When to say When

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When to say When

Postby Amy Hendrickson » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:46 pm

I'm having a hard time with a dog and feeling like it is necessary to give up but also feeling guilty because of the commitment I made to this dog when I pulled him. He is a great dog, not a pit which puts me out of my element as far as temperament expectations. He is a more aloof with strangers than I would tolerate and a bit of an alert barker and "guardy" with strangers. That said, I think he's fantastic and he's great with my dogs. My problem lies with the cats. I have certainly rescued dogs that don't like cats before or barely tolerated or had to be watched closely but this dog is out for blood - seriously. He's a hunting dog and he wants to hunt cats.

Trying some densitization with him being able to smell but not see, see but not reach - no dice, he's all about the hunt. Major tunnel vision when it comes to the cats, he can't be redirected. We had a great day today outside in the yard. He's so smart, got so many commands down and would make an awesome dog for someone but they can't have cats and their neighbors shouldn't have cats, or at least cats that go outside. He ruined such a great day by trying to slip past me, get through my legs, squeeze his head through a door just so he can get into the main part of the house and eat the kitties.

I am really on edge. I don't want to return him to the shelter - they will put him down immediately. They don't adopt out cat killers. No vet will put him down. I tried to broach the subject today at a vet visit but the vet brushed it off and glossed it over, didnt' want to discuss it. I get it, he's a young, healthy, intelligent, vibrant dog and deserves a chance at life. I know, I wouldn't have pulled him if I didn't think he needed a second chance.

How much more do I give? Between this constant stress at home and the constant requests for help and the rudeness when I say I can't help and give suggestions...I'm just ready to pull the plug completely. 15 years is a long time to be in rescue and I'm feeling like I'm holding on by my last fingertip on a cliff.
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Re: When to say When

Postby buckaroo » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:28 pm

Can you transfer him to a different foster home? What does the rescue say about killing a dog for this reason?
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Re: When to say When

Postby Amy Hendrickson » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:34 pm

I am the rescue and I am the only foster home. I don't want to kill a dog for this reason, however do I want my cats ripped to tiny little shreds the moment he slips past me...no. I don't think he should die for this but it's my house or the shelter.
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Re: When to say When

Postby snikles » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:49 pm

Can't you keep him and the cats separated? Most cats I have known are pretty good at doing it on their own. Even a good "hunting dog" should not be able to catch a young healthy cat.
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Re: When to say When

Postby Amy Hendrickson » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:10 pm

LOL, what the heck do you think I'm doing? I have freaking baby gates in front of doors that remain closed but this dog is determined to slip by me.....when we went to the vet today, I had to wait until the waiting room was clear of cats in carriers to go inside. I checked out from inside the exam room. He fixates on statues of cats. This isn't just a "cats stink" kind of hate. His area is the back of the house, where everyone has to go to get outside and when I try to get the other dogs back in the house, he's trying to body slam and sneak past, jam his head through the gate as I'm getting it shut. Then he whines which I can hear through two closed doors...because he can't come out and eat kitty lunch.

I can't leave him in the yard because he eats sticks and bark and dirt and then get sick. The vet told me to not let him eat grass or other things so I have to supervise him all of the time if he's outside. There are also stray cats in the neighborhood - so that presents another problem as he may try to get out of the yard, as well as he lights up the neighborhood if a cricket farts in the next yard.

When I'm not here, he's in a crate behind a closed door behind a baby gate and another closed door with another baby gate. He needs a cat free foster home, if anyone can help me find one that would be just FANTASTIC but no-one is stepping forward. I took him because he evaluated well and was supposed to be good with other animals, the cat test was "non reactive". Well, it's not non reactive now.
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Re: When to say When

Postby PITtsburgher » Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:47 pm

Hopefully there is another solution... any other rescues or foster people you know that would be willing to do a foster trade? Is he a purebred dog that there might be a breed rescue for? Any hunting clubs that might have adopters looking for a dog that prey driven?

Ultimately, if there is really no other solution I think your "owned" animals have to come above your foster animals, and if that means a foster is humanely put to sleep so that your own cats are not torn to pieces - it sucks but I think it's the better scenario. (And I say this as someone whose favorite dog at the shelter was PTS for killing a cat in foster - it is a horrible position to be in, so I'm sorry you're going through this).
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Re: When to say When

Postby Amy Hendrickson » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:19 am

I have posted requests for help wherever I can, sadly, everyone is overwhelmed. There aren't enough foster homes for the dogs without issues in the shelter and daily emails. I am not optimistic that someone is going to come forward.

He's not a purebred, he's a catahoula bulldog which is a mixed breed catch dog. He's a merle pit type. Could be mixed with pit, bulldog or something. He's double coated, prick ears, beefy body but not chesty like a pit, more rangy but larger bones. I don't want to pursue hog hunters because of the risk to him but he'd do well except that most hog hunters are male and well Gunny's not all that enthusiastic about strange males.

He came into the shelter after his owner killed her boyfriend. When I evaluated him, he was 15 lbs underweight, long nails, filthy and really depressed. He evaluated well and had evaluated well for the shelter, including their dog to dog test and cat test. It's when I got him home that he really let go and for the next week was blowing green snot bubbles out his nose. Sure he did great on his cat test, he couldn't smell anything. He couldn't smell them at my house for the next two weeks. He walked right by one on the way out to get neutered. He stopped right after he passed the cat and turned (in slow motion as if he wasn't sure what he saw) to look, the cat moved and he lunged. Still it wasn't unmanageable, not like it has become now.

Gunny's not a pit and Ive tried to come to terms with his guardyness and not hold to a pit bull standard. He doesn't like men, strange men. He will run towards or lunge growling and barking and circle them growling and barking until he decides that the "stranger" is Ok. He will respond to me when I tell him to come to me. He doesn't respond to strange women that way, just strange men. He can adjust and be friends but he's no wiggle monster with anyone but me and he's not wiggly with me, he just is what he is. He comes and stands next to me, sits by me or under my chair, he rubs against me like a cat. I can do anything I want to him. Teaching him has been easy, he's really smart. He's an alert barker, always keeping an eye on his property. We've been able to tone it down here, but I know without constant reinforcement he would go right back to crazy ass barking when a leaf falls.

I've tried all I can do to get him adjusted to men and his reaction time has lessened but he responds exactly the same every time, even to men he has met over and over.

So really what I need for this dog is a pair of dog savvy lesbians with no farm animals or cats that live on some land in the country that want to have this dog. This is Gunny, below. He looks Pittish but he's not a pit bull and he's put on some more weight since this video so he looks better and he's still got another 10 pounds to gain I think.



When summer comes, where he stays is going to be unbearably hot. The laundry room is on the south side of the house and it gets sun all day long - all day every day and my laundry room and kitchen in the summer is easily over 100 degrees. With most foster dogs, I can open up the rooms and put a fan in and turn on the ceiling fans to keep the air circulating through the house and it cools it down. With his cat issues, he's going to have to stay closed up in there and I don't know how safe that will be. It's so hot that I've never closed those doors in the summer, it's like an oven.

He's great with other dogs, even in high stress situations he never loses his cool. But he knows he's a bad ass and has nothing to prove. He could wipe the floor with all of them.


this one is another video where you can see him with Maggie, an American Bully and my dog Jack who is a very gamey small terrier type pit
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Re: When to say When

Postby mypuppyJack » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:59 am

I have some leftover suntint for the windows I can send. Makes a huge difference. I found an old metal industrial window fan and bolted it to the window frame to discourage a dog who had jumped through the screen. Hope you find a solution

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
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Re: When to say When

Postby jamielvsaustin » Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:38 am

*side note* Based on those videos I wouldn't put anymore weight on him-he looks good. (I love the little black dog with the floppy ears in the first video).

It sounds like you need a break. If you feel like you're hanging on with your fingertips that can't be a good feeling for you. You have to be stressed and I'm sure that comes through with the dogs. He sounds like he needs something to exhaust him, like he has too much energy. What if when he felt that way about the cats you gave him a stuffie so he could disembowel it? That way the urge he has is being fulfilled in a safe way. I know that doesn't solve your problem but maybe it'll help lessen the stress some until you can find a solution. What about using his want/need/instinct to hunt in another way so he has his outlet and he knows exactly where he can use it. The only thing I can come up with for that though is to tie a stuffed toy to the line of fishing pole and "fish" with him in the backyard.

Don't give up on him, it really sounds like his life depends on you. Keep looking for options. I'm not familiar with your area so I'm no help. But I really think you owe it to him. What if you housed him in another part of the house? In a crate in a bedroom with no one (animal) else and didn't keep him in the hot room. What about in the garage? It does sound like to me you need a breather, but I feel like you need to finish this first. (not that what I feel really means anything in this situation, but just to give you a perspective)

I'm sure this is really hard and I'm sorry you have to deal with it. :hug:
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Re: When to say When

Postby ilovetyson » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:51 am

The rescue I am helping.. The Director has a thing for Catahoula's. I can maybe talk to her to see if she knows anyone interested. I am not sure how much help she would be. But, Maybe she can think of something you can do.. :( We have our share of dogs we aren't sure how to get them a home as they show there butts when out in public. Lmao! So, they aren't showing well. But, I can see if she knows. But If I Do recall.. something with the Catahoulas is some can be aggressive if not raise right, or socialized. And can be Protective. (If that is what he is mixed with as I didn't look at the videos yet..and am Personally not familiar with the breed)
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Re: When to say When

Postby pacopoe » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:04 pm

Amy Hendrickson wrote:So really what I need for this dog is a pair of dog savvy lesbians with no farm animals or cats that live on some land in the country that want to have this dog.


Well, there are *tons* of homes like this, it should be no problem to find one lol

In all seriousness, I have nothing constructive to add but I do know the frustration you're going through. It sucks.
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Re: When to say When

Postby Mya&theSiebenDackels » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:23 pm

jamielvsaustin wrote:*side note* Based on those videos I wouldn't put anymore weight on him-he looks good. (I love the little black dog with the floppy ears in the first video).

It sounds like you need a break. If you feel like you're hanging on with your fingertips that can't be a good feeling for you. You have to be stressed and I'm sure that comes through with the dogs. He sounds like he needs something to exhaust him, like he has too much energy. What if when he felt that way about the cats you gave him a stuffie so he could disembowel it? That way the urge he has is being fulfilled in a safe way. I know that doesn't solve your problem but maybe it'll help lessen the stress some until you can find a solution. What about using his want/need/instinct to hunt in another way so he has his outlet and he knows exactly where he can use it. The only thing I can come up with for that though is to tie a stuffed toy to the line of fishing pole and "fish" with him in the backyard.

Don't give up on him, it really sounds like his life depends on you. Keep looking for options. I'm not familiar with your area so I'm no help. But I really think you owe it to him. What if you housed him in another part of the house? In a crate in a bedroom with no one (animal) else and didn't keep him in the hot room. What about in the garage? It does sound like to me you need a breather, but I feel like you need to finish this first. (not that what I feel really means anything in this situation, but just to give you a perspective)

I'm sure this is really hard and I'm sorry you have to deal with it. :hug:


x2

My American Bully Mya had very high prey drive, issues with getting overexcited easily(which turned into aggression) and was very dog aggressive. What really helped her is lots and lots of exercise. The spring pole really helped because it let her let go all her pent up frustration of not being able to kill the little dogs on this toy. She LOVED her spring pole and as I said, it helped her a lot. I had to exercise her until she was about to pass out(flirt pole, spring pole, long walks, tug a war, fetch etc.) and then a little more. I was luckily with where we lived though as we were able to have two separate backyards so she had one and the other dogs had one.
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Re: When to say When

Postby merriterrier » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:11 pm

:hug: :hug: :hug:

This is the worst situation to be in. My heart breaks for you. Amy, you are tirelessly devoted to helping dogs, I know you have/will make every effort to help Gunny. I hope something opens up for him. At the same time I support whatever decision you have to make.

I think a lot of people think rescuers need to do whatever it takes for rescue dogs. When it comes with a serious risk to our personal pets, we have to prioritize. We cannot put our own animals in danger. I had to euth a very nice Colorado Bulldog foster after he broke through a door and nearly killed Pablo (yes, they were C&R, and this was not the first issue of him destroying confinement -a prefiert kennel, plastic and wire crates- to attack another dog). This was a pattern for him; trying to destroy any dog that was male or larger than him. I regret it everyday, but if he had killed Pablo (I would have regretted it more.
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Re: When to say When

Postby Amie » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:47 pm

:goodpost:

The fact of the matter is this could be a horrible, horrible situation if anyone shows only slightly less care than you have - and you're struggling here. I have no doubt that you're doing the best you can, and that you're exhausting all your possibilities on giving him the best home possible, but it sounds like you really need to evaluate how adoptable this dog is - not just is he a nice dog, but is there a home out there that can responsibly contain him?

It's one thing to ask that he go to a home with no cats, but to ask that this home also be in a neighborhood without other animals? Or men? Or... well....
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Re: When to say When

Postby merriterrier » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:18 pm

Amie wrote::goodpost:

... it sounds like you really need to evaluate how adoptable this dog is - not just is he a nice dog, but is there a home out there that can responsibly contain him?

It's one thing to ask that he go to a home with no cats, but to ask that this home also be in a neighborhood without other animals? Or men? Or... well....


:goodpost:

This is a question all of us in animal rescue have to consider everyday. Is there a safe, responsible home for this dog (cat, whatever)? It might be a nice animal and deserving of a home, but when there are so many restrictions on the type of home that the animal can go to it really whittles away the options. Dogs die everyday who are bombproof. Why should we be compelled by guilt to continue to house animals who are marginally place-able?
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