A hero in Log Cabin

Just before New Years Eve, I took a little drive for Love-A-Bull . . . to Log Cabin, Texas. The object of my road trip? This guy – Macky Mack.

Two days prior, a kind dog-lover had posted the Examiner article to Love-A-Bull’s facebook page, and once we saw it, there was an instantaneous explosion of emails among us: “Can we take this dog?” “We have to take this dog.” “We’re taking this dog.” “I already emailed and called Chief Nutt.” And in a blink, I boldly raised my hand to volunteer for the transport, and was on my way.

Arriving at the police station in town, I noted that “Log Cabin” is not just a name – the picturesque sprinkling of tiny buildings that house all city functions are all actual log cabins. I called Chief Nutt, and he said he’d meet me in a jiffy. “I really appreciate y’all,” he had told me in an email the day before.

Chief Nutt first met Macky while writing a citation for his caretaker for an expired rabies vaccine and no required dog license. Macky was a chained dog, living his life in a barren dirt circle with a 10 foot diameter. Over the following months, the Chief returned a few times to visit Macky. Once to issue another citation for licensing, another time to demand a shelter be constructed for the dog – in the dead of winter.

A lifelong dog lover with a pack of dogs of his own plus an occasional foster, Chief Nutt had never been fond of pit bull type dogs. But when he got the call from Macky’s neighbor saying that the dog had grown thinner and weaker over the past few weeks, he hopped in his truck and headed right over. After a brief negotiation with the caretaker, Chief Nutt learned that she had stopped feeding him because her son – Macky’s owner – had stopped sending money for kibble. Chief Nutt swiftly charged her with animal cruelty and convinced her to surrender Macky.

Ordinarily, there is a three-day “stray hold” period at the police station’s holding facility, after which the dogs are taken to the county humane society and put up for adoption. But the three days came and went, and two weeks later, Chief Nutt was still hanging on to Macky. As the days rolled on, he grew more and more fond of Macky. “He’s just a big pussycat,” he told me. The Chief didn’t want to surrender him for fear that he would be euthanized. So Macky Mack stayed, and Chief Nutt wondered what would happen next.

While a widely-read Examiner article inspired more than 3,000 phone calls to the humane society pleading for help for Macky, no donations came in for his care and no rescue stepped up to take him. About a week later, we got the facebook post.

When I arrived in Log Cabin on December 30th, Macky was prancing around in the large play yard, soaking up the sunshine and letting out an occasional confident, celebratory woof. By this time it was not only Chief Nutt who was infatuated with him, but of several other city employees who were not accustomed to falling for stray dogs. There’s just something about Macky Mack.

He was a little shy at first, doing a few fly-bys before finally plopping his butt down and requesting a good scratch behind the ears. He daintily took treats from my hands and leapt and bounded around after a kong that I produced from my bag of tricks. Under Chief Nutt’s care, Macky had become a happy dog.

As we talked, Chief Nutt fondly scratched Macky Mack’s ears and boasted about how far he had come in just a few weeks. How much stronger and more confident he seemed, and how much weight he had gained. He brought out Macky’s girlfriend – a sweet little blue-and-white pit bull type girl with enormous floppy ears — to show me how gentle and dog-social he is. Watching the two of them run around together and hearing her own sad story (she was picked up as a stray on Christmas Eve, bleeding, reportedly having been shot), I knew that I was heading back to Austin not with one new Love-A-Bull, but with two. Oops!

When I asked, the Chief admitted that Macky was the first pit bull type dog he had ever really liked, but quickly followed that thanks to Macky, he was sure there would be others. Macky had started to change his mind.

What I love perhaps the most about dog rescue is how frequently you see this type of snowball effect in action. One person’s tenacity and hope against the odds –in this case Chief Nutt’s – can be enough to save a life. When the Chief decided to let Macky into his heart and give him a few more days, he changed the course of Macky’s life forever. From now on, Macky will be swaddled in love. It never would have been possible without Macky’s hero, Chief Nutt.

Before we took off, I passed along a few little gifts to Chief Nutt from Love-A-Bull – a thank you card with Chick’s photo on it, a beautiful pit bull calendar, and a t-shirt to remember us by. We exchanged hugs and promises to keep in touch, and the Chief joked that if we didn’t get out of there soon, he was going to cry.

Macky got a good pep talk before we loaded up in the car for the long ride back to Austin. I respectfully walked away to let them have their privacy, but I think I heard the word “proud” in there somewhere.

Macky snoozed peacefully on the three-hour drive to his new home –a long-time Love-A-Bull foster who could take both dogs– in Austin. Upon arrival, he was crowned with a new name for his new start: Nutty Brown — a tribute to his personal hero, Chief Wayne Nutt.

50 responses

  1. Chief Nutt is definitely a hero! He did such a generous and kind thing. It so easily could have gone the other way for Macky Mack. Shows the power of what one person can do.
    I hope Macky Mack and his cute-as-a-button girlfriend find their forever homes soon. That photo of the two of them in the car made me smile. 🙂

  2. Well, mom is alllll leaky now with happiness for Nutty! My heart is all filled up with thankfulness to Mr. Chief Nutt for doing what he had to do to safe Nutty Mack. (Or should that be Macky Nutt?)

    I like this part: “One person’s tenacity and hope against the odds –in this case Chief Nutt’s – can be enough to save a life.” And we also think that against the odds, one little ol’ doggie can be enough to change a person’s mind!!

    Have a VERY happy life, Nutty!

    Wiggles & Wags,

  3. Wow – this story makes me smile….knowing that Nutty Brown and his girlfriend (who is beautiful!) are safe and together makes my day. Thank you again for all you do!

  4. What a beautiul story. Thanks so much for posting this and for showing us how little by little minds are being changed by courageous acts. Chief Nutt is truly a hero for Nutty Brown and thank you to you and Love a bull for saving him. His girlfriend is very pretty as well 🙂 I’m sure they will be adopted out shortly and until then will have a blast together in their foster home.

  5. thanks so much to you and love-a-bull for getting nutty and his gal on the next step of their journey and for sharing the story with us. it’s a nice way to start the day!

  6. Tearing up over here! It just shows what can happen when you open your heart, you can fall in love with someone/thing you never expected to. And in this case, save a life while you’re at it! Big muh-WAH to Chief Nutt!

  7. Hey, isn’t there a Nutty Brown Cafe right there in Austin?
    Maybe he can be their mascot!!
    Great post…I teared up – my co-workers just looked at me funny!

  8. Well darn it’s so nice to have some happy tears after reading yet another “neglected pittie story”…but this is such a special one! Here’s hoping that Chief Nutt will continue to do just what his new tee-shirt says: educate and advocate.

    Thank you for sharing and for all that you do. You are an inspiration!

  9. Oh come on… Now I’m crying in the waiting room at the dentist’s office! Worth it though. What an amazing story on so many levels. This is one of my all time favorite posts, Aleks!

  10. Tears in my eyes while reading this at work. There is just something amazing about someone falling in love with a pittie for the first time. Cheif Nutt’s life will never be the same, in a good way. And he was able to save 2 little ones! how amazing.

  11. What a beautiful story and what beautiful dogs. I love that both Macky Mack/Nutty Brown and Chief Nutt’s lives were changed by this. Chief Nutt gave this dog a chance and now he’ll be forever loved. But in giving this chance, Chief Nutt learned what we’ve all known all along – that pit bulls are wonderful dogs and should not be painted with one brush. I love a happy ending. Can’t wait to hear about where these two end up. Will either of them be your next foster now that Dora has a home?

    • Well said, Trish. I would have considered fostering one of them, but they INSISTED on staying together (they are very much in love), so we shipped them off to a foster home that can accommodate two dogs. We just don’t have enough space for Sir Chick and two others. Stay tuned for our next foster very soon!

  12. Thank you very, very much for saving now “Nutty Brown” and his girlfriend! I’ve been wondering about this story and hoping for the best. I am so happy they are now with you guys. I’m also happy to see the smiling face of Chief Nutt. Your post made my day! Thank you.

  13. Tears here too! Had read this story on the Examiner & thought that Chief Nutt had, like so many of us, unwittingly been lured over to the Pitty side by a big old mushy block head in need. I know thats how we were sucked in & 3 Pit bulls & 3 fosters later…wouldn’t have it any other way! I am soooo thrilled to hear that you have taken Macky Mack under your wing (along w/ his adorable GF!) Things are only gonna get better & better for these 2 dogs now! A Huge Heartfelt THANKS to Chief Nutt for his Huge Heart! He is a True Hero!

  14. I’ve been reading your blog for about 6 months and I just wanted to pop in and say how much it brightens my day. This post brought happy tears to my eyes on this grey Seattle day so thanks for everything you do for these most wonderful creatures!

  15. Wow this one really got me. I’m having trouble composing myself to type this and get back to work. The look on that boy’s face just spoke volumes. I really have to say Chief Nutt showed wonderful composure. I keep thinking about how I might have reacted when told I had “QUIT” feeding a dog because I wasn’t recieving money for the kibble anymore. Good for chief Nutt for charging them with cruelty. How do you even wrap your find around deciding to “starve” an animal to death???

  16. Makes me so proud to be a Texan and pit owner as well! Well done Chief Nutt and everyone that had a hand in this. God bless you all, and Nutty & girlfriend too.

  17. See, you were just *supposed* to move to Texas!

    What a great guy Chief Nutt is, and the two of you together, well…..you both made me cry.

    I will be looking forward to updates on these two – and maybe even one from Chief Nutt. I bet you haven’t heard the last of him.

  18. the last photo says it all for me … i have found my son’s pit bull to be the most tender and loving dog i’ve ever known, and there is nothing sweeter than feeling him lean in for a gentle hug and kiss from grandma … thanks for all you do!

  19. Wow – out of commission for a few days and look what happens … I have missed way too much! Love the new blog look and am doing a happy little dance that Dora has been adopted and that two new pups are now saved due to your efforts. I hope we will get updates on them as well even though they are not your fosters. 🙂

  20. My goodness, this brought me to tears. I am proud of Chief Nutt, and I am so grateful you guys continue to do what you do. And taking two home?! Those are two lucky (and lov’a) bulls!!

  21. This story gives me so much hope. Thank you for sharing it and being an instrumental part of it. It really seems like your move to Austin was meant to be! Keep up the beautiful work 🙂

  22. Whoa! What a story. I love Chief Nutt and his namesake Nutty Brown!

    The girl pittie looks like Louise’s distant cousin. What a gorgeous pair. Poor babies have been through hell. I’m so glad their lives have taken a new course. Kudos to all who made it happen!

  23. Pingback: The Week in Tweets (19 January 2012) | Some Thoughts About Dogs

  24. Pingback: Nutty Brown goes home « Love and a Six-Foot Leash

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