Monday, September 21, 2009

From Suffering To The End Of Suffering

So I have been out for a bit with some serious back issues that I am still contending with. The crummy thing about that is not just that I missed out on caring for all my "kids" but that there is one in particular that needed me there more than the rest, and that would be Ghoshley.
Since I was gone, he didn't get as much attention and exercise since our other staffer has different important business to tend to. He was getting worse and so it was time for Ghosters to move on. Mom had left her program which violates her agreement and the fact that almost all staff could not deal with him was another issue. Mom finally came to pick up who now seemed like MY boy. The Shelter is a very difficult place for many animals to stay stable in. Pitty's and some other breeds like Shepards don't always do well there because their needs are more than is usually able to be given to them in that environment. Ghosters was no exception. He came out all wild to momma and became more unruly. He jumped and nipped at her was more mouthy and she was unable to handle him when a person was about 50' away and he started growling and trying to go towards them. She was pretty freaked by his behaviour and I'm sad to say I saw it coming.

I had taken it upon myself to speak to this sweet young girl who I knew had no place Ghosters to go and no one to keep him safe and loved or to as just importantly keep others safe from him. Now I LOVED this dog as my own and saw the wonderful sweet side of this big beast but I also saw the very dangerous side to him. Had I felt there were any possibilities for this dog to have a good life and be a good example of a pet I would not have suggested that she consider euthanasia. I talked with her for 2 hrs learning even more about the abuse this poor woman and dog have gone through which made me even more secure that what I was suggesting to her was the best thing for all involved. This lovely girl made one of the hardest decisions one could ever make and that was to choose her life, her son's life and the public's life to be a safer and more stable one over the love of a dangerous animal who had protected her at one time.

I am the one staffer who never wants to put any animal down because I am always hopeful there is a home for and a way to work with these animals. Ghosters was different. He was abused and unstable and showed aggression at a very young age and I know what that all equals up to. Serious potential for harm. I was sincere in my love for her animal and she could see how he loved me and that I was not someone being judgemental or biased against pittys (since I have one myself) or her situation but that it came from knowledge and experience that this behaviour leads to no where but trouble.

So after coming back from my own weeks of suffering from physical pain I end up taking away the mental and emotional pain of a dog I loved as my own but knew this was no longer the time or place for him and that wherever he went will be a place of less suffering for him.
It's THE hardest part of my job
RIP Ghosters All My Love

Again to end on a lovely note..Starletta escaped the green mile by being adopted by her foster mom. She will still need to be careful around strangers and may always be a little booger with certain handling but I can't tell you how happy I am that she was saved and that her sufferring of being scared and confused in the shelter is now over and she is living a happy life given to her by her new momma. Yea!

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Sweet Fearful One

So we have a great program that helps people who need some help getting back on track in life and we will take care of their pet for a set amount of time, usually not more than 3 months. Our newest ASP resident is Goshley. A beautiful tan and white big pink mouthed 9 month old jug head of a Pitty. He's my sweet, loveable, goofy, bull in a china shop. He LOVES the pool, belly rubs, trying endlessly to carry that giant hard plastic blue ball in his mouth, attempting to eat a few of our staff members, and can catch a tennis ball mid air better than any Border Collie I've ever seen. I tried to just slip that one past. Unfortunately my sweetness is what I would call a fear aggressor. He tells many of the staffers he would like to eat them for lunch and makes no bones about letting you know LOUD and clear. He will jump up on the kennel gate bark and growl at almost everyone who passes by, often with dialated eyes which means Trouble Run For Cover. Now I was fortunate enough to be the first to meet him while he was still with his "Mama". She intro'd us and because she thought I was cool I believe he accepted me as cool. We have been chums from then on (oh except for that one time I just poked a finger through the kennel and he snapped at it like a hungry gator-he seems to have this thing about fingers through the gate).Itake him out to play in the baby pool we have and let him play like a seal by pushing the ball all around the yard with his nose. Unexpectedly he turned mean on a staffer who he allowed into his kennel with him to give him the kong I made for him and without knowing what the reason he suddenly started to growl at her and bark and she barely had a chance to get out and close the door. Still don't know why. I'll tell you, this big boy would make you soil your pants if he even LOOKED at you and didn't like you. So far he's my big daddy and we are on lovey terms. The problem is that he shows himself to come forward even though he's afraid. Fear with assertiveness is NOT a good thing. He's a smart boy but if he doesn't get more training, especially in socialization he can easily become a menace. Sadly, the circumstances are such that it makes it very difficult to do that work in a shelter. I don't think all hope is lost on him. He really does have all the qualities I mentioned. Unfortunatley fear arises in many forms. Hjust happens to be quite fearful and has a harm you before you harm me reaction to his fear. I adore him but never underestimate his ability to be triggered by unforseeable things. Stay aware, careful and compassionate.
I little lovely update -all my previously discussed babies have of course all gotten forever homes! Yea! Shaq Attack will be next!