Patrick was never in a good situation. From the time he was a teenager, he was always pressured to join gangs. To make money was hard, he sold drugs to middle school kids for a bit, but realized it was boring.
When he was in his late twenties, his friends would tell him about the world of dog fighting. How much money could be made by having a top dog, plus he wouldn’t have to do much work. He was handed magazines, of how to train them. Items you could buy off of websites to ‘make your dog stronger’. A friend of his had an ‘in’ to this culture of brutality. He began watching the fights from afar, feeling a lot of adrenaline as he watched two huge dogs go at it and rip each other apart. He wanted a part of this from that moment on. Lots of things were arranged for him to get his hands on Mack. He was quite psyched when he got an American Pit bull puppy. One of the best breeds in his mind.
From the moment Mack was in his life, he began injecting him with small needles in his messy, one floor apartment. Clothing scattered about, the sounds of other dogs in cages could also be heard from the same room, wailing and crying for a parent who would never come. Sometimes the puppy would get to roam the house, smelling the old food that stained the carpet, looking at the ripped up couch and the small television which didn’t work half of the time. He would sometimes try to peer into the cages of the other canines, who reacted in either terror of tiredness.
Like any dog, Mack became terrified of his situation, and once tried to bite Patrick, but that soon was met with no meal for the entire day. When he was fed, raw meat was distributed. In this smelling, damp apartment, the puppies that Mack was surrounded with seemed to die off due to fights that would be held or improper body care, and Patrick would coax Mack every day for doing seemingly bad things, but at the time Mack did not know this was not how every dog was treated. When he was young, he accepted it. For two years, Patrick spent an upwards of $500, getting him special food and buying vaccinations from underground magazines and websites specifically for dog fighting.
As Mack got older, he would go through what dog fighters called ‘roll ins’, where Mack would fight another dog for about five minutes outside of the apartment, letting him get beat and get accustomed to the process of a match. All of this fighting happened on a chain-once he became a teenager, he was ready for an off the chain fight.
The morning of one of his first fights started off quite normal. Waking up to the sound of whining pups was a frequent awakening. Patrick held Mack, hugged him then gave him his ration of meat. He started making nervous phone calls, and soon a car ride was in store. This ride lasted for about half hour, and now that Mack was bigger, had to restrain his excitement for fear of angering Patrick. The car full of blankets, fur and even some dried up blood of the canines who never returned. This was a bit exciting, he was able to look out the window to the busy town, full of worn down homes, humans in groups walking about and blaring loud music. Sometimes he’d see someone walking another dog, a dog who was beat up or missing a leg.
The fight took place in a large home, one of the gang members owned this area. The sounds of shouting humans was the same as every other fight. Similar amounts of money thrown. Mack had no time to investigate his new surroundings as his human was pressuring him to enter the ring.
Once Mack was released, enclosed by metal barriers and Patrick closely watching. This is where bloody scars and tiredness came in. Shortly after, another human came with another grey pit bull. Missing half of a nose. A referee came to watch and keep control of the fight. He would decide when the dogs would stop fighting and who would be the victor.
The two rolled on the ground, one on top of another, it was all blur. Heads bashed in, tails bitten and gushed blood. Clawing, barking, dogs swearing at each other.
The fight was interrupted by the two quitting due to extreme exhaustion, but the humans did not want that. Instead, for thirty seconds, the two were sponged off with warm water in corners far away from each other and tended to a bit, the two dogs whimpered as they did not want to fight again, this was fearful, plus Mack’s chest was beginning to burn due to the heaviness of the blows he was taking.
No matter, the two were forced to go back at it. The brown pit bull delivered the final blow by making an unexpected bite towards his opponent’s eye, tearing it out of its socket. The fight lasted five minutes in total. Patrick rejoiced by giving Mack some belly rubs. That night, the grey dog was beaten by the human who had bet on him.
Mack ended up being in similar fights, and winning them all. The matches would end pretty much all the same, with him on his back, panting, mouth open, tongue hanging out, labored breathing and begging for a break. Patrick realized Mack had gameness and willpower to stay in the box and not be afraid.
In between these awful events, Mack was subjected to daily training, usually taking place outside in a large field. Large ropes hanging from trees, which Mack had to run up and bite, even swimming in a large tank. No breaks. No remorse. No justice for the evil done.
As he sat in his cage into the late hours of the evening, listening to the distant sound of cars, lifting his head up at happy barking from other furry neighbors. His mind wandered to when his next meal would be, like it always did.
His second thought was if he would go back to his mom. He had not seen her in so long, before he knew it he was whisked away by whoever this human was keeping him hostage. Little Mack spent most evenings crying towards the window of the apartment, overlooking the dark alley ways where heavy drugs and prostitution was a normal routine, and banging on the cage door which his owner slept in another room ignoring him. Mack found it also quite interesting, among the discarded snacks in the living room, he spotted a pile of what his owner called ‘magazines’. Some open, some closed. Photos inside included pictures of dogs who looked just like him, some were different colors, or had different ear shapes. They were big and covered in blood and fur from other dogs. Some were missing facial features, faces split open, eyes gouged and some were on steroids. He of course could not read or comprehend the information, but big numbers were beside these photos, along with paragraphs of text. What were these strange papers for? He was oblivious to the cold hard fact that the dogs listed in these magazines were bought, sold and at the mercy of other humans like Patrick. Advertisements included types of medicines to give canines to help them resist pain, others were exercise equipment. Sleep didn’t come easily, for every time he shut his eyes, he saw his own teeth buried in the flesh of that poor grey dog. He cries gently.
Late in the afternoon, Mack had found himself pinned down by Patrick, a sharp pain had entered his shoulder-and he suddenly became groggy and could not control his motor skills. His heart pounded, fear struck, but he could not do anything about it.
He found his mouth being forced open, his tongue exposed, he tried to move his eyeball to avoid looking at what was happening, it was something like a twisted dental experiment. His ear perked as he heard a new and terrifying noise dangerously closing in on his face, the sound of a whirring machine, high pitched and irritating.
Between his jaws being forced open and unable to move, he thought maybe he would die right here. He felt extreme pressure on one tooth for about a half hour, then another for a half hour and another. The smell and sensation of the small, rounded saw instrument made the dog nearly hyperventilate, but he decided he shouldn’t move. This is what Patrick wanted. What he wanted was what happened. The feeling of a plastic glove invading his gums was perhaps the most frightful. Patrick felt Mack’s teeth were sharp enough and the procedure came to an end.
Mack was weighed a few short days after the tooth sharpening. He was ready for the championship fight. Mack up against another famous pit bull who had taken home many awards and big money.
After showing some identification to an armed guard, Patrick and Mack entered a new building. Full of new smells and new terrifying sensations. This abandoned school gym, full of dust, the sounds of screaming and cheering humans echoed. The pit bull was put on a chain as Patrick went to a group of gang members to discuss how much money the fight would be in the end. If Patrick won this fight, he’d be given a million dollars. He was pumped. Money was given out, laughter and jokes followed.
The gym dark apart from a few light bulbs that hung from the ceiling, the glass windows were shut to the world and the walls sound proofed. Mack tried to resist, he tried to stop Patrick from throwing him in the middle of a giant circle the humans had made, but it was no use. He was thrown into a ring. No way out. No mercy. No game without sweat and blood.
He had to fight a female white Pit bull. Before the two were released, Patrick held Mack by the neck, another man held the white pit bull by her neck. A bigger male came into asses the area like at all fights, once this was done-he yelled “Release your dogs!”
Not trying to cry due to the punishment he’d be given, he wailed away on the dog. Whispering ‘I’m sorry, I’m so sorry’ to her as he bit and tore at her flesh. It was a rough, but short fight which ended by Mack snapping her neck, nothing fatal but it was excruciating. She was taken out of the ring-Mack was pulled out quickly and hailed as the victor. Praises were given, high fives were given as well among the humans. They loved this. This was their game.
Mack was even going to put on a dog fighting championship website and to an underground publication to teach other people interested in joining the sport. The time it took for Mack to kill her, what kind of diet he was on, his height and weight as well, and a photograph. He was well known now. It was time for him to meet some other friends, dogs that were part of his team and that he’d have to get along with.
Life did change for a while though. When first entering the warehouse he knew so well, Lizzie the German Shepherd met him with a calm and nervous demeanor, they sniffed each other for a bit, the large space caused Mack to go into a searching frenzy, while also glancing over his shoulder to introduce himself to Lizzie.
A way out seemed impossible, and as the evening went on hope drained more and more. Stewart right off the bat was a pain, shouting at the Pit bull that it’s ‘my way or the highway’. Ironic though, it was that Doberman who had the biggest impact on Mack as he ate his ration of raw meat for the first time in his new environment.
Stewart was commanding, he was egotistical, hated playful puppy things. As dark as events did get, even Mack and Lizzie would sometimes paw at each other or find something in the warehouse to chase. Stewart seemed to not be a victim, but Mack found that hard to grasp. The fighting, the bloodshed and dealing with the harsh and unloving nature of life. This black furred and crazy eyed dog seemed so oddly at ease, so okay with violence and hatred. No one is born evil, but as far as an answer goes for Stewart, his mind snapped not in a fearful way, but he retaliated and became conceded and love this vicious sport.
From the moment Mack arrived at the warehouse, he knew the only way to escape dog fighting, was to leave it behind and face the deadly consequence of Stewart should he be caught.
With one snap of his jaw, Mack had injured a fellow American Pit bull, rendering his mouth useless, the front of the dog’s face nearly torn off by the force of Mack’s grip. Before doing so, he whispered ‘I’m sorry’ like every time, but he still became sick as he looked at the silver furred creature, lying on his back, his paws sprawled out and his muzzle shredded with teeth marks and spewing blood which shot straight into the air in little bursts, his heart barely beating. The shouts from the humans surrounding the ring, smelling of strong drugs and beer never failed to make Mack uncomfortable, even though he had been through this his entire life. Poor silver dog would be killed or tossed away like the others Mack had seriously hurt.
Patrick took the dog outside, washed the fresh blood off of him and tossed him back into the warehouse where Lizzie had not yet returned. The cycle would start. Fear, depression, eating, then depression again. All day, it would be like this. Today, he beat an innocent life nearly to death. Standing up to Stewart would not be easy, but if he could take Lizzie with him-maybe mentally he’d feel a lot better. Whether he lived or died trying, was totally up to fate and strategy.
The early morning rolled around, the sun attempting to peek through the clouds. Stewart slept far away from the German Shepherd and Pit bull.
Mack nudged his friend and began licking her ear. She groggily looked to him. “What is it?” She stretched, sticking her haunches up in the air, her upper body flat and front paws out as much as possible. Mack stood to her side, his tone a whisper, but with an assertive edge. “I’m leaving. Tonight.” She stood up, shaking her body quickly. “Stewart will find you.” He sighed and began walking, careful his nails against the floor didn’t make too much noise. “Too bad. I’ll fight him. The killing of innocent dogs, the weird machine that damn human runs me to death on. I’m done. I want out.” He glances over his shoulder, looking into her brown eyes and long muzzle, like all of her breed had. “You’ve been so helpful, so caring. I-I needed to ask if you wanted to come.” To Lizzie, Mack had always sounded like a jock, his mannerisms and his tone. It was strange to hear someone of that demeanor be so open, her tail wagged a bit and she nuzzled him. “I will help you all I can.”
These two would try things never attempted, escape had always been such a scary thought, and so was staying. It was a no win situation for so long, plus the two had first come here when they were teens, strength was certainly not in their favor. The two had fought a lot of dogs, and they knew how to fight. It seemed like a good time for an escape. Now or never, and the chance for a light to be at the end of this lamentable tunnel was worth it. The crates offered nothing, their noses pressed against the wood and covering every inch. It was amazing that the two couldn’t find any exit or any items to help them within this huge space. Not that no one ever tried, it would not be that easy. The only way out, was the front door-one chance. Mack and Lizzie formed a plan-and they knew the one that would be ruthless to catch them was Stewart. A human would be easy to out run, but the Doberman could be an issue.
The two decided to go to a corner, way in the back of the warehouse and sleep-for a big day would be upon them. Retribution day.