Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Best Case Scenario?

Firstly can I just say thank you to everyone (except one mean person) who left a comment with so much understanding and support on my last post?
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I think that might break a record for number of comments on this little blog of mine, and it made me feel so supported during a really rough time. Thanks to the LFCA for mentioning me and my situation and sending support my way. It truly, truly means so much.

The last few days have been really hard. Steve and I started to not see eye to eye on this. Suddenly he became desperate to keep Quincy and wanted to find a way to make it work. He came up with all sorts of "solutions" such as "keep Quincy and Ruby separated at all times" and "let Quincy stay at someone's house until Ruby is safe with her". Neither of those are feasible answers to our problem and I could see that, but he was desperate. He loves the dog - as do I, very much - and he doesn't like doing anything difficult. He also started to blame Cadence for what happened - that she was teasing Quincy (she wasn't). He knows that's not right but again, he was desperate.

So it started to put a wedge between us. We started to fight. Things were getting ugly. And I felt absolutely rotten about the position I was suddenly in. I was the bad guy, all around.

I contacted a few rescue organizations and started the paperwork to surrender Quincy to our local Boston Terrier Rescue organization. I looked into training and rehabilitation (although I found this an unlikely solution, I still tried).

And then we got a call from Steve's parents today. They said they would take her.

Steve was so overjoyed that he broke down. He is so happy that they can take her and we will still be able to see her. His parents are retired and there are no other dogs or children in their lives. They have a big house and a big yard. When they come here to visit they will leave her at home, and when we go there she can have the run of the basement or back yard. It's as good of a situation as I could hope for.

Of course there are a few issues that I have with the situation... Like, they will let her do WHATEVER SHE WANTS. They will feed her table scraps. They will let her bark incessantly if she so desires. They will let her RUN THEIR HOUSE. I have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into training Quincy over the years and I feel like all that work is going to be undone and she is going to get completely out of control under their care.

Then what?

I know that this could also happen if she went to a stranger's house and I just wouldn't know about it. I also know that there is nothing I can do about it and I need to just hand over the leash and let whatever may happen, happen. And I plan on doing just that. I just really love Quincy and hate to see it come to this.

I knew they were considering it yesterday and so I sent them an email to say that they shouldn't do it only if they felt they HAD to. I advised that she does have some bad habits, that she does have a few health problems (bad ears) and that she eats expensive dog food that can only be purchased at the vet. I also mentioned that I do not want to be made to feel guilty every time she has to go to the vet or if she chews or scratches something they own.

There was no reply to the email. And then the call today saying they'd take her.

Alas, in this shitty situation it's the best I can do.
The dog has a home - a loving home, yes.
We can still visit her.
I don't have to get a divorce.

Everything else I will have to deal with internally.


annacyclopedia said...

That is such good news, Tara! It will still be hard on you and Steve but it sounds as close to perfect as you can get. I hope the transition goes smoothly and Quincy settles in to her new home with as little stress on everyone as possible. And my biggest hugs to you.

Somewhat Ordinary said...

That is fantastic news!! I'm sure it will still be hard (especially with the IL situation), but you know she will be loved and cared for and you will get to see her!

Tobacco Brunette said...

I think you said it best: time to give up the leash, mama. And maybe they'll surprise you and do a good job with her.


Okay...probably not, but at least Ruby and her baby friends will be safe.

And it's way better than the alternative.

Aurelia said...

Tara, we are friends and I hope you know I say this only with concern.

To be honest, I don't think this is a good solution, and I don't think the anonymous person was being mean, I think they were being realistic and perhaps afraid to say it under their own name, because they didn't know how you would react.

(I'm afraid how you'll react!)

Putting the dog with someone who has absolutely no chance of ever ever being near kids and is very vigilant about training, etc. might be possible, but this is not safe.

This dog is young and will live a long time and as Ruby gets older and wants to run around your parent's backyard, or go play in their basement, she will be near the dog. People will get lax, they will feel like it's different now, or better, and she will be left alone with the dog, or just pass nearby, maybe with someone responsible watching, and disaster will strike.

And you have just said that they are not going to keep Quincy trained properly.

If they take the dog, it means that you can never ever take Ruby there, EVER. It won't work.

And what if the dog bites some other child in their neighbourhood?

I really think you and Steve should call your vet and some of the rescue organizations and have a blunt talk. If a dog bites like this, twice now, will it ever be okay, or is this just a very unsafe idea?

And I know Steve is hurting, but what would hurt worse, saying goodbye to the dog, or having something tragic happen to his only daughter? Or someone else's child?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you were able to find a solution that you are okay with.

And I don't agree with others that a dog that bites should automatically be euthanized, even if it does involve a child. In situations like this most dog bites are a human's fault, i.e. someone wasn't keeping an eye on things. The vast majority of dogs give some sort of warning before they bite allowing an adult to step in and deal with the situation.

I know that makes it sound like I'm trying to blame you for not supervising Quincy, which is not what I'm trying to say. I'm trying to support your decision to find an appropriate home for her. Most dog bites are preventable, and I'm glad that that you're able to take steps to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

Jaye @ canadian-mom.ca said...

Oh I'm so glad you two came up with a solution! It will be tough of Steve, but it sounds like it is going to really work out for everyone :)

noswimmers said...

Wow, you've had a really rough few days. I'm sorry. :(

Sounds like you found the best possible solution. You're doing the right thing.

P.S. Tell 'anonymous' to eff off!

Christine said...

Honestly there is no breed that is always great with kids. Any dog will bite, they just have different thresholds.

It doesn't sound like your dog is a danger. The situations you described in your previous post - she bit when a child "mauled" her. Why was the child allowed to do that? In the more recent example, it sounds like the child was playing outside with the dog without anyone supervising (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but that's the impression I got). You don't leave a small child alone with a dog. Ever.

Before anyone jumps on me, I have two kids and three dogs. We've had a few problems, but I place the blame on myself. My dogs are not aggressive. If I'm not supervising properly, then anything that occurs is MY fault. I have a 4 year old and a 1 1/2 year old and it is entirely possible to teach young children how to behave around animals.

If you're not up for the vigilance, and I get that, then I think you found a nice solution (I was more worried about Quincy ending up in rescue...not a great time to be a homeless dog these days). But the comments that the dog is vicious or should never be allowed around children are really irritating me. I agree with the poster above - most dog bites, particularly dog v. child, are entirely preventable. It sounds like if Quincy felt she had a choice in those situations, her first option would have been to just walk away.