Monday, October 27, 2008

Gone doggie gone. . .

. . . our dog is gone. 
I know, super bad reference.  I'm just trying to make light of a very sad situation, and I don't think its working well.  We had to get rid of our dog this past weekend, and it was sad.  It has only been about a month since we adopted her from foster care, and we really were naive.  We thought that we could just adopt a dog, not really knowing much about training a dog, and that she'd just magically fit into our family.  But, this dog came from foster care because she'd been abused.  Clearly, in retrospect, it was not a wise decision for us.  She actually did pretty well.  She and the kids got along great, and she would play ball with Ben for hours (he actually taught her to catch a ball mid-air).  She was well-behaved and knew several commands.  But for all of her good traits, there were several things that I just couldn't deal with.  Individually, none of them were big issues.  But the combination of it all was too much for me.  For example, she:
---made me sneeze, cough, and unable to breathe (I was incredibly allergic)
---dug holes all over the yard
---barked at the neighbors and their dogs
---chewed everything and was fairly destructive - she even shredded the cover to the bbq grill and tore the vinyl trim from the brand-new fence
---dug up and ate several of my plants (seriously, there weren't even any roots left)
---she had aggressive tendencies towards strangers
---needed more attention than we had to give her
Add all of this into the fact that I'm not a dog person, and we reluctantly decided that we needed to find her a new home.  We first of all called the friends we had fostered her, but they were unable to take her back.  I then tried to give her away to several of my friends from work who live on small hobby farms, but none of them were interested in another dog.  So, I put out a classified ad - to which I got a great response.  In the first 24 hours, I had 3 people come and look at her.  The first man who came spent over 2 hours with her.  She was generally well-behaved towards him, but a couple of times she nipped at him.  It wasn't overly aggressive, but it was enough to worry him.  He was a police officer, and asked if I minded if his animal control friends took a look at her.  I didn't mind, so they came over.  Doxie took one look at the uniformed animal control officers, and went crazy - barking, snarling, growing, and trying to bite the officers.  Obviously, he decided against taking her.  The other 2 people who came to see here created an equally scary reaction from Doxie, and no one wanted. her.
Including me. 
I developed serious anxiety worrying about her violent reactions.  98% of the time, she's a great dog, but the other unpredictable 2% was worrying me sick.  I just couldn't get the thoughts out of my head - the "what if" scenarios where she hurt someone.  It got to the point that a person would bend down to pet her, and I'd have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach worrying that she would attack.  In the end, I decided that taking her to the Humane Society (a "no kill" facility) was our best option.
On Saturday, we drove her out to the Humane Society.  I sadly took her inside, filled out the appropriate paperwork, and said our goodbyes.  I was feeling very guilty, even to the point of second-guessing myself and wondering if I shouldn't have tried harder.  Then, she attacked the man who worked there.  He deals with animals every day, and she frightened him.  I was told that she is unadoptable because of her violence.  They will try to foster her for 3 days, but if no family is found, then she will be put down.
I'm so very sad for her - she was generally a sweet dog and did love our family.  I know she's scared in that facility.  And I know that probably no one will take her because of her aggression, and will likely be put down.  It is sad to me that someone abused her to the point where she cannot trust people.  The whole situation is just sad, sad, sad. 
I actually held it together pretty well, until Ben told me that she would be his dog in heaven.  And then I cried.  Then, G told me that she couldn't wait to go to heaven so she could play with Doxie and Grandpa Duke.  Then I cried harder.  Bryn asked me where I was bleeding (I'm sure in her mind, only someone bleeding could cry so much).  What can I say - its been a difficult week.
Thanks too for all the great responses on my "Why Blog" entry.  I'm definitely not going anywhere - I love my blog too much.  But I may start being more candid. Don't judge me too much :)


Jen said...

Thats a scarry situation. Im glad she loved your family, I would worry about when she got older, what if she couldnt see well and nipped at your girls. I think you did the right thing. We had a hard time giving back Rusty, and I do miss him, but we arent dog people. sad as it is to say!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh so sad. You did the right thing and sometimes the best and most humane thing to do is to put an animal down. It is better than living in fear or in a kennel.

I've worked and volunteered in a few shelters and I know that the people who shoulder the responsibility of euthanizing animals do it with a heavy heart and a kind hand. So if that is what happens with her I am sure she will be given some treats and affection and will see your kids in heaven. (I hope that wasn't too much. Please forgive me if I overstepped the bounds.)

Koreena said...

That's so sad for that dog, but you have to do what's right for you and your family. I wouldn't want that kind of risk in my home, either. I'm sure the people who abused her will be held responsible someday (even if it's not in this life.)

carrie said...

What a sad post... It's so hard to have to say goodbye to an animal like that, no matter how much stress they've caused you. We had a dog that attacked Jaxon when he was little, 'cause he was just too jealous. It still broke my heart to have to let him go....and wondering what would happen. At least you tried.... Don't be too hard on yourself. The people who abuse the animals are who should be ashamed. makes me sick. I'm glad you had a good meal over the weekend though!! :o) Bless your mom's heart....I'm sure it was DELICIOUS. You should have saved me some scraps. ha ha

Ruhiyyih Rose said...

So sorry about the dog! It sounds like you tried everything that you could do. I hope you have a good day today!

5 days until my marathon. My tummy is doing sommersaults...

Heather Keele said...

I'm so sorry that you had to do that. It's such a hard decision, but I think you definitely made the right one. Dogs can be really unpredictable. And it's no fun having a pet if you're always worrying a little about safety.

Julia said...

Wow. That is really sad. And such a cute puppy. Since I'm a dog person by nature anyway I would have been bawling. But the fact you aren't and you were sad.

Puppies/dogs are so hard sometimes. Esp. if they have been abused. I sometimes worry about Landon because he LOVES dogs so much and runs right up to them to pet them or sticks his nose right in their faces. WIth the wrong dog that could be bad. Luckily we have one dog that is too old (with no teeth) and one dog that is too dumb to do any serious harm.

Don't feel too bad though. You did the best thing for your family.

Tiburon said...

Sorry to hear about the pooch.
We have had to get rid of two dogs - they just didn't mesh with the kids.

It was hard. I feel for you!

Omgirl said...

I dont' mean to laugh, but Brynn's comment about where you are bleedingn was funny! But the dog part of your post is really sad and I'm so sorry. I can imagine how hard it was for you. But you have to think of your family first, and an unpredictable dog living with two working parents, just isnt' going to turn out well. And you're right, Doxie will be happier in heaven.

Holly said...

No judging here. We got rid of our dog after about 6 months, we had trained her to do everything and we still couldn't stand to have her around. Dogs are hard work and you work to hard to have to take care of someone who just wont understand.