August 15, 2013

The Dream Dissolves

Here are two dogs who don't like each other. I got them to sit together for a moment for the photo, but the body language says it all.
           We don't know exactly what happened in Georgie's past, but we KNOW it wasn't good. So, despite her cuddliness with people, she was definitely not comfortable around Nacho.  Very quickly, this became a problem. She seemed to go into some sort of "zone" and would then creep up behind him and attack.

We learned to build barricades between them, and to close one of them into the kitchen if I had to leave the house, or even leave the room.  Sometimes 4 or 5 days would pass without an event, and we would get encouraged. Maybe things would eventually be okay?  But as soon as we let down our guard, she would attack again. Poor Nacho was scared and terribly depressed. I was a nervous wreck, and felt like a prisoner of war.

It was becoming clear that this adoption was a mistake. Georgie needed to be in a one-dog house. I began to reflect on things the foster family had said and done, and I realized that they knew about this situation, and probably had experienced the same problem between Georgie and their pugs. But none of us wanted to put Georgie back into the system. And nobody really wanted to report her behavior, for fear of the possible consequences. What a dilemma!

Well, in May I needed to travel, and needed an appropriate sitter for Georgie. I turned to the foster family, and they agreed to take her for 4 days. As we were planning the details, the foster mother was making jokes about "I don't know if we'll give her back..." I knew she still loved Georgie a lot. So I called her bluff, and asked if she would really be willing to take her back and keep her.

Yikes!  The discussion got really serious real fast. They asked me to sign papers to relinquish her, and said they would take her back and decide if they would adopt her. I came over to sign the papers, return some of her things, and say goodbye to Georgie. It was gut-wrenching. She was so happy to see me, and jumping all over me, and I felt just awful to be leaving her. And the foster family was clearly not happy. What a mess.

I've been very broken-up about this whole thing. I cried a lot for several months. I really felt the need to love and protect Georgie, but it was completely unfair to Nacho. And since she had not stopped the behavior even after 7 months with the foster family, it was clear that she wouldn't stop it with us either. In the end, I think we did the right thing, but I still feel terrible. And a little angry at not having been given the complete information about this dog.

As of our last contact, the foster family has kept Georgie. I really hope it works out for them.

I still want to give a home to an elderly Pug, but now it will have to wait until next year. And when we  try again, I hope we'll really be able to know what we're taking on.

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