Wednesday, 2 March 2011

What Happened to My Dog?

So for the one or two people out there who don't personally know me and read my blog, you may have noticed that when I was on mat leave with BBJ1 there was a dog in the mix, and since I have been writing again, the dog is absent.  Here is the story of Dog.

When exHusband and I were almost living together we discussed that we both wanted a dog, I hadn't had a dog in years and exHusband had recently lost his dog.   One day we were out shopping and stopped in the pet store, they had beagle puppies (exHusband had always wanted a beagle).  The puppies were cute, I asked to hold one, he licked my nose, and that was that.  Dog came home with us.

He was so cute, I don't think that there has ever been a cuter dog.  He was really sweet.  We loved him.

We tried to train him, but we failed.  We never got him house-trained.  It was terrible.  We tried crate training but too late and not consistently enough.  I tried a bunch of The Dog Whisperer's stuff and it helped a bit but it was hard.  He was a barker, not the when left alone he barks the whole time barker, but the excited barker and the if anyone is in the hallway or stairwell barker.  He had tons of energy and wanted to play all the time.  He jumped up on people.  He was a garbage hound, he would eat anything he could get, he ate the most beautiful chicken sandwich that exHusband had made for himself, right off the table.  He ate chicken bones and broken light bulbs, which resulted in vet visits and disgusting messes.  We loved him.

BBJ1 came along and we were really nervous about the dog.  He was very energetic, he was a jumper and didn't seem to have any control over himself when he was excited.  When we brought BBJ1 home from the hospital, it was amazing, he was a totally different dog.  He was very protective over the baby, on day 1, he actually barked at exHusband the first time he held the baby, in front of Dog.  He was calmer and just all around better.  We loved him.

As BBJ1 became older and more mobile, there was a bit more of his old behavior coming through.  I was pretty frustrated with him.  Having your baby crawl into a puddle of dog urine is not good.  BBJ1 was not a great sleeper and the dog would always start whining or barking just when I got him down, waking him up.  It was also a big pain having to take him out with the baby in the winter, and the timing of needed walks often coincided with BBJ1 sleeping.  We loved him.

I went back to work and while the behavior didn't change it wasn't as noticeable  of a problem.  We were all out all day, so it was just evenings and week-ends that we were all together.  And there was an awesome benefit of having a garbage hound when you have a baby then toddler eating, I didn't need to sweep up all of the dropped/spilled/thrown food because the Dog would get it.  We loved him.

Then BBJ2 came home.  When that happened, BBJ1 and I were at home full-time.  Things were not good.  Once again Dog became very protective over the baby against everyone else.  BBJ1 was not good with Dog, he chased the dog, grabbed the dog's tail, hit the dog, tried to ride the dog, etc.  Dog reacted badly to BBJ1.  He didn't hurt him but he was growling at him, and did snap at him.  We were done.

My mother took him to try and find a home (a childless home) for him.  She wasn't successful and Dog was being aggressive with her dog, so he went to the humane society.  I wrote a very honest letter about him, about how sweet and loving he is, how he needs lots of attention and exercise and that he should not be around young children.  He was adopted.

For a very long time (before the aggression to BBJ1) I felt like I failed with Dog.  I really felt that if I could have been more consistent and sterner and and and, that he would have been a better dog.  I don't feel that anymore, I think that he was a great dog, but not for our family.  We still miss him, and still love him.

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