In honor of Guard Dog, the faithful chained dog in MUTTS with a heart of gold, we're sharing happy stories about real-life "guard dogs." This special story about a dog named Bigfoot is told in two parts and was submitted by two animal angels: MUTTS reader and Adopt a Pit foster volunteer Melanie Wagner, and Amberlynne Craine, Bigfoot's adoptive fur mom. Thank you, Melanie and Amberlynne!


From Melanie, Bigfoot's foster mom:

My former foster dog Spirit (now named Bigfoot by his forever family!) came into Adopt A Pit Rescue in Dayton, OH in 2021 after being a “Guard Dog." He lived his whole life chained on a concrete pad in a backyard.

The neighbors tried to help him, but the owners wouldn’t allow them to find Spirit a new home. The only reason the neighbors were finally able to help him was that Spirit tried to jump the fence, still chained, and nearly hung himself by the time the neighbors noticed and were able to get him down.

He came to me to foster and was an absolute angel. Years of laying on nothing but concrete nearly destroyed his hips, so he needed a double FHO, but he was the most friendly, happy, and easygoing dog through it all. We kept him through both surgeries until he was adopted.

His adoptive family saw a post I had made about him before he was ready to be adopted, and continued following up for many months until he was healthy and ready to start his next chapter. They love him so much — his adoptive mom even got a tattoo of his adorable little face with his signature heterochromia (two different-colored eyes)! 
He’s come a long way from his “before." I hope every Guard Dog has the chance to live like him someday.
(Fun fact: Back in 2021, he was our 9th foster. We get our 30th foster this Sunday!)

From Amberlynne, Bigfoot's "forever" adoptive mom:
My fiance and I got Bigfoot in the summer of 2021. We have a pit mix named Molly  and we wanted her to have a friend, so when we saw Bigfoot (Spirit at the time) we couldn't resist. He was just so cute!

Pretty quickly into his adoption we realized he had some bad allergies, so we went and got him tested. Turns out he's highly allergic to 61 of the 80 environmental allergens. We've got him on daily immunotherapy drops and medications to maintain his consistent ear infections due to allergies. Honestly I've never met a dog before with so many heath setbacks that's just so happy!

He's so goofy and sassy, and he's been known to give some pretty criminal side-eye. He loves toys and recently learned how to catch, though once he has the ball you will not be getting it back. He loves our two cats, Pinecone and Newphew. He's quite literally the perfect addition to our little family. 

Bigfoot Rescue Dog

Interested in sharing your Guard Dog rescue story? We'd love to hear from you. Reach out at or post on Instagram using the hashtag #FreeGuardDog.

Comments (15)

This is wonderful awareness of crultey . Keep up the good word . Thank u

Connie Zimmerman

My name is Eric and I absolutely love dogs. I’m a disabled 9/11/01 Survivor and if it wasn’t for my dogs I don’t know where I’d be. Emotionally they keep me grounded and happy. Physically they keep me busy and my mind doesn’t wander to unpleasent memories of the past. I’d never experienced what poor Guard Dog had gone through until I moved from NC to be closer to my father and my step mother. I decided to rent my step sisters basement from her and her boyfriend. Unfortunately he kept a dog tether his entire life and I didn’t with him constantly about how inhumane it was to keep his dog tethered in the back yard. I tried my damndest to get him to let me find Turbo(his name) a pit bull/mastiff mix. I tried in vain to get him released but I wasn’t successful and Turbo passed a year ago this week from freezing I to death. This summer he tried to do the same thing all over again with another pit bull named Crimson. It went on for about a month until I finally got the nerve up to confront him again about this telling him he had one choice or I was going to report him to the police and a local pitbull rescue. He finally relented and I’m glad to say that Crimson had a new forever home as an indoor dog. I blame myself for not being strong enough to save Turbos life but I’m not a young man any longer and being physically handicap makes it difficult to find the courage to stand up to a bully. That wasn’t always the case though. Before I was injured on 9/11/01 I was a strapping young man that worked out 4-5 x’s a week back then. A few months back my step sister and now brother-in-law had a dinner party and Turbo came up in conversation and he began to weave this bullshit tale about how Turbo and broken off his chain and ran away never to be seen again. Well I wasn’t about to let Turbos memory be deviled like that. I turned to him and told him," Stop lying and talk every one the truth",“You murdered your dog because you were indifferent to his constant suffering. How dare you think that your going to lie to everyone and expect me to collaborate your story. You can go to hell where you belong!!” Needless to say we no longer speak to one and other and I couldn’t care less. I hope to continue reading about Guess Dog and Doozy for many years to come. Good bless sir. You do God’s work sir!!

Eric S Levine

Chaining a dog outside even part-time daily is unkind. Training, socialization, and supervision prevent any concerns. Unfortunately, the chained dog plight extends beyond the back yard. I saw a recent newscast regarding flash flooding and two “family” pet dogs drowned because they nightly were chained in the basement with no chance of escape when the basement filled with water while the family slept. I also witnessed dogs chained in small apartments or condos. I have gone to junk yards and car shops where several dogs are chained about the properties. Neck and chest scars proved their vicious collars inflicted injury every time they lunged. I am anti-fenceless shock collars as well.
I was anxious about the unaddressed dangers Doozy faced when she first climbed over a fence in secret to visit Guard Dog. But I am hopeful Doozy and Guard Dog do wind up together.

Chicago Char

Guard Dog’s plight has touched so many and as a result, has helped many real-life dogs in the same situation. Thank you Patrick for bearing witness in your comic strip to these chained dogs, and for not forgetting these innocent dogs yearning for love and for exposing the horrible conditions inhumane humans subject them to 24/7, all too often. Guard Dog has made a difference in the life of real guard dogs!


JI have been reading the events of the dogs on Moho and cannot understand why the people who do this to their pets don’t get in trouble. I hope that in this next event that the people who left their dog chained up will get what is coming to them. Hopes

Hope Morrissey

I truly hope that “Guard Dog” finds a loving forever home. I have been touched by this comic and can’t wait to see the outcome

D Mayo

I’m just wishing that Guard Dog will find his happy fur ever home. He deserves that. Maybe when Doozy gets back from her Nana’s and now that Guard Dog’s owners have officially abandoned him, they will have to chance to be together and run freely in the park like they wish to do. 💕

Catherine Myers-Burton

Your Guard Dog stories always makes my heart hurt. This weeks stories are exceptionally hard to read. Please let him have a happily ever after

Edie Cummings

Today’s MUTTS literally made me cry. I sure hope Doozy can convince her parents to adopt Guard Dog.


Those poor dogs chained up outside all of their lives. I don’t understand why people get dogs and then do that to them, what’s the point? They can’t even serve as guard dogs on a short chain. I grew up in an urban area of England and happily never saw any dogs kept chained up out of doors. Since living in the US as an adult I’ve only lived in SFO and NYC, so I’ve also never seen these poor chained up Guard Dogs. I know the custom is prevalent in rural areas of the US. The hope is that it be made an illegal thing to do to a dog, and enforced!

Romanie Baines.