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The decision has been made

January 1, 2005 | Dogs

We’ve been agonizing over this for quite a while now and have finally come to a decision. We’ll be seeking a new home for Bear. It is a combination of many things like his misdirected aggression towards his brother, Dozer, and his insecurities which lead towards other aggressive actions such as attacking other dogs and us.

His actions on one occasion had Dozer hiding behind Andy. Dozer typically has no problem standing up for himself but Bear had gotten himself so worked up that he was uncontrollable.

On a separate occasion he tried to bite a neighborhood dog. The dog, named Sam, wouldn’t hurt a fly and was sitting calmly by his owner when bear lunged at him. And just today Bear tried to get at Sam through the fence. Then when he can’t get to what is on the other side of the fence he turns his frustration on his brother.

Just the other day he bit me 4 times while I attempted to brush him. Dozer took it like a man and just looked at me with that “why me?” expression while I brushed him out. Bear has also nipped at my 3 year old nephew Joshua. Bear has yet to draw blood but his actions are (now that we’ve been looking into it more) clearly anxiety based. The places he bites, the way he acts, are signs of aggressive behavior.

Any trip in the car leads to him vomiting and then getting aggressive towards us when we try to clean up his vomit. I understand why he can get protective of his vomit but it is disturbing that he can get protective over anxiety induced vomit and not vomit that was intended for other consumption (sidenote: when living in the wild hunter dogs will regurgitate food for others after they return from the hunt. Essentially they carry food back in their stomachs and regurgitate it so others can eat it. Much like the way birds will feed the young that cannot yet leave the nest).

So, not only do we not have the money to put into a behaviorist, we don’t feel like we have the time or energy to put into turning him around. I feel guilty as hell for it too. It feels like a failure on my part as an owner. I know that admitting that is a big step and took a lot to do but it still hurts.

I think it would be best if Bear were an only dog and with someone who can put the proper time into turning him around. We simply don’t have the time to dedicate to a dog with special needs. I know that sounds selfish and I feel bad just writing it but it is the truth. He is just going to be better cared for by someone who can deal physically and mentally with his behavior and with someone who knows how to deal with dogs of his nature.

The hunt begins soon and we’ve already put the word out to a couple of friends to see if they know of anyone who would be willing to take on Bear. We’ll just have to look in the right places and find him a home. We don’t want to take him to the Dumb Friends League or any other shelter because his anxiety might cause him to get aggressive with a worker and then that would be the end of him. We want him to have a chance. A chance that we cannot fairly give him.

Its gonna be hard to let him go because when he is being good he is a little sweetheart. He can just break out of that good behavior so quickly it is scary. I really hope we can find him a good home. He’ll never stop being loved here even though he’s gone.

This post is part of the thread: Dogs – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

6 Responses

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  • It is gonna be tough to let him go – but I think it is best for him. He definitely needs to be an only dog.

    Well, the hunt starts today…

    shawn, January 3, 2005 11:46 am | permalink

  • Good luck dude. I know you did all you could. If you need anything give me a shout

    alden, January 3, 2005 6:01 pm | permalink

  • oh…too bad. But aggression is agression. And it’s just a matter of time before he does draw blood, if his nips land in the right spot.

    Your descision is understandable and reasonable.

    Shawna (px), January 3, 2005 4:39 am | permalink

  • I know that you did all that you can, and I know that you made this decision after great deliberation. Faced with the kind of liability of an aggressive dog, I’d do the same.

    Sometimes a dog simply needs a different environment to be happy, and this seems the case. He probably needs to live on a big farm somewhere or be with someone who hikes a lot who can offer him a life better suited to his needs.

    I think that identifying that you can’t offer the dog what he needs is the most important thing.

    roo, January 3, 2005 9:27 am | permalink

  • I think he was just upset at how bad I always beat you down at Halo! 😉

    But in all seriousness, it sounds like a good idea, hopefully he can be placed in a great place for his needs. Too bad bear couldn’t quite get along so well as Dozer.

    Justin, January 3, 2005 9:33 am | permalink

  • Ya know, its funny to look back on this entry now and realize how far we’ve come since this point.

    We tried to find a new home for Bear but couldn’t – so we’ve continued to work with him and I think that was probably the best course of action. We would have really hated ourselves for letting him go…

    Shawn Parker, July 16, 2005 6:47 pm | permalink

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