Well, my weird Wednesday ended on a moderately insane note. Shortly after I posted my blog, the oldest came home from a movie. I was sitting in bed on my computer with my dog (always with my dog). She was telling me how the movie was nothing like the book and that they screwed it up (always!). Her cell phone reflected on the wall, and that always drives the dog nuts. He stood up to chase it and we both told him to lay down. We continued talking, ignoring the dog, then about 1 minute later, the dog suddenly jumped up and began violently attacking the oldest. He was barking and growling and she was screaming.
I was totally horrified. It was so random, he’s never been mean to the kids. I shouted and sat up but he didn’t hear me. I smacked him and he looked at me and stopped. Before you think I was over-reacting, he’s a 95lb bullmastiff mix. I’m sure my little smack didn’t do much to him. I shouted at him and he ran upstairs, and I followed to put him in his crate. Then I though “oh my God, I don’t know if she has a face left!” I ran back down the stairs and yelled to her. I fully expected her to be missing part of her face.
She was hiding in the bathroom, crying. Her hand was on her cheek, and I had the thought that she was holding it on. She moved it and I looked close. He had poked a few holes in her cheek with his fangs and scraped her up a bit. She was swollen from him hitting her so hard, but he definitely didn’t bite her as much as I thought he did.
I was traumatized. I know she was. I told my husband that was it; we couldn’t keep him anymore. He’s nipped and pinched a few people (he really got my brother after my brother totally did the opposite of my instructions to not get bit). But this was too much. Can’t have the dog chewing the kids faces off. That’s no good. Everyone was heartbroken, and the middle child went to her room and cried herself to sleep. It was awful.
I had an awful night’s sleep, and woke up this morning and did my best at normal. I got to work, and was ready to work a full day, then go home and pack up the puppy to send him off to the shelter.
About an hour and a half into work, I got a phone call from the middle child. I was automatically terrified. “Oh dear lord, he’s killed one of them”. I nervously answered “hello?” and immediately, a frantic and tearful response “Jessie, the dog tried to bite (oldest child) again, and she ran and he chased her but I caught him and put him away”. My heart dropped, I felt sick. “Is she okay? Did he get her? Are you okay?” “yeah, we’re okay, he didn’t get her and he only growled at me. (Oldest child) wants to talk to you” new teary frantic voice on the phone: “Oh my gosh Jessie, it was so scary! I locked myself in the bathroom! What do we do?”
I told her to leave him in his crate and not to even look at him. I was sick to my stomach. I was totally panicked. What if they tried to be nice and let him out? What if he broke his crate?
Pastor told me I should go home and get my stuff sorted out. He said he knew about “trauma with children”. He means well, but can be odd sometimes.
I rushed home and packed up the dog. He had an amazing amount of stuff, I was impressed. He was super excited to get in the car, and the oldest volunteered to help me bring everything in.
We got to the shelter and the dog began freaking out. There were a lot of people in there and I was worried I would have to sit there holding on to him for a long time. He did pretty well, only lunging at like 1 or 2 people (vast improvement from when we first got him). People were looking at us, and I felt the “she’s dumping her dog off here” stigma from all the “rescue people”. Like I was the turd in the room contributing to the problem. Like I should have tried harder to train him, it must all be my fault.
We hired a professional trainer, had a muzzle, a head harness and a chest harness. We had exposed him to all of our family and tried to socialize him. We took him camping, tried herbal remedies, had him neutered…all to no avail. Here we were, me and the kid with the holey face, dropping off our dog. They went to take him back, and I had them wait. I gave him a huge hug and told him I was sorry. My heart broke, and I began sobbing. I totally didn’t care if anyone else saw. Oldest began crying too.
One of the people working there asked if he had bitten anyone, oldest pointed to her face. That was pretty great. I wept as we drove away, and came home to my dog-free house.
I had to get rid of my buddy, people. It’s been super traumatic and depressing. I hope tomorrow is better. Today was a bit like trying to sandpaper a wildcat’s butt in a phonebooth. I feel rough.
If nothing else, my bed will be roomier and I won’t be late in the morning from the dog taking too much time chasing squirrels. I’m so sad.