Today was a heart breaking day for us as we had to give Beegee back to the rescue society we got her from. We had an incident that happened last night that we could not ignore. She lashed out at Shortcake and bit her face. She didn't break the skin, but left a nasty knot on her head and a bruise on her eyebrow not to mention emotional scars that will take some time to heal.
I need to tell you that we are full believers in giving animals their personal space and recognizing that they are not rational creatures, but rather are driven by instinct and habit. We have taught our children not to approach sleeping dogs or bother them while they eat. This attack was completely unprovoked. We were saying prayers. Shortcake was sitting next to Beegee calmly and when everyone got up to say goodnight, Shortcake reached over to pet Beegee who then turned and snapped. At her face. And then she did it again. Even as Shortcake screamed and scrambled away, the dog snapped again. Not viciously, not savagely, but disturbing enough that we can't have her in our house. We can't trust her around the children.
We are truly devastated. Everyone had come to love her so much and enjoy her presence in our lives. The rescue center has offered us another dog that has been around children a lot, but emotions are a little too raw around here to agree to that.
Some people might be more willing to give the dog another chance, but in my mind, this wasn't just one strike, it was a big strike. A growl is a warning to back away. There was no growl. Snapping at a hand tells you to stop. Snapping at a face is different. She had yelped and snapped at my hand earlier in the week when I was leading her into another room but I thought it was because her collar tag had poked her neck. Now I see that it was some kind of trigger probably due to an experience in her life as a track dog.
We wish her well and have been assured that she will be placed in a family without small children. Shortcake still loves animals including dogs and knows that she did nothing to provoke that response. Her plans for a puppy themed birthday are still underway and I am on a hunt to find the biggest stuffed dog I can with a sparkly purple bow on top.
Ah, Charlotte...I'm so sorry! Many years ago, we had the very same thing happen in our family and my 20 year old daughter still bears a scar on her lovely face. We adopted a golden lab named Blondie and had her for two weeks when she attacked our two year old. We were and are experienced pet owners and felt we had really connected with this animal. Alas, it wasn't so...and we too, had to return the dog to the animal shelter, insisting that they give a "caveat" to any other potentially adoptive families.ReplyDelete
Animals are animals, not people. As difficult as it is to predict the behavior of a person, it is even more difficult to know just what is going on in the head of an animal. Past abuse, neglect or even animal neurosis all make for a real challenge when trying to train an animal and incorporate it into the life of a loving and welcoming family.
Prayers for your sweetie...it's scary, but if it's any comfort my own dear girl got over it fairly quickly and still loves dogs...we purchased a couple puppies and they remained loving members of our family until their deaths, 14 years later.
I am so sorry, too. In Dec 2007 we had to remove a dog from our home, too. She, completely unprovoked went after TheBoy (not quite 2). She had showed some behavior that was a *teeny, tiny bit* concerning before this. She did not hurt TheBoy when the last incident occurred, as we were watching her for problem behavior, but once she crossed the line, she could no longer stay in our home.ReplyDelete
You absolutely did the right thing by your family and for BeeGee. Your family needs to never worry about a dog and the dog needs to find a place where the dynamics are precisely what she needs as well.
It isn't the dog's fault, but if her temperament allows for that kind of behavior, she certainly can't stay.
Prayers for your family, especially Shortcake.
seriously, every time i comment somewhere I look like an uneducated hick. please pardon all the bad grammar!!!! BAH!ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry it didn't work out. I pray your daughter will be OK and will be OK around dogs again.ReplyDelete
That's so sad. I'm sorry you had to give her back, but very happy your daughter is okay. Our adopted dog had obviously had a troubled life before he joined us, and I'll be getting a puppy next time around.ReplyDelete
How frightening! I'm sorry your new pet had to leave, and that Shortcake had to endure such an experience. Hope her face and head and heart heal quickly (and everyone else's too).ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry, Charlotte. This must be very difficult for your family.ReplyDelete
Shoot. I am so sorry. Prayers for you all as you deal with this loss (it IS a loss...) and esp for Shortcake. How hard.ReplyDelete
My heart goes out to you & your family, esp. your sweet Shortcake. My friend's family had to give up their beloved Golden for the same reason--it's hard, so hard!--but better safe than sorry.ReplyDelete
So sorry your kids had to experience this. We, too, had to give back a dog that we had for more than three years. She had gradually become aggressive and bit me a few times when I got between her and the kids. We gave her back to the breeder. It was a sad learning experience, as was yours. But, you can never take chances with your children, as you obviously know. Giving BeeGee more chances would never have worked.ReplyDelete
Shortcake is a big girl to accept this situation so well. Prayers to St. Francis to bring you the dog that's right for you.
I'm so sorry that happened, Charlotte. How sad you all must be.ReplyDelete
Praying for you all. I'm glad Shortcake was all right.
Oh, how sad. I am so sorry. We had a similar thing happen when our family pet just never could accept our youngest child (at the time) and ended up biting his face.We were sad to see him go, but knew it had to happen. Painful, but necessary.ReplyDelete
Thank you all for your sweet words! They have helped today. The guilt that sets in is tremendous when you think about what could have happened and then start wondering about the decision to bring her in in the first place. I know the rational reasons to not go down those roads, and hearing other people's words of encouragement helps. It could have been much worse than it was and I thanked God and our guardian angels for protecting us.ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness, Charlotte! You've absolutely done the right thing. I am so sorry she was hurt!! Sweet thing! Can I just drive by and hug her!! This happened to us when I tried to adopt an older dog. oh, thank you for Guardian angels.ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry Charlotte.ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry to hear that!!!!ReplyDelete
We recently had the same kind of problem adn had to lose a beloved dog. I sympathize. But, you did totally the right thing. No question. The children's safety is always, always first.ReplyDelete
We've always started with puppies. I know it is more work than an already trained dog, but with a puppy the kids and dog could grow together and get used to one another and we soon learned what the dog's temperment was. We've never had a problem with a dog and a child (and we are not really zealous about the dog training, we're actually down right lazy about it). A puppy, of course, might be hard for your son - they are very rambunctious (my husband says it's like dealing with a toddler and teenager all in one year), but they are so lovable. I grew up with frequent puppy litters and I loved it.ReplyDelete
Oh NO!! I am so sorry to hear that! Poor Shortcake!!!ReplyDelete