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Old 03-02-2011, 04:31 AM  
Silock Silock is offline
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I'm really depressed, and looking for CP's help *long read*

I know this is a long read, and what I ask is an absolute longshot, but bear with me.

My wife and I picked up a dog from the shelter this weekend.



He's about 4.5 years old, crate and housebroken already. Knows a ton of commands, too.

They told us his first owner abused him. I'm not sure how, or how severe it was, though, because he doesn't show any signs of it. He's been adopted and returned to the shelter 3 times in a little over a year because he jumps fences. 6 foot fences apparently aren't a problem for him. But the families that adopted him KNEW that he jumps fences and then brought him back . . . because he jumped their fence.

Well, we picked him up on Saturday, and took him for an hour long walk. Went and grabbed our current resident dog to introduce them and take them on a walk together, which was another 45 minutes or so. Everything went great. They got along just fine, and seemed to enjoy running and playing with each other. They played with each other a lot when we got back to the house, and our dog just isn't the kind of dog that really wants to play with other dogs. We were amazed.

Then, we got him home, and did a little more training with him. A few treats in his crate, and he went in there willingly and without any prodding. He really liked it, too. He would just go in there and lay down and go to sleep if we left the door open.

He already knew a few commands, like "Sit" and "Come," but I started teaching him a few more, like "Shake" and "Stay." He picked those up within a few minutes. Really, really smart dog. He retained them even the next day without needing re-training. Awesome.

Then, the trouble started. The shelter said that a previous owner had cats and he was fine with them. Well, he wasn't fine with ours. At all. Our cats are used to dogs, so they weren't running from him (which would provoke a "chase" instinct). But he tried to go after all of them. Any time one was in the room with him, he never let his attention be swayed by anything -- not us, not treats, not toys... nothing. He would growl and bark and the hair on the back of his neck would stand up. Not good things at all.

We tried all kinds of ways to introduce them. We let him sniff things that they laid on all the time by putting them in his crate. We left him in his crate while they came in and sniffed. That didn't go well. Putting a cat in one of their crates and letting him greet them that way was the only option left to us, but that also has a very, very high likelihood of permanently traumatizing the cat if it doesn't go well. There were no indications that it would go well, and that would be really, REALLY unfair to the cat.

So, we knew we were going to have to return him. I know it's not an overnight thing. We went through it before with introducing our current dog to the cats, who were all there first. It took weeks with our current dog for her to get used to the cats. We went through it with a foster dog before that and our cats. We went through it when we brought our cats home to meet my boyhood dog (who has long since died). Introducing a dog to cats isn't a new experience for us.

This was completely different. That's why we brought in professional dog trainers to get their take on the situation. These trainers work with the animal shelter we adopted from, and were very familiar with the dog we adopted, as they had worked with him before. One of them was even there when we took our current dog to go meet the new dog to see how they got along. The trainers said there was nothing we could really do. Some dogs just aren't meant to get along with cats. That doesn't make them bad dogs; it's just nature for some dogs. His main breed is too much of a hunting dog, and there wasn't a way to overcome his "prey" instinct. It wasn't fair to the cats to constantly stress them out with the dog, and if they ever got in a fight, the cats could not only injure him, but he would win that fight, even if he lost an eye or two to cats' claws in the process. Not a good situation. Not fair to the cats, to the new dog, or us. Shitty situation.

So, I took him for a really long walk on Monday afternoon as kind of a "farewell" walk. He did so awesome on the leash. Even let him run around the park a little bit, and he loved it. I hadn't let him up on the couch since we got him, but the last night, I slept on the couch and let him come up and lay down with me all night, and I cuddled him like a stuffed animal. He was such a gentle, sweet dog in all respects except our cats. Every hour or so, he'd move around a little bit, tilt his head up and give me a lick on the cheek and then go back to sleep.

My wife was so devastated when we took him back that she had to reschedule her work appointments because she couldn't stop crying. We only had him for such a short time, but he was such a great, loving dog that we and he bonded really quickly. I really, really miss him. We are going back to the shelter to get another dog and try again, but my wife has already said that she won't walk past the area that he's in because she doesn't want to see him for fear of her just breaking down crying again. Have I mentioned how awesome this dog is? I kept his crate here in the office with me, and I look over at the empty crate and just get this super-sad feeling washing over me because I wish he were in it, all curled up sleeping like he loved to do. Ugh. I'm emo.

So, if you or someone you know of is looking for a dog, please tell them about this dog. He just has a very, very specific set of needs:

No cats
No small children (they startle him too much, and it stresses him out... might be a result of the abusive first owner)
Can't be left alone outside (again, the prey drive in him makes him want to chase things, and he WILL jump fences)
Needs to be taken on a walk (preferably run) every day
If he were on a farm or a large plot of land that he could run around on, that would be even better (probably ideal)
He'd make a fantastic hunting dog, if you're into that sort of thing

So, if you know of someone that's looking for a dog like that, please adopt this dog. He deserves so very badly to go to a good home. We thought that home was ours, and we're absolutely devastated that it didn't work out. He really is a sweetheart dog.

Again, if you know of anyone that would be a good fit for this guy, please contact Wayside Waifs (http://www.waysidewaifs.org/site/Pag...name=contactus). He is absolutely worth it.

I'm going to go cry myself to sleep now

Oh, and "cats suck, give them antifreeze, throw them in a burning AIDS tree" blah blah blah.

Last edited by Silock; 03-02-2011 at 04:53 AM..
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:37 AM   #2
DeezNutz DeezNutz is offline
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Hang in there, man. You were obviously trying to do the right thing, but you're in a no-win situation with that specific dog.

Not your fault, and he'll find a great new home that fits his particular needs.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:03 AM   #3
Simply Red Simply Red is offline
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Could've at least photo'd 'come at me bro' over laying his pic.

Naw man, in all seriousness, animal abusers have some problems. Unfortunately @ times, the animal that was abused only already understands humans to be 'mean' - I really have zero tolerance for animal abuse.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:06 AM   #4
Count Zarth Count Zarth is offline
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:32 AM   #5
Iowanian Iowanian is offline
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So....

You're this upset because a dog you've had for 5 minutes, that you were told was an asshole....is an asshole?

I suggest in effort to find your center, you read a couple of the sticky threads and see what a real problem is, put your big boy pants back on, and have the dog put down and move on with your day.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:48 AM   #6
Jenson71 Jenson71 is offline
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You sure you gave him enough time to get acclimated with the cats?
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:55 AM   #7
JD10367 JD10367 is offline
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A friend of my dad's had some large husky/shepherd/grizzlybear mix. He brought the dog home as a puppy, and he had a cat in the house. This cat took no shit from this puppy. It would swat him on the nose if he came near the cat and the puppy would yelp and run. Eventually the cat thawed and the two bonded.

The dog grew very large, and very mean. It was extremely protective of the guy to the point where he would growl at the guy's wife. It would go outside and fight and kill other dogs. But above all, it hated cats with a passion. It would snack on them for lunch. It would tear them up like a puppy shaking a wet newspaper. No joke. The sight of a cat, outside, would send the dog into a rage.

And yet, when this dog came home, here was this now 18-year-old cat, shaky, weak, slow-moving. And this dog loved that cat above everything. He would curl around it, sleep with it, and if you dare come near the cat you'd get a deep growl and a mouthful of teeth staring at you. When the cat died, the dog was morose and inconsolable. It just didn't associate the things outside with the thing in its house. So maybe that dog you had was raised with the cats he was familiar with.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:58 AM   #8
Fritz88 Fritz88 is offline
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Post this in reddit.com. Many people do just that and it works out. Many times. Just post it under the reddit subreddit.

Another option, lose the cats.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simply Red View Post
Could've at least photo'd 'come at me bro' over laying his pic.

Naw man, in all seriousness, animal abusers have some problems. Unfortunately @ times, the animal that was abused only already understands humans to be 'mean' - I really have zero tolerance for animal abuse.
You can "abuse" me all the time.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:22 AM   #10
Count Zarth Count Zarth is offline
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:26 AM   #11
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Seems like you might be better off getting a puppy and raising it right.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:40 AM   #12
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Man this place is slipping....post number into the teens and I am the first in with the obligatory Cat = Antifreeze!
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:48 AM   #13
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go back and get him. You dont "return" a dog. WTF? If one of your kids picked on the other, would you "return" it? Put the cats in the basement, or the dog in the yard in a kennel. Make it work.
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowanian View Post
So....

You're this upset because a dog you've had for 5 minutes, that you were told was an asshole....is an asshole?

I suggest in effort to find your center, you read a couple of the sticky threads and see what a real problem is, put your big boy pants back on, and have the dog put down and move on with your day.

I hate to be insensitive about animals, but this.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:01 AM   #15
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