Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sad News

Our Sibe, Mischa is going to a foster home tomorrow. Incredibly heartbreaking, but it needs to be done. She was sleeping and Maddie tried to pick her up. She turned around and nipped at her. Granted she did not make contact with the skin and it was a warning nip, but we were all shocked nonetheless (especially Maddie). Was it Maddie's fault? Yes. But we were still upset. We knew Tilly would not have the same reaction. Todd and I agreed if we had another incident like that we would re-evaluate her living in our home and being a member of our family. We did not want to be one of those dog owners whose child suffers a horrible bite and they say, "We never saw this coming! She was never aggressive before!" while there were signs all along. Well, the second sign came and we knew it was time for a new home. Todd tried walking her with a pinch collar on Thanksgiving for the first time. We have used one with Tilly with great success. The collars do not hurt the dogs, but prevent them from pulling and help train them to heal. Plus they are much safer to use on dogs that pull than a choke chain which can damage their throat and the surrounding areas. As they were walking the pinch collar slipped over her regular collar. Todd bent down to fix it, she freaked out and bit Todd. This time she made contact and broke the skin. OY!!! The bite was not bad, but we knew. She has made great progress since arriving tour home in July and is such a loving and sweet dog. But just not the right dog for a family with a six year old and a baby. So we will be returning her tomorrow to BASH.
This decision was so so so difficult to make. And to pour salt in the wound, the liaison from BASH we have dealt with this whole time was not very understanding or empathetic. Being 32 weeks pregnant and extremely hormonal I took it very personally and was devastated! Of course when someone tells you they think you set your new dog up fail (yes, those were her words) and all you did was give her love and affection, it is hard not to take it personally! Fortunately the foster mom has been much more pleasant to deal with. Just frustrating because we did not make this decision lightly and we have always felt dog ownership is a lifetime commitment.
After shedding many tears over our decision and the not-so-friendly email on Monday we had dinner with friends. By the time we arrived home I was feeling a lot better. Only to watch Mischa instigate a fight with Tilly and then bite her in the eye. Devastation a deux!! Fortunately it was right on the rim of the eyelid and not the eye itself (I don't even want to know what that vet bill would cost, and right before Christmas. Double OY!) It was awful! Tilly was clearly traumatized and in pain, and Todd and I were heartbroken. Thankfully the eye is getting better. The swelling has gone down, it does not appear to be leaking or infected, and it does not seem to bother her. The drama! Of course this incident confirmed to us that we were doing the right thing.
In the meantime we have kept the two separated. We are not taking any chances at this point.
So I have been trying to remain upbeat and am crafting for the holidays to keeps my spirits up. It is definitely helping me keep my mind preoccupied so I am not thinking/worrying about the dogs or my grandma (whose dementia is steadily getting worse.)
I am looking forward to dinner with the Smiths tonight. Gay 90s Pizza and fabulous friends!

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