation and he did nothing cry but not our tough boy.

    Three days later I got a call from the vet, Bronxsie had a breathing problem in the night and they had to resuscitate him and he was now on a machine to breath. What did I want to do?

    I had no choice but to let him go, the suffering, the sadness in his eyes and the constant problems we seemed to be getting left me no choice, I told the vet to let him go to sleep.

    What a feeling of sadness, of loss, of emptiness and of anger. It has almost been a year since we lost him we still are not over him, still too many pictures of him on the fridge and we feel strange to use his leads or collars on our new dogs but in time I know. If my wife was to read this she would start crying.

    I don’t know if I could put another dog through the operation and I hope I am never in that situation again. In the last year of his life we spent over $16,000 on Bronx’s medical bills, luckily for us we had insurance with the RSPCA and they covered a lot of the cost and were fantastic, we have both our new dogs covered as well.

    I miss my boy and my afternoon beer with him sitting on the back step looking at the world; he never ever gave me any bad advice or argued with me, such devotion and love I truly appreciated.

  2. #2


    I'm so sorry for your loss R.I.P Bronx

  3. #3


    Ohhh.... Bronx
    I'm so sorry that you lost your boy.
    And believe me, I feel for you.
    Right now i'm in tears as your story reminds me of what I went through with my Mastiff x.
    Maxi was the best dog. Went from a nervous skinny rescue pup to a beautiful gentle giant, so loyal and smart.
    I went through the cruciate lig surgery with her when she was 1.5y.o
    She too was so brave, determined and after all the pain she still loved the vet, never got angry. As much as I was devastated, I knew that she'd been mistreated and her problems made sense. Our main concern was to make her better quickly. I know, when you buy from a reg. breeder you expect more.
    It took a while for Maxi to get better, she had both knees done and and by the time she was 2 she had arthritis. We fussed over her, managed the arthritis, made sure she didn't over do it with exercise etc. Just when we thought we were getting on top of things she was diagnosed with cancer. I thought I was going to die from shock. The cancer was agressive, spread and nothing could be done. We spoiled her like never before in the last 3 months she was with us. When she went off her food, we gave her junk food. Hungry jacks ended up being her favourite and once she refused to eat even burgers we knew it was time to let a 4 year old girl go.
    I miss her like crazy and still cry when I think about when she was sick and when it was time. I remember sleeping with the light on for 3 months so i could see her in the middle of the night, and getting up every few hours to see if she was breathing. We spent thousands too,saved, borrowed, sold things, no insurance, but would have taken out loans just to have her with us.
    Sorry for going on and on...
    Yes not all reg. breeders are what they're meant to be. I've said this in another thread before. Some might as well be called backyarders/puppy factories. When I got my current Stafford- It was top breeder, champion parents, . We never got the promised papers, when i called the breeder to ask when she last wormed her because she was vomitting worms, she struggled to remember who we were a week later. The dog had major anxiety problems, terrified of the lead and she'd wee herself if you put her collar on her ( she was 6 months when we got her)
    Makes you so angry!
    Once again sorry to go on and on.
    RIP Bronx
    "The loss is immeasurable but also
    immeasurable is the love left behind"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    Thank you Magdalena

    I am very sorry for your loss and I think it is why I joined this forum dog people are different breed and I am happy to belong. You never forget them, you never get over lossing them, I think you just learn to live with it.


    Looking back,
    on the memory of,
    The dance we shared,
    beneath the stars above.

    For a moment,
    all the world was right.
    How could I have known,
    that you'd ever say goodbye

    And now,
    I'm glad I didn't know .
    The way it all would end,
    the way it all would go .
    Our lives, are better left to chance.
    I could have missed the pain,
    But I'd of had to miss the dance

  5. #5


    Thanks B!
    Beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing.
    And you're right! Dog lovers are the best

  6. #6


    aww that was a very sad story, so sorry to hear that you lost your beloved best mate, now i'm crying & i know 1st hand what its like to loose a very well loved pet as i lost my 13 yr old SBT to cancer....

    RIP Bronx

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    thanks Aussie and sorry for your loss too

  8. #8


    I'm so sorry you lost him Bronx after trying so hard to give him a pain free life.

    Registered breeders are not all what they should be, human nature too often gets in the way of ethics, and the almighty dollar comes out on top...

    It's not that hard to get a Champion title on a dog... it doesn't necessarily indicate good health, only judge's opinions about the dog's appearance in accordance with their breed standard. I know lots of champion dogs I would never consider breeding from.

    But some unscrupulous breeders sometimes use it as an excuse to prove that a dog is perfect. So sorry they fed you this line. Great breeders and mentors are like gold - not always easy to find, and to be treasured!

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    Thanks Nattylou

    I think going forward we will only go for rescue dogs, no more breeders we have two rescues now and are very happy with them but we still want another day

  10. #10


    Rescue is hugely rewarding.

    I'll keep my ear to the ground in my show circles for proper good Bull Mastiff breeders. Let me know if you're ever searching.

    We were at the borzoi Nationals in Melbourne last year and the Mastiff Nationals were on at the same time, all mastiff breeds. Absolutely awesome dogs... Some of the bullies were just HUGE!! Some of the breeders had horse floats instead of dog trailers... even just for a coupleof dogs. They did look more comfy in there, and the ramps must have made life easier - you wouldn't catch me trying to lift one into a trailer!!!

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