Monday, January 10, 2011
Crossing My Fingers
Last week we dropped Juneau off at K-9 University in Plano. She'll be there for two weeks working on learning basic commands and hopefully getting some help for her behavior problems. We had talked for a while about getting her some training, but we never pulled the trigger. It's not a cheap solution by any means, which is probably why we were putting it off. I'm thankful something happened last week that finally pushed us to make the decision, though.
My bff, Jenn, asked us to watch her puggle while she went out of town for a family funeral. We brought Ava home to introduce her to our dogs, and things didn't go well with Juneau. She immediately got aggressive and snapped and barked at Ava. We put Ava in her crate to keep her safe. Our other two dogs were a little leery about Ava at first, but they quickly decided she wasn't a threat. We figured we'd just have to segregate Ava from Juneau for the weekend, and that would take care of it. Then, Juneau and Casey started fighting. They have had spats in the past that we've had to break up, including a time when Meezy's finger got caught in the mix. We were never really sure what would set them off, but we figured it had something to do with me. Juneau is incredibly jealous when I give my attention to other dogs or people. Casey has the personality where she wants to be the top female dog in charge and thinks it's her duty to keep Juneau in check. So, I was giving attention to a new dog, Juneau got jealous, and Casey got pissed at Juneau. Commence chaos. They got into a really vicious fight, and it appeared like Juneau was crushing Casey's windpipe. She let out the most horrible noises, and I freaked out because I thought she was being killed right in front of me. Meezy tried to pull Juneau off unsuccessfully. He ran and got two really thick oven mitts (to protect his fingers) and tried to remove Juneau's mouth from Casey's neck. It wasn't working, so I got a thick spatula and tried to shove it in Juneau's mouth and lift up to pry her off. Finally that worked, and I had to pick up Casey quickly and bring her to another room. I inspected her and couldn't find any blood or wounds, so I don't think Juneau ever actually broke the skin. I was shaking after it was over and started crying, because I had really thought I was going to lose one of my dogs that day, at the hands of one of my others.
Meezy and I decided right then that Juneau needed professional help. We tried for the next few days after that to reintroduce Casey and Juneau again, and each time they showed signs that they were about to start fighting. We had to keep them in different rooms or in a cage at all times. It got very tiring. We can't have dogs that don't get along, and we can't have a dog that is a threat to everyone's safety. I have many nieces and nephews, and there will be newborns added to the mix this year, so we had to do something. I really, really hope that the place we took her is able to provide some help. She is such a sweet dog the majority of the time, but that doesn't excuse the other times where she's unstable and unpredictable. I'll be sure and keep you updated on her progress. After her two weeks of intensive training at their facility, we'll be going back for weekly private lessons, and then finish with group lessons. Keep your fingers crossed.