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Old 08-23-2017, 09:05 AM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,524 posts, read 977,574 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riaelise View Post
Actually it isn't what I thought was best for us it's what's best for the dog. I've already figuratively flogged myself for the situation occurring in the first place, I was sleeping in the bedroom and my husband had briefly stepped outside, but is that doing any good? I've agonized long and hard about this to the point of showing visible stress. People have to walk in my shoes. I feel like **** but again I have to think of the bigger picture here. If I love him I'd let him return to his foster where there are no kids and another dog. Sometimes with the best of intentions things may not work out
Girl please don't even sweat it.


Twelvepaw I always admire and adore your posts and I usually agree with them and have repped you a bunch for that reason. I get what you're saying and I too have disdain for well, MOST dog owners I encounter. There is a difference between a dog who is adjusting and is generally nervous, and a dog who prefers to avoid children. This case, due to his history of living in a vet's office and being used for blood donations and being 11 years old and never having lived with kids, is likely a case of the latter not the former.

If I were head of a rescue almost no one would get a dog; I wouldn't give dogs to smokers, or anyone not willing to cook for their dog etc so I am way more on the side of the DOG than the human as far as my views in general.

My take on this case based upon data provided was that the DOG would be HAPPIER in an adult home.
Why stress both the dog who prob isn't into kids, and the kids, when he can be placed with a childfree couple and avoid the stress; I am all about not stressing dogs and I place the fault here on the foster; she didn't kid test him and "assumed" he'd be good with kids as he was so good overall. I am sure she meant well and am not knocking fosters as they are angels; she was clueless not ill intentioned.

Can you guys save your ire for the foster? The OP was going from what she was TOLD; had she been told, "this dog can be iffy around kids, but you can work on that", but no she was told he was a great family dog. Not her fault.

I am thrilled to see the OP be sensible and care enough about the dog to return him, as opposed to overemotional and selfish and keep him for dumb emotional reasons.

Last edited by VexedAndSolitary; 08-23-2017 at 09:38 AM..

 
Old 08-23-2017, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
10,669 posts, read 10,066,473 times
Reputation: 14046
Just sharing this, for those who are thinking that we were shirking our responsibility and "not living up to our commitment". This is a snippet from an email response to the owner of the rescue.

"I ask you, as an owner, because I am legitimately stressed out and torn about this. We don't know what to do now. What shall we do? We were thinking consulting a behaviorist and have them assess the situation. Or, do we do what is best for the dog and place him in an environment that he will feel comfortable in (one with adults or older children). At the same time, emotions inside, we have to do what is best for the dog. Since he's never been exposed to children having been a clinic dog, maybe families with children really aren't suitable for him."

[Part of] their response:

I am sick about this for your family, but I'm going to be very candid with you. If I were in your position, I wouldn't hesitate to return him. I realize you love him and your daughter will be upset, but the possibility of something further happening is a reality you must consider. You could do everything right (and you have been) and he may be the sweetest dog in the world with adults, but animals are unpredictable even under the very best circumstances. You would never forgive yourself if something else happened, and as a mom of two kids myself, I am telling you what I would do -- I would return him to the rescue. He would go back to [Foster], who will continue to give him a loving home until we place him with a family with no kids. He is a good dog; you know that and we know that, but being around little ones may be too much for him. It is also out of fairness to him that I think he should be returned. Your kids are absolutely first and foremost here, but I also don't want him to be in a situation where he might be uncomfortable and react in a way that he couldn't recover from and then another tough call has to be made. Ultimately, it is up to you, but you asked for my advice and this is how I feel. I am so sorry, but I do think you would be making the best decision for both your family and him if you gave him up.

Please know you have our total support and there are zero hard feelings or judgment. We still believe 100% that putting him in your home was a great decision because you are obviously a wonderful family. It's just not the right fit. That's not always immediately apparent and we have now been giving a strong sign of that . . .
"

We reached our decision based on her very candid response both as a dog owner and a mother, posts we've read here, and a careful analyzation of things over the past five weeks. Just because we thought he was comfortable around small children doesn't mean that he actually WAS. After reading several posts here and then following that up with research, I realized that by his body language he wasn't comfortable. Just because he wasn't say, shaking with anxiety, doesn't mean that a home with kids is his ideal cup of tea. I've owned a gem of a dog, a Golden, before him. When he came to us (again, from rescue), he had already been "kid tested". He was an owner surrender and that owner had small children in her house. The foster had children. There IS a difference between a dog who has been socialized early on with children and one who hasn't. Our current dog, bless his heart, was just starting to get used to living in a house period, let alone living with children. He spent many years of his life as a clinic dog, so yes, I know that his exposure to children in a house setting is basically non-existent, or scant.

As Mic said, yes, there are children who are downright cruel to animals. I've seen it myself and it bothers me. I DELIBERATELY HELD OFF ON GETTING ANOTHER DOG UNTIL MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER WAS SIX so that I could train her and she would understand vs. being impulsive like other children. But then there are cases where kids just make "kid mistakes" (i.e. like Mic said, kid looking "lovingly" at the dog and depending on the mood the dog's in, might be perceived as a challenge) or in this case petting him on the head after he warned her. At any given time, a kid may make an infraction when it comes to behaving around a dog. I have yet to hear of any family with dogs and kids not having some kid mistakes happen. However, we correct the mistakes as we see them and not think it's "cute".

I'm not upset with the rescue either. I think they are small and don't have as big of a foster system as the larger organizations so they just don't really have the means, I think, to in-depth vet each and every animal. I think they have good intentions and really want to make things work, but as they can see here, the evaluation needs to be even more thorough. Basically we "kid tested" the dog for them and now he will be placed with a couple, retiree, someone who has no kids. They now know that "good with all people" needs to be more specific. It's not the dog's fault, he is great with people. But when I really think on it, he's more comfortable around adults such as my husband and myself. a perfect day for him would be hanging in our bedroom, laying on the carpet at the foot of our bed, napping. followed by a nice long walk with me. that's just it. and like I said, if I love him like I claim that I do, I'd let him live in the environment where he'll thrive.

Also, thanks to all of the other posters who have responded during this tough time. Yes, I know there are many more serious events that can happen in one's life, but our family really loves its pets. We're still going to adopt, especially older dogs. Rescue dogs do come with stories, but I've had such a life changing, positive experience with a rescue dog. SO, I'll never stop welcoming them in to our home and hearts. Sappy, but true.
 
Old 08-23-2017, 01:48 PM
 
2,514 posts, read 3,473,874 times
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I like your rescue person. She is clearly very experienced and knows what she is doing.
 
Old 08-23-2017, 05:53 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
9,350 posts, read 16,728,433 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mic111 View Post
I like your rescue person. She is clearly very experienced and knows what she is doing.

ditto.....
 
Old 08-23-2017, 07:51 PM
 
1,706 posts, read 1,198,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riaelise View Post
You also don't know that I've been ripped offline by people who feel I should've given the dog almost immediately. Nip, bite doesn't matter in the court of public opinion, I'm getting reamed for NOT returning him asap.

I am going to again strongly suggest that you learn more about dog-dog and dog-human interactions before you get another dog. Ask to volunteer with a reputable CPDT trainer; you could help with classes, hand out flyers, do social networking, etc. You would learn an enormous amount that would go a long way toward being able to rationally and logically support your canine decisions against the kind of "ripping" that you are going through. Building a solid relationship with a trainer before you get another dog will guarantee that you will an ally and resource who will be able to guide you through choosing and raising your next dog.

As for future dog ownership, while I've owned dogs before I freely admit I'm a novice owner. This has been a learning experience for me too because I should have picked up on things earlier. However should I choose to get another dog I think I'll be a fine owner. of course you can disagree.

I have no idea whether or not you will be a good owner. I hope you will be, and I hope that you will share your knowledge with other owners. We have all made mistakes with our dogs; the question is whether or not we learn from our mistakes. After 20 years of working with dogs in one capacity or another I still learn critical and often humbling lessons from my mentor, other reputable trainers and scientists, and my own dogs. The key is being open to new information, and not letting what we think we know blind us to other possibilities for growth.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mic111 View Post

The OP will never have a biting problem with her new dog.

I take your point, and this may be picking a fine nit, but- all dogs will bite. While I certainly hope you are correct, it simply isn't safe or accurate to say that the OPs new dog will never bite.

It may have been something as simple as the daughter loves to stare at the dog and look soulfully into its eyes. Dogs generally hate that. Some don't mind so if that was the behavior that triggered this then they will pick a dog that doesn't mind.

We often don't know a dog's particular trigger until we see it. Not all triggers are obvious. A dog may seem like a perfectly lovely dog until it is put into a situation that hits that seemingly random trigger point. We don't have any way of knowing that seeing a man in a black hat will turn sweet waggy Fido into Cujo. And even when we do know the triggers and try to manage the environment to prevent the dog coming into contact with triggers, it can and will still happen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverItAll View Post

There is a difference between a dog who is adjusting and is generally nervous, and a dog who prefers to avoid children. This case, due to his history of living in a vet's office and being used for blood donations and being 11 years old and never having lived with kids, is likely a case of the latter not the former.

Yes, agreed. However I am not willing to take someone's word for what they are seeing, especially when a lot of moving pieces are at play- in this case a dog who was still adjusting not only to a home but also to living with children, and an inexperienced owner. Maybe I missed something in the OP's posts and am not connecting all the dots.

My take on this case based upon data provided was that the DOG would be HAPPIER in an adult home.

I don't disagree with your assessment. My point was that we need to be careful when saying it is "ok" to re-home. Sometimes it is in the best interest of the dog. Sometimes it isn't. My overarching concern is that the respective parties understand and are accountable for their role in these situations. They made a commitment to the dog when they adopted it. It is not my job to make someone feel good about their thoughtless, selfish, irresponsible actions. I don't think this is the case here, however I wasn't there, the OP wasn't present, and decisions were made without any solid evidence or information. That said, I wouldn't want to keep a dog in a situation with a child who was afraid of it and a relatively inexperienced (and now worried) owner.

I place the fault here on the foster; she didn't kid test him and "assumed" he'd be good with kids as he was so good overall. I am sure she meant well and am not knocking fosters as they are angels; she was clueless not ill intentioned.

I don't fault the foster. 99% of rescue volunteers and fosters are "just" dog lovers; if they have any training in behavior it is limited, and they (normally) aren't trainers or behaviorists. Nobody can ever guarantee that a given dog will never have a problem with a child. The foster told her about the dog to the best of her limited knowledge.
We each come at this from a different perspective. While I may not always agree with everything everyone has said, I appreciate the different points of view, the interchange of ideas, and value the input on my comments.
 
Old 08-23-2017, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,479 posts, read 7,000,964 times
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Everyone says "Never leave a child alone with a dog without supervision." However, many, many dog bites occur when adults are present. A dog's reaction time is so fast that even if you have your hands on the child or the dog, if a dog decides to bite, you will likely not be able to prevent it. The main contributing factor to a dog bite often isn't lack of supervision. The problem is that most adults haven't been taught what they should be watching for so their children don't know what to watch for either. The Liam Perk foundation has assembled a lot of resources that might be helpful in your situation.

http://www.liamjperkfoundation.org/whybite.htm

Last edited by leorah; 08-23-2017 at 08:32 PM..
 
Old 08-23-2017, 08:36 PM
 
1,706 posts, read 1,198,695 times
Reputation: 4829
Quote:
Originally Posted by leorah View Post
Everyone says "Never leave a child alone with a dog without supervision." However, many, many dog bites occur when adults are present. The problem often isn't lack of supervision. The problem is that most adults haven't been taught what they should be watching for so their children don't know what to watch for either. The Liam Perk foundation has assembled a lot of resources that might be helpful in your situation.

http://www.liamjperkfoundation.org/whybite.htm
Yes, and even if the adult is present and knows the signs of stress, they have to be tuned in and actively watching the child-dog interaction in order to see and interrupt it.

Your link was a dead end. Here is the link- good resource:
Liam J Perk Foundation - Cape Coral, Florida
 
Old 08-23-2017, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
10,669 posts, read 10,066,473 times
Reputation: 14046
Quote:
Originally Posted by twelvepaw View Post
We each come at this from a different perspective. While I may not always agree with everything everyone has said, I appreciate the different points of view, the interchange of ideas, and value the input on my comments.
While I've respected your advice in past posts of mine, I'm not here to sway you one way or the other. I've been nothing but forthcoming in this topic. I'll go ahead and wear the scarlet letter for "Inexperienced". But I don't stay "inexperienced" for long. The only reason why I'm on this board is to gain knowledge and I have. Even with a negative experience like this one. I'm not going to feel bad for being inexperienced. At least I'm woman enough to admit that I don't know everything and actually ask.

If there's anything I object to is being lumped in with every Tom Dick and Jane. Just because I made the decision to return doesn't mean that I took the commitment of dog ownership cavalierly. On the contrary, I take it very seriously and that is why I felt as strongly as I felt. I have never abandoned/returned/etc. a pet. All pets I've owned left me due to old age and death. We made a very difficult, yet well thought out decision that will actually benefit the dog. I'm really not sure how this decision benefits us. Tonight I had to deal with a crying child who is absolutely upset that the dog is going away.

Listen, this was a sobering experience/lesson for me and for us all. I have confidence that we will find the dog some day that is ideally suited for us, regardless of how long that takes. I know that there's no guarantee that a new dog won't bite, I don't see the world as sunshine and rainbows. But there is a dog out there that's a match for us and we'll just wait to find it. I definitely plan on taking the advice here and reading up on things in the meanwhile. We're all a bit wiser now unfortunately.
 
Old 08-23-2017, 09:57 PM
 
583 posts, read 286,996 times
Reputation: 2443
Quote:
Originally Posted by riaelise View Post
While I've respected your advice in past posts of mine, I'm not here to sway you one way or the other. I've been nothing but forthcoming in this topic. I'll go ahead and wear the scarlet letter for "Inexperienced". But I don't stay "inexperienced" for long. The only reason why I'm on this board is to gain knowledge and I have. Even with a negative experience like this one. I'm not going to feel bad for being inexperienced. At least I'm woman enough to admit that I don't know everything and actually ask.

If there's anything I object to is being lumped in with every Tom Dick and Jane. Just because I made the decision to return doesn't mean that I took the commitment of dog ownership cavalierly. On the contrary, I take it very seriously and that is why I felt as strongly as I felt. I have never abandoned/returned/etc. a pet. All pets I've owned left me due to old age and death. We made a very difficult, yet well thought out decision that will actually benefit the dog. I'm really not sure how this decision benefits us. Tonight I had to deal with a crying child who is absolutely upset that the dog is going away.

Listen, this was a sobering experience/lesson for me and for us all. I have confidence that we will find the dog some day that is ideally suited for us, regardless of how long that takes. I know that there's no guarantee that a new dog won't bite, I don't see the world as sunshine and rainbows. But there is a dog out there that's a match for us and we'll just wait to find it. I definitely plan on taking the advice here and reading up on things in the meanwhile. We're all a bit wiser now unfortunately.
I wouldn't feel bad about returning the dog. It just wasn't the right fit for your family. I haven't read through all the posts, but there's no point living every day worried an incident like that will repeat itself. The fact is, it's unrealistic to keep 24/7 eyeballs on a child and a dog. If the situation is such where the dog can't even be left alone with the kid for 30 seconds so you can use the bathroom or pull laundry out of the dryer, then it isn't worth the stress.
 
Old 08-23-2017, 10:23 PM
 
2,822 posts, read 4,117,481 times
Reputation: 6777
I think the owner of the rescue had a wonderful response and I think the OP is a wonderful pet parent. I agree that the dog should be returned and re-homed to a family without children.

Good luck OP. I know this has been difficult for you and I think you can be comforted that you did the very best for the dog and your family.
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