It’s been a while since I’ve written; I’m sorry about that. The simplest answer is I haven’t been able to put into words what I need to write about…
Two Sundays ago Beatrix and Dio got into a fight in the backyard. Since Bea has 40 lbs on Dio, he suffered the brunt of the injuries. They include 12 puncture wounds, some stitches, bruising, and a bite that went into his front right carpus joint (the equivalent to our wrists). Both the ER vet and my regular vet were concerned the joint may get infected, but thankfully we’ve passed the time frame of an infection setting in!
Bandaged leg, antibiotics, and e-collar woes aside, Dio is doing fine. However, the incident has led to a decision about Beatrix and her suitability in our home.
The day after the fight I contacted a behaviorist in the Denver metro area to seek help. In tears. This was the fifth fight between Dio and Beatrix in a year, and the severity of the wounds were increasing. Isaac and I wanted to see what the behaviorists opinion was, and how to proceed to make life comfortable and happy and stress-free for the dogs. After a consultation, the behaviorist gave her honest thoughts. To quote her exactly (I’ll never forget these words, because they broke my heart), “my prognosis for this situation is extremely guarded”. Sure, there was a glimmer of hope (isn’t there always?) but the glimmer isn’t worth continued fighting or Dio’s life.
With a heavy heart we made the decision to rehome Beatrix. Thankfully, Bea is a wonderfully behaved dog, fighting aside, and the behaviorist was confident she would thrive in a home as an only dog. Beatrix issue seems to lie only with Dio, and she’s happy at pet friendly stores, meeting dogs on walks, crowds of people with dogs, and so on. But ensuring she finds a home as an only dog will be the best for everyone.
At first I was devastated. (Let’s not lie – I AM devastated.) As the days passed and friends gave their support and thoughts and experiences with similar situations I felt better. One friend’s experience with her dogs living with a dog that had started fights, and how stressed they were, really shed light on my own dogs. None of my dogs should have to live in a stressful environment, and none should get attacked and hurt by another member of their doggy family.
Several rescue groups have been contacted, as well as Colorado’s All Breed Rescue Network, in which I have a contact from working at the vet hospital. Isaac and I have spread the word among our friends and family, hoping we’ll find that perfect home for Beatrix. She will stay with us until a new home is found, as a brief “crate and rotate” routine is acceptable in this instance. There are no shelters, no-kill or otherwise, in her future! In the meantime, I’ve been taking the time to enjoy all of our interactions with Bea while I still can.
Obviously this wasn’t a decision we easily came upon. There was always the hope in the back of my brain that things would work out. That Dio and Beatrix would become the best of friends, after all they spent a year without fighting! Having a behaviorist give their educated analysis of our situation was the best thing we could have done – for the dogs and us. I am dreading, and simultaneously looking forward to, the day Bea finds her new home. It’s painful to think of our last goodbye’s. However, there is some happiness, too, knowing she will have a chance to be happy and successful. Of course, knowing Dio and Coal will also be given the chance to live in a stress-free household once again warms my heart.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do for your pet, knowing it’s the right decision?
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