Traumatized

Well, remember how I said I was getting a new foster dog, and how we all expected that he’d be so great and wonderful and that I’d definitely be adopting him?

Yeah, not so much.

On Saturday, I drove about 90 minutes to pick him up. He seemed very friendly, but BIG! He was twice the size of Kaia, in height and weight. Before we went on our merry way home, I let him out to pee. When he was done, he wouldn’t climb into the crate, so I just kind of picked him up a bit to get him in. He didn’t like that AT ALL and bit me in the upper calf. I was definitely rattled, but I just chalked it up to nerves (mine and his).

So, I got him home, and he was all happy and curious. I introduced him to Kaia which went well, so I decided to take them for a walk together. They were both doing fabulously, walking nicely together, and I was walking on air, happy to have two dogs that got along. Then he stopped to sniff a fence and Kaia started sniffing close to him. Out of nowhere, he attacked her, and in the scuffle of me trying to get them apart, he bit me in the calf. (I must have yummy calves.) After that he was completely fine, acting like nothing happened, and we walked home without incident. At this point I was thinking the dog is schizophrenic.

This is my calf after the incident on the walk.

This is my calf after the incident on the walk.

Once we get home from the walk, my stepdaughter Rosie and I were petting and playing with him, and he loved it! However, when I gave him a chew bone, he growled the whole time he was eating it, letting everyone know it was HIS.

A few minutes later, Nature Boy found him upstairs in Rosie’s room. As he tried to herd the dog out, the dog started to growl and Nature Boy realized that he had found another chew bone, and was protecting it. Nature Boy starts challenging the dog by slowly closing in on him, stepping on the bone, etc. We watch “The Dog Whisperer” all the time, and Nature Boy was trying to “claim the space”. Of course the dog didn’t like this, so he started biting at Nature Boy’s feet and ankles. Fortunately he didn’t get hurt because he was wearing shoes and jeans.

We finally got him downstairs, but we needed to get him in the basement because we had a function to attend, and we certainly weren’t going to leave him in the house unsupervised. In order to get him downstairs, we really needed to get the leash on him. Of course by this time he was agitated and scared.

Rosie and I were trying to get him to settle down by speaking calmly and reassuringly so we could get the leash on him. He looked liked he’d settled down and his face looked happy and calm, so I reached out to put the leash on, and he bit the holy hell out of my finger. Quite honestly, I’m surprised he didn’t break it.

The whole finger is bruised and very tender.

The whole finger is bruised and very tender.

At that point I went to the faucet to rinse off my finger and just started sobbing hysterically. It was so traumatic for me, and I just lost it. You know the kind of crying where you think you’ve stopped, but when you try to talk it just starts all over again? That was me.

Nature Boy finally got the dog downstairs in the basement. I called the rescue coordinator to let her know what happened, and she just said that he probably needs time to decompress from his trip, coming into a new home, etc. So we left him in the basement until morning.

Morning came, and he was all happy and playful. We played with his toys in the basement, and he was being very good, so I decided to let him come upstairs. Things were OK for a while. But one of his toys happened to be by the couch and Kaia went up to it and sniffed it. He immediately started growling, even though he was 10 feet away. His leash was on permanently at this point, and so I corrected him with a pop of the leash and a firm “NO!”

After that he just meandered around and finally lay down in the hallway, chilling. Then, Kaia simply walked by him and he attacked her for no apparent reason. And I’m not talking just nipping and barking, I’m talking full-on attack. Luckily I had the leash in my hand and was able to keep him from actually making contact.

At that point we’d had enough, so we sent him back down to solitary confinement in the basement, where he’s been ever since. The rescue coordinator is working on getting a new foster home for him, because we just cannot handle this type of aggression. He needs someone with much more experience to teach him that he is not the pack leader.

But in the meantime, she’s given us some do’s and don’ts, as well as some exercises to do with him to help him understand that we are the bosses. And don’t worry, we are taking care of him, taking him on walks, feeding and watering him. We’re just not letting him have contact with Kaia or our children.

It’s sad, because he does have some great qualities. He’s very good on the leash once you get him in a groove. He’s intelligent and knows how to sit, lie down and speak (sort of).

But we just never know when he’s going to snap, and that’s too big of a risk to take. 😦

SIGNATURE

Advertisements

16 Comments

  1. Posted September 21, 2009 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Ouch! Hope they find him another foster home soon. =(

    That’s really sad.

    Hope you’re okay, too.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 22, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I’m hoping they find him a home soon, too!! The bite count has risen to four now! And I’m OK, just ready for it to be over. 🙂

  2. Posted September 21, 2009 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Yikes!! That’s really scary. Nice of you to keep him around… feeding and watering him… until he finds a home that can take that risk and hopefully correct it.
    I have cried over my own dog biting me before (a totally playful, got carried away, kind of bite) and I’m not even sure why… it hurt THAT bad but once I realized I was crying, I was like… oh this is stupid, I shouldn’t cry over this… but kept at it. I think the momentary frustration was just TOO DANG MUCH.
    Good luck with the Wannabe Pack Leader!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 22, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Yeah! It’s like the one time that I fell down the stairs in my house. I wasn’t badly hurt, just a little sore. But I could not stop crying. I seriously thought I had broken the “crying center” in my brain! HA!

  3. Angi
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    That’s so completely sad! And I’m thankful no one was seriously hurt (though three bites is not good at all!).

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 22, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Thanks 🙂 And now the bite count is up to four. Don’t even get me started.

  4. Posted September 21, 2009 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Ouch! I hope he finds a good home, but I would not be able to handle a dog like that either. I would have given up after one bite!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 22, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      It is REALLY hard to give him the benefit of the doubt or whatever. I know I’m supposed to be nice, but…

  5. Posted September 22, 2009 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    Oh, that’s terrible. I feel bad for you. I hope you find another home for him soon, because that’s not a good situation.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 22, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, they’re supposedly working on a new foster home for him, but we haven’t heard anything yet.

  6. Posted September 22, 2009 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Aw, you poor thing. That is what happened when I got my stupid hedgehog. I was all pumped and what did I get? A defective hedgehog. He bit, and hissed, and spat and was MEAN.

    No one was sad when he died.

    I’m sorry, my friend. It’s not your fault. It’s really not.

    xoxo

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Damn, I can’t imagine have a pissed off hedgehog! It’s like Sonic Satan. Thanks for the encouragement. Maybe one day we’ll get another one. But we’re just going to hang out with Kaia for a long while before we even think about it.

  7. Posted September 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    You’ve handled this exactly right. It’s not a good fit. He needs things that you can’t give him. Possibly a home without children or other pets.

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Kate. Yes, I think he needs to be the only dog, with no kids, and some strong, dominant people! It’s funny because he now likes my husband the best, who is the one who’s most dominant with him.

  8. Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Awww bummer! Sorry it didn’t go as planned, but you’re handling it perfectly!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much. It’s hard to not feel like a failure, but we’re doing the best we can with the resources and situation we have. 🙂


Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*

%d bloggers like this: