Hey everyone . . .
This is a really difficult diary to write. It's non-political, but we have a fur and feather loving contingent here and I am reaching out to you.
See, there's something I've been avoiding dealing with. She's my dog.
I need to find her a new home. But to be fair, her new mom or dad would have to be ridiculously patient and firm.
I rescued her as a puppy, and we didn't know her dad so we had no idea what she would grow up to be. She grew and grew - longer before she got taller so she'd take an inordinate amount of time exiting her crate!
Anyway, this is so difficult. . . the other day I tried once again to take her and my other dog for a walk. I've taken her to training, tried every technique and I've tried different leashes; this one is a bungee which just means the drag has a kickback to it! The walks are excruciating. She drags me. She lunges at other dogs. One time early on we walked by a yard full of dogs. By the time she was done freaking out both the other dog and I were completely tangled and wrapped up in the two leashes. Onlookers were horrified but couldn't help.
I now walk them in fear that other dogs might be out there, especially if they are off leash. This time I managed to pull muscles to keep her from getting to another dog. Later on in the same walk I ended up on the ground because of her dragging.
My other dog adores his walks. But we don't go on walks anymore. Hands and knees on the sidewalk was the final straw. I can take him alone but she really freaks out, ending up howling and it breaks my heart.
She is a Shepard mix. Which means she guards her territory.
It also means she is destroying the inside of the house trying to get at anyone who walks by. Dog, cat, baby carriage, old guy with a cane, bicyclists taking advantage of our hillside - it doesn't matter, she totally freaks out. A few weeks ago she broke the front window "digging" at it to get at something in the middle of the night and cut her paw horribly, full thickness through the pad. I woke to a living room full of bloody footprints. Even slashing the crap out of her paw has not deterred her from continually digging away at the front windows.
And she's totally sweet! But even after several minutes of hugs and kisses and rubs she becomes really agitated if I stop. She never relaxes into it. She'll go after the other dog just for being in the vicinity.
She's been with me for more than 4 years now. This is not something I'll ever take lightly. My heart is broken. I love her but we are both becoming miserable.
And my other dog is suffering. I'm living in a wrecked house that isn't worth fixing up if she's just going to wreck it some more. There's no way I'll ever have a backyard worth being in. I find myself yelling at her incessantly and she just looks confused and unhappy. I want her to be happy.
I know it's my fault. She needs more attention, more exercise, maybe even more love but loving her has never been an issue. I live alone and I work full time and I have another dog to love as well.
For more than a year now my son has been begging me to "get rid of her". He doesn't like to come to my house at all anymore. Although he has made different arguments trying to convince me, the only one that makes sense to me at all is that she is not happy and it's almost selfish of me if she remains unhappy here so I can avoid the pain of finding her a new home.
If I send her back to the pet rescue she will be fostered but I can't stand the idea of her being loaded into a cage periodically and displayed outside of pet stores hoping someone will adopt her.
They ask for a $300 donation. Who will spend $300 for her in a sea of needy animals?
She needs a new forever home, not a lifetime of "almost home" and caged trips around the city.
But will it break her heart to be sent to a new home? How do I find new parents for her? How do I know they will love her? Will they offer her what I can't, the time and attention and whatever was missing? I can't bear the idea of not being totally sure she is well cared for. I don't want her to be sad.
All I know is that she will stay with me and I will love her until I can find someone who will love her as well and provide what she needs so she can be happy.
This has been an unbelievably difficult diary to write. I am ashamed I haven't been able to fix this, that I'm even considering this solution. I haven't wanted to confront this despite being at my wit's end for years now. I keep waiting for something I'm doing to actually work so maybe she can stay, but she won't be magically transformed any time soon.
If anyone can offer some advice, I'd be more than grateful.