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Sadly, after only five days in our home, and through no fault of his own, Pepper was returned to his foster home Wednesday morning.

 

He was a 44# puppy in a dog's body, with very little training. He was goofy and sweet and eager to learn and so wanting to be loved, but every time he barked or growled or got too close, I panicked. I was nervous about having him behind me, where I couldn't see him. If I sat down, I chose carefully, always looking for a way to escape and protect myself if he should become too aggressive.

 

The decision to return him was not an easy one by any means. I wanted it to work. It broke my heart to send him back, and I cried when they took him out of the house. Obviously it was just too soon after Scooter's tragic death to bring in a new dog, but I couldn't be sure until I tried (the old "get right back on the horse" theory).

 

He has a lot of potential and I'm praying that the right family gets him and loves him and thinks he's the most wonderful dog in the world. He deserves that.

 

I realize now that I need more time to heal before getting another dog, which I still want to do some time in the future, but I want to be able to give him or her 100% of my love and trust. I'm just not there yet. :(

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Don't beat yourself up. It takes a lot of strength to make the right decision - which you did. It may take more time for you to heal but I am sure there will be another dog in your life that will be the right one, at the right time.

Hugs to you.....

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I'm sorry to hear that, in your best interests and in Pepper's, you made the decision to return him. And I agree with the others, you did the right thing.

 

Time will help, as may being around very calm dogs for a minute or two here and there. I'm thinking of things like the Paws for Reading programs they have here, where a very mellow dog 'partners' with a child while the child reads out loud. A lot of the dogs fall asleep!

 

If there is any chance that you could see a counselor, one who is a dog lover, I urge you to do so. Please be gentle with yourself, and know that we're all here for you.

 

Ruth

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I second the idea of seeing a therapist or counselor. It is surprising how much just talking to an objective third party can really help.

 

I'm sorry that you had to return Pepper but it was the best decision for all involved and that takes an extreme amount of courage and love. When the time is right and you are ready your next dog will come into your life.

 

I always like the quote that says "Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow"." Maryanne Radanbacher. I think that it definitely applies to you and your situation now.

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I second the idea of seeing a therapist or counselor. It is surprising how much just talking to an objective third party can really help.

 

I'm sorry that you had to return Pepper but it was the best decision for all involved and that takes an extreme amount of courage and love. When the time is right and you are ready your next dog will come into your life.

 

I always like the quote that says "Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow"." Maryanne Radanbacher. I think that it definitely applies to you and your situation now.

 

I saw a therapist for a few weeks, someone I'd seen before. I took pictures of Scooter with me and she talked about dogs she'd had over the years and we cried together. She felt that I was trying to deal with a double whammy--the loss of a beloved friend and the trauma of the attack. Told me to try to remember Scooter the way he was before he got so sick, like so many on the board have said. And, it was just going to take some time. But, we humans don't want to hear that. Surely, there must be something we can do to get rid of this horrible feeling in our gut and our heart. We want to feel better now. We want the quick fix. We want everything to be like it was before. Grieving is such hard work.

 

I've been through enough grief and sadness to know that there is no quick fix. At least, you'd think I'd know that by now. Pepper showed me that I'm nowhere near ready for another dog. And, maybe that's what his purpose was, since I wasn't listening to any of the humans who thought it might be too early to bring a new pet into our home.

 

I do like the quote about courage and have printed it out and put it on the fridge to remind myself to take it one day at a time. :)

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Is there someone with a dog you know, love, and trustand who is absolutely rock solid you could spend an hour a day with and gradually increase the time...allow you to dog sit eventually for awhile, then move on to a different dog? That wouldn't be quite so intimidating... an unknown is going to be problematic for you for a while. Maybe , someday, someone you know with a dog you know really well... will need a home for their dog...and it will be perfect for you... it's dang hard getting over traumatic stuff! Take your time. Baby steps.

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What Marty said!

 

When you told us about Pepper, my first thought was, "Oh, wow! She's getting another dog SO SOON! That's amazing!" It would be amazing if you weren't still traumatized - it's natural and nothing to be ashamed of. (I had to get stitches a few years ago because a loose dog got into it with Buddy, and I was stuck in the middle of it. I still overreact when strange dogs come near us - to the point of sounding like a ridiculous middle-aged lady, yelling "Oh, NO! Oh my GOD!")

 

I like the idea of slowly desensitizing yourself to dogs in general by starting with calm, rock-solid old dogs, then moving to slightly twitchier dogs, and eventually moving up to a frisbee-playing crazy dog. What works with our reactive dogs likely works with us reactive humans, too! :D

 

Mary

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I'm so sorry you had to go through this. But at least you were strong enough to be true to yourself and know this just wasn't working. And I'm sorry about Scooter. What happened? I haven't been on the boards for quite a while until recently.

 

If it's any consulation, it took me FOUR years after my Katie Bug passed from lymphoma to even begin thinking of getting another dog. Then along came Danny and he has filled a whole in my heart, even though he is quite a challenge. ;)

 

Your time will come, but until then, just hold Scooter's memories close.

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I'm so sorry you had to go through this. But at least you were strong enough to be true to yourself and know this just wasn't working. And I'm sorry about Scooter. What happened? I haven't been on the boards for quite a while until recently.

Briefly, on the morning of February 19th, he came down to greet me as usual, paws on my shoulders, kissing my face. Then suddenly he got very still, his eyes fixed on me and he started to growl. I told him to stop but he continued and something told me I was in trouble. I told him to get down and started to stand up, probably pushing him away as I did. He growled again and bit my hand. Shocked, I stood there looking at my bleeding hand and then he lunged at me and bit me again, knocking me to the floor. He just kept biting and biting. I remember screaming and screaming for someone to wake up and help me. I thought he was going to kill me. DH finally came down and hit him to get him away from me. I sustained many puncture wounds to my hands and arms. DH called the vet while I was in the ER and we decided to have him put down. The vet was pretty sure, given the sudden, unprovoked attack, that he probably had a brain tumor. My dear, sweet Scooter.

 

Wounds are healing but I'm still having emotional problems, trying to deal with the attack and having to euthanize him. But, I'm working on it. One day at a time.

 

So, Pepper was the new dog, but he was just too much for me right now. Hoping a puppy comes along soon that isn't quite so threatening. I miss having a dog in the house.

 

Guess that wasn't so brief after all. Sorry. :mellow:

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Pam, are you sure even a puppy so soon would be a good idea?

 

The can be so incredibly mouthy and rambunctious and quickly grow to full size.

 

I keep reading and think, wow, she really just needs a rock solid, calm, middle age dog.

No, I'm not sure a puppy so soon is a good idea, which is why I've stopped searching for now. I am reminded every day that I have a lot of healing to do before I'm ready to bring a new dog of any age into my life. I believe, as so many others have said, that when it's time, I'll know, be it a puppy or an older dog. Waiting isn't my strong suit, but I know I need to take it slow. Scooter was a gift from God. Praying God blesses me with another dog to love and care for. :)

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What part of Ohio are you in Pam? Since the dog you adopted was from the Toledo area, I assume you might be fairly close to that part of the state. My reason for asking is that I have a wonderful 6 year old Border Collie that is a rock solid, extremely experienced therapy dog that you might enjoy visiting with to help deal with some of the issues you are experiencing. She has a wonderful knack for sensing just what is needed and just who needs her most when we visit nursing homes or hospitals.

 

I travel quite a lot during the week for work, but if you are relatively near Toledo perhaps we could meet somewhere on the weekends and you could spend some time visiting with my sweet girl. Just something to consider. My first grandbaby just arrived, so I'm out of town until just after Easter, but would be glad to get together with you any weekend after that.

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What part of Ohio are you in Pam? Since the dog you adopted was from the Toledo area, I assume you might be fairly close to that part of the state. My reason for asking is that I have a wonderful 6 year old Border Collie that is a rock solid, extremely experienced therapy dog that you might enjoy visiting with to help deal with some of the issues you are experiencing. She has a wonderful knack for sensing just what is needed and just who needs her most when we visit nursing homes or hospitals.

 

I travel quite a lot during the week for work, but if you are relatively near Toledo perhaps we could meet somewhere on the weekends and you could spend some time visiting with my sweet girl. Just something to consider. My first grandbaby just arrived, so I'm out of town until just after Easter, but would be glad to get together with you any weekend after that.

Thank you for your kind offer, Karen. I really don't want to go through the rest of my life being afraid of every dog I see. Looking forward to meeting up with you after Easter. :)

(Funny--Esther is the name of my HUMAN therapist). :D

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I'll p.m. you a contact number once I return to Ohio. My Esther really is a wonderful girl, and I think you'll enjoy spending time with her. Maybe she is appropriately named.... she's definitely provided me with a bit of "therapy" when I've needed it and just seems to have a knack when it comes to therapy visits. Looking forward to meeting you soon.

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Briefly, on the morning of February 19th, he came down to greet me as usual, paws on my shoulders, kissing my face. Then suddenly he got very still, his eyes fixed on me and he started to growl. I told him to stop but he continued and something told me I was in trouble. I told him to get down and started to stand up, probably pushing him away as I did. He growled again and bit my hand. Shocked, I stood there looking at my bleeding hand and then he lunged at me and bit me again, knocking me to the floor. He just kept biting and biting. I remember screaming and screaming for someone to wake up and help me. I thought he was going to kill me. DH finally came down and hit him to get him away from me. I sustained many puncture wounds to my hands and arms. DH called the vet while I was in the ER and we decided to have him put down. The vet was pretty sure, given the sudden, unprovoked attack, that he probably had a brain tumor. My dear, sweet Scooter.

 

Wounds are healing but I'm still having emotional problems, trying to deal with the attack and having to euthanize him. But, I'm working on it. One day at a time.

 

So, Pepper was the new dog, but he was just too much for me right now. Hoping a puppy comes along soon that isn't quite so threatening. I miss having a dog in the house.

 

Guess that wasn't so brief after all. Sorry. :mellow:

 

WOW, how awful! I am SO sorry you had to go through this. Take it a day at a time...you'll know when you are ready for another dog. Until then, take care of yourself.

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