Called In Reinforcements
We finally did it - we called in reinforcements to help us with Deuce.
From the moment we brought Deuce home, we knew he was different. Not the 'Marley and Me' different but more like the Kujo different. He took one look at my husband and fear ran through his entire body and at that moment he told us that someone gave him a reason not to trust us. Deuce was 4 months old when we adopted him and had already been through multiple homes. We have no idea what Deuce endured in those 4 short months of life but we knew they weren’t full of puppy toys and playdates.
I took Deuce to a trainer (who shall remain nameless) and was instructed to euthanize him based on his history and the behavior he showed during the session. That trainer would attempt to approach him, he would bear his teeth and growl. She wouldn’t get 10 feet of him and labeled him dangerous.
Well, me being who I am, no one is going to tell me what to do or what to do with my dogs so if that means Deuce spends the rest of his life in our home, away from those that judge him or fear him then that’s the way he will live. I wasn’t going to give up on him.
In the last 5 years, I’ve been able to unscramble all of Deuces triggers which include the following: resource guarding, food aggression, fear aggression, semi-dog aggressive, and human-selective. Instead of correcting them, we’ve been avoiding them, tiptoeing around the possibility of pissing him off. It’s been 5 years full of anxiety for all of us, including Deuce. We’ve always been on edge, making sure we’ve covered all our bases so we never had to face an “incident”.
Well, 3 weeks ago we had an “incident” and our poor Chloe became a victim of which required 3 trips to the vet and I’m happy to say that she is healed physically, maybe not emotionally but her spirit is back and we continue to spoil her rotten.
It took that “incident” for me to take down my guard and face the reality that Deuce needs professional help for him and us to live comfortably, happily and most importantly, safe.
We have doubled Deuce's anxiety medication. We walk 1-2 miles per day. I consulted with a trainer who gave us homework for the last couple of weeks and we’ve seen a HUGE change in the overall energy in our home. And last night, we had the trainer come into our home to give us the tools we need for everyone to live together under one roof.
By posting this, I’m hoping to encourage pet owners to not give up on their pets when things get tough. Trust me, many tears were shed as we have persevered through the last couple of weeks because the option of rehoming one of my dogs wasn't an option. They are my family, my responsibility and I will do whatever I can to provide for them.
Do I have time to walk Deuce 1-2 miles a day? Not really but I make time.
Do I have time to crate and rotate my dogs for the next few months? It’s not ideal but I can do it.
Do I fear for my children? Absolutely not.
Do I think Deuce will get better? I sure hope so.
We've had to completely adjust our life to accommodate our dogs and I'm ok with that. I wake up earlier to feed separately, to walk Deuce, to rotate bathroom breaks. In the evening before I eat myself, I feed my dogs separately, rotate bathroom breaks and crate. Before bed, I make sure each has been exercised, rotate bathroom breaks and get one-on-one time.
In reality, I don't have time but I make time because I would do the same for my kids, my husband or my cats. My dogs are my family and as long as I know that we can live happily under one roof I'll continue to work hard so that we do.
This picture was taken before we went to that original trainer... who could ever euthanize that CUTE FACE!