My Dog Seigfried: A Real Life Stitch

By 7:46 AM

After being severely abused in an apartment complex that was to be demolished, a friend of my sister had saved two dogs abandoned there. According to the friend, they were forced to put down one of the dogs because it was severely aggressive and violent. Seigfried, the other dog, was kept in the family until they decided he needed a new home after getting into fights with the dog they already had. My older sister has a long history of bringing home stray cats and dogs. At our old home, we sort of gained a reputation for taking in animals. One time our door bell rang and there in the front door was a pot of kittens (literally inside a flower pot). Anyways, about a year ago my older sister brought home Seigfried. Immediately after opening his kennel, he took off around the house. He's about the size of a chihuahua with light brown fur. So we pretty much had a little bullet filled with energy. Although he came from a bad home, you wouldn't be able to tell from his eccentric personality. He did have a respiratory infection, and he had to take medicine for a cough that started whenever he got too excited. At night time, we would put him away into his kennel where he could sleep. I remember I would often walk past his kennel, and I could hear growling. I assumed he was just growling at the people walking down the street because his kennel was placed near the door. Later when he was potty trained we let him sleep on the bed and play with us at night. That's when things got weird. 

One day, I was petting him at night and I looked at his face. He expression looked distressed and tired. Seigfried put his head down. Suddenly, he perked up and snarled at me with all his teeth. His whole face was distorted, and his eyes were frowning. It lasted about six seconds. Then, he looked up at me. It might seem crazy, but I could see in his eyes pain and confusion. I let it go thinking that he was just tired, and it was one of those things that happened out of nowhere. By the way, it totally wasn't. 

The same thing happens. A lot. Especially at night, I can hear him growl at the door when I know there's no one out there. We call them "mental breaks" or "psychotic attacks". I could be petting him, playing with him, or just sitting next to him when he turns to me and starts snarling. Every single time, it lasts for seconds, and I can see the sadness in his eyes afterwards. Once, I was alone with him, and he had a "psychotic attack". Usually, I can tell he is about to have one because he starts to look down more and make no noises. But this time, I was thrown off guard. I screamed, and I remembered I looked back at him with complete fear. After seeing my expression, I could tell he had sensed my fear. He began to look at me and walk around the room. He would get closer to me, look at me, and then walk farther away. So I bent down and held out my hand hand. He then slowly came toward me, and I started to pet him softly. I could tell that he wanted help, and he didn't know what was happening to him. But then I saw him put his face down again. He began snarling. After a few seconds, his face was filled with sadness and confusion.  This time I was expecting it, and I bent down to him saying "It's okay Seigfried". Instead of coming to me, he walked out of the room and began walking around the house seemingly trying to distract himself.

If you've ever watched Lilo and Stitch, you know it's about a girl and an alien creation that are best friends. Stitch, Lilo's dog, is always making mischief and is full of energy. In Lilo and Stitch 2, Stitch has a glitch that makes him go back to his old ways of destruction and chaos. In the movie, Stitch "glitches" for a few seconds that cause him to destroy the things around him. Throughout the movie, he tries to stop the glitches, but they keep happening more often. Lilo tries to help Stitch get better, but she is constantly hurt when Stitch starts to destroy things. Stitch doesn't know what's wrong with him or why these glitches happen. And he tries to get better. In the end, Lilo holds Stitch in her arms after being healed by some special technology. 

My dog, Seigfried, is so full of happiness and joy. He loves to be in the arms of people, go on walks, and play with toys like any other dog. He's also super intelligent. He even knows when we spell out "W-A-L-K" that we're talking about going on a walk. He begins to jump up and down while running to the door. Seigfried, like Stitch, doesn't understand what happens to him when he has these "glitches". When I think of the mischievous and playful characterisitcs of Seigfried, I think of Stitch. Although Stitch was able to fix his glitch, Seigfried's glitch  probably stems from more than just a glitch that he was created with. When thinking of what's happening to Seigfried, it's obvious he has trauma or night terrors from the abuse he experienced. All I can say is that no matter what, Seigfried needs and deserves all the love and care in the world. 

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