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Dog Problems

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McLean
Member
since 01-05-2004
Posts 496
state of marital bliss


0 posted 01-27-2004 10:25 AM       View Profile for McLean   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for McLean


I'm writing to you, my friends, because I need honest, un-biased opinions on a dog situation here.  And although you know pieces of me through my writing here, as an outsider to all that I am, you can give me a response that is not coated to protect the expressions you may see in my eyes.

I have a dog, Freckles, who has been part of our family since she was itty-bitty.  She was a gift to me from my ex-husband, who was not my ex at the time, after one of our many arguments (probably about a flower pot, or something stupid).

Anyhow, she is a mixed breed, looks like maybe a type of terrier and lab.  Ice blue eyes.  Many people have asked if she was blind.  Yada...yada...yada...

The meat of my offering here:  she is unpredictable.  Very loving, but will snap if she feels threatened in any manner, whether it is legitimate, or not.  She doesn't go around snap happy, but she will bite if she feels her food source is being over taken (we don't feed her around the kids, and she is a back-yard dog)...she bites if she is hiding and you try to remove her (like if she hides under the bed when she sneaks in sometimes, and you try to get her out).  She does not snap at me, but she does snap at my husband and at the kids.

I've had her for 11 years.  She's always been this way.  It is not something that is aggrivating with age.  

Yesterday, after walking around the neighborhood and playing in the ice...she hid under the water heater in our garage.  My son (11) went with her leash to take her into the back yard.  She came out from under the water heater snapping at him, wihtout any sort of provoking.  My husband interviened, thank goodness.  He had on leather work gloves and as he tried to get her from under the thing, she was repeatedly chewing on his hands.  Through the glove, she caused many punctures.  Nothing worthy of stitches, but his hands were just screaming with pain, and today, one hand is swollen from the trauma.

I know she needs to be not here.  I have 3 kids, and their friends are in and out of our home...
it is not a good situation.

In my heart I know she's a good dog, I really do...but I need to get past the compassion and be able to handle a change that makes a safer environment for my family.

I told my husband that I didn't want to know what he decides to "do"...we had talked about having her put down at the vet before.  We cannot take her to the shelter, because I'm sure she would be euthanized right away, in cold, unfamiliar territory.  We cannot find a home for her, because I'm afraid she would cause harm to someone else.

She's only known me.  I feel she's been my responsibility.  Please offer me suggestions on how to get beyond my feeling of guilt for failing her...by allowing her absence from our family so abruptly.

Thank you.
Sunshine
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Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


1 posted 01-27-2004 10:32 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

My first thought was perhaps that Freckles is in pain.  A lot of dogs will react as this one is doing because of some sort of pain unknown to us.  I would have her fully checked out before, if you can afford it.

Otherwise, she does appear to be a threat, albeit an otherwise good dog.  What if a small child were to wander into your backyard, unsupervised.  Here comes Freckles.  Not a good scenario.

If you can afford to do so, and have the vet check her out fully for any inner pains or problems she may have been having all of this time, I would go that route first.  Then, I would have to buck myself up, and say that this is the best for all concerned, and have her put to sleep while you are there with her.  It's not easy, but sometimes we have to do the rough stuff.

I know.  I had to do the same.
McLean
Member
since 01-05-2004
Posts 496
state of marital bliss


2 posted 01-27-2004 10:37 AM       View Profile for McLean   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for McLean

You speak so wisely, and I thank you for that.  You are right...when Freckles was just one or two, my oldest, who was then not much younger than she, stepped on her front paw, breaking two of the toes.  She was treated for that then, but I was told that she would always favor that foot because of the injury.  

It may have something to do with her personality.  I really can't afford to have her checked out completely for other possible causes, and then, couldn't probably afford to "fix" a problem if it existed.  I have one dog now that is being treated for breast cancer (she is almost 13).

Thank you for your kindness of response.
Sunshine
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Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
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Listening to every heart


3 posted 01-27-2004 01:44 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

We had a lovely, friendly, playful beagle.  He was sleeping one fine afternoon, and our neighbor's small daughter bent down to pick up the beagles soft, silky ears, and startled Beauregard.  With a face in his face, he snapped.  He caught her jaw, and punctured a small hole in her cheek.  

The neighbors knew it was their daughter's fault for waking up the dog in that manner.  The little girl knew [she was about 9] that she was at fault.  We knew with a houseful of kids in and out all the time, we didn't dare take a chance on an otherwise wonderful dog, to have that happen again.

Beau was a beautiful dog.  I miss him to this day.  I hope my thoughts helped.  I know it isn't easy.  I know you'll do the right thing.
Opeth
Member Elite
since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


4 posted 01-27-2004 02:23 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Too easy, the dog has to go.

As for the girl who got bit by the Beagle... Judge Judy may believe otherwise, who was at fault.
Sunshine
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Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


5 posted 01-27-2004 02:46 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Opeth, Judge Judy didn't exist in our minds back then, and if she had, still wouldn't have known of this matter, as we were not dealing with reactionary people back in '84.  Their daughter admitted to what she had done, our insurance covered all medical bills, we even checked with them the day before the statute ran to see if they wanted to sue...

and all was well in our little world.

Sorry to say, should something like that happen today?  I'm sure it would have been blown out of proportion by the hangers-on of the Judge Judy's of the world.
McLean
Member
since 01-05-2004
Posts 496
state of marital bliss


6 posted 01-27-2004 02:58 PM       View Profile for McLean   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for McLean

You too are making me smile, which is needed today!  

Sunshine:  thank you for telling me of Beauregard's story.  It's never an easy thing, I'm sure.  I've basically been putting this off for about ten years.  Oh, I'm so glad no permanent injury has come to anyone as a result of her disposition.

I spoke with my vet today.  She is a personal friend and I was able to talk with her at home.  She talked to me in detail about making my decision as pleasant as possilbe and I will be staying with Freckles when she is sedated.  It is a difficult thing, but it is what is right.

You have no idea how comforting it has been to hear this probably is not a unique one.

Opeth
Member Elite
since 12-13-2001
Posts 2224
The Ravines


7 posted 01-27-2004 02:58 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Agreed... you all handled it in the best way possible.
Sunshine
Administrator
Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


8 posted 01-27-2004 03:00 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

God bless you sweetie.  Some day I'll tell you about sick cows.
nakdthoughts
Member Laureate
since 10-29-2000
Posts 19275
Between the Lines


9 posted 01-27-2004 03:05 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

well ~sighing~ here... knowing what a lawsuit can do to one's physical and emotional well being besides the loss of money.
We can't even predict what humans will do to one another so why be expected to know what an animal would.
My dog had never bit anyone... until  a woman came upon her while the dog was tied and didn't notice the large Afghan laying on the back porch.
She must have swatted at her as the dog raised up tearing her forearm skin and  then she  backed away and fell over lawn furniture...eventually splintering a rib into her spleen. It was a miserable next 2 years.

I was sued for over 100,000...didn't matter
the cause or fault. At least in PA a dog or animal, as is a swimming pool, are both considered nuisances and not necessities in life. Therefore even with warnings, a fence, a leash, a sign...the owner is responsible for the outcome of an injury.

It is sad to put the dog down especially  since that first incident as a puppy may have led to its personality  or  just maybe it needed some professional training when  first noticed to have a biting or snapping habit.

But it seems too late now. And unless you can give her/him to a home with someone who can retrain it at this age...then the best for all would be to feel safe...and sadly that may be the ending of the animal's life.


I was lucky, they didn't make me put her to sleep...although later in her life we had to due to an illness...But did you know that sometimes these animals are sent to rendering companies????And they charge you to have them removed from the vets.

I took Ginger home to be buried...
Maureen
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


10 posted 01-27-2004 04:21 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

When Is It Time by Kit McCallum

Kit's poems are always worth a read, of course, but you might also spend some time reading the comments left by some of our main site visitors. Your quandary is an all too common one, it seems. And rarely an easy one.
McLean
Member
since 01-05-2004
Posts 496
state of marital bliss


11 posted 01-27-2004 08:15 PM       View Profile for McLean   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for McLean

Sincerely, I thank everyone for their words.  

Nakdthoughts:  You understand the possibilities of "what if's" in this situation in a horribble way, and I'm so sorry that you experienced such strife over the incident.  You're right, we can't predict what humans will do to another, evident in your example.

Ron:  I am so very touched and moved by the words you directed me to.  Kit's writing is so perfect of the guilt I am feeling right now over my decision, even though I know it is time.  

Tonight my husband and I took the family out for dinner and after the bookstore, where we sat quietly with the kids and explained our decision.  They are 11 and 6, and I felt they should know truthfully what we decided.  When I was young, my love of animals was so great, that I had boo-coos of pets growing up.  Every pet that died for one reason or another, I had buried in my back yard in my own pet cemetary of sorts.  With a couple of my pets, though, I was told they just "disappeared", only to later find out that they had been disposed of by my father.  One, for nipping at a neighbor (much like Beauregard had, it was a dachshund)...and the other due to terminal illness.  It was years later when I found out the truth, and I held resentment for that for a long time.  This guided my decision in telling my children, and also, to give them an opportunity to say good-bye in their own way tonight to Freckles.  I know I made the right decision there, too.

She has had a very good life, and probably better chances for having lived such a full life because of being with us.  And although she is testy, I know our lives have been better because of her, too.  Minus the biting episodes, of course.

Again, heartfelt thanks.

McLean
Paula Finn
Member Ascendant
since 06-17-2000
Posts 5525
missouri


12 posted 01-29-2004 12:21 PM       View Profile for Paula Finn   Email Paula Finn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Paula Finn

Most dogs bite out of fear or pain...you mentioned her eyes...its entirely possible that she does have vision problems. But much as you love a dog you just cant have a dog that bites. I have three dogs now...a boxer, a rottweiler and a pug. I love all three but would not hesitate to put any of them down if they started biting without provocation.
McLean
Member
since 01-05-2004
Posts 496
state of marital bliss


13 posted 01-29-2004 06:45 PM       View Profile for McLean   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for McLean

Today, January 29th, we said our good-byes to Freckles.  It was a very peaceful departure and I am sure we did the right thing, even though it has been a difficult time.

Thanks to all the compassion and thoughts during this trying time.  Your presence here is very touching and reassuring.

nakdthoughts
Member Laureate
since 10-29-2000
Posts 19275
Between the Lines


14 posted 01-29-2004 07:11 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

I know what it feels like...and your decision was the best for you and all involved.

hugss and peace
M
Sunshine
Administrator
Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


15 posted 01-29-2004 10:39 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


I know you did the right thing.  I can't but help feel your heart.  
Titia Geertman
Member Ascendant
since 05-07-2001
Posts 5297
Netherlands


16 posted 01-30-2004 07:15 PM       View Profile for Titia Geertman   Email Titia Geertman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Titia Geertman's Home Page   View IP for Titia Geertman


I agree to all the above and I respect you for taking this brave action, that takes courage.
You would never have forgiven yourself if he had bitten whatever child or person.

And at the age of 11 years, you may say he's had a wonderful life.

You're in my thoughts.

Titia

Like scattered leaves...my words will flow

 
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