Last week I shared my realization that I was taking on too much in life. There were a lot of life things happening all at once (job, blog, wedding, errands/chores) that I felt as though I couldn’t devote my full attention to any one thing.
Add on top of all of that a new dog…
Despite our hopes that all he needed was time, it was blatantly apparent that Jack was just not acclimating to city life. This caused high levels of stress not only for Z and I, but for Jack as well.
After a long discussion, last Wednesday Zach took the dog back to his former foster home.
As an animal trainer, this was a tough thing for me to wrap my head around. I work with animals for a living, how can I not be able to solve this dog’s problems?! I felt ashamed and embarrassed to have to go tell my co-workers the next day.
But I DO work with animals every day and am therefore well versed in behavior. By watching Jack you could tell that he was constantly on high alert. In the house, even when playing with toys he would have his ears back. Every walk yielded frightened and anxious responses.
Even after three weeks of being at our home we were unable to leave the curtains open due to the shadows of people walking by causing him to bark uncontrollably. Passing other dogs on the street would cause an immediate aggressive reaction: hair on his back standing up, growling, barking, lunging. Although some improvements were made, having guests over to the house would cause him to growl.
As I mentioned before, for the past nine months he’s lived on a farm. It was a remote location with a large fenced in area. Add to that three other dogs to interact with. Bringing him to a city, in a row home, with no companions was a BIG change. Even though we gave it our best try we realized that it just wasn’t the right home for him nor the right dog for us.
At his core he’s a great dog. He would readily go to his crate when asked. He was housebroken. Didn’t chew or destroy anything. Knew basic training (sit, stay, paw, down, etc). He loved ice cubes and exploring the outdoors. Not to mention he had the cutest curly tail.
But he’s not a city dog, and expecting him to be is unfair on our part.
Now, he’s back in farm country with his friends the mastiff, pit-bull and terrier. The right home for him is out there somewhere…Z and I have not given up hope in the doggie search but have decided to put it on hold. We will be leaving for St. Lucia in a mere 18 weeks and I’m sure that time will fly by with lots to get done before then. Once the wedding is over and things settle down a bit then we will look for a puppy playmate again.
I want to know…
Have you had to make any tough decisions recently?