It was April 3, 2001. I was born to an unwed, unemployed mother. The smallest pug in my litter, I never knew my father -- he split before I was born. Momma did her best to try and raise us by herself, but the welfare checks weren't enough. She knew that the only way to provide us with any hope for a good life was to put us up for adoption. I still remember the day that the young human couple came to take me away. Gone was my life in the idyllic rural community of Wylie, Texas. My adoptive parents took me to a small, ramshackle apartment in the heart of the big-city ghetto. Before long, I was roaming the mean streets of Dallas, looking for trouble. I hooked up with Mara Salvatrucha, a vicious Latino gang commonly referred to as MS-13. I would often serve as a lookout, barking loudly to warn my older associates that the police were approaching. I developed a reputation at a very early age as someone you did not want to mess with -- someone whose bite was every bit as bad as his bark. Fighting became an everyday occurrence for me. I remember my earliest nemesis, Nelson Mandillo, who eventually found himself chewed up and left in a Dumpster outside my apartment. MS-13 was heavy into the rawhide trade, and I quickly worked my way up the ladder. I was leading the baddest crew in town, and we felt invincible. Even the police were afraid of us. I was making big money, driving fancy cars, wearing shiny collars. All the women wanted me. All the men wanted to be me. I felt like I was on top of the world. But little did I know that things were about to change.
To be continued