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I may have made a terrible mistake

April 16th, 2008, 06:59 PM
Tommy is NOT getting used to Lucy. I know it's only been a day but things are getting worse and worse. Lucy has been growling at Tommy all night. Just an hour ago she went after him - faster than I could follow, I haven't left them alone for an instant. She pinned him down and he was screaming at the top of his little lungs. I separated them and crated her until I could check him out, I was sure he'd be torn to bits but he's not, she obviously was not biting him even though it looked awful. He is ok, not a mark on him, but he's terrified now and every time he comes out of his crate she follows him, tries to head him off of wherever he's going, and he's just scared. He won't come out of his crate unless he comes to be on my lap. I thought he might get better with her, but he's getting worse and now I'm afraid I may have made him worse than he was before.

We have Lucy on a one week trial to see how they got along, but how much time should I be giving it before I'm damaging Tommy even more?

I don't know what to do, I'm just so heartbroken about Lucy and that I may have hurt my baby too. Can somebody tell me this is normal? Or have I really made a horrible mistake?

April 16th, 2008, 08:08 PM
I'm so sorry things are not working out the way you wanted. When I read about you getting Lucy I could tell you were looking forward to giving her a home. I have no answer for you, I just wanted you to know that I feel very sad for you and the siduation. :-(

April 16th, 2008, 08:11 PM
Thanks, Jealma. I'm so upset I have no idea what to do right now. Tommy won't come downstairs because every time she sees him Lucy tries to go after him again. She's a lovely dog, super smart and super sweet - I wonder if she's picking up weird vibes from him, since he's never been quite right. I know it's not her fault at all, I just don't know what to do.

April 16th, 2008, 08:25 PM
Is she trying to initiate play with him at all? Or just taking advantage of his fear?

The pinning episode sounds like an adult disciplining a puppy--she pinned him down but no toothmarks. Play is the way our dogs established their status, and they continue to 'update' now and then, but when one of the dogs begins to bully another, we put a stop to it. However, we've had nothing as persistent as what this sounds like so I don't really have advice to offer.

I'm sorry it's not working out as well as you hoped. :fingerscr that someone who can help chimes in!

shane 123
April 16th, 2008, 08:31 PM
Could you try tethering Lucy to your waist so you can control her. Or vice versa if you think it might be better? There has to be some way that you can teach them to get along in your home. Females don't usually attack males and males never attack females so this does sound a bit odd. Give it another week and see if things improve at all. Meanwhile treat your top dog at the top so the other one learns it's place.

April 16th, 2008, 08:34 PM
I'm sorry this is happening. I don't have dogs, but I've seen on both Dog Whisperer and on another show, It's me or the Dog, you should always introduce a new dog to your current dog on neutral ground. :shrug: I don't know if that might help, but it's all I could think of, so I figured I'd put it out there.

April 16th, 2008, 08:43 PM
Could you try tethering Lucy to your waist so you can control her. Females don't usually attack males and males never attack females so this does sound a bit odd.

Although I disagree with the statement that males and females do not attack one another , I do agree with the leash thing. I had one foster that I had to do this. And it sounds pretty much like the same situation. This foster had never had a "master" and was used to fend for himself. Like Lucy right now , she went from home to home , very unstable. If you put the leash on her and attach it to yourself , you go about your things in the house , she will learn that YOU are the alpha , she will have to follow you , stop when you do etc ..... you have to try this everyday , as long as you can. If you're up for this. :o

April 16th, 2008, 08:57 PM
I am totally willing to try anything as long as Tommy is not hurt.

She is not initiating play. She is playful and sweet and loving with us - and she growls and puts Tommy down repeatedly. He's terrified. I want this to work - but it's a fine line between trying to make it work and damaging him, he's had so little confidence as it is and now he's just a shaking, quivering shell of a puppy:sad:.

I'll definitely try tethering. Thank you!

April 16th, 2008, 08:58 PM
Is she trying to initiate play with him at all? Or just taking advantage of his fear?

I think she truly is taking advantage of his fear. My fear is that he is so different, so un-doggylike in his demeanor that she merely sees him as damaged prey (she does have a healthy prey drive, like most terriers!).

April 16th, 2008, 09:01 PM
In most multi dog households, the female is the alpha and will go after a submissive male if she feels it is necessary to establish her position in the pack.

If you have a room, such as a kitchen, where she can be seperated from the family and still be able to see what is going on - that is where she should be. She should not be able to interact with Tommy at this point.

I have missed most of the lead up to this - so I will tell you the story of Rusty and Reni.

Rusty moved in when he was six months old. That was almost 3 years ago. Last year, Reni, my Belgian Sheepdog, moved in. At 70 pounds, he weighs considerably more then my 8 pound pom! When Reni walked in the door, Rusty was thrilled! Ran right up to him, whole body wagging, and tried to give Reni a welcoming kiss! Reni snapped - fasterthenthat - removing a half inch strip of hair from Rusty's snout and getting his whole head wet! In the first month - Reni picked Rusty up and shook him like a ragdoll twice! Never left a mark and the second time, Rusty was barely wet.

It took 6 months before they could be trusted in a room together without an issue. There are still occassions where Rusty gets too rambunctious and Reni goes after him with a snap and a growl.

How did I do this? Reni was either crated or muzzled at all times. They were never, ever left in a room alone. Rusty ALWAYS came first.

There is nothing to say that Tommy and Lucy will never get along - but it may well take much longer then a week. And it will be a lot of work.

April 16th, 2008, 09:03 PM
:fingerscr that tomorrow will be better. The first week is always the most chaotic with newbies in the house. Eventually, they work things out and it settles down to just the occasional rumble...

Do you think Tommy is stressed enough that he'll get soft stools again?

April 16th, 2008, 09:06 PM
I am so sorry this couldn't be easier :sad: I know you have been wanting a second dog for a long time now.

I hope it works as well as it did with my foster. At first he was ok , then one day , he was laying on one of the doggy beds , playing with a toy. Daisy , at the other end of the room , walked by another toy , foster got up an attacked her , I separated them , fearing for Daisy then she attacked him back :evil: then I contacted a behavior specialist that helps with our rescue. She was the one who explain that I had to teach the foster that he didn't have to guard his toys or anything else , I was the "master" so he could just be a dog and have fun. :shrug: and it didn't take that long before he got it :thumbs up

Hoping Lucy will come around as fast as my foster did :fingerscr

April 17th, 2008, 01:48 AM
I would crate Lucy until Tommy is no longer afraid of her. When she is not in her crate keep her on a leash. She must learn that YOU are the boss and she has to do what YOU want.

Good luck. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

April 17th, 2008, 07:00 AM
Sorry to hear all did not go smoothly. I don't have any suggestions, but would like to send some :goodvibes: that things go smoother from now on.

April 17th, 2008, 07:17 AM
I too have no suggestions,but I feel your desperation and your need to protect little Tommy.
He certainly does not need any more problems:sad:
I also feel for Lucy and I was hoping,like you were,it would finally work out for her,hopefully,if you follow some of the suggestions made things will improve,maybe a trainer would help:confused:
I might get bummed for saying this,but I believe some dogs/cats just do not like other dogs/cats and it just will not work out,but I am hoping Lucy is not one of those cases.
If I had not known my sons JRT Kita,I might have thought it's a JRT thing,but Kita loves all dogs and cats..:grouphug:to you,little Tommy and Lucy:grouphug:

April 17th, 2008, 07:17 AM
Well, she's tethered to me right now. We've all gone for a long walk this morning - no sniffing, no wandering, just WALK altogether, where I want to go. Tommy's in his crate (opened, his choice) and Lucy is attached to my pants. We'll see what happens today.

On the good side of things, I taught Lucy to sit! She's such a good, bright dog. None of this is her fault, it's Tommy who's acting weird, not her.

Jim Hall
April 17th, 2008, 07:30 AM
I agree you need to be the alpha

you were the alpha before lucy came and now licy thinks she can be or has to be the alpha lucy is a smart dog she will get it quickly.

April 17th, 2008, 07:52 AM
I agree it's an alpha thing. She had him pinned but left NO marks, not even a scratch. She was telling him what's what. She was acting normally. Tommy was not.

I don't know how most dogs would react to that. Tommy reacted with intense fear. Would he get over that eventually? Or would he always be terrified? I don't know. I'll give it today to see how things progress.

I've always been alpha here, and Lucy seems to be accepting that well today since she's tethered - that's a great idea, thanks!

I guess my problem is two things, really... it's not fair to Lucy, who is a perfectly well adjusted, normal, healthy dog to just crate her all the time. And it's not fair to Tommy to allow him to live in fear every moment. How long do I give it to see if it gets better? Is it fair to let Lucy get attached to us and then decide it's not working? And is it fair to decide it's not working so quickly?

Nobody can answer any of this for sure. I'll see how it goes today. I've moved her crate to a room that can be shut so when I go out today she'll be on her own, and Tommy will have run of the house to see if he'll eat or anything without her around. He won't eat or drink if she's there.

She's only been here since Tuesday at noon... but it's already Thursday, shouldn't Tommy be showing some signs of getting over his fear by today? He may not like her, may not interact with her, but he should stop hiding, shouldn't he? It's a balance between giving him time to get over it and waiting too long and damaging his already warped doggy psyche.

I feel like a horrible doggy mommy. I thought having a sister would be GOOD for Tommy, help him gain confidence with another balanced, calm doggy around. I didn't think that I might be hurting him more and also doing damage to a wonderful, good doggy like Lucy. I'm trying so hard to play and spend time with Lucy, it's not her fault and she deserves better than what is happening, too (even though she stole two of Tommy's toys and buried them in the garden:laughing:).

Jim Hall
April 17th, 2008, 08:00 AM
it could take a bit of a while I had this happen a while back with cats and i wimped out after 5 days its tough and very stressfull .

April 17th, 2008, 08:53 AM
I hope it all works out OK! I also watch the Dog Whisperer all the time and taking both dogs on walks is a good thing! Remember you are the pack leader! Good luck!

April 17th, 2008, 09:35 AM
Tommysmom, here's an article I think you ought to find most useful.

Tethering and crating (crating for both of them) are great ideas. I think if you put it in your mind that these are dogs, and try to understand dog behavior, things will begin to go more smoothly sooner. Try your best to not feel sorry for Tommy and do not coddle him. Once he's learned to cope on his own, he'll be all the better for it. Having said that, I believe that both Lucy and Tommy wil need more than a week to get used to the new living situation. We've had Ava for 8 months, and only now do I feel that things are finally settling and that all the dogs are comfortable. Here are some points that worked for us.

They were always supervised when together.
Toys were not strewn about the house until I was able to establish that Ava didn't have any guarding issues.
Bones and chew toys were only given to them while they were crated, and removed when they were let out.
Both Lucky and Penny had been taught to sit and wait before given the "ok" to eat. When Ava arrived, we had no problems with them going to her bowl. However, we had to teach her the same rules. I was always in the room while they ate so, if one finished before the other, I was able to stop them from going to another's bowl. In your case, do not allow Lucy to go near Tommy's bowl (this is one of the times tethering is very useful).
Teach them both to sit and wait for the "ok" command when exiting and enterring to and from the outdoors.
In addition to family walks, walk them alone as well. Spend individual time with each of them and group time.
Lots of exercise, especially for Lucy in your case. It will help relax her.

Has Tommy had any obedience training? If not, this would be a good time to start for both of them. Is it possible for you to take them to classes separately? I guarantee it would do wonders for Tommy's esteem and set the boundaries for Lucy right from the beginning. Once they both trust that you are pack leader, things will just fall into place.

Don't expect it to get better all on it's own. Clearly let both dogs know what you expect of them. Most important of all, don't panic. Set the rules, enforce them (make sure all other family members are equally consistent), and you'll see improvement soon enough.

April 17th, 2008, 09:50 AM
I really have no words of wisdom, but I just wanted to wish you luck...I'm sure whatever happens it will be for the best :)

April 17th, 2008, 10:14 AM
Oh, LP, I don't know alot about training dogs, but your advice just makes so much sense!

April 17th, 2008, 10:41 AM
Thanks for all the advice and encouragement, I appreciate it, I really do.

Tommy's had obedience training, he started at 3 months or so and we continued until he was about 15 months old. His confidence never improved, even with a bit of agility training.

I know things take time and we fully expected things to take longer than one week - we just figured within that week, knowing Tommy as well as we do, we'd be in a better position to judge how HE was doing.

Lucy has been tethered to me all day. She and I just went for a 45 minute romp in the fields. We came back and all three of us went out to the backyard, and she tried to pick him up and shake him like prey.

Lucy is a normal, healthy dog. I really think that she is picking up the vibes from Tommy - he's acting like prey, so she is treating him as such.

Right now she has an opportunity to be given a chance with a normal, healthy family. I do NOT believe that dogs - or any animals - are disposable... and I do not want to be the kind of person who gives back a dog.

BUT... she PICKED TOMMY UP and shook him like a ragdoll.

I realize that Tommy is the not-quite-right doggy. But he has to be my priority, and I just don't think this is going to work very well.

I can't stop crying, I really wish I hadn't started this at all. And I'd like to shoot the breeder who created Tommy. I love him, faults and all, but it's not right. It's just not right. I wish I'd known about back yard breeders long before now. I wish - well, I guess I just wish things were a bit different.

I'm so sorry... to all of you who rescue, who deal with the issues no matter what, I wish I could be like you. But I just don't think I can.

April 17th, 2008, 10:46 AM
Tommy'smom, you might wanna try muzzling lucy if she is going to be around tommy. This way he will hopefully be a little less timid since she can't bite him. And she hopefully will figure out its not acceptable to be aggressive with tommy.

April 17th, 2008, 10:54 AM
When we brought Tess in Gypsy pinned her a few times.She never left a mark,but Tess would sound like she was killing her.There was growling,but never a fight.It all looked and sounded like they would never get along.We let them work it out.Introducing on neutral ground is important. I think if no one is getting hurt,you will be making it take longer or never by getting involved.Good luck.Gypsy and Tess went on to become best freinds for almost fourteen years.

April 17th, 2008, 11:12 AM
Did you get a chance to read the article in the link I posted?

BUT... she PICKED TOMMY UP and shook him like a ragdoll.

This could have been prevented if she had been tethered to you :shrug: . You can correct her, "HEEEY" just as she's about to go for him. Keep her tethered at all times when she's not crated or secured in another room until you can trust her.

Try to look at it this have two children in the home. They're awesome kids but one's a bully with the other and, the other is a bit of a whiny kid. If one of your kids was about to hurt the other, wouldn't you get really pissed at them? Wouldn't you say, "Hey, knock it off" and punish them to get the message accross if they're not listening? And if the other child kept running to you for every little thing, wouldn't you say, "Alright, that's enough! I'll protect you but you've got to knock off the whining or you'll get a time-out too."

His confidence never improved, even with a bit of agility training.

When he sees that you've got a handle on the situation, he will become more confident, at least around Lucy. You have to let him know he's safe without coddling him.

Lucy is a normal, healthy dog. I really think that she is picking up the vibes from Tommy - he's acting like prey, so she is treating him as such.

She may be normal but, bullying is not. Do not give her any opportunities to bother Tommy.

I know it's hard Tommysmom :grouphug: . I think you need to sit down and think about what it is you're willing to learn and willing to do. This is extremely new for you, you can't expect to get things right in such a short time. I think you're in a panic right now because you don't have the tools to work through this. It's like putting someone behind the wheel of a car who's never even seen one before and telling them to drive. It won't work unless the person's taught how to drive by a really good, patient instructor. And only with time.

I'm not judging you Tommysmom, please don't feel that. I just think you need to take a step back and look at this objectively. Give yourself a time-out when you need a break too, ok ;) ? Nothing wrong with crating both dogs with a bone or stuffed Kong and for a nap while you try to get your toughts together.

Whatever it is you decide to do, we're here for you...just give yourself some time too.

April 17th, 2008, 11:23 AM
Oh Tommysmom :grouphug:, don't get discouraged! There is hope.

I have cats and when I signed the dotted line to adopt Sweet Pea, she was good as gold with Puddles, but that changed. Puddles is an extremely timid girl and has her "special" chair. One of Sweet Pea's kittens jumped on the chair, scared Puddles, and Puddles hissed at the kitten (she did not touch the kitten). Well Sweet Pea was a couple of feet away, and when Puddles hissed, Sweet Pea in a second, jumped on Puddles and started to beat her up horribly. Poor Puddles was cornered and cowering. That was last November. Well the kittens are gone now, but Puddles is still terrified of Sweet Pea so she hisses when Sweet Pea comes close to her. Well, in reaction to the hisses, Sweet Pea constantly stalks and attacks poor Puddles. We have to keep them seperate when we can't be in the same room and when they both have freedom in the house, Sweet Pea has a harness with a bell (to warn Puddles she is coming) on it with a rope dragging behind her so we can grab her before she can get to Puddles. It was like a viscous circle, Puddles would hiss, Sweet Pea would go into attack mode, Puddles would get more scared and hiss more, Sweet Pea would then try to attack. Fast forward to just this last week: After keeping them from attacking each other over the last 6 months, I was finally able to get Sweet Pea to eat some treats within a few feet of Puddles without a hiss from Puddles or a fluffing of fur and attack from Sweet Pea. It has taken a lot of patience and will still take time, but there is hope.

April 17th, 2008, 11:30 AM
oh you poor dear... remember that these things typically take alot longer than a few days or even a week's time.

IF I were in your shoes... I'd do one-on-one with both dogs. short daily training sessions combined with physical activity (to tire the mind & body), to reinforce that YOU are the leader. they follow YOU. when together, i'd have them both on leash. they don't get to have free play unless they earn it. once they can behave appropriately on leash together, then and only then, would I start to let them interact freely.

I think it could work out beautifully, if you can take the time to lay the ground work. the newbie must learn to respect you and the rules of the house (which include respecting Tommy). and tommy must learn to trust you will protect him.

I don't envy you, it sounds like it could be alot of hard work, however, i bet it'll pay off in the end and you'll have a wonderful new addition.

good luck!!

April 17th, 2008, 12:59 PM
Yep....I agree with LP and jessi76.

Another thought....Can you separate them with a baby gate? They will be able to see each other but Lucy won't be able to go after Tommy.

April 17th, 2008, 01:17 PM
I have had Lucy tethered to me ALL DAY - when she grabbed him up, it was because he dared to walk close enough - the tether enabled me to grab her off of him. Believe me, I haven't left those two alone for a second, I crated her when I had to shower. So it DID happen when she was tethered, she just moves way faster than I do and I don't know her well enough to read her signals yet, I didn't see any but I'm sure she gave some.

She's a jack russell, and will hop any gate - that's why I've tethered instead of gated, nothing short of a door will keep her in.

I truly think the problem is that she's picking up the vibes from Tommy. My concern is that through all of this she may end up becoming less balanced by spending time with my unbalanced dog.

I've had a trainer/behaviourist come by this afternoon because I definitely am way too emotional about this. He's taken Lucy out for now to see if he can tire her out a bit more while I get Tommy back to somewhat normal, and then we'll see what happens when they're together. I think I'll go with whatever he recommends.

If it was a question of her ending up in a shelter, I'd crate and rotate as long as it took to try and make the best of the situation... however, it's not - the breeder is committed to finding her a good home regardless of how long it takes. I'm not willing to take a chance on destroying Tommy, or on ruining Lucy, by making this last longer than it should. If the trainer thinks that we can do it, great... if he thinks it's not a good thing, then that's what we'll go with too. You guys are FABULOUS giving advice, encouragement, tips, everything... and that's why I love you all... but I think nothing can compare to somebody actually being here and seeing the behaviour, that's better than I can describe it.

April 17th, 2008, 01:21 PM
I agree--a behaviorist in-house is way better than online opinions! :grouphug: I hope it goes well! :fingerscr :goodvibes:

April 17th, 2008, 01:43 PM
Glad you got the behaviourist over. Hopefully he can find a solution for you. Good luck. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

April 17th, 2008, 05:51 PM
Awww poor Tommy :sad:. That said, it is very important that you don't coddle him through this as it just reconfirms his fearful reactions. One of the hardest things I've ever seen was when Lucy (my older lab) first corrected both Riley (my lab puppy) and Sam (mom's puppy). They were both totally terrified and cried and I had to just let it seem like it was no big deal. From then on they accepted her "authority". I'm so glad you have the behaivourist coming and hope he can help you out :fingerscr. Hopefully it can all work out because in the long run it will probably be great for Tommy to have a buddy.


April 17th, 2008, 08:39 PM
Good luck. I hope you get some good news.

April 18th, 2008, 08:59 PM
tommysmom, I just read this thread and I really hope that things work out for you guys, I did not realize that Lucy was an older dog I thought you were waiting for a puppy..:pray: that they will get along and that you will be ok too whith what ever decsion you need to make..pbp

April 18th, 2008, 09:29 PM
No updates ?

I hope everything is going ok :goodvibes:

April 19th, 2008, 02:42 PM
Hopefully, no news is good news. :fingerscr :goodvibes: :fingerscr :goodvibes:

April 20th, 2008, 10:48 AM
No, not good news... I am heartbroken. The trial period is over and Lucy is back at home.

It was the trainer's opinion that these two were not a good match... with a long process of crate & rotate they could have learned to live together, but probably not unsupervised. Due to Tommy's high level of fear - he was almost catatonic around her - Lucy was not relating to him properly.

Alone, Tommy would play and respond normally with the trainer's rottie mix. Alone, Lucy would play and respond normally with the trainer's rottie mix.
Together, Tommy would shake/vomit/pee and Lucy tried to take his throat out. If Tommy entered the same room as Lucy she would growl and go for him. Separately they are lovely dogs - together they brought out the worst in each other.

He did not feel that this was due to the way they were introduced or the way they interacted, simply that Tommy's fear brought out the prey drive in Lucy - she was feeding off his fear, not maliciously but simply in that she probably interpreted something as really 'wrong' with him.

Since she had a loving home he recommended not keeping the two of them together. She was ecstatic to see her home again, too, and be back with doggies who are 'normal' to her.

He may get better... Tommy has played normally with the rottie, and played normally with my mom's dog all day yesterday (I felt I had to get them together to see if I had inadvertently made him scared of all other dogs now). We have a series of things to work on to keep him getting better.

Everybody has lots of good suggestions for what kind of dog would be good for Tommy to live with, but I don't plan on trying again. I can't go through that, and I won't put another dog through that. It's not fair to any of them. I do keep thinking what if we had tried longer, would it have worked, should I have gotten a second opinion from another behaviourist... but it's done.

Thank you for all of your suggestions... had Lucy been a different dog, had Tommy been a different dog, I'm sure they all would have helped. But for now we will stay a single dog household and work on the issues that created such a bad situation.

April 20th, 2008, 10:59 AM

im sorry. :(


April 20th, 2008, 11:48 AM
SOOOOO sorry things didnt work out. We recently had to return a dog to the shelter that we were only fostering( None of my animals got along with her, she was a 4 month old rotti.) And i was heartbroken because i was hoping my mom would let us formally adopt her. But it wasnt fair to her or the other animals seems they didnt get along.SO best wishes and ~ Hugs ~ And i really hope tommy isnt too traumatized..

April 20th, 2008, 12:09 PM
When we found Hobo, although he always respected Ginger, he was very aggressive/insecure with most other dogs; particularly on leash. In reading up on this aggressiveness, one of the articles I read simply stated not to expect my dog to like every dog it met until I liked every person I met. We all meet people who make our neck hair stand up for no apparent reason and I guess they pick up on vibes like that too.

For the most part these problems have been worked out and he is a good canine citizen now. Over the years I have dogsat and taken in many strays without incident until this last pooch in March who both Ginger and Hobo thoroughly disliked. Had to tether that dog to me the whole time he was here...very stressful! This was a good dog that was great with me but they both let me know there was no room for him here. We could not take him in. Fortunately for Lucy she was going back to a safe secure home. My little stray is still living with the same nitwit :cry:

You did the right thing even though it was very difficult. Your priority has to be to "your first" baby! Glad to hear Tommy is not further traumatized and is still getting along with other dogs.

April 20th, 2008, 01:08 PM
I'm so sorry Tommysmom :sad:

April 20th, 2008, 01:40 PM
I'm sorry things didn't work out, but if it looks like they aren't going to ever get along then you did the right thing. I'm sure she'll find a wonderful home. You couldn't keep putting Tommy through that kind of stress if he wasn't getting better.

April 20th, 2008, 01:54 PM
Yes Tommysmom,I agree Tommy has been through enough in his young life,don't feel bad,you tried.
Maybe another small dog one day,one who does not have the prey-drive of a JRT will be possible.
Tommy does get along with other dogs,so there is hope:dog:

April 20th, 2008, 05:25 PM
I realize that Tommy is the not-quite-right doggy. But he has to be my priority, and I just don't think this is going to work very well.

I can't stop crying, I really wish I hadn't started this at all. And I'd like to shoot the breeder who created Tommy. I love him, faults and all, but it's not right. It's just not right. I wish I'd known about back yard breeders long before now. I wish - well, I guess I just wish things were a bit different.

I have a similar situation. Cider's not normal. Cider will never be normal. She's ranked like the 6th American cocker in the Agility Association of Canada. Rate we're going she'll have an alphabet soup of titles, but she is always going to be odd. She doesn't relate well to all dogs, she interprets signals wrong. I love her, she's a rocking dog at trials, she will live here till the bridge comes, but she will never be normal. Some dogs she can play with, others she freaks out at and i think it comes from signal interpretation in part. But, she's a confident little beast now.. Agility did fix some of her issues.

Smudge being well bred is beyond normal. He has tried multiple times a day for 8 months to play with her. She growls. There's only nastiness when she feels she's been bothered too much, and it's not often. I can leave them in a room together or free downstairs, but if I leave the house he is crated, she is free. 8 months together, and she lets go of little quiet growls anytime he comes near her. It's far from perfect, but we manage. It sucks cause I wish my dogs got along like other people's.. but it's a product of Cider coming from a crappy breeder.. I wish she was a little more balanced. I don't think any future dogs will come from unknown sources, as dealing with Cider for over three years has been tiring and we have a lifetime left. I don't for see having the energy to do this again.

All the endless issues I had with her.. I've had almost none with Smudge. He's been a cake walk. All depends upon the dog, but I've been to hell and back with Cider. I love her but it's been a hard road, and I've wanted to give up at times..

April 20th, 2008, 07:23 PM
Joey was always a doggie with issues. I loved him with my whole heart but I was the only person in the world I could trust that he wouldn't bite. He had to be approached "just so" and even though he could be very friendly anytime I had him out I had to say "he bites" as people approached. He'd have a happy face on and wag his tail but I had to warn people because he misinterpreted movements and could become defensive at any moment.

It was so sad really because he loved the attention but I would have to hold him and keep a hand by his head in order to let anyone pet him.

I was totally committed and kept such a careful eye on him so he couldn't hurt anyone--for HIS sake ! You hear awful stories of dogs being taken away or pts.

We got him from a small dog rescue and they had gotten him from a woman who found him wandering the FDR highway in NY---dirty, ungroomed, no collar. Very likely abused, and almost certainly abandoned.

I'm glad he had nothing but love and pampering for the last five years of his life but it's not easy being a doggie mommy when doggie has those kinds of issues.

April 21st, 2008, 12:26 AM
Tommysmom I know it's hard but it sounds like you made the right choice for everyone :grouphug: I think given Tommy's situation even months down the road it still would not have worked with the other dog being a prey driven terrier.

Tommy has shown he will be fine with other dogs now and at least this way you did try and will not be left wondering if you could have done something.

I recently had someone ask if I would take his cat he needed to rehome, at first I said "no I can't Duffy (my cat) doesn't like other cats" :sad: then I got to thinking what if it would work? the other cat is the opposite personality to Duffy which would be ideal (Duffy is dominate so she would need someone who would not challenge her authority). I would've felt horrible if I hadn't at least tried. Anyways their meeting (my apt Duffy free, the other cat crated) went okay for the first few minutes then Duffy got really really stressed to the point of nearly vomiting, so I had to tell him I can't :sad: I did however find this cat the purrfect home w/my parents :thumbs up

Sometimes adding a new furry takes weeks/months for everyone to be fully comfortable with each other, but you have to know when the reactions are this pronounced/severe it usually won't work. :grouphug:

April 21st, 2008, 12:50 AM
Tommysmom, sorry things didn't go as you had hoped. :grouphug:

April 21st, 2008, 06:23 AM
I am sorry things didn't work out for you.

April 21st, 2008, 06:54 AM
You tried your best and that's all you can do. He can get along with other dogs, so that's a good sign. Maybe an older laid back rescue would be the way to go if you really want another dog, like an older golden.


April 21st, 2008, 09:22 AM
You at least gave it a shot, Tommysmom. Don't beat yourself up--sometimes it just doesn't work out! :grouphug:

Lucy is a great dog and will find a forever situation--and Tommy is well-loved, so all is well... And maybe some day Tommy will find a perfect canine companion. :shrug: You never know! :o

But don't be hard on yourself for trying. You would have always regretted not making the attempt with Lucy! :grouphug:

April 21st, 2008, 10:05 AM
It's all Ok Tommy's mom. Sometimes things dont' go the way we would have liked but in the long run they always work out for the best. I think we are all very proud of you for giving it a try and lots of hugs your way knowing that you were saddened about having to send Lucy back. I"m glad Tommy played well with the other dogs he knows, and you know,, they are like people ,, we don't all get along either :-),, hugs your way... lots of them. Lots of support for you.

April 21st, 2008, 11:13 AM
Awww I'm so sorry it didn't work out, but you had to do what was best for poor Tommy, and being scared fearfull, and hiding, is not a good life!

You did the right thing.

how's Tommy now?