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An awkward thing is going on with a friend/trainer that we have worked with, and would love some feedback. She does in home boarding and doggie daycare, and we have been taking Hoku there since he was about 5 months. When ever we would drop off or pick him up, we would bring our little dog, Gussy, an 11 lb mix just for the ride (we never left her there). Our friend always encouraged Gussy being there, invited her into the inner yard with all the other big dogs (at least 6, sometimes 10 dogs). Gussy always did great, sniffs and nothing more.

 

A few weeks ago we left Hoku for the day, and upon picking him up (with Gussy, as always), she let ALL the dogs (about 8) out of the inner yard and into the outer fenced area, where we were with Gussy. One of the big dogs was a foster Pitt, and it came right up to Gussy, picked her up around the neck and began to shake her. Our friend was able to get the dog to drop Gussy, but she was bleeding heavily, had a 3-4" wound, and multiple puncture wounds. We rushed her to the emergency vet, and she is now doing OK. Scared of big dogs, which she never was, but she's OK.

 

My issue is that she has offered to pay only 1/2 the bill, as (in her words) the foster org does not have insurance, so she'll offer 1/2 from her own pocket. Does that sound right? Seems to me that she is responsible for letting the dogs out into the outer area, and the Foster's attack are her responsibility.

 

I would love some feed back, as I want to be fair, but I also don't want to be angry at her for not standing up to her responsibility.

 

Any thoughts? Thanks, and sorry this is soooo long.

 

Kristin, Hoku and Gussy

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If it were a dog that was *suppose* to be there, i.e. Hoku, I would expect 100% payment. Because lil Gussy wasn't suppose to be there, but was there as a *curtesy* so to speak, I would accept the 1/2 payment, and never take Gussy where the other dogs may be. Also, because this dog is a foster, she may simply have not known the dog would react to Gussy this way. I think a lot depends on whether you want to continue an association with her. Technically, she really should be 100% responsible, but sometimes things are not always black & white. So, for my lil 2cents worth, if I wanted to enjoy a continued relationship, I would accept the payment, keep Gussy away from the other dogs, and go on. If, you want to make sure she owns up to her responsibility at any cost, you would be legally in the right.

 

I'm glad lil Gussy is okay. I bet that was scary for all involved! Give her an extra treat from me and my gang! And a hug too!

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Unacceptable, a) that it happened, and :rolleyes: that she only pay half the bill. That dog is a liability, and she now knows this. THis opens the door for anyone else (and if it happens again to your dog, you) to sue her. I am NOT a sueing type person, but it is behaviour like this that forces this issue.

I would not take your dogs there anymore- it isn't safe- until that pitbull is gone, period.

Julie

ps: whatever rescue group is in charge of these animals needs to be made aware of the pit's dog aggression issues.

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A couple of questions I have, 1) within the daycare group Hoku is part of are there any other small dogs? 2)how long has your friend had her foster dog?

 

As a foster home before I take one in he/she has to be good with small animals as I have cats. That said the last foster dog I had was excellent with cats but very reactive to small dogs, which I found out over time and took steps to either avoid or if unavoidable keep under control with lead and very strong verbal correction. Prior his meeting a small dog while in my care and seeing his reaction I had no idea that he was not good with them. Like Dixie I would accept the 1/2 payment if she were totally unaware of the danger of this happening. If she were aware the dog was not good with small dogs I would expect payment in full.

 

Sometimes accidents happen, but as fosters it is our utmost responsibility be cautious in new situations. I would not have let the foster out in a group where things can get boisterous and out of hand to meet a new dog.

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Maybe I'm in the minority here, but IMO I would consider myself lucky to even have half of the payment offered to me if I were in your shoes and even then I don't know if I would accept it. Maybe I'm just old school, but I don't think it was any of her responsibility (not saying that legally she isn't) to have to pay your vet bills. Like Linda said, you had Gussy there as a courtesy and to me that's different than if it would have happened to one of the other dogs that are there for doggy daycare. Maybe she didn't have any idea about this dog's aggression towards lil dogs, just like you didn't expect it. Chances are she feels awful about what happened otherwise she wouldn't have even offered to pay half and that to me speaks volumes. If you have a friendship worth any value, don't expect any more money from her. I know you could probably use the money to help w/ the vet bills, but what's more important to you in the long run?

 

The upside of things is, now she knows about this Pit's tendencies and can take extra precaution so that it doesn't happen again. Thank goodness that it didn't hurt Gussy anymore than it did, and I hope that it never happens again whether its Gussy or another dog. I would be very careful from this point on out though to not let Gussy have any contact w/ this dog anymore.

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I agree with Julie that you should not take even Hoku there while that pit bull is still in residence. I wouldn't want any of my dogs around him ever. How is she handling the foster now? I hope she is keeping him away from other people's dogs.

 

I think she should have paid the full bill since she has repeatedly invited Gussy into the yard. Whether this is a courtesy or not, she was saying that it was safe for Gussy to join in. If I invite you to bring your dog in my house and one of my dog bites him the way you describe the pit bull attacking Gussy, I see myself as responsible and liable.

 

As has been said, you need to decide how much you want to pursue full payment given your friendship and long time relationship. At the very least, I hope she is being very contrite and apologetic about her lapse in judgment handling this foster.

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Since she is the professional and SHE invited Gussy in repeatedly, over a period of time, I agree that she is responsible.

 

It's not an issue for me what breed was involved. A dog in her care attacked and damaged another dog that she had invited/welcomed onto her property. As someone who makes her living from caring for dogs, I believe she should have paid the whole bill, and assured you that the attacking dog was no longer allowed around any of her day care or boarding dogs at a minimum. I'm self employed, and if I break a client's possession, I pay for it. Simple as that.

 

With that said, unfortunately, you'll need to decide how to proceed. Do you ask for full payment, explaining your reasoning, with the chance that she may no longer welcome your business? Or do you grin and bear it? Tough call, I hope you can come to a happy resolution.

 

Ruth n the BC3

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When she let all of the dogs out of the inner fence, and into the area where Gussy already was, I say she became totally responsible. It stinks that the foster organization won't help with the vet bill, and I feel for her, having to come up with the $$, but I think she should have offered to pay everything.

 

Just my two cents.

 

Oh, and I'm happy to hear that Gussy is ok. How scary for you guys!

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Thanks a bunch for the input. As most said, Gussy will NEVER go back there. Not sure if Hoku will, either, we need to monitor our trust level with her decisions. The Pit has been adopted, which is great. I hope the new family has been warned about his feeling about small dogs. I think that our friend/trainer had no clue about the Pit's tendency with small dogs, as she takes only large (ish) ones. And she was freaked out, as the dog had been around her cats for weeks, no problem. Part of my problem with the whole thing is that we have not heard one peep from her (about 4 weeks), and just got a check in the mail last night with a note. I guess I would not feel so odd if she had checked in with us, inquire about Gussy, say what is going on with the foster, and talk about the $$. We are open and fair people. But to just be silent, decide what she thinks is fair, and drop a check feels so weird to me. I do feel that it was a total accident, she was mortified. But I also have a strong sense of fairness and responsibility, and that is feeling violated. Our task is to weigh our attachment to her and her doggie day care (the only one around here), and the hurt feelings about the way it was handled and the $$ (no small thing around here right now).

 

But the main thing is that Gussy is OK, changed, but OK. Thank goodness for that.

 

Kristin, Hoku and Gussy

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I am glad to hear that Lil Gussy is feeling better. as for your Friend/Trainer, she may still be freaked out and afraid to talk to you. if she knows that you are mad, talking to you would be admiting that something was wrong. she may be afraid to lose your friendship or business. If it were me I would just go talk to her. and as cheesy as it sounds tell her how you feel about it. and her lack on comuncation. she may not realize that her silence may be making matters worse in the long run.

just some advice from a person who is known to make tons of mistakes be silent till I can't bear it anymore then poor my heart out to whom ever it involed :rolleyes:

good luck. I do hope that you work things out with the lady.

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Shelb's Mum, that was exactly what I felt when I read this, but I couldn't find the words. You said it all very nicely, thanks.

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See, now I live at a Doggie Daycare, dont own it but work here in exchange for rent. Well..owners are informed that all injuries are at owners own risk. We keep little dogs away from big dogs and always ask in regards to Big dogs that dont like little dogs or visa v, most of them dogs get along fine after some introducing and being in yards side by side for a little while. But becase of how dogs play, and they do play hard, it is all at owner's own risk because we cant prevent someone having a mood swing or something.

 

So..while I'm not sure how your friend does it, and I do agree that this was a mistake on her part allowing the dogs to be in the same area without proper socializing, I wouldnt expect full payment and would take the 1/2 and either not take the lil un there again or specify that she is not to be with large dogs.

 

Thats just my two cents.. I understand and agree how everyone feels it is the Doggie Daycares responsobility, but.. not sure how it would rule legally, most Doggie Daycare are at your own risk and any compensation is lucky.

 

Glad Gussy is ok, and that the other dog is adopted, I too hope they were warned of his small dog aggression.

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Shelb's Mum, that is good advise. I need to go talk to her. Lack of communication has two sides, and I haven't communicated, either. Thanks again for the input, this really is an amazing group of people.

 

Kristin

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First off, I'm very, very glad that Gussy (a fave name, by the way) is going to be all right. And I agree with shelb'smum that a talk with the day care provider could be helpful for both of you, even if you decide not to take Hoku back there again.

 

Some things about this event that bothered me:

 

1. Seriously, a rescue organization without insurance coverage...? How about one of these? Or something. Good frikkin grief. (Is the day care provider licensed, bonded, insured...?)

 

2. A foster --- not to mention a rescue org --- with no clue that a large dog in her care might be small-dog reactive...? Ye gods. The BAD RAP Conference 2006 sold out this year, but maybe Grass Valley's uninsured rescue could attend a few similar events and find out about, well... responsible rescue. Things like basic insurance coverage. How to recognize and manage dog aggression. How to work with fosters.

 

Say another dogfight started at your day care provider's, between two of the large dogs --- how is she going to break it up? Is she there by herself? Breaking up dogfights can be risky --- this guy nearly lost an arm.

 

As far as the money is concerned, I'd settle for 50%. There's a certain assumption of risk when you take a very small dog (off lead...?) into a yard with 6 - 10 large dogs, some of them perhaps new to the facility and the day care provider, some unknown to you. There was no way for anyone to determine in advance which dogs might be reactive to a small dog like Gussy. I think the friend/trainer was wrong to encourage the courtesy visits, but in the end the choice was yours.

 

One last opinion: I don't think I'd leave my dog there again. Too 'dog park-y' for my blood. Have you considered a petsitter --- one who would come to your home to care for the dogs when you're away?

 

I wish Gussy a swift, easy recovery, and I'm terribly sorry you all had to go through this.

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I really like pet-sitters. I used to use a retired gentlemen who came to my house and let my dog out; they played and took long walks. He also picked up our mail and newspapers and turned lights on and off so it would look like we were home. It is very reassuring to know that someone is watching over everything when you are gone. The gentleman liked being busy and making some extra money.

 

Some of the vet techs at my vet's office do pet-sitting and they are excellent also.

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I dunno if I'm partial, because I work and live at a DDC but.. I dont think a Petsitter comes close to the experience and fun that they have here. These dogs, all of them, even the ones who come in old and slow, play HARD. They play ALL day long non stop, we actually have to bring them in for rests periodically because they play so hard.

They have so much fun and interaction with so many different dogs and personalities of dogs. They learn what dogs are in the mood and what dogs are crabby, they learn a pack pecking order, without arguing about it.

I dunno, but to me, the experience of being exposed to different dogs, different tempermeants, and learning more about pack order, is irreplaceable. JMHO

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