Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Test Drive Just Crashed.

So, he growled at people. And I kept making excuses. And I kept researching. I can solve this. He's nervous. He's just adjusting. Cesar says don't look. Don't talk. He was awesome for one full week. The previous owners called to check and I said he was great. We're keeping him. He doesn't bark. He doesn't chew or climb on furniture. He's getting along with the cats. Then he growled at our friend, Ettienne. The next two weeks were a downward spiral of more and more. He met Amy a handful of times and then the next time would growl.

Last night he growled at Atlee. She was going to bed and reached down to pet him since he was sleeping in front of the stairs. And he growled at my child. It tipped the scale. I can't. I'm truly sorry I can't. I'm crying because I can't. Amy keeps telling me it's like dating and there are other more compatible fellows out there. Ettienne has him this evening and is trying to place him in the shelter. He growled at the lady at the shelter. I've called the original owners to see if they want him back, but no response thus far.

So, tomorrow we leave for our scheduled vacation in Maine. It's a good thing it's my happy place. I feel like I need it. Perhaps staring at this view will start to relax the nervous ball of knots my stomach has slowly become over the last two weeks.

You know what else will act as a temporary balm on my heart?

This face right here.


There's no computer at the camp. So, if you're intending on leaving me a nasty message about how I've abandoned this dog and just didn't try hard enough and it would have been fine if I'd worked harder, please don't. Or go ahead I guess, since I won't read it for a week. No, please don't. It will still hurt in a week.

14 comments:

lis said...

oh, im so sorry. that must hurt like no other. i just say thank you for taking the time and trying to give the guy a nice home. some poor shelter dogs just haven't had the best start in life, and though it isn't their fault, clearly, they haven't learned proper behavior. im sure that he will find a home that is right for him. (hug) i know how much he meant to you <3

*and you don't have to second guess yourself when you comment, you are always so sweet and affirming xoxo

smallpines.com said...

So sorry for this. You were trying to do something wonderful, and it's ending badly, and that's the worst kind of disappointment and hurt. Best wishes for it. And remember you tried. And that's awesome.

Wombat Central said...

If you know me at all (or even a little), you know I am a HUGE dog lover. That said, if a dog growls at your child, there is no other choice but to remove it from your home. Period. Please don't beat yourself up over it. You fell for this non-ball chasing furry friend, and I'm sorry you're hurting over his departure. You're doing what is right for your family AND him. ((hugs))

Maine is a very happy place for me as well. I hope you have a wonderful vacation with your family!

speedymac77 said...

I'm so very sorry that he didn't work out for your family. I know you've plotted and planned doggy knappings because you wanted one of your very own.

Remember: There are more fish in the sea. Maybe in Maine you'll find one!!

spokeit said...

I think you did the right thing- your children come first! You're not abandoning him, it's not like you left him on the side of the road...you made a decision to keep your children safe.

Patioboater said...

Very sorry to hear it, Susan, but you absolutely, positively did the right thing. Not all dogs are suited for a houseful of young children. That doesn't mean they're good dogs or bad dogs, but it sure does mean that they're dogs who shouldn't be with you guys right now.

Have fun in Maine! The right dog is out there somewhere.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Oh, honey. I'm sorry. Your friend is right: it IS like dating. And trying to make a dog work in your family that doesn't fit is like keeping a boyfriend who can't get along with your mom. It's just not a good idea.

Brooke Trout said...

Oh please don't feel bad about this! You did the right thing. Children always come first. And you tried.

lisa said...

sue, you'll find the perfect one yet. you thought you had, but it didn't work out. you know you did the right thing not to keep him. don't dispair. enjoy maine, relax, come back refreshed. dog charming is out there for you. lots of love

Arsen Darnay said...

Could I, very timidly, suggest that you might consider and cute little...beagle...next time. And once he/she is settled in, let the greatest of all Haiku Upheavals really begin!!

Katrina said...

Hi sis, I am truly sorry about your loss. The kids have to come first and you made the right decision. You will find the right doggy for your family. You have lots of love and you are going to make another doggy very happy some day. Love you!! K

Carol said...

I'm sorry it didn't work out. It isn't your fault. The dog was not well socialized, and when a dog isn't socialized in the first four months of life, it can be almost impossible to remediate that without long years of hard work. Long years that just don't coincide with trying to keep one's children safe in the meantime.

The only time I judge people for giving up a pet for a behaviour problem is when they have created it themselves. I knew a girl who got a golden retriever puppy, and didn't train it properly, and gave it a dominance problem, then dumped it at the SPCA. I was furious, because she had been told and told and told that she needed to give the puppy boundaries, that she needed to work on the dog's obedience. And she just couldn't be bothered, and the poor dog suffered as a consequence. THAT made me angry.

This is not your fault. This is the previous owner's fault. It isn't the dog's fault either, and that makes me sad. I feel like it should be illegal to have a puppy and not socialize it, because those first four months are so frigging vital. But you don't have a time machine, so there's no easy fix.

Anonymous said...

Totally understandable. Kids trump dog. ~CrisLawson

Mustang Sally said...

I'm so sorry it didn't work out, but having small children around is not the time to "work" on a dog that has aggressive tendencies. This way he can find a new owner who has the right environment to work with him - it will be best for everyone.

We have the absolute best black Lab in the world and we had to "foster" her out with my parents for over a year once our son hit toddlerhood. She became too neurotic thinking *she* was in trouble everytime we'd tell him "NO!" and it just wasn't fair.

Even when we brought her back it was a little touch and go - he'd get rough with her, she'd put up with it for so long before growling (deservedly so...) it took us awhile to get him trained to be gentle and her used to having a loud tornado running through the house.

Anyway - the animal spirits will find the right dog for your family soon. It may take a couple test drives, though....so don't feel bad.