Hello Baby, Bye-Bye Doggie
Usually when I read stories on scenarios like this, a new baby coming, gotta get rid of the dog, I am about ready to go rabid myself! In this case, the further along I read, I can’t tell you who I am more heartbroken for, the dog or the owners.
The story goes like this, guy sees the dog’s profile on a rescue site and basically falls in love. The dog is everything he wanted and the picture was the clincher. As he says, “The Grinch’s heart would swell another three sizes if he stared at Haley’s beautiful face too long.”
But when he actually met Haley, she hardly resembled the picture in her profile. She was scared, shaky and frail. He couldn’t leave her.
So Haley became a part of the family but problems were evident almost from the start. There were dominance issues with the wife and Haley chewed everything in sight. Doesn’t sound too excessive so far. These are actually common problems that one can face with a rescue dog.
But it didn’t stop there, Haley didn’t like strangers, I mean, she really didn’t like strangers.
Time passed, and slowly Haley’s shyness took a turn. She started growling at random strangers. This little dog could sound awful mean when she wanted.
We called in a dog behaviorist to deal with the shyness, pushing aside the feeling that we were climbing the first rung on the yuppie ladder. The expert suggested drug therapy, and said Haley could be dangerous if untreated. My wife and I wrote the drug information down and clucked our tongues at the warning.
The drugs didn’t work. Neither did our enhanced training sessions. We exhausted every doggie training tip the Web could offer. In fact, she was growing more remote with strangers — and lunging at them on occasion.
She struck one of our friends recently, a glancing blow that only broke the woman’s skin. It was the wake-up call we needed.
Desperate for help, we tried some final methods to contain her aggression. We bought a muzzle and a bark collar. No help. We put her on a different type of drug our vet said could ease her fear-aggressive state. No luck.
She recently cut my hand when she tried to lunge at one of our friends during a casual get-together. I had her on her leash, but she’s strong when her aggression mode kicks in. We’re always there to stop her should the aggression flare up, but that won’t be the case once our baby arrives.
So here we are, scrambling to find a shelter that accepts aggressive dogs, but knowing the odds are stacked precipitously high against us. And Haley. (Washington Times)
Now they are in a totally untenable position. They have a baby due in December and even I, a dog lover to the extreme, can see that there is no way that Haley and a new baby could be compatible. Most shelters and rescues will not even consider taking a dog that is aggressive.
They’ve tried everything, every suggestion anyone gave them and there is no doubt they love Haley but would any sane person take a chance with an aggressive dog when it comes to a new baby??
His finishes his column with a heart touching story that shows that even as aggressive as Haley is, she has formed and attachment and love for him, and it makes the decision even harder…
I keep thinking back to an incident two years ago. I was pitching for my softball team, and my wife and Haley were in the crowd to show their support.
A screaming line drive came back at me and struck me flush on the temple. Down I went, and I stayed down, motionless. Haley, who hates strangers on her best day, raced through the crowd forming around me, my wife trying to keep up. Our dog squeezed through my teammates to my prone body, and then started licking my face.
She never does that.
She tried her best to help me that day, and I’m afraid I’ll be unable to do the same when she needs me most.
So what does a person do? Are there any options or answers other than having to put Haley down? My heart breaks for both, the dog and the owner. It is not a position I can even imagine having to be in. There is no doubt he loves Haley or he would never have invested 4 years in caring for her and trying to find a solution.
Do you have a solution… a answer… anything that could save this dog’s life?
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