• Maria Livingston

    September 10, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Thank you for your reply and compassion Michael, it was a very tough day. Sybl was kind enough to spend time on the phone with me to talk through the scenario. In the end, I could not go through with it and both are still alive. I’ve put down plenty of dogs for medical issues, but never behavioral and so this is a tough one. I’m not one to easily give up, and both dogs in their own right are lovely … just not together. The idea had always been that our old crew would pass away and make way for Cobbler, his sister and mother, who are the youngest of our pack. But then Navy arrived on the scene, and before I could adopt him out I came to realize that he was not safe to adopt out and so there we are.

    Another factor of course was cost – I have no idea how we’re even going to pay the bills, the surgeries were massively expensive and Navy had complications with severe esophagitis and spent a day in the hospital because he regurgitated everything that went in, water, food. He is doing finally better today, feeding him small meals every couple of hours in bailey position for 30 min. It’s been a very long 4 days, and my BF has succumbed to a 103.5 fever upon his return Saturday. I literally picked him up  at the airport with a sedated Navy in the back of my SUV tied to a stretcher. Welcome home, I messed up. Sometimes you wonder how you hold it all together.

    I will watch the stream you suggested. I have some idea for management improvement that I am implementing now such as the muzzles on while I’m moving them around as Daria suggested, and I’m doing the 3-pack with Cobbler first so that they are all tucked away when I deal with the other 5. Less chance for a mistake. Additionally we are going to build a shed in our second dog yard that will function as a second home for us to sleep with the 3 pack so that they possibly will never have to be in the same area. Next week I am leaving with the 3 pack and my oldest dog to Utah again (Cobbler is fine with him as long as he’s muzzled), so Navy is safe at least until I get back and then hopefully we’ll have the big shed.

    It is really very tough, and I beat myself up over the mistake. But then I thought since October 2018, 4 times a day, every day I move these dogs around and have not been a mistake. That’s a lot of days I did well. The problem is these mistakes are so damaging for Navy and costly. Cobbler of course barely has a scratch (some bad bruising and one puncture wound), while Navy needed extensive surgery.

    We will keep pondering as the days progress, it is all too much to take in now with lack of sleep. I appreciate everyone’s help tremendously. At least I feel I have some support, and I’m learning so much from the class. I see things now in behavior I never saw noticed before, fascinating. I noticed something during the fight too.

    The one thing that saved me this time was that I had prepped in my mind what to do if it happened. First I dragged another dog off the fight, then called Navy’s walker (and vet tech) for help since they are 5 min away. Then I hooked the leash on Cobbler’s collar and dragged the two of them to the table. All the while I kept thinking ignore the sounds, don’t look, tie the leash. Then I grabbed Navy’s collar. I had learned some time ago not to use the release type collars because they release in the fight and you have nothing. So they have regular collars. I waited for Cobbler to release and then dragged Navy off. Cobbler tried to latch on to his butt but I dragged Navy quickly to another room. Navy wanted to go back. He really does fight until he can fight no more. Anyway, just in case an owner deals with this later. It helped me to have repeated a plan in my head and to stay very focused and tune out what was happening. I don’t even think I screamed very much this time, an instinct that is very hard to suppress. One day I’ll watch the video but not any time soon. I’m rambling. Sorry. It was overwhelming.

    Thanks again for the support. I’ll try to update when I can. Obviously training Navy is on hold
    until he’s stronger.