Rescue Journal

i was reading brindle this morning...

Carol  ·  Jul. 10, 2009

i don't post there anymore but sometimes i still read some of the interesting things and once again, biting dogs are up for discussion. crosby a one year old mop head was brought up for discussion that rae is trying to help find a rescue to take him on.

crosby has not bitten anyone, but he growls apparently sometimes so the assumption there is a negative one...if he growls, it might progress to biting therefore he is a risk.

if you look at this from a positive slant..maybe not. maybe he is a bit persnicketty, maybe he does tell folks to piss off. but this does not mean he is inheritently violent..maybe it just means he is persnicketty with really good bite inhibition. maybe the growling doesn't mean anything at all...i cannot count the dogs i have known who's normal vocalizations include growling as an exclamation point to put feeling into whatever it is that they are talking about now.

all dogs have the potential to bite...they don't have hands to push you away...they can't say the words to tell you to "F" off. they have mouths with teeth that god gave them to take the place of the hands and the words that we have.

the percentage of actual violent dogs in normal circumstances is really low...sure there are some...i have had them and i have euth'd them too. some like clyde and duke and emmit have a malfunctioning brain...some like the first angel we had...just really enjoyed killing smaller things or bear who was just too into actually killing whoever tried to fight back with him.
but is caspar a danger to anyone because he will bite me repeatedly if i inject him with insulin without a muzzle? is lucas a danger because i know he might bite if someone tries to make him move when he is sore and in pain? is copper, that freaking, idiotic, happy beagle a menace to society because that greedy little bastard will bite you if you try to take a stolen treasure away from him?

jerry has now bitten me three times in the month he has been here...each time he was lunging for another dog but really how stupid can he be to keep accidently getting me instead?

swinger once purposely, came up behind me and deliberately bit me hard in the ass...was that horse then deemed violent and killed or was he just on that day more of a jerk than normal?

if we have a fight here and are trying to break it up, sometimes a dog will in the heat of the fight, redirect to the stupid human who is interfering in an emotional and highly charged moment.

geez, little less...the sweetest dog on earth tried to actively bite me every time the vet was here...this is what muzzles are for.
jazz was the best dog in the world..yet she bit me when i took the garbage away and i had to pin her to the wall with a broom to stop her from biting me again...she also bit thru the muscle of one of the volunteers legs when that leg got between a blind dog and a dog that jazz thought was too cocky and needed punishing right away.

ducky will bite if you grab her collar, as another blind dog...she thinks this is really rude.

squirt bites the ankles of scary humans leaving the room.

joey nipped our vet in the leg for some unknown reason, it was the farm vet...not a joey vet.
and jesse is our truly unpredictable biter...we can't figure out why such an utterly soft and sweet dog, suddenly turns mean....sometimes he is great with strangers, sometimes (very infrequently,) he is not, so we watch him really carefully.

none of these "biters" are "dangerous"...none of them want to really hurt a human..but they are dogs who sometimes use their mouths to punctuate whatever it is that they feeling.

i don't get the rescues who won't take a potentially biting dog or a dog with a simple bite history that is easy to figure out...they better not take ANY dog if biting is that big of an issue cuz all dogs can bite occasionally. my beloved tyra intentionally bit me on the hand during an obedience class when i was making her go down into a down position that she really did not want to go down into....that was 12 years ago..she has never bitten me or anyone else since...but she sure did bite me on that day and i think she was glad that she did.

and the rubber hand thing that shelters use for assessment...give me a break unfair...those dogs are not stupid..they know that hand is rubber and not flesh and blood. stick your real hand in there and see if they will bite it because they might get really pissed at a rubber thing taking liberties but let a stupid human get away with it because they don;'t want to bite a human if they can help it. a bite on the real hand in the interest of really knowing..will heal...a dog who is dead because it bit a non living rubber thing...won't get over that any time soon.

and really? most biting dogs are not much different than a bad mannered human who picks fights and says mean things to others on public message is a double standard for you...humans think we have the right to push around or be bitchy to other humans but we don't think dogs should.

given time and the right environment...most dogs will learn to be nice...just like not so nice humans can learn to be nice if they want to..(but humans mostly don't cuz ain't no one gonna nuke them for an occasional proverbial bite.)

anyway rae...i am thinking on crosby...if someone pulls out the big blue syringe to nuke that very sweet face, let me know, i will find room for the little twit here.



Crosby's owners have found a home for him and let me know after the fact that they don't need my help, but Thank you they say :( I pray they did their homework and that this is a good match for Crosby, if not I'm sure I'll be hearing from them again soon. Thanks again Carol you rock!!!!!


Yes, you do have the most adorable sweethearts ever!!
Your July Tisol calendar page (adorable) was how I learned about SAINTS. And Emily (blog pic) truly super adorable, like all of them!! I loved reading this morning about Emily's cheekiness! Such great news! And mostly, I am honoured to have kissed Todd's face, your sweet angel boy! He melted my heart instantly, like yours. Thank you for giving him a kind sunset!
0: )


it is true that in the is lawsuit crazy and canada may head that way too.
i am not saying tho that all dogs with bite histories have to be adopted out into new homes. i am saying they have to be given the chance by rescue for help because biting is a natural instinctual reaction for ALL animals (even small human children bite til they learn not to..hell professional adult human boxers bite sometimes too!..who was that guy anyway..i forget..was it sugar-ray?)
i think there are areas we choose to work in that are high risk for lawsuits...doctors, nurses, police officers AND rescuers. all of us are prime fruit for being sued..that cannot determine WHO we help...but it can determine HOW we help.
i can't refuse to nurse a patient involved with suit against the medical field and i don't think morally i can refuse to help an animal with a bite history just because i am afraid of being sued....i can refuse because i believe the dog(or the human) present a true danger to myself or others..but i better be sure that is in fact true cuz i can be sued too for REFUSING to care for a human (maybe not a dog cuz they really do not have human rights)
my point is, all dogs will bite...end of story....normal behavior for the species. not all dogs will bite in thier lifetimes, and of those that do...not all biters are dangerous. rescue's job is not to shut the door on dogs who may or may not bite because of fear of a law suit. it's job is to figure out the difference between a dog who is dangerous to the public and those who are not. we determine what they need, provide lifelong sanctuary or euth the ones who do present as an ongoing danger and we help the ones who are not.
i am not one to live my life or practice my values and standards in rescue or in nursing based on the fear that some idiot will sue me for doing what i believe is to be right, responsible, reasonable and just.


Hi Helga, I need to borrow a trap if you have one! My email is If you let me know how to pick up I will...Thanks!!


Ack! Can someone remove all my duplicate entries. I think my computer is possessed!! So sorry!!!


Crosby was being used as an example on Brindle. Sorry sent before finished!!??. From what I read Rae and him were not being pigeon holed but just as a what if scenario. Granted I guess reading back Rae should have been asked if she minded the discussion. It got lots of different answers and scenarios. I know from my good friends down in the States if a dog has bite history they can get their pants sued off for placing in another home. That is a what do they do..take on dogs with bite history that they can never I mentioned on Brindle my friend got 4 calls in 2 days for bite dogs or say no and keep space open for dogs that can move on. Always a dillema in rescue. Crosby deserves a chance and I think all agree with that. Carol you have opened your heart to dogs with bite history and I am sure some have moved on..that is so wonderful..I believe our court system is a bit easier on this issue.


On topic...maybe he is not well?? Trev bit the vet once (now he is labeled as a high risk dog there) when his ears were bad (one broked eardrum and the other very close). Poor bugger.


hi, this is off topic but do you have a cat trap?? Laps doesn't have them. There is a stray cat hanging out by my moms apt...yes she is feeding him. He wonders quite far and is thin...she has talked to Laps and they said the best thing is to trap him.


if only dogs could talk,they have probably met a few of "those" people you referred to,if it was socially acceptable there are a few people i might take a chunk out of too.


Carol Thank you, there's a reason I love you, you totally pegged it!!!! I just read the post about Crosby and me. I had no idea we were being discussed else where and I'm not really happy about it. I guess maybe I need tougher skin. I will look at every angle before Saints just because there are so many seniors that need you more than Crosby. For now he is safe.He is a beautiful dog and I see potential. For the worlds largest Pom he just needs confidence and security.