Well, I am sad to report that we had to return one of our dogs to the animal shelter where he came from 3 weeks ago. :( We worked with him in a continual manner to try and solve some major bad habits he had, but after the last two days, it was too much for me. I failed. Actually, I studied his bio carefully and there was no report of aggression or biting. It was reported that he was friendly with other animals etc.
I don't think Stetson was a MEAN dog... he was just a BIG BITER, and he HURT, ALOT.... He was also making sure he was alpha Male and did everything to keep Guess under his authority.... this included taking his food and his dog bones. Guess was following his lead and began to act like Stetson with the animals. We had to separate them from the animals after 3 chicken were killed by Stetson and EATEN.... he also was very aggressive with the goats. He would corral them and then bite them on purpose.
He was not willing to roll over and be submissive to us at all, even with treats. He finally, after many bites that were not serious, got Miss Anna near the neck this a.m. and knocked her down. He bit me, and then he turned on Guess and put a gash in his neck causing him to bleed. That was it for me.
I think Stetson would be a good dog for a single man who lives on a ranch with nothing smaller than a large cow or horse, where he can run free and not be in competition. NO KIDS AT ALL.....
He doesn't know his own size or bite.
So, sadly, this turned into a major fiasco this a.m. Last week I was ready to take him back but Miss Alli begged to work with him. Things actually got worse and we had numerous conversations about dog ownership and responsibility..... This a.m. I had to tell her that we were going to return Stetson, as it was not fair to him or to us to keep him. He would have to be chained. I would hate that.
Her initial response was anger, and then panic..... she refused to talk, got upset and wouldn't listen. She started to storm outside, but I told her no, not to walk away..... she came back in reluctantly and had her head down, arms crossed and wouldn't look at either of us.
I got her into the rocking chair, and she was resistant, but complied. I just rocked her and got her to breathe. Both Mike and I spoke words of encouragement to her and then we sang to her.... we sang and prayed and sang and prayed some more and her hands were clinched in fists. She would not let us hold her hand...... Then, as we sang and prayed and included analogies from Hinds Feet on High Places into our songs and words, she began to soften. First it was a little finger, then more, then more and then even a little smile.
She is still more a mommy girl than a daddy girl, but we are working on it. After about 30 minutes or more, our words and prayers reached her heart and she said she was sorry. She knew Stetson would be better somewhere else even though she was sad about it.
At that point, I addressed the difference between dogs and people, reassuring her that she was safe and secure in our love for her. She relaxed and went to say goodbye to Stetson....
Erika and I took Stetson back to the shelter and Alli and the other girls stayed with Daddy. When I got back she came up with a big smile and hugged me. She asked, "Was he sad to go back?" I said, "No, he seemed quite happy. I think he must have thought he had been on vacation!" :)
And the rest of our day has been great.
While her behaviors were unpleasant and she was not compliant when she was really upset, she came around and calmed herself down using her tool box..... (deep breathing and rocking mom)
She came around and apologized.
And, then, we talked about better ways to handle when we get upset next time. I will reinforce this conversation tonight.......
Overall, We had a REALLY successful meeting with Real Life and Trauma and I am so glad we made it through. :)
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)