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I have a rescue dog who is incredibly sweet. At this point, I don't think he is adoptable and don't know if he ever will be. I also have about 2000.00 out of pocket, in him for vet bills because he needed to be stitched up twice -- different types of mishaps.

 

One of the mishaps is because he has fixated on another dog who hates him. That dog chewed him up.

 

Shortly after the last surgery I got an offer from someone who knows dogs and has border collies in agility and obedience, to take this dog and work with him. She worked with him and has kept him slightly over 4 months. I got a call this week that she can no longer keep him. He's developed a habit of crapping in his crate when left for even a couple of hours. After he dumps -- well lets just say what he does is like an agitator in a washing machine. Quite a mess to deal with, and she couldn't take anymore. This dog has a fixation on cats -- not a friendly one. When I brought him into the house the first night back, he did two things. First, he realized that on the other side of the door is his arch enemy and he plastered himself to the door, waiting -- for what, I can only guess.

 

When I pulled him away from there, and redirected his attention, he reluctantly moved, but when he figured out the cats were upstairs, he leapt over the barriers -- and terrorized them. They weren't hurt, but they haven't been down since.

 

I would have preferred to take him back on a weekend when I could have the daylight to clean out the dog runs. He did best there. Since I leave for work in the dark and come home in the dark, I've been driving to work with him in the car. Getting expensive.

 

The dog runs. Like I said, he does best in there, although it's not ideal. He needs to be on a line even when in the dogs runs. He will scale 6 ft. fences. The dogs runs are custom made and expensive, yet, he's managed to ruin them by spreading apart the chain link. I've had to patch up the damaged area. He's ruined the gate to the outer enclosure. The entire thing is a patchwork of metal.

 

I'd like to say he's dumb as a box of rocks, but he's not. I no longer am sure what to do with this dog. I don't think it's fair to keep him like livestock, outside in the run, but he's destructive otherwise. The dog that chewed him up, as severely as he did, has some bite inhibition issues -- with this particular dog.

 

I am totally stressed as I write this. The lady who took the dog in question -- she & I use the same vet. In fact, it was at my vets suggestion -- the same vet who patched him up, that I try sending him with this lady. When I got the call on Monday that he needs to go NOW, I called my vet who said to let her know if I wanted to euthanize him.

 

So what do I do? Is he salvagable? Who the h-ll is going to want a dog like him, yet he is incredibly sweet and charming -- but destruction is his middle name.

 

I've only ever euthanized one rescue dog for behavior and there's not a day goes by that I don't think of him -- whenever my hand aches because of the 3 screws and plate that are in my finger.

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I am gonna state the obvious here. Have you had a behaviorist work with him? I mean $2k in a dog might as well try everything before you give up on him.

 

With Hope I had several bad placements. She was returned every time a little screwier then when she left. Her and Zag could no longer be left alone together. I figured with just over a grand into her, I couldn't just give up on her. (Although I did think it over a few times) Over some time we worked through the stranger dangers and I'm a basket cases. Other then Zags inability to tolerate her she was better then ever. I wasn't even trying to place her when her "perfect" home came into play. What I am trying to say is maybe some outside help is needed to correct his bad behavior?

 

You may have already done that tho. I hate to say this but some dogs are beyond help. If this is the case, you are actually doing the dog a favor IMO. Just try every route before coming to that.

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This won't be a popular answer among some, but if the dog is a problem case and you don't have the time or resources to deal with him, I see nothing wrong with euthanizing him. He's going to be next to impossible to adopt out, as you have had confirmed by the dog savvy person who finally had to send him back. You've given him that chance and it didn't work out. If you do try to adopt him out there are no guarantees that the adopter wouldn't get fed up and break your agreement and not return him, instead dumping him somwhere. As a rescue, I think you need to consider where best to put your time and resources, and this dog doesn't really sound like a good investment for rescue. It speaks volumes of you that you're still agonzing over the past dog you had to put down, and I don't think anyone would judge you harshly (aside from yourself) for making that decision here. The caveat would be if you could find someone who would take the dog and work with a behaviorist intensively to solve/manage his issues. But I imagine finding that person would be like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. I know most rescues operate on a shoestring: I hate to take it down to dollars and cents, but with what you've already spent and with what it would cost to do the intensive work with a behaviorist to make the dog adoptable, how many other dogs could you rescue?

 

J.

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I am in agreement with Julie in most things, and here, yes -- if the dog was exhibiting some dangerous behavior to anything other than cats. Unfortunately, some dogs are cued into cats as prey so I would forgive him that. For example, the GLen Highland website has many dogs whose descriptions include the warning "not cat friendly". Setting aside the cat issue, is he aggressive to humans? That would be my main criteria for putting the dog down.

 

If he is not aggressive to humans, make a list of his behavioral issues....are they really bad enough to warrant being euthanized, what is the level of management required - i.e. needing to be walked on a leash...dealing with what might be separation anxiety if left in his crate? If I am reading your post correctly, another dog who ripped into him because that dog "hates" him..I would not put that down as a negative in this dog's column. It was just an unfortunate event.

 

Sometimes really bright dogs, like really bright humans, have a great deal of difficulty functioning in polite society until they get someplace where all of their talents are appreciated and utilized...i.e. putting him into a sport home might have been the perfect answer, but he might have been one of several dogs, left alone in a crate for longer than he could take - you didn't say what his previous history was and how he came to you, but that behavior might stem from previous mistreatment - i.e. not being let out of the crate at needed intervals - think of the Swafford dogs and how they were caged. So that home was not the right place.

 

These specific things you have mentioned are not enough, IMO, to warrant euthanasia. I do agree that there are times when one must do the kinder thing to the dog and let go, but in this case, IMO, these particular things you have mentioned are not enough to warrant euthanasia. I do wonder though, why the vet suggested it...perhaps there are other issues that you haven't mentioned. What I do hear, is your understandable frustration with not being able to find an answer for this dog.

 

My suggestion would be to try to place him in a foster situation where he is the only dog without cats, where they will recognize and exercise his intelligence , and not leave him in a crate until the reasons for his crate issues can be determined. He indeed might be happier in an outside run and as long as he can get to shelter, that's okay if that's what makes him happy and he has an appropriate amount of human interaction and both physical and mental stimulation. If a foster home in your area that is currently dogless and is willing to devote time to him cannot be found, see if Glenn Highland Farm will take him -- I think you're in Ohio so transportation could possibly be arranged. At any rate, a call to them could help you evaluate and make a sound decision that you will be able to live with.

 

Liz

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I'm going into work late because I set up one of the runs for him. As I type this, he is going ballistic barking. I'm out in the country, yes, but still within earshot of neighbors. Not good PR.

 

Friendly toward humans? He is great! Plays well with other dogs.

 

The other dog who chewed him up is also friendly with humans. Otherwise I'd have put him down for what he did.

 

Human aggression would be the deciding factor, but it's not there. I just do not have the time and I'm just about out of money.

 

And I'm really stressed and frustrated.

 

Thanks and thanks for letting me vent.

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I'm going into work late because I set up one of the runs for him. As I type this, he is going ballistic barking. I'm out in the country, yes, but still within earshot of neighbors. Not good PR.

 

Friendly toward humans? He is great! Plays well with other dogs.

 

The other dog who chewed him up is also friendly with humans. Otherwise I'd have put him down for what he did.

 

Human aggression would be the deciding factor, but it's not there. I just do not have the time and I'm just about out of money.

 

And I'm really stressed and frustrated.

 

Thanks and thanks for letting me vent.

 

 

I hope that you can quickly find a place for him very soon, for your sake as well. If I were closer I'd be very tempted to take him on, as he sounds very much like my dear Scotty....but I've already got the three dogs, and a cat, so as you see, I'm not the right home for him. If he were going to a private home, it really should be one on one right now with someone who has the time to work through the adjustment period. If he's good with other dogs, contact Glen Highland. There's ways to get him there, if they'll take him on.

 

Liz

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I would have to say ditto what Julie said. It is not like you haven't tried with this dog.

 

My mind keeps turning to how many other dogs could be helped with the resources this one dog has/is consuming. Even as I write this I realize I may come across as heartless. But I don't necessarily see death as punishment.

 

My 2 cents

Jennifer

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cannot be crated

cannot be kenneled or kept in a normal yard

potentially dangerous with other small pets

needs exercise and mental stimulation but homes that offer this cannot deal with the first 2, often the first 3

 

you have made more than reasonable effort, as has the agility person, to give this dog a chance. It's unfortunate that some dogs aren't wired right, or have such early damage in their training/socialization that they cannot respond to reasonable intervention.

 

Sounds like your vet has a good head on her shoulders. I'd let her end this dog's misery and move on as best you can. I don't regard this as a failure. Failure would be warehousing this dog like a zoo animal because no one can/will deal with the the unpleasant reality of the best end for this individual life.

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In many ways, he sounds very much like a rescue dog that we had a couple of years ago. This rescue dog also had epilepsy, which we could never get under control. I'm convinced that his brain was just not wired right. I won't go into all the stories about him, but we tried everything to help him. We took him to a vet behaviorist and had him evaluated by a neurologist and even tried to get him into a study at UPenn. We tried all kinds of medicines to help with both the behavior and the seizures. He drained the rescue account and we put over $2,000 of our own money into him because of the specialists and the medicines and numerous trips to the e-vet. He completely disrupted our lives, ate up my bank account, and elevated everyone's (people and dogs) stress level. Despite all of this, he was a very sweet and friendly dog and loved people and got along well with other dogs. But, he was not adoptable and I didn't see how he ever would have been.

 

After 7 months of dealing with his medical and behavial issues, we made the decision that we simply couldn't afford to keep pumping gobs of money into a dog that we couldn't live with and would likely never be able to adopt out. We did feel, though, that his behavior issues were probably tightly linked to his uncontrolled epilepsy, so in our last ditch attempt to save him, we brought him to a well-known neurologist. Her prognosis was not good, but she recommended a new combination of medicines to try. About a week later, he had his worst cluster seizure yet and we decided that the best thing to do was to euthanize him.

 

That was very difficult and I felt tremendous guilt over it. But, I think we did the right thing. Koda's life was not easy. His mind could never stop. He could never relax. He rarely slept. He spent a lot of time in a crate because he couldn't be trusted out of one, even if you were standing right there in the room with him. I did feel guilty, though, because he had moments of joy. He loved going to the beach and loved to chase toys and play with other dogs. But, those moments were short-lived and not enough to justify the physical and mental pain that he endured the rest of the time.

 

I'm not saying that you should euthanize the dog because I think that is a very tough and personal decision. But, you have to weigh everything and do what is best for you, your other pets, and the dog. Sometimes the kindest thing is to end their tormented life.

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Mary,

I hope you were able to console yourself some with the fact that he was able to experience those moments of joy because of you. So at least his last months here were as happy as you could make them, and that's not something to regret.

 

J.

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You have not mentioned whether anyone has tried him on medication for what sounds like extreme anxiety. Clomicalm or Prozac or similar? The crate crapping, dog-run destroying and inability to settle are all indications of anxiety, and anxiety is not always strictly behavioral.

 

So I'd first try him on an anti-anxiety drug - it could have really positive effects. But it may not too. I took in 7 extremely inbred, effed up dogs from a hoarding situation. There were about 30 of them, and I think they all came from two parents originally. I euthanized 3 of them for anxiety that did not respond to any kind of medication, and another for this anxiety plus a disconcerting habit of biting people. One of them appears to be perfectly "normal." One has responded beautifully to Clomicalm. Another is on the fence - if she does not respond to the medication, she'll be euthanized as well. They display/displayed similar behaviors to what you describe.

 

Sad to say there is NOT a home out there for every dog. There are just too many dogs, and there are very few homes who want a very messed up dog. As rewarding and romantic as rescue sounds like it should be, it is also practical. If we saved every dog who was not really all that salvageable, we'd have our own homes full of screwed up whacky and/or dangerous dogs, nowhere to put new dogs that need help, and nobody would want to adopt from us because all of the dogs we have are whackos. It's very easy for non-rescue people to tell us to "try harder" or "have faith," but as a rescuer, I "try hard" every day of my life. Rescue IS hard; these kinds of dogs make it harder.

 

Because you've invested a lot in him already, I say try the medication to see if it is medically possible to get his anxiety under control. If that is not possible, then euthanize him. Resources are finite and practicality is *just as important* in rescue as saving dogs. You already know this - I am only reiterating what you already know, but sometimes it helps to hear it from someone else. Nobody likes to euthanize a dog, and it sucks the big banana every time I have to do it. But it sometimes just needs to be done, sadly.

 

Sinking back into the mire of lurkdom,

 

RDM

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This is always a tough one. The truely agressive are easy. We end up putting down about 3 a year for that. Then it becomes a grey area of who is unadoptable and how many can you keep.

 

We have 3 pups who have stayed at Friends of pep for over 2 years. They seems to work within the pack and such but, they cant be handled. It's their wiring 1 has a permanant home at the rescue 1 loves me to death but, noone else I keep hoping I can adopt him out some day and the 3rd should be put to sleep because He hates human touch. I put it off all the time. He had surgery as a 10-12 week old puppy. He unsheathed his penis while playing and it swelled. Did this create the issues with him. Who knows. His siblings are all in great homes.

 

I think it makes it easier at a dog shelter level as you can't save them all. At rescue level that gets so murky.

 

Best of luck on your decision but, for the shit stomping I might give a flagyl treatment just in case first.

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Another issue is that since November he has lost 6 lbs. --- from 47 to 41. Nothing wrong with his appetite. I picked up some drontal which I will give him this weekend, just in case he has worms -- my vet & I decided to skip the stool check and just worm him.

 

I like the idea of the anti-anxiety meds. I think I'll give that a try. Logically, I know that euthanasia is sometimes the kindest option. I really do. With Sam, the dog I referred to before who I euthanized because of behavioral issues, the decision became much easier to make when he lunged at my hand when I waggled my finger at him admonishing him and bit me. I didn't feel anything, buy saw blood running down my arm and when I looked at the damage, I knew then. My pinkie finger was bent down in the middle of the first bone between knuckle and joint. I drove myself over an hour to a hospital and had surgery that day --- the plate and 3 screws. A couple of weeks later, I held Sam as his life slipped away.

 

The dog in question here is Chuck. I truly like this dog. Maybe that's why I'm a flop as a rescuer. I can't make the hard decisions.

 

I put Gracie, my mean widdle red bitch out with Chuck for company and before too long, he settled down. I jumped in the shower -- already late for work. I was half dressed when I looked out front and saw a dog who looked a lot like Chuck bookin' down the road. My hair dripping wet, I threw on some clothes and ran down the drive yelling for Chuck, but the dog picked up speed to get away from me. I thought how unlike Chuck that is. Chuck comes back and lies down belly up when he's called. I thought "wait a minute" and I walked back up the drive to the dog runs and when I got close, there was Chuck and Gracie still within the run, looking at me --- "What! What! I'm over here". The Amish guy was cutting wood on my property and stopped to take in this spectacle. He probably thinks I'm stoned crazy.

 

I will give the anti-anxiety meds a shot. Chuck deserves it. Another hopeful thought is that by the end of April, I should have about an acre and a half fenced in, ready for livestock. In the meantime, after the fencing is up and before I get the livestock, maybe exercising Chuck until he drops might help.

 

It's nice to know that so many people who care have my back.

 

Thanks guys.

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Vicki, I could never do what you do. I can't express how much I admire you. And the others like you!

 

Thanks to all of you

 

Jennifer

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Mr Snappy its always a pleasure to get your common sense pov from the trenches of Rescue. Please come out of lurk more often!

 

You have not mentioned whether anyone has tried him on medication for what sounds like extreme anxiety. Clomicalm or Prozac or similar? The crate crapping, dog-run destroying and inability to settle are all indications of anxiety, and anxiety is not always strictly behavioral.

 

So I'd first try him on an anti-anxiety drug - it could have really positive effects. But it may not too. I took in 7 extremely inbred, effed up dogs from a hoarding situation. There were about 30 of them, and I think they all came from two parents originally. I euthanized 3 of them for anxiety that did not respond to any kind of medication, and another for this anxiety plus a disconcerting habit of biting people. One of them appears to be perfectly "normal." One has responded beautifully to Clomicalm. Another is on the fence - if she does not respond to the medication, she'll be euthanized as well. They display/displayed similar behaviors to what you describe.

 

Sad to say there is NOT a home out there for every dog. There are just too many dogs, and there are very few homes who want a very messed up dog. As rewarding and romantic as rescue sounds like it should be, it is also practical. If we saved every dog who was not really all that salvageable, we'd have our own homes full of screwed up whacky and/or dangerous dogs, nowhere to put new dogs that need help, and nobody would want to adopt from us because all of the dogs we have are whackos. It's very easy for non-rescue people to tell us to "try harder" or "have faith," but as a rescuer, I "try hard" every day of my life. Rescue IS hard; these kinds of dogs make it harder.

 

Because you've invested a lot in him already, I say try the medication to see if it is medically possible to get his anxiety under control. If that is not possible, then euthanize him. Resources are finite and practicality is *just as important* in rescue as saving dogs. You already know this - I am only reiterating what you already know, but sometimes it helps to hear it from someone else. Nobody likes to euthanize a dog, and it sucks the big banana every time I have to do it. But it sometimes just needs to be done, sadly.

 

Sinking back into the mire of lurkdom,

 

RDM

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I am in agreement with Julie in most things, and here, yes -- if the dog was exhibiting some dangerous behavior to anything other than cats. Unfortunately, some dogs are cued into cats as prey so I would forgive him that. For example, the GLen Highland website has many dogs whose descriptions include the warning "not cat friendly". Setting aside the cat issue, is he aggressive to humans? That would be my main criteria for putting the dog down.

 

Honestly, I'd love to know the criteria for "not cat friendly" at Glen Highland. The dog I briefly adopted from there was "cat friendly" and she tried to attack my cat several times. That's not the reason she was returned, though.

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I'll second the meds idea...I have seen it really help and since you are so invested at this point I would say its worth it. If it doesn't work you can at least know you tried everything.

 

Best of luck to you.

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I hope that you can quickly find a place for him very soon, for your sake as well. If I were closer I'd be very tempted to take him on, as he sounds very much like my dear Scotty....but I've already got the three dogs, and a cat, so as you see, I'm not the right home for him. If he were going to a private home, it really should be one on one right now with someone who has the time to work through the adjustment period. If he's good with other dogs, contact Glen Highland. There's ways to get him there, if they'll take him on.

 

Liz

 

 

As far as I know Glen highlands doesnt take dogs from OH. Plus there is a fee to surrender your pet. A rescue failure is almost certainly a no for them.

 

I think sea4th is as qualified to do what the dog needs if it can be done. Based on the biting dogs I've personally met from there. It's a beautiful place and even I wouldnt mind a stay there but, there isnt any magic performed on the dogs. It's still a rescue.

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You have not mentioned whether anyone has tried him on medication for what sounds like extreme anxiety. Clomicalm or Prozac or similar? The crate crapping, dog-run destroying and inability to settle are all indications of anxiety, and anxiety is not always strictly behavioral.

 

Sinking back into the mire of lurkdom,

 

RDM

 

Great to see you, RDM! I've been whining after you for a while now! Please come around more often!

 

Clomicalm has been very helpful to Jack for his separation anxiety. My regular vet did not prescribe as big a dose as the veterinary behaviorist did--50 mg twice a day. I buy the generic version at Walmart and it is fairly inexpensive.

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