This incredible love story began when a timid, lonely and desperate Pit Bull named Pudge was rescued from inhumane conditions by the SPCA of Texas on February 24, 2010.
Pudge, along with several other animals, was living in filth without access to proper water or veterinary care inside a property in Bonham, Texas. This precious 2-year-old was very underweight and suffering from hair loss due to demodectic mange. He also had puncture wounds and scars on his sweet, loving face. Needless to say his life had been less than desirable up to this point.
But even after all the challenges, mistreatment and stress he faced, he was a resilient boy who never gave up on himself or his future family. He was a staff favorite.
Pudge carried the weight of the world on his shoulders, and he had overcome all odds. The deck seemed stacked against him. He was a big, black dog, an American Pit Bull Terrier mix; one of many who wait and wait in animal shelters to find a new, loving home. And he had lived most of his life in inhumane conditions which would lead most people to believe he would have trust or worse yet, aggression issues. But Pudge was the strong, silent type who was terrified of his own shadow but who longed for love and companionship all the same.
April 28, 2010 would be the first day of the rest of Pudge’s wonderful life. Mathew Sprinkel and Tanner Teel of McKinney, TX had seen Pudge on the SPCA of Texas' website, and came to the shelter to meet him. Mathew and Tanner, along with their dog Biscuit, had recently grieved the loss of their beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback named Max, and they decided it was time to add a new member to the family.
They watched as person after person walked by Pudge’s kennel, tried to get a reaction out of him, and then, failing that, kept walking.
“I did see Pudge, and he looked so sad, [he] just wanted someone to love him. My partner and I went and visited him a few times, but he seemed very standoffish so I wasn't too sure,” Mathew said.
Pudge would cower, look at the floor and curl up in a ball on his bed when people attempted to give him attention. Mathew, Tanner and Biscuit met and visited several other dogs before formally meeting Pudge, but Biscuit never seemed too interested in playing with any of them.
After several trips up to the SPCA of Texas, Mathew and Tanner just couldn’t resist those sad, puppy dog eyes.
“After several visits to the SPCA of Texas, I decided to take Pudge. After watching several people go up to him and try to get his attention, and he would lie on his bed and shake, I knew there were few people who would give him a chance. Every time you look at him he just makes a face that makes me think, 'before, no one loved him, and that is all he wants.’ It broke my heart.”
Well that was then and this is now! Pudge, now named Grady, is the happy-go-lucky, energetic, playful pup he always wanted to be. Biscuit and Grady are now partners in crime. They love to play together, get into trouble and will even share the couch for a nap after a long day of mischief.
Biscuit has met her match when it comes to a need for speed. When the pups play in the backyard, Grady can beat her in almost any race. And of course, like any young dog, his favorite game is “chase.”
“He loves to play chase. I put my arms in the air like I'm going to get him and he goes spinning in circles around me then makes laps around the back yard. He plays rough, he likes to jump off the couch and land right on [Biscuit] but she takes it and does it right back to him.”
Grady is also a huge cuddler. He is the first one to run into the living room when the front door opens and jump on Mathew’s favorite seat in the house. He arranges himself in a position so that no one else has room to sit on the couch, unless of course they are coming to shower Grady with love and affection. Not only is he very playful and extremely loving, he is not completely free of his 'puppy phase' just yet.”
When Grady first became a family member, Tanner and Mathew thought it would be best for the two dogs to keep each other company while their owners were at work. And boy did those pups have fun! They entertained themselves by pulling out everything that was hiding under the bed and “cleaned out” a few things.
Grady is one of the strong, lucky pups who was able to overcome the harsh conditions of a life of neglect, and accept all the love and companionship his new family had to offer.