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Are there really homes for dogs like this?

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  • Are there really homes for dogs like this?

    My dad and I had a dog together for five years, but my dad passed away unexpectedly and I have been left to care for her alone. The dog is clearly not coping with the changes and she has become destructive and messy. She refuses to leave the house to go to the toilet and I am mopping and disinfecting every day. She has torn up fish food and filtration material, clothing, the cupboards, the fuses, the horse's rugs. It's been nine months and things are still such a mess- I go out to work and never know what I am coming home to. I can't cope either now and cry most days. Other family members keep telling me to rehome her, but she is ten, a large dog and has bitten strangers in her past. She is also on regular medication for her eyes, which averages about 40 pounds a month.

    I have said I doubt she would ever find a home and would prefer her to be put down at home with us. But physically the vet has assessed her as being in magnificent shape for her advancing years (when this all started I took her to try and find out if there was a medical reason for her behaviour) and I doubt they would be willing to euthanise her- apart from that how could I possibly commit to killing my healthy pet? I cry even thinking about it.

    I am just at my wits end- I was late for work today because the kitchen floor was in such a state and the boss' patience is wearing thin. Does anyone think she could realistically find another loving home? Is there anything I can do?
    Horse Selling Hell
    My Writing
    People who think they know everything about horses know nothing

  • #2
    I think you'll definitely find her another loving home, it sounds like she needs a lot of one on one attention, someone who has the time to deal with her issues. It must be so hard to deal with if you're working, you also have to look after yourself too and let yourself grieve.
    There are lots of people who are prepared to take on an animal with health/behaviour issues. Is there a dog rescue place near you that you could talk to?

    Comment


    • #3
      There are a lot of people who are interested in special needs dogs. Talk with your vet to start, they have good insight on that. You can also talk to rescues. I don't know about where to search for your area but I tried "behaviorally challenged dog rescue" in google and found a few within a reasonable distance from me. I'd definitely get references on anywhere you place your dog.

      Comment


      • #4
        If she is all of a sudden that destrutive

        she isn't "healthy".

        She's large, destructive and has bitten people.

        Apparently you can't or won't crate her during the day.

        I'd give her a merciful end.

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree try crating her or restricting her to just one room where she cant destroy anything.
          LILY-13yr APHA/PtHA mare**LUKE-11yr Rescue Haflinger gelding (being leased out)**ANNIE-7yr AQHA mare

          Comment


          • #6
            Sounds to me like separation anxiety. I would ask vet for something to help keep her calm during day, and then figure out a small space in which to keep her. Then I'd start looking for a home where she won't be alone all day.
            We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
              she isn't "healthy".

              She's large, destructive and has bitten people.

              Apparently you can't or won't crate her during the day.

              I'd give her a merciful end.
              This.
              #1 The dog has medical issues

              #2 The dog is destructive. If you, the owner, can't put up with it why should someone else? It sounds like she does not take changes well and she knows you so chances are it would be worse in a new environment.

              #3 She house soils. For a puppy it's understandable, but not many "loving" homes want and older dog who is not reliable in the house.

              #4 I take that she is older. Older dogs are to place when they are healthy. And you don't mention it but I hope she not black too.

              #5 She has a bite history. Right there is a red flag for rehoming. You are knowingly putting a liability out in public. You said that she has bit strangers, not sure if it was a one time incident or more, but keep in mind that once you hand her over to someone EVERYONE she meets from that moment on is a stranger. That puts people in risk of being bitten and her being put down due aggressive behavior. That alone says to me, let her go be with your dad. That is the kindest decision for a dog with so many issues. I wouldn't there would any issues with the Vet following your wishes to let her go, due the bite and medical history. If your Vet won't do it there are other Vets out there who will understand the issues

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
                she isn't "healthy".

                She's large, destructive and has bitten people.

                Apparently you can't or won't crate her during the day.

                I'd give her a merciful end.
                This.
                #1 The dog has medical issues

                #2 The dog is destructive. If you, the owner, can't put up with it why should someone else? It sounds like she does not take changes well and she knows you so chances are it would be worse in a new environment.

                #3 She house soils. For a puppy it's understandable, but not many "loving" homes want and older dog who is not reliable in the house.

                #4 I take that she is older. Older dogs are to place when they are healthy. And you don't mention it but I hope she not black too.

                #5 She has a bite history. Right there is a red flag for rehoming. You are knowingly putting a liability out in public. You said that she has bit strangers, not sure if it was a one time incident or more, but keep in mind that once you hand her over to someone EVERYONE she meets from that moment on is a stranger. That puts people in risk of being bitten and her being put down due aggressive behavior. That alone says to me, let her go be with your dad. That is the kindest decision for a dog with so many issues. I wouldn't there would any issues with the Vet following your wishes to let her go, due the bite and medical history. If your Vet won't do it there are other Vets out there who will understand the issues

                Comment


                • #9
                  Talk to vet about some doggie downers. You may need some to just break the cycle of anxiety she has gotten herself into.

                  Crate her if you can. TV or radio left on. Can you get a dog walker in for a mid-day romp?

                  At night lots of excercise. Is there anyway you can plan your morning schedule for a good walk/ball chasing etc... to get rid of some energy in the AM? A tired dog is a good dog- generally speaking.

                  Frozen stuffed kongs or marrow bones that you give her right before you leave so she has something to do for a bit. Or one of the balls that dispense little bits of dog food when it gets rolled around.

                  I had one rescue we took in that would panic the moment you put her in a crate. She was not housebroken and was destructive to molding if left in the house. What worked for her was dog door into a fenced yard. I think she felt trapped if she was locked in the house. Being able to go in and out when she wanted to gave her control.

                  Not sure if you situation would work for a dog door to the yard. If it is true separation anxiety I would be worried about her digging out or going over the fence. Rosie had different reasons for her anxiety and destruction.
                  Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just because she acts that way in your house doesn't mean she will act that way in other houses. Biting aside, I fostered an older ridgeback who had been returned to rescue for having SA, being destructive, and generally nuts. The people were so exasperated they just dropped her at the vets until we got her back. I was supposed to foster her until we could get her in with our behaviorist for an evaluation.

                    At the time I was away from home 10 hours a day so my dogs had a dog door to a fenced yard, and were not crated. I resigned myself that first day to coming home to chaos and destruction (I took her on a Friday and had the weekend with her before having to go to work that Monday). I came home, wrapped myself in Buddhist detachment and entered my home. Nothing was awry. She had destroyed nothing.

                    She was definitely food-neurotic. Once she and I were in the car and I had bought a bag of dog food. In the space of time it took for me to exit the car, unlock my front door and return to the car she'd torn open the bag. So I never left food out and solved that problem.

                    Granted she was not a biter so I can't speak to that, but I ended up keeping Nandi til she died. She was my first failed foster. I got her at 9 years old she died a bit past her 12th birthday from cancer. LOL she was my karma because I always said I didn't want a female Rhodesian Ridgeback because they were small and pinheaded. Eh well.

                    Oh and she was an escape artist so I had to run a hot wire inside the fence line. Solved that problem easy.

                    So I'm saying that it may well be that another situation would see a different dog.

                    Paula
                    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This would be a difficult thing to deal with on top of grieving the unexpected loss of your father. I am sorry for you loss, I lost my father in January and I know how hard it is.

                      I gather your dad was home with the dog during the day? Your new situation is not working for the dog (thank you Captain Obvious). I think your crying and inability to cope is about more than the dog. I think you should contact rescues and foster groups in your area and be up front about what has happened; dog ok but had bite history, now things are falling apart and you are not in a position to try to put them back together. As previously stated, some people would be able to handle this situation but you are not in a position to do so right now.

                      If, after reasonable efforts to find a foster or rescue group, I would do the next kindest thing and euthanize the dog. I appreciate both of these acts would be difficult for you as the dog is a surviving link to your father. However, you have tell yourself your father would understand that it is the kindest thing in the circumstances.

                      If your vet won't euthanize if no rescue or foster takes the dog then keep trying until you find one that does. I would think the bite history alone (did you disclose that to the vet?) would give a vet grounds to euthanize.

                      Again, I am sorry for your loss.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think the dog may be suffering from some anxiety issues. Right now, you're situation makes it so that you're not an effective leader for the dog and this can create a whole imbalance inside the dog.

                        I recommend not rehoming the dog because you can sort this out. I know she's older, but taking her to obedience classes can be a fun way for her to establish a new pack order, with you as her leader. I take it dad was really at the top of the pack and she's trying to make sense of a new arrangement. Training classes will help.

                        If the anxiety is not alleviated by establishing yourself as a leader, drugs may be in order. Some anti-anxiety meds are insanely cheap and work incredibly well for some dogs. It may be what you need to get yourself over this hump.

                        Crate her. Let me say this again - CRATE HER. Create a calm and safe environment with the crate. It will become her safe place and reduce her anxiety.

                        Talk with an animal behaviorist. You'd be amazed at the subtle signs a behaviorist can pick up on.

                        If you want to exhaust all your options before making an end of life decision or rehoming, try these things before you make up your mind. I'm not convinced that there is no hope for her. You both have had your world turned upside down and this is just part of the adjustment.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          How much exercise (as in brisk walks/jogs) is the dog getting daily? Not just being let out in a yard. Excess energy will feed anxiety and destructive behavior.

                          Does the dog drink a lot of water, seem hungry all of the time, pant rapidly for no reason at times? If so, maybe test for Cushings. The tearing up stuff makes me think it may be ravenous hunger like Cushing dogs can get.

                          I'd try walking the dog briskly twice a day for about 45 min each time, and containing somewhere when you go out. A couple of toddler gates stacked in the doorway of a laundry room/bathroom would work. If the dog is healthy, you could try some melatonin, before you leave, if you suspect sep anxiety.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'd be tempted to try crating, 30-60 minutes of structured exercise a day, and a healthy dose of "nothing in life is free" for a month before I euthanized. Leaving a destructive dog uncrated and coming home to a mess should be expected. If the dog absolutely cannot be crated at risk of inflicting serious self harm then that is one thing, but the majority of dogs adjust quickly and learn to see their crate as a safe space.
                            If you decide to rehome her, I think the likelihood of finding her a good home is much better if she safely crates.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I 100% agree with the separation anxiety diagnosis. I'm sorry for this situation as it sounds very tough. By the sounds of things, rehoming isn't an option for your pup. Firstly, a vet trip may be required to rule out any incontinence issues and to determine if an anxiety medication may be required.
                              The purchase of an appropriate crate may just save your sanity. Crate training can give a sense of space and security to an anxious and insecure pup. Make sure the crate is large enough for the dog to comfortably stand, turn around and lay down. Start by introducing him to the crate, make it a good experience (feed treats, reward with toys etc), and gradually build up time. At 10 he should easily be able to spend 5-6 hours crated as long as he has no bladder issues, and water/food is provided.

                              At his age and with his issues I think rehoming would be far too stressful for your guy, and likely have a bad outcome. Give crating a solid try if you're serious about giving it a go, see if a family member is interested in helping out or could take him, and if so success with either, euthanasia would be a kinder option than rehoming in this case.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If this has been going on for 9 months, OP needs a break. Can you find a trainer or behavorist who will agree to take the dog for a week to assess him? Or just a boarding kennel, or family members, and take him to a trainer/behaviorist separately. Yes, that will upset the dog. But being euthanized is a very final step, and it's worth upsetting him a little more if you can avoid it. You can't make a good decision when you're in turmoil. Losing your father, coping with an upset animal you (presumably) love, and dealing with a soiled house - it's a lot of stress. Remove some of that stress for a while, so you can think.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'm sorry for your loss.

                                  I totally understand being at the end of your rope with constant messes. When my pup was sick, I was pretty much tied to the house else there would be liquid stool all over when I got home. There were honestly days where I was on my hands and knees cleaning up a mess with tears running down my cheeks. VERY frustrating.

                                  Others have made a lot of great suggestions already.

                                  I'll just reiterate a few that I think would give you the best bang for your buck.

                                  1) Crate when not home/overnight.

                                  2) Get on a good feeding/poop schedule. What works for me in the morning before work is to take the pups out when I get up, then feed (and I shower), about 15 min later I take them for a 15 min walk and both will urinate and defecate. Then I'm off to work. Eating plus the walking and being on a schedule helps regulate the whole urination/defecation schedule.

                                  3) Exercise. We do not have a yard anymore so all exercise requires me on the other end of a leash. I walk my guys at minimum 1.5 hours per day (not including quick pops out to potty). Brisk walking. Or they go running with DH.

                                  I'm not a behaviorist, but if I put myself in pup's shoes, a lot has changed and it's probably pretty disorienting. Getting a good routine going might help a lot. The exercise might be good for you as well--just getting outside and moving has a way of really clearing the mind. Sounds like the both of you need some quiet, peaceful time to recover from your loss.
                                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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